On Obamacare, Republicans Achieved Nothing

I agree with Peter Suderman on achieving nothing. Well, they showed they didn’t agree  on enough and they weren’t up to the challenge.

He further asserts that they also failed to establish a shared vision on health care policy.

What Republicans—and Democrats and independents and anyone else interested in a health care system that is more fair, more effective, and less expensive—need to do, then, is what they have largely failed to do for so many years: Start from the ground up, think comprehensively about the health system as a whole, develop a vision, and then debate and defend plans and policies that would bring us closer to it.

Its not that they had no thoughts. Most conservatives and Republicans supported expanded Health Savings Accounts (HSA), giving more control of Medicaid to state governments, repealing Obamacare entirely, and introducing more competition into the insurance market. But it didn’t fit together as an integrated whole.

And how about these items from Suderman:

. . . encouraging supply-side innovations, emphasizing cost reductions instead of subsidies, seeding the idea that insurance is financial protection rather than health care, emphasizing aid to the poor and needy rather than comprehensive universal coverage, focusing on eliminating fragmentation and favoritism in a system that for decades has been defined by it.

They didn’t think about health care from the ground up. They had an opportunity for years to develop what the health care industry ought to look like; how to de-control it.


The Misguided Attacks on Amazon.com

Its happening again. A firm grows from a darling, often mentioned glowingly in the media, that benefits consumers into a large corporation that is harming employees and communities, etc. If you want a lower standard of living, stagnant economy, no new jobs, and no new products then have the government try to fix the problem. It will stifle the dynamism a prosperous society needs.

Some critics call low pricing ‘predatory pricing’, supposedly to conjure scary images of a ravenous wild animal looking for its next prey.

Take this article by a writer who trades for a living.

New firms often use low prices to build market share and to get their products into more hands. They burn through investor’s cash, pay their employees with some cash and either shares of stock or products or some other way to save the cash for investing in business growth. Amazon never changed course.

People made a similar case against Walmart years ago when it was taking market share from other retailers: its harming other retailers, killing jobs, putting mom-and-pop shops out of business, etc.

Well guess what? Now Walmart is competing against Amazon and other brick-and-mortar retailers and other e-commerce sites. No government action against Walmart was needed. Indeed, it would have been harmful to consumers, its suppliers, and its employees.

The people who work at Walmart and now Amazon are doing something extraordinarily well. They have a successful strategy and business model and are executing. Don’t get in the way. Its up to others to figure out how to leap-frog over them in the marketplace. Other business models and strategies will emerge even though we cannot foresee what that will be. In fact, that success only becomes known after the fact because the growth of the firm will make the news. It will have survived the initial response by Amazon, Walmart and other competitors.

Yet we benefit from their low prices. It makes our family budgets go farther. The employees of the firms harmed by these super successful firms need to turn inward to management to demand they get their act together, or welcome outside investors to maybe buy the firm and install new management with new ideas. Its new ideas, new management, new/outside capital, new strategy, new business model that leads to dynamic growth.

Now, if Amazon is using the government to enact specific laws that benefit it, like, say, Net Neutrality, then that law or regulation should be eliminated.

If you want to help these firms, stop encouraging politicians and regulators to take sides and trying  to solve this problem. Its not a solve-able problem and government is a poor mechanism to solve problems.

UPDATE: Amazon May Be the Next Tech Giant Muscling Into Health Care. That’s what American health care needs. Smart, successful people in the private sector to figure out how to improve a highly government-controlled industry.

Democrats pitch ‘A Better Deal’ agenda: Focus on job training, lowering costs


Democratic leaders gathered Monday in small town America to declare they’re the party of rural and blue-collar workers, competing for the same voters that helped thrust President Donald Trump into the White House.

Read that and now check out the picture for this article: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California. And don’t forget Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Three left-wingers who represent left-wing states.

The disconnect is that these three figures do not represent rural and blue-collar voters.

Worse, its the same old, same old. . . garbage policy.

The plan — “A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future” — is a three-pronged approach that focuses on improving wages, lowering costs of everyday expenses and boosting job-training opportunities.

There are 47 federal job programs according to this 2012 article in Politifact which investigated candidate Mitt Romney’s assertion of 49 programs said during the 2012 presidential contest. I wonder how many job-training programs were proffered in order to win votes. How effective are these programs anyway? Record low labor participation suggests not very. Remember, the unemployment RATE is a calculation that uses the size of the workforce in the denominator. If people drop out of the workforce, the numerator in the calculation, according to the government’s definition, the denominator of the rate calculation gets smaller thus making the ratio of actual number of people working as a percentage of the size of the workforce appear larger.