VA provides an example of how the bureaucrats will handle ObamaCare

Let’s see, Harry Reid and crew hand the Department of Veterans Affairs $300 million in additional funding so it can reduce the backlog of disability claims. Then, Harry praises VA Secretary Eric Shinseki for doing a “wonderful job” when the claims backlog drops more than 2,000 claims per day.

So, how did they manage to become so much more efficient? The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports in the penultimate graph of a story in today’s paper:

“Concerned Veterans for America notes, however, that the VA’s reported progress in reducing the backlog is a mirage because claims processors rushed to deny claims with little review. The result: a backlog in appeals.”

Voila, fewer claims backlogged.

So, how will the bureaucrats respond when too few younger Americans sign up for ObamaCare and the older and sicker people who do begin to drive the costs of the program far beyond what was anticipated?

Death panels!

As Investor’s Business Daily points out in an editorial that Canada’s Supreme Court has ruled a government board, not family or doctors, has the ultimate power to pull the plug:

“Lost in the discussion of defunding ObamaCare and the failed effort in Congress is the fact that failure means the government’s ability to defund your life through the ObamaCare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) remains. IPAB is regarded by many, starting with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, as a death panel whose decisions based on cost effectiveness would result in health care rationing.”

Howard Dean, a physician, former screaming presidential candidate and head of the Democratic National Committee, wrote in The Wall Street Journal this past summer:

“The IPAB is essentially a health-care rationing body. By setting doctor reimbursement rates for Medicare and determining which procedures and drugs will be covered and at what price, the IPAB will be able to stop certain treatments its members do not favor by simply setting rates to levels where no doctor or hospital will perform them.

“There does have to be control of costs in our health-care system. However, rate setting — the essential mechanism of the IPAB — has a 40-year track record of failure. What ends up happening in these schemes (which many states including my home state of Vermont have implemented with virtually no long-term effect on costs) is that patients and physicians get aggravated because bureaucrats in either the private or public sector are making medical decisions without knowing the patients. Most important, once again, these kinds of schemes do not control costs. The medical system simply becomes more bureaucratic.”

Do you think, when the money runs out, the IPAB will do what the bureaucrats at the VA did — deny, deny, deny?

43 comments on “VA provides an example of how the bureaucrats will handle ObamaCare

  1. nyp says:

    Too many disability claims by veterans are being denied, say veterans.

  2. Winston Smith says:

    A one-size-fits-all, detached, all-powerful bureaucracy is the hallmark of collectivism. Welcome to 1984.

    War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength; Bureaucracy is Beautiful

  3. Milty says:

    As an intermediate step before implementing the death panels, they can always prescribes lots and lots of addictive painkilling drugs. That’s what our VA hospital in Reno is doing.

  4. Rincon says:

    So many people abuse their bodies when young and middle aged, and then expect unlimited care when disaster occurs. Call ’em death panels if you like, but I am unwilling to fund unlimited care for fat, beer-swilling smokers and others of the same ilk. I am also unwilling to fund hundreds of thousands of dollars of say, chemotherapy to buy someone three extra months of misery at life’s end.

  5. Steve says:

    Yes, Rincon. That’s it. You are beginning to understand why redistribution is a bad thing.

  6. Rincon says:

    You’re painting with a broad brush, Steve. Although redistribution may not be ideal, it is certainly reasonable as a last resort. This would assume that you don’t advocate mass starvation or allowing people to bleed to death at hospital entrances. Certainly, paying people a reasonable wage for hard work is preferred, but what do you propose to do with a worker making minimum wage who cannot afford to insure his own health?

  7. Athos says:

    Get out your pixie dust, Rin. You’ve just GOT to save the WHOLE world! Let not one perish, no matter WHAT the cost to all the rest. Put them in chains, put them in rooms and keep them safe.

    I say Freedom. You say redistribution.

    I say Individual liberty. You say central planning.

    I say personal responsibility. You say the great unwashed aren’t smart enough to take care of themselves. They need a compassionate leader to tend to his flock.

