01 September 2008

A Primer on National Healthcare

It must be because I live in a large urban area that lately, it seems, that every time I get into a discussion about issues facing US Citizens, the person(s) I'm talking to say that the root cause is that "the government doesn't spend enough money on it."

Maybe it is because these folks are just used to hearing their Democratic leadership throwing money at everything in sight. School attendance is down? We aren't spending enough on education. Crime is up? Spend more money on welfare and entitlement programs because, obviously, it is economic deprivation that causes crime. 1% of mortgage holders are defaulting on their loans. Quick! Pass a law that authorizes the government to take more of your money to bail out people who shouldn't have been given loans in the first place. Where will it end?

Now I'm hearing that we "need" nationalized healthcare. What a load of horse-cobblers. A huge Liberal friend of mine was constantly crowing about how wonderful Canadian healthcare was. He is a US citizen but travels frequently to Canada. He eventually moved to Canada and took a well paying job in the travel industry. Well one day he fell and fractured his arm (the area between the elbow and the shoulder). It was a compound fracture, meaning that the bone cracked and was poking through the skin. Those are the worst kind to get because of the risk of blood loss and infection. He goes to the hospital and it takes 4 hours just to get a pain killer. Around hour 6 he finally sees a doctor. The doctor says that the earliest they can get him in for an x-ray is 3 weeks. What can he do? He agrees and the doctor bandages him up and puts the arm in a quasi-cast.

The 3 weeks go by and it is agonizing for my friend. He can't sleep, his appetite is gone, he can't do much because the pain is excruciating. The x-rays show that it's broken in 4 spots. They schedule surgery for 1 month later! The surgery is a success but they have to put 4 pins in his arm, which protrude about 1/4 of an inch from the skin. The doctor says that he'll have to keep it this way for another 3 months and then come back to have them removed.

Long story short, it was almost a year before all the surgeries and visits were cleared. Meanwhile he had to suffer constant pain and deal with the horrid bureaucracies that make up Canadian health care. Needless to say, my friend is still a stubborn liberal but is convinced that nationalized health care is a nightmare.

In my experience, you can tell that people who are gung-ho stethoscope socialism have not examined the systems that they adore very closely.

The YouTube video above is not an isolated incident in Canada. Human Events fellow writes eloquently about some of the short-falls in the national healthcare paradigm. The most ringing indictment is this:"Wherever bureaucrats control medicine, the wise money says: “Don’t get sick.”

From Murdock's article:

* Breast cancer is fatal to 25 percent of its American victims. In Great Britain and New Zealand, both socialized-medicine havens, breast cancer kills 46 percent of women it strikes.

* Prostate cancer proves fatal to 19 percent of its American sufferers. In single-payer Canada, the National Center for Policy Analysis reports, this ailment kills 25 percent of such men and eradicates 57 percent of their British counterparts.

* After major surgery, a 2003 British study found, 2.5 percent of American patients died in hospital versus nearly 10 percent of similar Britons. Seriously ill US hospital patients die at one-seventh the pace of those in the U.K.

* “In usual circumstances, people over age 75 should not be accepted” for treatment of end-state renal failure, according to New Zealand’s official guidelines. Unfortunately, for older Kiwis, government controls kidney dialysis.

* According to a Populus survey, 98 percent of Britons want to reduce the time between diagnosis and treatment..

I've quoted from this article before but here are the low-lights on Canadian health care:

* More than 825,000 Canadian citizens are currently on waiting lists for surgery and other necessary treatments.

* According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Canada ranks 24th out of 28 countries in doctors per thousand people.

* Over the past decade, about 11 percent of physicians trained in Canadian medical schools have moved to the United States. That’s because doctors’ salaries in Canada are negotiated, set and paid for by provincial governments and held down by cost-conscious budget analysts. Today, in fact, the average Canadian doctor earns only 42 percent of what a doctor earns in the United States.

