Monday, April 28, 2008

Medical Economics

A bunch of people with health care don't think the government should intervene to fix the health care system. Most of these people work for insurance companies, HMOs, lobbyists, and lack both a soul and and real grasp of economics.

How much is your life worth to you? Enough to spend your money? Enough to spend mine? Everyone's life - and that of a loved one - has infinite value. Everyone thinks that they should be entitled to the best medical care and screw the cost.

And the current system tries to make a buck off every procedure. The problem is, that about 1/2 the cost of health care DOESN:T DELIVER ANY CARE AT ALL. Its administrative overhead, profit, accounting, medical records, insurance billing, waste, or outright fraud. And some of the rest - much less than you are led to believe, is spent charging you more to care for those who cant afford it, because we are human and there are laws that try to prevent allowing hospitals from allowing people to die on their doorstep from preventable causes.

The problem with this approach is that that a person's real value is measured in most part by his or her value to society. Wealth should have some privileges. But we shouldn't let people get sick because that comes back to haunt us like the plague. Exactly like the plague.

Here's a modest proposal:

The government pays for all care for kids until age 18 or age 21 if they are in college. After than, the government pays for basic care and drugs. Basic, cheap stuff - no frills, no transplants, nothing experimental. Old fashioned basic care. You walk in, get treated, and walk out. No paperwork, maybe a small copay just to discourage idiots from abusing the system and to leave a credit card trail to help the accountants out in figuring out reimbursement. Oh, and if you catch someone at fraud, its a mandatory year of public service for each count.

If you work, you can buy insurance that provides better coverage and madatorly pays you between jobs for up to 2 years - much like cobra. You can get additional coverage if you can afford it - let the free market take care of what it costs an what works. You can buy the coverage you think you deserve and can afford.

This cuts the waste out of the biggest part of the system and matches a persons value to what he or she contributes. Wealth should have its privilege.

Just a thought.

Yesterday's hippies are today's hypocrites

Talkin' 'bout my generation. What a bunch of hypocrites!

The free love group is now advocating abstinance - which doesn't work.
The peacenicks now support the war
The "don't trust anyone over 30" crowd is buying viagra and cosmetic surgery to look young
The "no more taxes crowd" is running up that national debt and breaking the bank
The "don't need no money, just need love" crowd is going to suck social security dry
This generation mantra is "Screw the kids, we got ours"

And when the time comes, that slack jawed idiot you didn't invest in is going to make euthinasia legal and stand on your oxygen hose and happily watch you greedy bastards die.

And you've earned it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Its been 3 days, and Charlton Heston is still dead.

That is all

Law of unintended consequences revisited

Congress, with its collective lips firmly around the shaft of the farm lobby, voted even more subsidies to the American Farmer, aka ConAgra, ADM, and the 3 other conglomerates that own every farm in America. They all start growing corn and selling to ethanol producers so they can collect their subsidies. This raises the price of both food and gas (since ethanol is one of the worst biofuels out there, with the least energy content and most overhead since it requires special processing and separate transportation), making food and everything else cost more. And if that isn't enough...

Poor countries are selling off food crops since prices have increased, so people are both poorer and hungrier since they can't afford the limited remaining food. Hungry, starving people tend to be unhappy, so they do whatever they can to eat. Guess who has food and is recruiting: Terrorists.

Yes, Congress is creating even more terrorist by pretending to be green. Ethanol is creating terrorists by using up food to create a bad biofuel. Oh, and MIT released a study showing that the increased farming is generating much more CO2 than the oil from all the farming, so global warming is actually increasing.

We are so phucked.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ubuntu 8.04 - Maybe its time..

I've just loaded an old machine up with the latest (beta) version of Ubuntu Linux and its not bad. Still a bit too geekish, but past the awkward teen period that made me dump it the last few tries.

If Ubuntu or any other Linux wants to own the desktop - and its ripe for the taking - then they need to focus the next release on useability and recoverabilty. While the forums have many people willing to answer your every problem, the OS still relies far to much on the user community for support.

Make the system auto-repair itself and never, ever fail to the point of having to understand the intricacies of Linux to resolve the problem and you will own the desktop. Make it like MAC's OS X so that users can load and go and not have to think about the OS and you will win.

But its probably too late for that. Linux is no longer an OS - its a religion. And Geeks don't really want to win the desktop, they want to show everyone why they need to be a geek or need geeks to live.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Charlton Heston Dead At 83

Do you think I'll need a crowbar to pry the gun from his cool dead hands now?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Time by Pink Floyd from Dark Side of the Moon

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine
Staying home to watch the rain
And you are young and life is long
And there is time to kill today
And then one day you find
Ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun

And you run, and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter
Never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to nought
Or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone
The song is over
Thought I'd something more to say

3rd graders form plan to kill teacher - the good news

No, I'm not going to blame this on bush's leadership in the field of torture, or the media, or the fact that it happened in Florida, a place that is giving California a run for leader in the crazy things category. I'm not going to worry about the blame - the idiot talking heads have that angle well covered.

I'm impressed by this.

Three 3rd graders formed a detailed, actionable plan, complete with roles, responsibilities, and risk management contingencies. And the leader was a girl, getting another girl and a boy to join in.

I've worked with mid-level managers who lack the planning skills that these kids demonstrated. If they can rehab the little psychopaths into business leaders, they have a future in investment banking.

If not, put them in charge of the war. At least they will have a plan.

Mounting Evidence that Bush is a war criminal

Evidence is mounting that our president is a war criminal. Countdown with Keith Olbermann reports that another damning memo from a special counsel has surfaced with details that are remarkably similar to the torture that this administration pinned on a bunch of low ranking soldiers.

War Crimes. Like those that the Nazi's were convicted of. By an American President.

Convicted or not, impeached or not, this man's name should not be spoken in polite company by future generations.

Bush's war more important than energy and science

via MSNBC:

Congress axed virtually all the money that was set aside for ITER (fusion energy research) operations during the current fiscal year.

How much are we talking here? $215M next fiscal year, or about 10% of the total that is shared with 6 other countries that we are reneging on.

The only investment Bush will make is America is a deficit and dead soldiers.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Learning about Moral Hazard the hard way

So I picked the more expensive fixed rate for my house. So I had to make tradeoffs to afford the house - investing more up front, scaling back in other areas to afford the payment. I made - as far as I can tell - all the right choices.

But now my taxes are going to pay for shareholders of big investment companies and people who have bought houses beyond thier means.

I’m learning the lesson - be irresponsbile, preferably rich and irresponsible, and you get a free ride. Be responsible and you get to pay for others getting the free ride.

Thanks government! Its been an expensive lesson for me, but I’m off to ruin my credit rating in a spectacularly reckless manner so I can get some of my money back.