    You say you run your own business. Would that business be based anywhere in reality?

  8. nyp says:

    You say you go bankrupt because you don’t have the health insurance to pay for your emergency medical care, and then you lay your bills on the rest of us.

  9. Steve says:

    That is the way you want it for everyone, nyp. The only change you make is to take away the stigma of bankruptcy.

  10. Rincon says:

    This is simple stuff, Athos. A country with an economic system that puts large numbers of hardworking people into penury is my definition of a third world country. Hard work should win you the American dream, not (virtual) indentured servitude.

    You say freedom; I say freedom with fainess
    You say individual liberty; I say individual liberty as long as you’re not stomping on someone.
    You say personal responsibility; I say personal responsibility should be rewarded, not punished. Why work in a minimum wage job if it cannot provide enough to stay alive?

    Millions work full time while living in poverty. Meantime, the ultra rick are paying 15% in income tax, if they pay any at all. And of course, the rich make many of their billions from the cheap labor provided by U.S. peons. One benefit though. There may be a budding Charles Dickens out there and boy, does he have a lot to write about.

    Do you think the lower half worked harder in the ’50’s, ’60’s and ’70’s when they earned a greater share of the GDP than the same class of today’s people? Or perhaps you feel that the middle class never should have existed in any substantial way. Which is it?

  11. Athos says:

    petey, you are consistent, I’ll give you that point. But for everyone else, I didn’t go bankrupt because I didn’t have health insurance to pay for an emergency medical care. I went bankrupt because I didn’t have a job that paid regular income necessary for a restructure of payment.

    I worked strictly commission (instead of hourly) and couldn’t guarantee when I would be paid, so I was advised by a credit counselor to go chapter 7. The solution was to move to Vegas, take an hourly job and save my money.

    It worked.

    Of course I came before all you left wing loony tunes invaded from California, to enjoy the freedoms of this state (and escape what you’ve done to the Golden State), and screwed up our economic freedoms. Do good, liberal progressives are like cancer. You invade a healthy body and destroy your host.

    Reality is the chemo treatment.

  12. Athos says:

    Rin, put down the meds and get out into the real world. “Penury”?? Really? You want to give me an address of extreme poverty, destitution or penniless in this county? In this state?

    How about in this country?

    And just exactly who works at just one minimum wage job to support a wife and family? Minimum wage jobs are ENTRY LEVEL WORK for kids or people breaking into that line of work. I’ve had minimum wage jobs in my life and have always moved up to more money. The other solution would be to work 2 minimum wage jobs (80 hours a week) or restructure the money going out.

    What is your definition of poverty? Are you saying millions work full time and can’t afford a new iphone? Or can’t buy a new car? Or had their HBO cancelled? And what’s with the wealth envy, Rin? Cheap labor provided to U.S. “peons” have put those same people’s children through Harvard, and John Hopkins (to name 2 that I personally know).

    The sooner you accept the fact that there IS no Utopia here on this Earth, the better we all will be, Rin. Pie in the Sky in the Sweet Bye and Bye has worked for thousands of years. We just need to stop and appreciate the beauty of what we have (like today’s beautiful weather. I actually went golfing!)

    It’s called gratitude. And it’s the basis for all good traits of mankind.

    Give it a try!

  13. Rincon says:

    Entry level? We have a tenant who makes $9.50/hour with a two year degree in food service . She’s been doing this for 20 years – hardly entry level. She had made $14.00 as a supervisor, but her previous employer went under. She’s single with 3 kids. Easy, Wolfgang. She acquired two of them when her brother and his wife were killed in an auto accident. Two are in college now. Daddy is not required to provide child support, presumably due to lack of income.

    Her employer limits her to a maximum of 30 hours a week to avoid paying benefits. This, of course, is common. She has lupus and no insurance. She elects to receive substandard care as a result (no wonder we Americans die younger). My brother, a social worker checked into welfare benefits. Only food stamps. She cannot meet the rent payments and now it’s my job to kick her and her son out onto the street.

