Saturday, January 02, 2010

Random Roundup

1. Wall Street Journal -- U.S. trade laws aren't about "fair trade" or "leveling the playing field," or the other cliches of protectionists. They have become tools of political income redistribution, protecting certain industries at the expense of others and the larger U.S. economy.

2. Fisher Investments -- The U.S. didn’t achieve its economic strength through fear and resignation—rather, innovation has been and will continue to be a chief driver, spurring recovery and driving us to new heights. While many say capitalism was dealt a blow in recent years, this isn’t so. Capitalism requires busts as well as booms—this is normal. Creative destruction is and will be a vital part of helping capital flow to the most productive areas. But with recession finally behind us, we can enjoy the potential of the decade ahead.

3. Michael Barone -- About one-third of the $787 billion stimulus package was directed at state and local governments, which have been facing declining revenues and are, mostly, required to balance their budgets. The policy aim, Democrats say, was to maintain public services and aid. The political aim, although Democrats don't say so, was to maintain public-sector jobs -- and the flow of union dues to the public employees unions that represent almost 40% of public-sector workers.

Those unions in turn have contributed generously to Democrats. SEIU head Andy Stern, the most frequent nongovernment visitor to the Obama White House, has boasted that his union steered $60 million to Democrats in the 2008 cycle. The total union contribution to Democrats has been estimated at $400 million. In effect, some significant portion of the stimulus package can be regarded as taxpayer funding of the Democratic Party. Needless to say, no Republicans need apply.


4.
Dec. 31 (Bloomberg) -- The Mayo Clinic, praised by President Barack Obama as a national model for efficient health care, will stop accepting Medicare patients as of tomorrow at one of its primary-care clinics in Arizona, saying the U.S. government pays too little. More than 3,000 patients eligible for Medicare, the government’s largest health-insurance program, will be forced to pay cash if they want to continue seeing their doctors at a Mayo family clinic in Glendale, northwest of Phoenix. Mayo’s move to drop Medicare patients may be copied by family doctors, some of whom have stopped accepting new patients from the program.

12 Comments:

At 1/02/2010 10:56 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


“That’s right. We got a heavy handed visit from union leaders. I had to pay for a special attorney to figure out what was going on. Fortunately our employees are happy and weren’t interested in unionizing. My attorney told me I was extremely lucky.”

Or that lawyer struck fear into those people in such a way that looked like happiness. They provided a heavy-handed visit to the employees. I'd wonder what firm did the deed, for they seem to not like being exposed for it.

Labor law attorneys of that type bring shame to the profession. Once they're done with unions, watch what they do with mere citizens.



The Mayo Clinic, praised by President Barack Obama as a national model for efficient health care, will stop accepting Medicare patients as of tomorrow at one of its primary-care clinics in Arizona, saying the U.S. government pays too little

No, that's just political maneuvering on part of Mayo.

 
At 1/02/2010 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once they're done with unions, watch what they do with mere citizens.

Yes, it's all an evil capitalist plot to enslave the working man. He will never be truly free like he is in Cuba and North Korea.

Norma Rae! Norma Rae!

 
At 1/02/2010 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 2008 he hired 8 employees ... He finished 2009 with 40 employees.

So, how many jobs did you and your union buddies create last year, "sethstorm"?

It’s quite a success story. Great products and services provided to happy customers and 40 new jobs created.

Time to destroy it all by demanding that he contract for all his labor with the union cartel. Then the cartel can pilfer all the profits and render his business uncompetitive through insane work rules. Sure he'll struggle along for a while but ultimately he will be driven under. Welcome to the workers paradise.

 
At 1/02/2010 2:04 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Anonymous said at 1/02/2010 12:22 PM

The problem with your misdirection is that it's already common practice to go after citizens with "technically legal" workarounds.

If those folks were genuinely happy (and not as a result of the law firm's tactics), then it'd be fine by me. There seems to be a bit too much missing from that conversation to hope for the best.

Oh, and I'm not union, just aware of that the same tactics get used against folks who hate unions.