* Canada also limits access to common medical technologies. When compared with other OECD countries, Canada is 13th out of 24 in access to magnetic resonance imagings, 18th of 24 in access to computed tomography scanners, and seventh of 17 in access to mammograms.

* In Britain, more than 1 million sick citizens are currently waiting for hospital admission. Another 200,000 are waiting just to get on a waiting list. Each year, Britain’s National Health Service cancels around 100,000 operations.

The government can barely manage itself, let alone a nationalized Health care industry. The only thing we'll see if health care goes socialized is less quality, less doctors and higher death rates - that could have been prevented.


Anonymous said...


Coldtype said...

I know this response should probably be in the “Nobama” thread but I think it applies to much of what you write in this post since you address similar themes here.

"Contrary to what your rabble-rouser writers would have you believe, ColdType, we're not in dire economic circumstances. The "housing bubble" is a correction. Only 1% of mortgage holders are going to default on their loans - and those 1% probably shouldn't have gotten loans in the first place. Here's a perfect opportunity to show you how a government is never the answer to societal problems.

Rue, of all you wrote in you response to me in the “Nobama” thread I found this passage to be the most alarming. This betrays a level of denial that is frankly breathtaking. Rue before I even address some of the other issues you raise (single-payer healthcare, creeping fascism, the “left”, etc) I want to focus on this glaring blind-spot in your analysis regarding the financial state of America. As James Kunstler noted last week, not only are we now staring into the abyss but the abyss is staring back. Rue, we can agree to disagree on a host of political issues but this a another matter entirely. The house of cards that has been the US economy is rapidly crumbling and real suffering the likes of which haven’t been seen around these parts since the Great Depression is a distinct possibility. Huge swaths of the US banking sector are essentially insolvent, borrowing from the Fed discount window to meet debt obligations and payroll. This is no joke my friend and it’s beyond ideology--at least in the immediate short term. Let’s clear this up before we get back to our earlier discussion.

What follows is a long interview from June of this year between Mike Whitney and economist and historian Dr. Michael Hudson. Though I would have preferred to use the normal blogspot link feature here there seems to be an odd quirk to the site from which I accessed this interview that won’t allow direct links to sources. Odd. In any event, I think it’s too important to pass up so I repost it in its entirety below.

1--Fed chairman Bernanke has been on a spree lately, delivering three speeches in the last two weeks. Every chance he gets, he talks tough about the strong dollar and "holding the line" against inflation. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson even said that "intervention" in the currency markets was still an option. Is all of this jawboning just saber rattling to keep the dollar from plummeting, or is there a chance that Bernanke actually will raise rates at the Fed's August meeting?
MH: The United States steers its monetary policy almost exclusively with domestic objectives in mind. This means ignoring the balance of payments. From the U.S. vantage point, supporting the dollar’s exchange rate by the traditional method of raising interest rates would have a very negative effect on the stock and bond markets – and on the mortgage market. These markets fall whenever there’s serious talk of an interest rate increase, because it discourages speculation – and that’s what the Bubble Economy is still based on these days. Higher rates and a stock-market downturn would lead foreign investors to sell U.S. securities, and likely would end up hurting more than helping the U.S. balance of payments and hence the dollar’s exchange rate.

            So Mr. Bernanke’s statements are merely being polite in not rubbing the faces of European and Asian governments in the fact that U.S. officials are not at all unhappy to see the dollar’s exchange rate plunge. U.S. officials believe that dollar depreciation will help their exporters, especially in the aircraft and other military-industrial sector. It’s foreign investors and central banks who must absorb the loss in their dollar holdings as valued in their own domestic currencies.

            Like the domestic U.S. economy itself, the global financial system is all about getting a free lunch. When Europe and Asia receive excess dollars, these are turned over to their central banks. Until the recent decision to create sovereign wealth funds, these government bodies had little alternative but to recycle these dollar inflows back to the United States by buying U.S. Treasury bonds. This financed the domestic U.S. federal budget deficit, which stems largely from the war in Iraq that most foreign voters oppose. Unless foreign governments are willing to make a structural break to change the world monetary system, they will remain powerless to avoid giving the United States a free ride – including a free ride for its military spending and war in the Near East.