    This woman took on two children at a young age, raised them well, and has worked hard all her adult life. She now has significant health issues, still works hard, and will now be thrown out with her child. THEN, they will be eligible for the homeless shelter. As Yakov Smirnoff would say, what a country!

    We have to kick another pair of tenants out of their apartment. One lost her job of ten years and the other works only 25 hours a week with a one hour commute. Call them losers if you like, but neither can find other work. Both are college educated and at least one has a four year degree. I suspect you live in a cushy suburb, Athos. You should get out more often and see the real world.

    And you think that throwing them out is just fine. As a welfare recipient yourself, I would have expected a more sympathetic outlook from you.

  14. Milty says:

    “And you think that throwing them out is just fine.”

    Obviously Rincon thinks that throwing them out is just fine. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be doing it.

    What happened to the lamentations about Christian hypocrisy and Protestant work ethic?

  15. Athos says:

    Interesting story, Rin. Not too sure why you classify me as a welfare recipient, but putting that aside, let’s dissect your poor tenant’s plight.

    With the income she’s earning, the most she should spend for shelter is $485/month. That leaves her with $190/week for disposable income, and I won’t deny that’s pretty tight. Even when she was full time, her rent shouldn’t have exceeded $630/month. You being a landlord, I would hope you wouldn’t rent to a tenant that couldn’t qualify for the rent. That would be similar to the banks that approved loans that people couldn’t qualify and had a great deal to do with the housing bubble, right?

    Her employer cut her to 30 hours a week to avoid benefits. Sounds like a by-product of ZeroCare. If she voted for Zero, it’s a perfect example of “votes have consequences”, doesn’t it? Or it’s possible that she’s a victim of the anti-bar smoking law the do-gooders of transplant Cali foisted on us. I just give two possible explanations.

    She did a noble thing, agreeing to raise her brother’s kids but what court would award these kids into her care, if she can’t afford them? Her decision to have a kid with a deadbeat daddy is another example of choices having consequences.

    Now, let’s cut to the chase. You’re the landlord. You could reduce her rent to $485/month and include utilities, and help this person out personally. But as a landlord, you can’t operate your business as a charity, unless you want to go the rout of Mother Teresa. (which would be noble of you, but what ultimate good would it do this woman and her kid?)

    Otherwise, what do you think should be done with this person?

  16. Rincon says:

    First, I’m afraid I got off my main point. Athos expressed the belief that minimum wage jobs are entry level only. My tenants show that $9.50/hour part time is definitely real and not only entry level. Chronic unemployment for achievers is real too.

    “You being a landlord, I would hope you wouldn’t rent to a tenant that couldn’t qualify for the rent. She qualified at the time that she moved in.

    “Obviously Rincon thinks that throwing them out is just fine. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be doing it”. So far, we’ve charged partial rent for over a year. Enough is enough. As I said, we have two nonpaying tenants in a 4 unit building. I never claimed to be Mother Theresa. We are still trying to find a way to help them though. Never be a landlord if you don’t have icewater in your veins.

    “Otherwise, what do you think should be done with this person?” I think the food stamps and medicaid are pretty good. I would make her “work” for 10 more hours a week and then give her enough to live on. What do you think should be done?

    The only $485.00 per month apt near here is in the slum with a terrible school. Another product of capitalism. People with no money can’t afford a decent school. The 11 year old would be eaten alive – or get tough and survive. I hate to see a good kid go to hell. We’re still trying to figure out what to do. I would make the two families move in together, but the city doesn’t allow 7 people in a two bedroom apartment. A good example of excessive government control. Who says local is better than national?

  17. Steve says:

    Laws don’t allow you to rent a place to 7 people in a 2 bedroom apartment.

    But they can do nothing if the owner has 7 people living under the owners roof. Those laws are to keep the tenement from coming back for real.

    Now, if there were some way they could become owners….

  18. Athos says:

    Rin, you make several statements that illustrate fundamental problems in our society. Let’s start with the most obvious: “The only $485.00 per month apt near here is in the slum with a terrible school. Another product of capitalism. People with no money can’t afford a decent school.”