 
At 1/02/2010 2:30 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

The tale about the guy with the rapidly growing business (Evil Capitalist) struck me as phony. No name of company, no ID on the product.
I kept waiting for the details--was he a cabinet shop, a computer tech guy? Medical services?
I wanted to know--it is great to obtain such growth in a down economy.
And what state? I can assure you in California a union rep would almost never visit a growing business with only 40 employees. In fact, never.
I ran a furniture biz for years in Los Angeles, never so much as a peep from any union. Unions are basically dead in America.
And in Evil Capitalists's rapidly growing company, one can assume growing responsibilities for those on board--who would want to join a union?
Why was the owner lucky he wasted money on a lawyer? And what was the lawyer's hourly rate?
This whole story has a Dick and Jane sing-song feeling to it, as if written for Reader's Digest, teen version, by the John Birch Society.
The right-wing has some value, but seems to be mired in yesteryear's fights.
It would be nice to see some fresh thinking from the right, not hackneyed fantasy tales.

 
At 1/02/2010 8:56 PM, Anonymous Lyle said...

I heard a comment that makes a lot of sense in manufacturing unions are dead, in services they are doing well. Nursing is one area they are said to be doing well in, as well as unskilled service jobs such as janitors etc. Why such a success in government because most government jobs are service jobs, such as teachers, trash-persons and the like. Its interesting that when the unions pushed into manufacturing it was the major employer, now that it is not due to automation they aren't pushing there. You only push where the pushing would do some good, a lot of the service jobs can't be off-shored, such as the trash-persons job. In the nursing case I suspect a lot has to do with how they are treated on the job, if you treat the workers poorly you will draw a union.

 
At 1/02/2010 10:48 PM, Blogger Colin said...

I kept waiting for the details--was he a cabinet shop, a computer tech guy? Medical services?
I wanted to know--it is great to obtain such growth in a down economy.
And what state?


Why don't you comment on his blog and ask?

 
At 1/03/2010 8:52 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Labor law attorneys of that type bring shame to the profession"...

How's that sethstorm?

By keeping the 'parasitic unions' out of the workplace?

sethstorm makes yet another baseless but thoroughly silly comment: "No, that's just political maneuvering on part of Mayo"...

Hmmm, I noticed you didn't step up and help cover the costs Mayo incurred having to deal with the federal government's corrupt, money wasting nanny state program...

 
At 1/04/2010 2:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sethstorm,
my wife directs a low income clinic with about forty percent medicare patients, who represent close to 60% of visits. A 21% reduction in payments on those visits is a big deal. There's no reason to believe the Mayo clinic's response is just "political manuvering."

Washington State decided to address it's medicaid shortfall the same way about seven years ago. It bankrupted a friend's practice in the Yakima valley who at the time saw mostly medicaid patients. He now sees wealthy patients in Bend. Nice solution.

 
At 1/04/2010 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember in 1983 when president Reagan froze my reimbursement for Medicare patients. I was practicing solo internal medicine and providing primary care in a small town. I was frozen at $16 per office visit. The co-pay was $3.20 for the patient and Medicare paid me $12.80. I earned enough money to support my family but could not afford a partner. I closed my practice in 1987 and returned to school. My income is much higher in a very narrow subspecialty.

My personal internist of 23 years closed his practice this week. He has limited his practice to 600 patients who pay $1,500 per year. My wife and I are happy to pay this and many of his patients are other physicians and their families. You can expect that many baby boomer primary care doctors will retire in the next five years because of poor reimbursement. There will be a major shortage in primary care physicians that will be permanent.

As the government forces doctors, patients, employers etc to do things they do not want to do, bad things will happen. It is terrible that the government is stealing our freedom to contract and make personal choices. I hope that voters will wake up and put the government into a lock box. I hope that the next group of politicians repudiate government health care takeover, sell Fannie, Freddie and Sallie. Limited constitutional government is what we deserve and need.

 
At 1/04/2010 10:14 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


There's no reason to believe the Mayo clinic's response is just "political manuvering."

It'd be hard to believe that if they were allowed to transfer to other clinics within the Mayo system. As they are unable to seek another Mayo office, that seems to not indicate "good faith" on behalf of Mayo, but a controlled patient dump.

Mayo is forcing the hand of those who have Medicare to a decidedly undesirable outcome; how badly will adverse selection wrt Medicare doctors affect the recipients?

The way that it is structured, they want to cause pain(the kind not covered by the Hippocratic Oath). I would like to believe otherwise.

 
At 1/11/2010 11:41 AM, Blogger smd said...

something we knew all along...
"AP IMPACT: Road projects don't help unemployment"

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100111/ap_on_bi_ge/us_stimulus_unemployment

 

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