2--How do you explain the soaring price of oil? Is it mainly a supply/demand issue or are speculators driving the prices up?

MH: It’s true that enormous amounts of speculative credit are going into commodity index funds. Forward purchases increase the demand for deliveries of oil and other raw materials. But bear in mind also that as the dollar depreciates, OPEC countries have sought to stabilize their receipts in euros, and to offset their losses they are suffering on the dollar-denominated securities they have bought with past export proceeds. For over 30 years they have been pressured to recycle their oil earnings into the U.S. stock market and make loans to U.S. financial institutions. They have taken large losses on these investments (such as last year’s contributions to bail out Citibank), and are trying to recoup them via the oil market.

            OPEC officials also point to a political motive: They resent America’s military intrusion in the Middle East, especially in view of how much it contributes to the nation’s balance-of-payments deficit and federal budget deficit.

            Look at it from their point of view. They see that the U.S. invasion of Iraq was a win-win situation as far as the oil industry is concerned. If America conquers Iraq and forces the Oil Agreement through, U.S. companies will be able to grab the world’s largest available pool of oil for a generation, and U.S. officials can use the oil weapon against oil-deficit countries. Last week the U.S. oil firms managed to bump Russia’s oil industry out of the Iraq picture, reversing the trend that had been developing under Saddam.

            And if the war continues to be a military and economic disaster, the price of oil will skyrocket, providing a price umbrella for domestic U.S. producers – as you can see from how the stock market is raising its valuation of Exxon and other oil majors. So the question is by no means just an economic one.

            The U.S. press prefers to blame Chinese, Indian and other foreign growth in demand for oil and raw materials. This demand has contributed to the price rise, no doubt about it. But the U.S. oil majors are receiving a windfall “economic rent” on the price run-up, and are not at all unhappy to see it continue. By not building more refining and shipping capacity, they have created bottlenecks so that even if foreign countries did supply more crude oil, it would not be reflected in refined gasoline, kerosene or other downstream product prices.

3--The Fed has traded over $200 billion in US Treasuries with the big investment banks for a wide variety of dodgy collateral (mostly mortgage-backed securities). How can the banks hope to repay the Fed when their main sources of revenue (structured investments) have been cut off? Are the banks secretly using the money they borrow via repos from the Fed to dabble in the carry trade or speculate in the futures markets?

MH: The Fed’s idea was to buy enough time for the banks to sell their junk mortgages to the proverbial “greater fool.” But foreign investors no longer are playing this role, nor are domestic U.S. pension funds. So the most likely result will be for the Fed simply to roll over its loans – as if the problem can be cured by yet more time.

            When a bubble bursts, time makes things worse. The financial sector has been living in the short run for quite a while now, and I suspect that a lot of money managers are planning to get out or be fired now that the game is over. And it really is over. The Treasury’s attempt to reflate the real estate market can’t work, but can only cut losses for the financial institutions who have become the nation’s major political campaign contributors. Mortgage arrears, defaults and foreclosures are rising, and much property has become unsaleable except at distress prices that leave homeowners with negative equity.

            This prompts them to do what Donald Trump would do in such a situation: to walk away from their property. The banks will be left holding the bag, just as they were in Japan after 1990. In Japan’s case, real estate prices declined steadily every quarter for 17 years! That should give you a flavor of how serious the U.S. problem is today.

            The banks are trying to win back their losses by arbitrage operations, borrowing from the Fed at a low interest rate and lending at a higher one, and gambling on options and derivatives. But this is a zero-sum game: one party’s gain is another’s loss. So the banks collectively are simply painting themselves into a deeper corner. They hope they can tell the Fed and Treasury that if it doesn’t keep bailing them out, they’ll fail and cost the FDIC even more money to make good on insuring the “bad savings” that have been steered into these bad debts and bad gambles.

