Thursday, July 28, 2011

Defining the Exception Before the Rule

The Sutherland Institute wrote a pamphlet on the importance of Charitable Care. The article laments that their suggest fell on deaf ears.

"Once again, the call for input fell on deaf ears – none of
Utah’s health care stakeholders seriously considered the request."

I am not a "stakeholder." I was dissatisfied with the article because I believe that the article started at the wrong point.

It is true that charity is an important element in a free society. Through charity, free people express their most cherished values. In health care, a well honed system of charity provides care for the people who are underserved by the primary medical system.

Charity is important, but charity is the exceptions and not the rule.

Because the Sutherland Institute sought to address the exception before the rule, the institute ended up penning a proposal that does not resonate with either the "stakeholders" or the public.

The Sutherland plan creates a new state-owned charity called the "Community Health Foundation" that runs free clinics and coordinates charitable care. The program assumes doctors will line up to volunteer time at a state run clinic, and that people are super eager to donate to state agencies.

To me, the CHF appears to be just another top heavy political structure in a world dominated by top heavy political solutions for health care. The "stakeholders" in health care probably just see the CHF as another player in the grub for power.

I believe Sutherland would have better success in promoting free market health care if they start with the rule before trying to define the exception.

This is the approach of the The Medical Savings and Loan.

The mantra of the Medical Savings and Loan is "Those who can pay for their health care should pay for their health care."

The MS&L creates a structured savings program to help people self fund their care. The program records in minute detail a person's health care spending, income and overall wealth.

When a person has abnormally high medical expenses or abnormally low income then they need charitable assistance.

Because the Medical Savings and Loan records people's care, we can identity those who need additional assistance.

Conversely, when a person has abnormally good health or abnormally high income, the MS&L points this out and encourages the lucky ones to donate to the unfortunate.

A well crafted tool that helps people self-fund their care will identify those who cannot.

As such, The Medical Savings and Loan will work elegantly with charitable and public health efforts. Were we to adopt the paradigm of the medical savings and loan for health care, we would find that can provide generous grants without a top heavy structure like the CHF.

While the Medical Savings and Loan works elegantly with public health agencies, insurance does not.

As insurance companies are eager to dump sick people onto the public health system, insurance makes public health care problematic.

Were the Sutherland Institute to look at the rule and not the exception, they would realize that we need to change the primary mechanism for funding health care from an insurance model to the Medical Savings and Loan Model.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Deregulating the Regulators

One cannot "deregulate" financial tools designed to regulate the economy.

When one tries to deregulate regulatory tools, one introduces chaotic elements and systemic faults into the financial markets.

The financial tools at the heart of the financial collapse were designed to regulate the economy. Things like the Federal Reserve, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are quasi government entities that serve regulatory purposes.

Our financial system is top heavy with regulatory structures.

Mortgages were designed to regulate the housing market. The idea behind the mortgage system is that people pay regular payments to banks which make regular predictable profits. Government backed re-insurance was added to mortgages to regulate this regulatory tool. Mortgage Backed Securities and Credit Default Swaps were also designed to provide additional insurance and stability for these regulatory tools.

Insurance, for that matter, is a regulatory tool. The idea behind insurance is that people would pay regular premiums into a pool to cover irregular expenses.

Insurance exists to regulate! When people demand insurance regulation, they are demanding regulation of a regulatory instrument.

Hedge Funds are investment tools designed to leverage and hedge investments. Hedge funds are not simply to investment funds. They exist to regulate, and use formulas that came from the regulatory mindset.

Short selling is a regulatory tool. With short selling, a trader sells a phantom share of a stock with a promise to buy the stock back in the future. It is an inherently anti-market device. Short sellers justify this anti-market device with the claim that it "provides liquidity."

The claim is absurd. Short selling increases in economic downturns and effectively decrease liquidity. Short sellers are the scum of the earth. The fact that they lie is no surprise.

The banking system is flush with regulation. The Federal Reserve and the system of fractional lending were designed from the ground up to regulate the economy.

This system of regulations built upon other regulations is inherently instable. It is a house of cards doused in flammable liquid. Nobody, not even someone as smart as Tim Geithner, knows what to do with the regulations stacked upon other regulations.

During the Clinton Administration, our financial elite deluded themselves into thinking that they could simply let go the reigns of their regulatory tools and the market would sort things out. The Bush Administration lacked the intellectual acuity to realize the dangers of the experiment of deregulating regulatory tools.

One cannot restore the free market by letting Wall Street run roughshod with a toxic mix of anti-market tools.

To restore the free market, we need to replace the anti-market tools like insurance and short selling with pro-market ideas such as the Medical Savings and Loan and Real Time Exchange.

Trying to deregulate regulatory tools will continue to lead to disaster and economic decline.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Is World Trade Free Trade?