    Where to start? How do you see the slum with a terrible school being the product of capitalism? And how long have conservatives tried to push for vouchers, only to be rebuffed by Democrats beholding to the teacher’s unions? Why couldn’t a mother who works only 30 hours a week, home school her child? Poor, single mothers have been raising successful children since before I was born. But these mothers instill a work ethic, and not a welfare, victim ethic into their young charges. And that’s real world.

    If you have 2 non paying tenants in a 4 plex, I’m guessing one of them is this woman and the other must be even worse? It doesn’t take ice water in your veins, it takes contracts and people evicting themselves. The best thing that could be done, would be to make this tenant responsible for her actions. If you don’t pay Nevada Power, they shut off your electricity!
    If you don’t make your car payment, they repossess your car! If you don’t pay your water bill, they turn off your water. And it doesn’t matter who you are, does it?

    Contracts protect private property. And that is one of the foundations of our nation. And in this world, it is unrealistic to expect everyone to like you, and not think ill of you (cause you really are a nice person, and can identify with their pain) when their own actions cause them to be evicted.

    Rin, you’re living this nightmare right now. You are seeing 1st hand the damage of 48 years of unchecked liberalism. There is absolutely nothing I could say or do that would damage you anymore than your beloved beliefs in fairness and the progressive way.

    You’re in my prayers.

  19. Rincon says:

    Steve, the laws prevent the tenements from coming back by forcing some people to pay more than they can afford for housing. The landlord and tenants should be the sole decisionmakers regarding the capacity of the building. The number of people in a unit does not determine the problems associated with it; the quality of the people does. If the tenants create trouble, then the city needs the ability to penalize them or kick them out. Otherwise, it’s none of their business how many people live there.

  20. Rincon says:

    I plan to throw out the one set of tenants. Funny, it’s actually illegal to do that with a dog. And I suppose if I was a good capitalist, I would have thrown out both of them by now. I’ve got to stop caring about the lesser people. Thanks for the lesson.

  21. Milty says:

    Actually, Rincon, you were being a good Keynesian. Your tenants stiffed you on the rent so they could spend the money on other things, which stimulated the economy by increasing aggregate demand. And it’s worked wonders for the economy these past five years, hasn’t it?

  22. Athos says:

    Rin, you’re not throwing them out. Tenants agree to pay rent, for the privilege of occupying the space. By not paying the rent, they are throwing themselves out. At least we haven’t been California-tized and can have tenants evicted quickly. Never heard about the dog exception.

    I’m more concerned about the ever increasing phenomenon of people expecting and demanding what’s mine. I would never look at my neighbor’s Vette, and tell him “nice car, neighbor. I want it, give it to me, it’s now mine”, and then GO AND TAKE IT! That would be silly (and against the law!)

    But that is the predominant thinking that I’m witnessing here in my beloved America.

    Where did we go wrong?

    And more importantly, how will we get back on the right path?

  23. Rincon says:

    Try bringing up a child for 11,750.00/year (plus Medicaid and food stamps, but for this discussion, you feel they should not exist). Rent for their small, two bedroom apartment for three people is $9600.00/year. I don’t think Athos’ mythical $425.00 apartment exists – at least not for three. Her medical bills amount to several thousand dollars a year – assuming she has no problems, although she will eventually. Under your system, I guess they would be fine if they just camp out in the park. A little cold though. After all, Illinois is a little less comfortable than Nevada.

    I just found out that the college kid just got a part time job – until the Christmas season ends. The other college kid has it a little rougher. She had her appendix removed recently. With no health insurance, it looks like bankruptcy for her. I think the bill runs 10-20 grand for a 45 minute surgery. Depends on whether or not the hospital decides to charge msrp. Damn, I wish animals paid that well. Meantime, my doctor friend’s wife just finished a $28,000 kitchen remodel -the second one in 6 years. Wouldn’t want our kitchen outdated, would we? Of course, my doctor friend is dirt poor compared to many. He only makes about $350,000/year – about 30 times what our tenant makes. Doesn’t matter though. If he made 3 million, you would say he must deserve it. That’s blind faith in the invisible hand.