            The Fed and Treasury are following the traditional “Big fish eat little fish” principle of favoring the vested interests. They are more willing to bail out the big financial institutions than to bail out savers, pensioners, Social Security recipients and other small fry.

4--According to most estimates, the Fed has already gone through half or more of its $900 billion balance sheet. Also, according to the latest H.4.1 data  "the current holdings of Treasury bills is $25 billion.  This is down from some $250 billion a year ago, or a net reduction of 90%." (figures from Market Ticker) Doesn't this suggest that the Fed is just about out of firepower when it comes to bailing out the struggling banking system? Where do we go from here? Will some of the larger banks be allowed to fail or will they be nationalized?

MH: You need to look at what the Treasury as well as the Fed is doing. The Fed can monetize whatever it wants. And as you just pointed out in the preceding question, it’s been buying junk securities, leaving sound Treasury securities on the banking system’s balance sheet. Meanwhile, false reporting will help financial institutions avoid the appearance of insolvency.

            Government bailout credit will keep the big banks alive. But many small regional banks will go under and be merged into larger money-center banks – just as many brokerage firms in recent decades have been merged into larger conglomerates. They will seek more and more government guarantees, ostensibly to help middle-class depositors but actually favoring the big speculators who are their major clients. What we are seeing is the creation of a concentrated financial oligarchy – precisely the power that the Glass-Steagall Act was designed to prevent. A combination of deregulation and “moral hazard” bailouts – for the top of the economic pyramid, not the bottom – will polarize the economy all the more.

            Cities and states will preserve their credit ratings by annulling their pension obligations to public-sector workers, and raising excise and sales taxes – but not property taxes. These already have fallen from about two-thirds of local budgets in 1930 to only about one-sixth today – that is, a decline of 75 percent, proportionally. While the debt burden and the squeeze in disposable personal income is pressuring workers, finance and property are using the crisis to get a bonanza of tax relief. Democrats in Congress are as far to the right as George Bush on this, as their base is local politics and real estate.

5--According to the Financial Times: "Analysts at Citigroup said a planned tightening of the rules regarding off-balance sheet vehicles would force banks to reconsider arrangements and could result in up to $5,000bn of assets coming back on to the books. The off-balance sheet vehicles have been used by financial institutions to keep some assets off their balance sheets, thereby avoiding the need to hold regulatory capital against them." Is there any way the banks can find investors with "deep enough pockets" to provide the capital they need to meet the requirements on $5 trillion dollars? Are most of these off-balance sheets assets mortgage backed securities and other hard-to-value bonds? 
MH: It looks like the practice of off-balance-sheet accounting has become obsolete, because nearly all the banks have abused it in a fraudulent way. The United States is going to adopt Europe’s normal “covered bond” practice of bank head-office liability for mortgages and other loans. The Wall Street Journal had a good article on this on June 17, anticipating that the U.S. covered bond market might rise quickly to $1 trillion as early as next year. This coverage is what traditionally has protected European investors. But the United States put its faith in “self-regulation,” by banks – in a sector where financial crime always has been rife. We’ve already seen criminal charges brought against Bear Stearns, and the FBI has announced that it’s in the middle of a far-reaching fraud investigation. I hope they get Countrywide and the other crooked institutions – but nearly all the big banks and companies have been involved.

            The problem with financial institutions is that they live in the short run. This actually has paid them. They declared large profits on fraudulent loans, and paid out an amount equal to their entire capital on wages and salaries for upper management, and dividends. So their managers have stripped them dry, leaving them today with Negative Equity. This is the same situation they were in back in 1980, but at that time the reason was that interest rates had soared to 20% in the Carter-Volcker inflation. Today, interest rates are low, and the banks already are broke. If this really were a “free market” economy, their shareholders would be wiped out – and the government would demand return of the exorbitant bonuses and salaries.

