Tuesday, September 19, 2017

THE OBNOXIOUS CASE AGAINST HISTORY...

I don't write too often anymore.  It's not because i don't have important things to say, its because the level of the dialogue in my opinion has degenerated.

Now that we are taking down statues and attempting to change American History, it's only a small step before we start to empty the libraries and museums of books and paintings that some well funded group finds offensive.

Most of the young men that fought for the South did not have anything to do with Slavery. They were simply young men who were brave and fighting to defend their home states.  The great majority owned no slaves and in any case at that time Lincoln "supported" slavery.

On one hand we like to call ourselves a "melting pot", on the other hand a "melting pot"of statues and books and everything else is offensive to this one and that one.

My dear friend is a devout Lutheran. He attends a fantastic Lutheran church every week and through him I have come to know many of their parishioners.  By and large they are as fine a group of people as you can find.

Should we tear down the Lutheran church because its founder was as bad a antisemite that ever existed?

Most of the current church has nothing to do with something that was 700 years ago.




Thursday, September 14, 2017

SCHOOL SHOOTINGS...(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED DECEMBER 2013) NOW ORLANDO....

A recent round-table discussion centered on why security at schools should not include metal detectors and other signs of collective safety.

The argument focused on the deterioration in the quality of schooling which would occur if the schools began to feel more like fortresses rather than educational institutions.

The debate concerned the intrusion of tighter security into the freedom of our schools, which should not be imposed by criminal elements.  The logic went that if the additional security measures were enacted the bad guys had basically won the day.

You could argue and discuss this for a long time but at the end our schools still remain vulnerable.  This last incident in Colorado could very easily have resulted in  many, many more deaths.  We were just lucky.  We might even make the claim that the increased security since Columbine substantially saved a number more lives.

I wonder if the D.C. Federal Judge would have so smugly undermined the constitutionality of the anti-crime terrorists surveillance if "his kid" was blown away by a mad person because security failed to trump our over expectations of what it means to be a free society.

Without safety , the Constitution will lose its value.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

DRUGS -TOUGH AND EXPENSIVE TO CREATE ..ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 6/4/12

Three major drug companies spent $100 billion dollars on Research and devleopment in the last five years.

Three major generic drug companies spent under $10 billion on research and development in the last five years.

Since important new drugs are almost impossible to find the major drug companies are likely to find fewer new drugs over the next ten years as their cash flow will decline.

Since generic companies don't do much research or find too many new drugs, the net result will be less drugs, more illness and consequently, more expense.

Unless we get very lucky and the drug companies have a few more breakthroughs.

Furthermore, there is a strong likelihood of declining morale and a significant weakening of the talent who are able to find new drugs.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

HEALTHCARE - NO TRUTH - NO FIX? PART TWO(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 3/27/17)

The chess battle over health care will cost you a lot of money.  It doesn't matter what your ideology is it will cost you a lot of money, each and everyone of you.

Simply put, this is the story.  Approximately 65% of medical dollars spent go to labor, directly or indirectly.  That's the millions of people who provide the health care system, whether they work for a hospital or a biotech company.  Labor is 65% of every dollar received by the medical profession.

The revenues for the medical industry (in entirety) can either be paid for by the government (TAXES) or by individuals (PREMIUMS).

When you pay the taxes to the government for the medical industry they are either called Medicare, Medicaid or something similar.  When you pay the premiums to your insurance company they are paid for by your personal income.  So you either pay taxes or premiums, both are used to pay the workers in the medical profession 65% of those two numbers.

No politician is willing to tell the people who don't work in the medical profession that medical expenses are destined to rise PERMANENTLY.  The cost of labor is not going down so we will have a continuing rise of medical care costs.  There is no competition.  There is basically a single payer system and that's just the way it is.  So forget the politics.  It's bogus.  

Saturday, August 5, 2017

LEAKERS = WHISLE BLOWERS (ORIGINALLY POSTED 1/2013)

I am seventy five years old.  I was a young boy during WWII.  It was commonplace to be exposed to stories about the Germans in which children were rewarded to come forward to snitch on their parents or family.  These young children were following the Nazi propaganda line.

Many adults looked in dismay as a country rewarded children for being whistle blowers.  It was considered an abominable breach of most American's ethics.

Now in America we reward, with substantial gifts, those who help our Justice Department and SEC prosecutors capture and then punish who are often their friends and colleagues.  Our sense of justice is to tell people if you whistle blow, you can get rich and if necessary go into the witness protection program.

As Americans we have actually come to accept this as an appropriate approach to the pursuit of crimes.

I have great difficulty understanding how we abhor the actions of the children of Germany, but find little ability to speak about whether we want such behavior in our own country.




Wednesday, August 2, 2017

HEALTHCARE - NO TRUTH, NO FIX? PART ONE (ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 7/10/11)

Let this sink in over and over and over again. According to easily available sources:

A. Half of the population spend little or nothing on health care.
B. 5% of the population spend about half the total amount of health care costs.
C. To put it in clear terms, 5 people in every 100 account for 50% of U.S. health care spending.

It's another example of not putting the real facts on the table because it's politically unpopular. Therefore we waist billions of words and we never solve the problems.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

THERE'S A LOT OF GOOD THINGS GOING ON...(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 6/8/12)

Watch the news, pick up a magazine especially newspapers, watch the TV and immerse yourself in the "everythings wrong" philosophy.

The democratic process, with its unbelievable capacity for openness and sharing of thoughts, seems to thrive on conflict. This conflict results in a vibrant Nation that lurches forward with small and gigantic steps.

All around us the pundits of doom sell negativism.

The reality is anything but. The enormous strides made by democracy and capitalism in the last few decades are incomprehensible. Almost every country has seen the standard of living of its people rise. There is no longer a significant chance of slipping back into extreme socialism and communism. All about us the engine of American and World creativity is blossoming into a whole new era that is only at its beginning.

Cars are changing, jet planes are making huge strides, biotechnology is still alive and well. The immensity of the Internet and all the companies that are continually being spawned is almost too much to grasp. Old industrial America is stabilizing. Revolution in America is not realistic for many years, if ever.

Markets get ahead of themselves, competition for profits is intense and there is a continuum of winners and losers in most spheres of life. The government in all its confusion functions. There is an awareness that so many major components of our democracy need revitalization. So all is not lost.

The market doubled too quickly from its lows. No one I know bet the house on 1 1/2% 10 year government bonds. Most observers are focused on everything but the real picture.

The real picture is our ingenuity. The fact is that most people go to work everyday and most enjoy their jobs.

The deficits will not sink the ship (although they should be brought down). Europe will not sink. Greece will still be there and so will Spain. And Russia, with all its recalcitrance will not do anything stupid. So seek your opportunity, use common sense, pay attention to what you are doing and praise the fact that everyday there is opportunity.
 

Shepard Osherow. All Rights Reserved