  24. Steve says:

    ACA will ensure your tenants get health care, right? So no more worries there, huh? And with the income they have they will be on Medicaid so we are all going to pay for their health care anyway. You have nothing to feel bad about, Rincon. Their health problems just went away so throw em out and they will be able to get section 8 housing in your neighborhood soon. Maybe right next door to you!

    Better yet maybe you can suck on the section 8 money and they could move right back in to your units!

    There all is good, there are rainbows and pixie dust everywhere and all it cost is everyone else’s money. Not to mention the next several generations income….

    Hey! What me worry? By then we will all be Keynesian predictions….dead. So it doesn’t matter and you have no issues. Toss’m out, libby solutions abound!

  25. Athos says:

    Rin, do you know that Envy is the 6th deadly sin? Do you know why they’re called “Deadly Sins”? They kill the people that have them! What do you say to the craftsmen that earn $28,000 for remodeling that Doctor’s kitchen? They don’t count in your world? How about all the people that make the materials for remodeling a kitchen? You don’t want them to make a living, either? And that Doctor labor, intelligence and expertise doesn’t count for anything? What is he, a politician?

    THAT’S the definition of Capitalism and the Service Industry.

    Stop feeding the beast of Envy. It’s demeaning and un-American.

    And what’s with the challenge of raising up a child on $11,750? This woman took on 2 children that weren’t hers (bet that appendix kid wished she were adopted into a family that had health care, now, eh Rin?) and one child from a dead beat father that won’t take care of his responsibilities (Ø voter, I bet!). Choices have consequences. Freedom involves choice. I’m willing to bet that kid that had an appendectomy will make darn sure to provide for themselves for the future. Then it will be lesson learned (and all the lessons I’ve had to learn all came from the School of Hard Knocks).

    And what are you referencing to “animals paid that well”?

    And as to your rental figures, for this woman to qualify, she had to earn somewhere around $16/hr, to qualify for an $800/month apartment. But you said she earned $9.50/hr, with somewhere in her history making $14/hr. (which would still put her in a slippery spot for paying rent each month, especially with 3 kids)

    If you’re trying to set up victim mentality, what is the purpose? Sounds like a con job, Rincon. And I ain’t buying what your selling. Put away the violins and if it bothers you so much, give her the reduced rent out of your own pocket. Take the initiative!

  26. Rincon says:

    My complaint isn’t so much that welfare is inadequate today -although it’s terribly disaorganized and confusing, which results in unfairness to the unconnected. It’s that you feel that people should merely be thrown to the wolves. In your world, my tenants would not get health care – or do you think subsidies for the poor should be paid by hospitals?

    Thanks for bringing up sectiopn 8. It illustrates another point. We checked and the program is out of money, so there’s a waiting list of somewhere near a year or two. That’s one of the things Republicans fail to mention. Just say no applies to more than drugs. There’s a program all right, but when money’s short, the government just says, “Sorry, your timing is bad.” On paper everyone is covered and some get excessive coverage both on paper and in reality. On the street though, people slip through the cracks all the time.

  27. Rincon says:

    You failed to mention three of the deadly sins that apply here: Greed, gluttony, and pride. The rich and the Conservatives engage in all of them. Interesting that you ignore these. Asking to be paid fairly is hardly envy. Did you ever answer whether the rich deserved their pay raise and the bottom 80% deserve their pay cut over the last 30 years? Or perhaps the bottom 80% were overpaid 30 years ago? Which is it?

    Interestiong that you think of the craftsmen that remodel the kitchen. Does that mean that you think welfare checks pay plumbers, grocery store clerks, auto mechanios and the like and are therefore good for the economy?