            Instead, it looks like the government will bail out the banks. But I think it’s wrong to lend money to a bank today without getting preferential treatment over its stockholders and bondholders, plus secure collateral. In view of the heavy losses of German banks in Saxony and Düsseldorf in the U.S. subprime market last summer, and the heavy losses by Arab sheiks in Citibank stock last summer, it’s unlikely that investors will buy mortgages that no major bank or government agency stands behind. So something has to give.

6--Many of the TV financial gurus --as well as Henry Paulson--keep assuring us that the worst is behind us, but I don't see it. Foreclosures are increasing, the dollar is falling, unemployment is rising, manufacturing is sluggish, food and fuel are soaring, and consumers are backed up on their credit cards, student loans and house payments. Where would you say we are in the present cycle? What will it take to rebound from the current slump? Will the stock market take a beating before all this is over? What do you think the greatest problem facing the economy is; inflation or deflation?

MH:  The idea that we’re even in a business “cycle” is whistling in the dark. To think of the economy being in a cycle is to imply an automatic recovery is in store. This free-market idea was developed at the National Bureau of Economic Research by opponents of government regulatory policy. The fantasy is that the economy oscillates in a fairly smooth and regular sine curve. But this always has been a fiction. 19th-century writers didn’t speak of economic cycles, but rather of periodic financial crises. There is a slow buildup, and a sudden plunge, so the shape is ratchet-shaped.

            Today’s plunging real estate and stock market prices are not a self-correcting ebb and flow in which downturns set in motion automatic stabilizers that produce recovery. Each U.S. recovery since World War II has started out from a higher level of debt. The result is like driving a car with the brakes pressed more and more tightly. Alan Greenspan at the Federal Reserve flooded the banking system with enough credit to enable debts to be carried by borrowing against the rising price of homes and office buildings, corporate stocks and bonds. In effect, the interest charge was simply added onto the debt balance. But now prices are falling, leaving families, companies and many Wall Street firms with negative equity. Asset-price inflation fueled by the Federal Reserve – is giving way to debt deflation.

            Today, the prospects are dim for paying off debts out of further price gains for homes and real estate. Speculators have pulled out of the market – and as late as 2006 they accounted for about a sixth of new purchases. The United States and other countries have reached the point where interest and amortization payments are absorbing the entire economic surplus of so many individuals, so many companies and so many government bodies that new construction, investment and employment are grinding to a halt. Families, real estate investors and companies are obliged to use their disposable income to pay their creditors. This leaves them without enough money to sustain the living standards of recent years – and they no longer can wipe out their debts by declaring bankruptcy as in times past, because Congress has passed the harsh bankruptcy law that credit-card and bank lobbies paid them to pass.

            This means that there won’t be a rebound, and it will take longer than 2009 to recover.

7--I read about 8 or 9 articles every day about the meltdown in housing. I always tell my wife that its like reading a Tom Clancy novel except the ending is less certain. As Yale economist Robert Schiller pointed out last month; the decline in prices is now greater than it was during the Great Depression. Will prices find a bottom in 2009 or will it take longer? If prices keep falling then how are the banks going to sell the hundreds of billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities that they are presently holding?

MH: Prices will keep going back down, because they no longer can be bolstered by interest rates plunging further. The zero-amortization mortgages and low or zero (or even negative) down payments in recent years are as low as can be achieved mathematically. This means the end of the Bubble Economy.

            The actual real estate market is much worse even than the present price statistics show, because many people are frozen in with negative equity. So instead of price declines, we’ll simply see many more foreclosures. This means that the banks can’t sell their mortgage-backed securities without taking big losses – except to the government at prices way above what the market will pay. The Fed already has let them borrow against collateral at way, way more than it is worth – in sharp contrast to how it treats middle-class debtors.