US-China Trade Conference from Salt Lake Chamber on Vimeo.

The folks at the Utah World Trade Center are beside themselves. They successfully hosted a governors' conference in concert with a US China Trade Conference connecting Chinese Governors with US Governors.

In this conference our glorious leaders negotiated business deals with glorious leaders from China. Four governors from Chinese provinces were given access to governors from throughout the United States.

This conference was really big news for the politically connected business leaders who have access to our ruling class.

Being a political outsider, I look at this top down structuring of the economy with dismay. The US Founders grew up in a world in which business was controlled by a corrupt distant monarchy. They created a new limited government.

Limiting the role of government in trade allowed businesses to freely trade among eachother.

This game where our governors negotiate business deals with Chinese governors is reconstructing the top-down business world that the US Founders rebelled against.

As the WTC Utah negotiates big trade deals that give world trade a competitive edge over small local business, our once free society diminishes.

Since people have a taste for the exotic, a truly free market will have a great deal of free trade.

However, world trade is not itself necessarily free trade. When governors from the US meet governors from China to discuss business deal, one ends up with a system of government controlled crony capitalism in which the people as a whole diminish in the shadows of government corruption.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

That Sense of Entitlement

Switching from insurance to the Medical Savings and Loan could help us break the sense of entitlement that has gripped our nation.

Insurance is a product built around entitlement. If you are a member of an insured group you are entitled, by contract, to the benefits defined in the contract. Since we perceive insurance as a perk, not as something earned, employer based insurance creates a full blown entitlement complex.

The Medical Savings and Loan is a structured savings plan for health care designed to replace employer based insurance. It has the same amount of money as insurance. It deposits most of the money into the savings account, but holds back a sizeable chunk of funds for those with excessive medical needs.

The key to this program is a structured savings program. Participants will meet frequently with a health care advocate who educates employees on future medical expenses and helps people prepare for these expenses. NOTE: Employees are likely to end up with several hundred thousand dollars in their savings account!!!!!!!

When people have unusual health care expenses, they will receive grants. As mentioned previously, the Medical Savings and Loan holds back a large amount of money for major medical expenses. A plan with 100,000 participants is likely to have a few billion dollars for grant.

Remember, the program has the same amount of money as the insurance plan it replaced.

The grants are there and will be dealt out accordingly. The key to this program is that people are not "entitled" to the grants. The grants are given.

The Medical Savings and Loan starts with the same amount of money as the insurance policy it replaces. The primary difference is that people are paying their health care expenses with money that they earned, while insurance has people consuming health care as if it were an entitlement.

People are likely to spend their health care dollars more wisely if they were spending their own dollars. Breaking the sense of entitlement is likely to create a paradigm where we get more money than what we get with the entitlement paradigm.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Speech About Collapsing Euro

UK Independence Party (UKIP) Nigel Farage complains about the unelected progressive political elite who are driving Europe back into the dark ages with their dream of one-world socialist governance.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Beck and the Dialectics

One of the odd things about The Dialectic is that, as people are drawn into diagnosing the problem, they become part of the problem.

Reactionary conservatives have a nasty history of becoming a mirror image of the corruptions they reacted against.

(NOTE the masters of the dialectics do their dirty work by projecting the dialectics onto their enemies. For example, a core part of the Alinsky method is efforts to guide the reaction to set up conflicts).

Anyway, I grew tired of the Glenn Beck show on Fox a long time ago because I did not see the format of the show leading to any substantive solutions.

Since I don't see the show leading to substantive solutions, I am happy to see Beck's show end and decided to stay up and watch the rerun of his last show.

Beck claims that he was not fired and that he wants to move on from just reporting on the problem to finding solutions. If this is true; then I applaud Glenn Beck for wanting to look to solutions.

Neither the press nor the political class like solutions. They want problems that demand greater consolidation of power.

Unfortunately, we've become a society that is so used to being pulled along by manufactured problems that we may not be able to engage in the process of finding solutions.

I can get people to rant about problems. I've never been able to get anyone to talk about solutions.

Way back in the 1960s and 1970s, my mother launched into an absolutely fasicinating exploration of the education of the founding fathers and wrote an excellent work showing how their mastery of language and logic allowed them to do great things.

We can find a great deal of solutions if we look to the education of the founding fathers. My mother never managed to get any interest in the solution.

I realized the insurance industry was systemically flawed in the 1980s and that there was a growing number of systemic flaws in both our health care and financial systems.

I developed an alternative to insurance called the Medical Savings and Loan.

In thirty years, I have not been able to get a group to seriously look at what could be a possible solution. They will only follow the reasoning through the conflict then immediately turn to using the conflict to gain power.

It would be wonderful if Glenn Beck realized that his fox show was becoming part of the problem. I wish him luck in finding ways to be part of the solution.