    For someone that accepted welfare to pay for his complete failure to plan responsibly for the future you don’t have much appreciation for the possbility of good plans going awry. This woman adopted and conceived these kids when she was making $14.00/hour and had a husband with a job. Are you saying that only the richest of us should have children – the top 20% for example? Or perhaps that, since she was married, the sins of her husband are her problem and she deserves no help. Same with her kids – and presumably abused spouses as well. They made their bed. Let them lie in it.

    Animals paying that well refers to excessive human medical costs. In the somewhere near 50 vet-years of my practice, we’ve never lost a dog spay (hysterectomy) – and we do thousands. This means we do it safely. even by human standards. But we do it for under $300.00 while the same operation on a human costs 20 grand or so. Boy, if I could get paid like that, I’d work for a week and then take the rest of the year off.

    The kid with the appendectomy will do the same thing you did, Athos. She will declare bankruptcy and get insurance when she can afford it. Until then, she’ll spend the money foolishly trying to get an eduucation.

  28. Steve says:

    Well you guys had majority, where was the budget to fund the program?

    oh….I forgot. 🙄 ..Hairy Weed won’t pass a budget. It’s CR’s as far as the eye can see. All the while he claims they have passed budgets…if true then you guys should have included money for those programs. All conservatives want is they actually be paid for as opposed to taken from the future. (Maybe that is why the program is out of money. We could be running out of other peoples money to “fund” it.)

  29. nyp says:

    Senate passed a budget last April. House GOP refused to go to conference on it. They have only just now agreed to a conference.

  30. Steve says:

    Get it right, nyp.

    ALL budget and spending must originate in the house.

  31. Athos says:

    Rin, what is the number 1 problem for poor people in this country? OBESITY! Greed is wanting other people’s money, electing progressives to steal it for you, take their cut and give it to you.

    Pride is thinking you know what’s best for 308 million people (and exclude yourself, of course!)

    And why are you equating my using the laws of the land (remember how we used to be a nation of laws, Rin?) to remedy a financial problem as welfare? I couldn’t GET welfare to pay for the medical bills because I didn’t satisfy the byzantine requirements.

    You’ve been on the earth, just exactly HOW LONG, Rin? How could someone in their 70s be such an irresponsible victim? How can you twist apples into oranges in comparing what’s going on?

    You aren’t exhibiting the brains God gave geese. But that is a accurate description of progressives, isn’t it?

  32. Rincon says:

    Greed is being worth 190-250 million dollars and fighting to keep your 15% tax rate (as in Mitt Romney),
    while people worth 1% as much pay 28%

    Pride is thinking you know what’s best for 308 million people (and exclude yourself, of course). This applies to you as well.

    My definition of welfare: Making people pay the bills for someone who is unable or unwilling to pay their own. Bankruptcy is welfare by another name.

    See my recommendations for returning income equality to what it was when this country was great. It doesn’t include very much redistribution of income. Mainly, I just want to level the playing field.

  33. Athos says:

    Rin, I’m compelled to respond, not to change your mind (because at your age, you should know better) but to state the truth to your ill conceived lies.

    It’s not greed to want to keep more of the money you earn, especially when the government is involved. Whether you’re worth $250 million or $50,000, an informed citizen will question why Harry Reid needs your hard earned money to give to a Chinese company that employs his son, and gives nothing in return. Multiply this by 534 other congress critters, throw in the executive branch and all the other bureaucrats who think they can use your money better than you, and then you come to my second point.

    You are correct about Pride applying to me. I work daily to exercise that demon. But even must admit that I’m not in a position to influence and affect 308 million people, the way this failed, untested, unknown President can. Right?

    And your lack of basic legal knowledge is stunning. You deserve your 2 deadbeat tenants. Maybe you wish you were on welfare and wouldn’t have to deal with your problems.

    I’m not in that camp.