8--How serious is the current crisis in the financial markets and housing and what steps do you think Obama or McCain should take to stabilize the markets, reduce the deficits, strengthen the dollar, increase employment, and put the economy on solid footing? Is it possible to have a strong economy without policies that distribute the nation's wealth more equitably? As chief economic advisor to Rep Dennis Kucinich, what one bit of advice would you give to Obama to restore America's economic vitality and put the country on the right path again?
MH: In economic terms America today is in as “optimum” a position as it is can be. That’s actually bad news, because an optimum position is, mathematically speaking, one in which you can’t move without making your situation worse. This is the position we’re in now, and it’s already as good as it can get. There’s nowhere to move, at least within the existing structure. “The market” can’t be stabilized, because it was based on fictitious prices to begin with. It’s hard to impose fiction on reality for very long. The rest of the world has woken up – although not Congress, it seems.

            In times past, bankruptcy would have wiped out the bad debts. The problem with such write-offs is that bad the savings that have been steered into bad loans must follow suit and go by the boards. But today, the very wealthy hold most of the savings, so the government doesn’t want to let them take a loss. It would rather wipe out pensioners, consumers, workers, industrial companies and foreign investors. So debts will be kept on the books and the economy will slowly be strangled by debt deflation.

            The U.S. can’t reduce its balance-of-payments deficit without scaling back its military spending. Meanwhile, Congress is refusing to let foreign governments invest in much besides overpriced junk here, so central banks are treating the dollar like a hot potato, trying to buy foreign assets that can play a role in their own future economic development. At a point these actions threaten to leave the United States economically isolated as foreign economies protect themselves from U.S. credit creation out of thin air to buy their exports and companies.

            The questio is, will Obama and other politicians be willing to tell the public the bad news – that restoring vitality will take radical measures? The way to do this is to present it as good news. There ARE reforms that can help matters, and they are reforms that Americans have endorsed for a century, ever since the Progressive Era.

            One problem is that lobbyists for the vested interests are so powerful that they probably can get Congress to water down any real so much that the economic situation will to keep on getting worse and worse before the needed reforms can be enacted. On the other hand, only in such a situation CAN they be enacted.

            I think that Mr. Obama would be wise to explain this before taking office. As president, he will have to do what FDR did, and challenge the financial oligarchy with new regulatory agencies, staffed with real regulators, not deregulators as under the Bush-Clinton-Bush regime. His political hope to avoid being blamed for the economic problems in which 16 years of Clinton and  Bush policies have pushed the United States is to come out in the fall – probably after the election – and blame the Republicans for their regressive tax policies. This would help bring pressure on the new Democratic Congress to back a return to progressive taxation and serious financial restructuring.

            For starters, Mr. Obama should repeal the Clinton repeal of Glass Steagall. And he should make large depositors and “savers” take the losses on their bad bets. Most of all, he will have to make the tax system back progressive again if the domestic market is to recover. Also, a good tax code should encourage equity financing instead of debt pyramiding as is now the case, thanks to the banking lobby. This winding down of U.S. debt can best be achieved by removing the tax-deductibility of interest payments, and do what the original 1913 income tax did: tax capital gains at normal income rates rather than subsidizing speculation. The great majority of such gains accrue to real estate speculators, not to industrial entrepreneurs.

            Mr. Obama can help revive the middle class by paying Social Security and medical care out of the general budget, not as user fees borne by the lowest wealth brackets as at present. Until this change is made, FICA withholding should be levied on total income, without any upper cutoff point. If there is a cut-off point, it should be to exempt people who earn LESS than $60,000 a year. This would end up being fairly revenue-neutral. Pres. Obama should explain that his policy is not to “soak the rich.” It is to make them pay their way once again, by favoring a strong middle class as the tax code was meant to do prior to the 1980s.

            Unless Mr. Obama does this, what used to be a democracy will be turned into an oligarchy. The problem with oligarchies is that historically they are so shortsighted that they stifle the domestic economy, driving enterprise and emigration abroad. This threatens to reverse America’s long-term affluence. The word means literally a flowing-in – an inflow of capital, of skilled immigrants and other labor, of technology, and of foreign support. All this has now been put in danger by the policies pursued since the 1980s. Industry and savings already have begun to flow abroad. Skilled labor and technology is next, while domestic infrastructure is sold off to foreigners. Free roads will be turned into toll-roads, and the fees, interest and profits sent abroad.

