For some unknown reason, I’ve been taken aback by the recent debate in government sponsored health care. Maybe I’m having some sort of an extended empathy moment (extremely rare for me), or I’ve developed a chink in my pro-business, pro-Wall Street armor.
In all likelihood, it’s because I’ve been listening to real world testimonials instead of the political rhetoric written by a lobbyist group. Perhaps stories from insiders like Wendell Potter (a former health insurance executive) or reports like the CNN video below where thousands of uninsured Americans wait in line so they can get free, charity based health care in a high school gymnasium.
Maybe these words from Stan Brock, founder of Remote Area Medical, will allow you to peer into my current thought process:
We have had to cut back from our [health care] operations in places like Haiti, Guatemala, and India, because of tremendous demand here in the United States.
In Slumping Economy, a Shift in Shopping Habits (click streaming video link once at PBS site).
Americans and their “shopping sickness”:
We have so many things in the context of our [consumerist] culture, that need desperate reinvention.
There are no acquisitions that are transformational. Acquiring that iPod, that tube of lipstick, or that Maserati, doesn’t change us into anyone other than what we were before making the purchase.
In other words, if you were a tool before you bought a shiny new car, you’re still a tool… you’re just a tool with new wheels.
MattJabs (author of the Debt Free Adventure blog) brings up an extremely valid ethical debate about banking/borrowing from those “too big to fail” banks. I’m relatively agnostic in anything that involves money, but I’m siding with him on this debate and refuse to use their services in the foreseeable future.
Barry Ritzholz has some harsh words for the National Association of Realtors and their “independent data.
NEVER FORGET THIS: The NAR is a trade group, not a legitimate source of independent data. They are biased, not credible, and to be blunt, essentiually behave as PR flacks who will say ANYTHING if they think it will help their members make a quick buck. They are not a credible economic organization, they are not legitimate researchers, they are nothing more than hired guns pushing their members’ agenda — even when it is destructive to America.
Clare from MoneyEnergy has a great article about China’s Achilles’ Heel — the Forex market.
By inflating the dollar, and pursuing a program of inflation, it represents a wealth transfer from China to the United States, because the value of their assets goes down, and the value of our debt goes down. And that’s what they’re deeply concerned about.
My participation in carnivals has declined recently, but my latest submission to the Carnival of Personal Finance was hosted at Jeff Rose’s blog, Good Financial Cents. Lots of great content there, and I particularly enjoyed his post on 10 Questions About College Savings Plans. Having recently became an new uncle, I found his post particularly informative because everyone knows I began harassing my sister about 529 Savings Plans the day she arrived home.