  34. Athos says:

    Here’s a link to someone much smarter and older than me. See if you can gleam any wisdom out of it:

  35. Rincon says:

    As a general rule, keeping the money you have earned is fine. The problem I want to address is that the rich have been getting richer and the poor and middle class poorer for over 30 years. First, is it fair for the rich to have gotten a big raise while everyone else got a pay cut for 30 years? If so, then was it unfair for the middle and poorer classes to have so much money 30 years ago and at what point would you say the trend is going too far. Do wecontinue this trend until we become like Mexico, which has the world’s richest man while peasants live in shacks with dirt floors? I believe that would be the result of your ideas taken to their logical conclusion – unless you see some force that will stop or reverse this trend.

    I agree that Congress is full of greedy bastards. Not criminals though. Just as captains of industry operate mostly within the law, so do Congressmen.

    I don’t believe you have specified where my legal knowledge is lacking. I always appreciate being educated, if you would be so kind.

  36. Milty says:

    “Just as captains of industry operate mostly within the law, so do Congressmen.”

    It’s easy to operate within the law when you’re the one writing the laws.

  37. Steve says:

    “Do wecontinue this trend until we become like Mexico, which has the world’s richest man while peasants live in shacks with dirt floors?”

    Really? Dirt floors? Peasants?
    Seems to me Mexicans are getting downright picky about what they get paid anymore and we are exporting good jobs today instead of importing there people to pick strawberries.

  38. Milty says:

    Rincon: I don’t recall you ever citing free trade as a cause of income inequality. Do you completely rule that out as a possibility?

  39. Rincon says:

    -or paying to have the laws passed, Milty.

    Yes to the dirt floors. I took a long bus ride to the Mayan ruins about 10 years ago. We went through several towns. There were lots of one room shacks with dirt floors. You could see into them because many didn’t appear to have a front door.

    Your point about free trade is well taken, Milty. Unfortunately, I am unable to access your link. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a detailed analysis of the tit for tat that occurs with trade restrictions today. American industry does sell a lot of merchandise overseas, but is the playing field fair? I dunno.

  40. Steve says:

    Mayan ruins? The ones near Guatemala?

    That’s some example of how the USA is holding the Mexican population down, fer sure. If you wanted you could take the same type of bus ride through parts of the USA and find the same things.

    Looking for the worst to prove the worst. Talk about a predetermined outcome.

  41. Rincon says:

    I never claimed that we were holding Mexico down. I said that we were heading towards a society like theirs with a large lower class and small middle and upper classes, who have all the power.

    As I asked, at what point would you decide that the trend has gone too far here in the U.S.? And how many mansions are enough? Defining a mansion as being worth at least ten million dollars, there are more than 400 people that could buy one in all 50 states while consuming less that 1/2 of one percent of their net worth. Meanwhile, you guys are quick to point out that some 18% or so of us cannot even find work. It doesn’t pass the stink test. I liked the 1960’s better when the richest man in the world was worth in today’s dollars, the same amount as #52 on today’ list. Somehow, $8 billion seems like it ought to be enough for anybody.

  42. Athos says:

    We’re heading towards a Mexican type society, is the point you’re making, Rin. Have I got that right? Mexico is an interesting study. Climate is good, people can be hard working, oil is in abundance, and they make Tequila! So what could possibly be holding this country down, to the point that millions live in cardboard boxes on dirt floors?

    My answer is the corrupt politicians and lack of laws that would control such “ladrons”. When oil became prevalent in the 70s, the PRI and unions stole million$$. Land deals for profit, nepotism, union thuggery, all went to the pockets of the connected, and people were reduced to REAL poverty. I’m surprised they didn’t rise up and have a revolution.

    Oh, wait a minute. Aren’t guns illegal in Mexico?

    And did Harry Reid do a little research study in Mexico in the 80s? Sounds like his kind of place, doesn’t it?

  43. Rincon says:

    We’re between Australia and Mexico according to my Australian fiance. The income disparity in Australia is far less than it is here. That’s why she made the mistake of buying the apartment building. In Australia, people were pretty dependable about their rent, even in the poorest areas.

    The disadvantage, if you can call it that, is that there are few filthy rich. She says Rupert Murdoch left Australia because there were limits to how wealthy he could become. She laughs at the idea that high taxes depress the economy, since Australians live better than we do with much higher taxes.

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