If this trend cannot be reversed in the present economic squeeze, U.S. living standards and the domestic market will be subject to IMF-style austerity and shrink.
Michael Hudson is a former Wall Street economist specializing in the balance of payments and real estate at the Chase Manhattan Bank (now JPMorgan Chase & Co.), Arthur Anderson, and later at the Hudson Institute (no relation). In 1990 he helped established the world’s first sovereign debt fund for Scudder Stevens & Clark. Dr. Hudson was Dennis Kucinich’s Chief Economic Advisor in the recent Democratic primary presidential campaign, and has advised the U.S., Canadian, Mexican and Latvian governments, as well as the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). A Distinguished Research Professor at University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC), he is the author of many books, including Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (new ed., Pluto Press, 2002) He can be reached via his website, mh@michael-hudson.com

Coldtype said...

PS: In my opinion, Dr. Hudson's suggestions for Barack Obama is just whistling in the dark. Ain't. Gonna. Happen.

Rue St. Michel said...

The house of cards that has been the US economy is rapidly crumbling and real suffering the likes of which haven’t been seen around these parts since the Great Depression is a distinct possibility. Huge swaths of the US banking sector are essentially insolvent, borrowing from the Fed discount window to meet debt obligations and payroll.

Well if the banking sector is borderline insolvent: the question that comes to mind is why?

Instead of the Mainstream Media and our Political Leaders digging around and trying to find ways to steal more money from the taxpayers, where is the study showing how exorbitant tax rates are contributing to the banking, housing and market insolvency?

No where in your article did they discuss the Ginnie May/Freddie Mac fiasco. Why did they leave this important issue out of the discussion? I can only surmise that the reason is it points out that getting government involved in a free-market engine results in disaster for all concerned.

Our leadership decided that it would be a good idea to get the US Gov't to back private mortgage securities. Look at where we are right now - trillions on the hook and we're all gonna take it in the neck because some Democratic goons decided that it'd be a good idea that YOU and ME pay for the errors of their ways.

And I've been around this for a long time. The "house of cards" debate regarding the financial markets is a red-herring that it pushed around every few years. I agree that we need to be vigilant with regards to balance of payments, banking solvency, market measurements, money supply, inflation ... and all the other modalities that we have that show an accurate picture of what our situation is.

Jeez Coldy; what are you going to say next - that the Illuminati are controlling our markets and using Haliburton and Big Oil to manipulate foreign metals markets?

The flaw in your armor is that if we went to Iraq to garner their oil reserves, then where is it? Why aren't we pumping oil into our coffers? Where is the payoff?

There is no payoff because we didn't go there to get their oil, or "expand our empire" or any of the other nefarious motives that are assigned (egregiously) to Bush, Cheney and Co.

We went there to strike first against radical Islam. In fact I am sure that you and the Islamofacists share many commonalities (philosophically speaking).

Care to comment on THAT?

Coldtype said...

My apologies Rue if I wasn’t clear enough about when that interview took place. Whitney conducted the interview in June but Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac didn’t implode until July. Here are some extended comments from Dr. Hudson regarding the Fannie/Freddy boondoggle. More later.

Anonymous said...

But lets spend 10 billon a month in Iraq.

rosco said...

Ever taken a prisoner from the lock-up to a hospital? Ask some of the doctors there how many of the so-called ill folks in the waiting room really need to be there. Its about 10%. The rest are too lazy to go to a clinic in the morning, or don't have to pay the bill anyway. Medical care is free to the freeloaders and illegals!

Rue St. Michel said...

Right on, Rosco! I'm going to set you up as a guest-blogger. What do you think?

Coldtype said...

Working on a single-payer healthcare essay that will address some of the issues you've raised here Rue. I'll post it in a day or two on my site. Stay tuned.

Anonymous said...