Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Obamacare Feeds Insurance Oligarchs

Amplify’d from c4ss.org

Today, a Wall Street Journal opinion column titled Big Business, Big Medicine reports the “turn toward consolidation among insurance companies,” a “dynamic [that] is leading to much larger hospital systems and physician groups, and fewer insurers dominated by a handful of national conglomerates.” If this seems an anomalous result from an administration thought to represent a departure from the corporate cronyism of its predecessor, then the blatant and contrary writing on the wall was apparently ignored.

Like all regulations declaredly subduing Big Business predominance over consumer’s lives, the new laws synthesize “public” and “private” — both of which are ultimately meaningless is our system — boosting an already corporatist economy for health services. As we might have foreseen, the politicians’ solution nurtures a condition whereby smaller “carriers will collapse under the new mandates and higher overhead.” So in the face of everything the President said about “not accept[ing] the status quo as a solution” in health care, “Obamacare” delivered for Big Insurance, a cartel that loathes competition and welcomes impenetrable regulation. Both the state and Big Business — adversaries only in the popular imagination — are triumphant, the coordination of the two saddling us with another shakedown scheme.

The United States’ health care system, a teetering house of cards that will ultimately implode, exists through economic fallacy. Even so, by the time the elites’ scheme withers, they will have already thieved more than enough from the productive class; they will, as always, leave insolvency and beggary behind, but they’ll benefit from the presumption that their hearts were in the right place in trying to give health care to everyone. The insurance lobby is getting what it paid for with these policies and this President. We can inaccurately call this process of fraud and favoritism a free market, or we accept that such are the contours of American Capitalism and subscribe to free markets as a means of disbanding these price-fixing protection rackets.

Read more at c4ss.org

Friday, October 22, 2010

5 Reasons The Future Will Be Ruled By B.S.

Michael Moore Almost Gets It Right

Amplify’d from c4ss.org

Michael Moore, writing at Alternet (“Why Republicans Are Always Worried About Their Pet Corporations Facing Any Real Free Market Competition,” Oct. 21),  makes a very acute observation:  “whenever corporate executives begin talking about how they support ‘free markets’ and ‘competition,’ check to see if you still have your wallet.”  The reason is that “nobody” — not even Marxists — “hates competition more than corporations.”

Moore was so close — but he just missed it.  Moore frames the issue as one of big corporations trying to suppress competition by weakening the antitrust laws.  “When corporate executives start pushing for ‘free market policies,’ what they mean is a government that lets them become a monopoly.”

If he’d said they want “a government that HELPS them become a monopoly,” he’d have had it just right.  The main factor behind monopoly isn’t whether government lets it exist by failing to enforce antitrust laws.  It’s whether government enables it by erecting entry barriers, suppressing competition with cartelizing regulations, and enforcing legal monopolies like “intellectual property.”  Government doesn’t “allow” monopoly.  It props it up.

Read more at c4ss.org

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How Public Employee Unions Can Halt the Pension Crisis

Brad Spangler at C4SS addresses the coming collapse of state-funded pensions.

Amplify’d from c4ss.org

If public employee unions genuinely want to represent the interests of their members, they ought to be sounding the alarm to man the lifeboats and prepare to abandon the ship of state.

Government, at all levels, is bankrupting itself and taking the rest of the country (nay, world) with it. An equity for debt swap is relatively common in bankruptcy cases. In this case, unions can serve as advocates and midwives for a new model of worker-owned privatization that gives rank and file public employees shares of common stock in formerly public enterprises as compensation for the default on pensions that’s inevitably coming, whether they want it to or not.

Read more at c4ss.org

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Sharp In Klein

Mike Gibson at "Let A Thousand Nations Bloom" follows through on Ezra Klein's "What if the government were run more like a business?" thought experiment.

Monday, October 04, 2010

An Immoral System Can Only Be Sustained By Immorality

(C4SS) Kevin Carson's comments on World War II and the Great Depression.

Amplify’d from c4ss.org

I believe that Horwitz, in countering Krugman’s argument with a description of how economic growth would be achieved in a free market, ignores the point that the industrial system we’ve had over the past 150 years hasn’t even remotely resembled a free market. It has been a corporatist system built from the ground up through overwhelming state intervention and massive collusion between big business and big government.

The state has promoted the overaccumulation of capital in mass-production facilities that are only profitable when they can amortize the cost of their expensive specialized machinery by running at full capacity without regard to preexisting demand, and then find some way to dispose of the product. And the only way to dispose of that full product has been through state-aided planned obsolescence, state-aided expansion in to foreign markets, direct state purchases of surplus output and surplus capital, and–as a last resort–massive state destruction of output and capital in war.

Read more at c4ss.org

Friday, October 01, 2010

One Human’s Taxation is a Tragedy; Three Hundred Million is a Statistic

Check out Third Way's publications here: http://bit.ly/acsApG

Amplify’d from c4ss.org

An itemized receipt for taxes? How lovely and desirable!

A think tank entitled Third Way just issued a paper wherein they analzed what the $5400 in federal taxes the median taxpayer of 2009 (who earned $34,140) actually purchased. Among the reactions in the blogosphere, one recurring comment strikingly resounded.

Writers noted that everywhere else an exchange of goods occurs, a bill of transfer or receipt is produced. Why is one not given to taxpayers in the same manner? An honest and baffling question for American citizens to ponder, with a lousy answer.

Read more at c4ss.org