Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Health Care Retort

August 10, 2009

I am just amazed at the media feeding frenzy over the health care town hall meetings.  People ARE angry.  But instead of analyzing why people might be angry, as the media usually analyzes the “why” of everything, they are in lockstep with insulting the people who are protesting.  Can you imagine the media insulting people who protested the war in Iraq, or anything else?

 

I think people at these meetings are afraid, because in the past,  the president has favored a single payer system similar to the NHS in England. Perhaps these bills aren’t yet a single payer system, but will possibly be leading to one if the private sector has to support yet more government underfunding and it bankrupts them. Our local hospitals are today in serious financial crisis because of medicare and medicaid cuts. They keep seeing patients, but are running out of funds to make up the difference between what the government pays and what it costs to treat these patients.

I lived with the NHS for six years, and could tell first person stories of what I saw and experienced in our local community. Yes, care is much more scarce and of lower quality. Taxes are much higher. Eventually, a two-tiered system developed because the NHS basically broke down. Its on the verge of breakdown again. It is this kind of a system people fear.

 
Instead of looking at these issues, the media is labeling and insulting the protesters.  Its a media retort instead of a report
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The First 100 Days

April 30, 2009

The first 100 days reveals the national dive into the socialist pool.  I have been through this and I know how it will turn out.  I lived in England in the eighties and early nineties.  It was a time of high prices, high taxes, high unemployment and a nearly bankrupt economy on every level.  Even the most basic government services were in desperate straits.  Unemployment among the under 30s was 40%.  The National Health Service all but gave up on those over 65.  What we in America would consider basic emergency care was unavailable even in medium size cities.  The Emergency rooms were there, but so understaffed that people routinely died who should have received care.  As they would say in England, “we have equal access to waiting queues, not care”  That was just the health service.  Other services were in equally dire situations.  The populist crowd wanted government to run business so it would be more fair–whatever that means.  However, government just isn’t good at business.  Social engineering has consequences for the economy when it gets too ambitious, and eventually the engineers kill the golden goose.

Prayer for the Nation

March 2, 2009

I came across something I think is very appropriate for this time in history.  Peter Marshall was chaplain of the U.S. Senate at the end of World War II.  It was a very difficult time for the economy, with many people out of work, a huge national debt, and the nation trying to rebuild the destruction in Europe.  This could have been written today.  I hope our president is a man of prayer although I don’t see an indication of it.  I hope he is praying for the wisdom and character he needs to lead this nation.  Surely, we need to pray for him and for the country.

Prayers for the Nation by Senate chaplain Peter Marshall  1947-1949

Our Father, when we long for life without trials and work, without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.  With stout hearts may we see in every calamity an opportunity and not give way to the pessimist that sees in every opportunity a calamity.

Lord, when we are wrong, make us willing to change.  And when we are right, make us easy to live with.

Let us not be frightened by the problems that confront us, but rather give thee thanks that thou hast matched us with this hour.  May we resolve, God helping us, to be part of the answer, and not part of the problem.

Save us from hotheads that would lead us to act foolishly, and from cold feet that would keep us from acting at all.

Help us, our Father, to show other nations an America to imitate–not the America of loud music, self-seeking indulgence, and love of money, but the America that loves fair play, honest dealing, straight talk, real freedom, and faith in God.  Make us to see that it cannot be done as long as we are content to be coupon clippers on the original investment made by our forefathers.  Give us faith in God and love for our fellow men, that we may have something to deposit on which the young people of today can draw interest tomorrow.

Help us, O Lord, when we want to do the right thing, but know not what it is.  But help us most when we know perfectly well what we ought to do, and do not want to do it.

Lord Jesus, thou who art the way, the truth and the life, hear us as we pray for the truth that shall make men free.  Teach us that liberty is not only to be loved, but also to be lived.  Liberty is too precious a thing to be buried in books.  It costs too much to be hoarded.  Make us to see that our liberty is not the right to do as we please, but the opportunity to please to do what is right.

Deliver us, we pray thee, from the tyranny of trifles.  Teach us how to listen to the prompting of thy Spirit, and thus save us from floundering in indecision that wastes time, subtracts from our peace, divides our efficiency, and multiplies our troubles.”

Spreading the Wealth Around

February 11, 2009

Lately it seems I’ve been hearing more and more about the idea of spreading the wealth.  More and more people are complaining that there is too great a disparity in this country between the top “quintile” (20%) and the bottom “quintile”.  I wondered if there is anything more to this argument than fairness, and the reflex reaction that it must somehow be wrong that the top 20% of people in this country control over half of the wealth.  I read and read.  While I haven’t yet reached a conclusion, I found out a whole lot of interesting things. 

There is an actual measurement called Gini, which is an indicator of the wealth disparity within a country.  If a country has a high Gini, the top quintile owns a larger share of the wealth than if the country has a low Gini.  The countries with the highest Gini’s in the world change every year, but usually are poor, third-world countries.  This would tend to favor the argument that a larger wealth disparity creates a poor country, or keeps it poor.

However, as I read and read about the various  countries on the Gini scale, I found out a lot of other interesting things.  Among the countries that have a very low Gini (meaning they are “good” and share their wealth more equitably), they are about equally divided among rich and poor countries.  The Scandinavian countries are quite wealthy, but other countries with similar Gini scores include Ethiopia and Pakistan.  Clearly some other things must be operating here.  Gini alone doesn’t create wealth.

Countries I would expect to have a low Gini score would be countries which have had communism for 2 or more generations.  I was surprised to find out their Gini scores were higher than ours (Russia and China).  Some of the old Soviet satellites had low Gini scores, but remain very poor, i.e., Slovakia.

In a country with a low Gini (remember, this is good and means more equitable sharing of the wealth), you may have a very high cost of living—or not.  You may have a very high Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita—or not.  We have a higher GDP per capita compared to Sweden and Denmark, while their Gini score is lower than ours.  One thing you will likely have with a low Gini score is much higher taxes and a lot more government intervention into people’s personal finance i.e., the Scandinavian countries.  After all, the top quintile isn’t likely to give away its wealth to the lower quintiles voluntarily, so the government must coerce it to do so with its tax laws.  I wondered if the high tax rate on the wealthy and the sharing of the wealth would increase growth.  After all, sharing the wealth is supposed to put more consumer spending into the economy.  However, while some of the more equitable (low Gini) economies have higher growth rates than ours, most do not.  Denmark has a very low growth rate right now.  Interestingly enough, in those wealthier economies which have established a more equitable distribution of wealth, the birthrate has plummeted, and now the country is in deep trouble as it tries to provide social services for an aging population which isn’t producing as much wealth.

I wondered if there is a cut-off on how much you can tax the top quintile.  I looked at the top hundred wealthiest people in the world, and they are generally owners of big business.  People who want to spread the wealth around tend to see big business as the enemy, yet it truly is the goose that lays the golden egg in terms of producing wealth and jobs for the country.  We don’t want to kill our golden goose for spite.  Yet, if we take money from the “rich” that would have been used for more business creation and gave it to people who would buy more consumer goods, which is better for the country, for how long, and where is the tipping point?  Kind of important to know, I would think.

Two points in closing.  As the mom of adult kids, I can see the envy of an eighth grader toward her high school senior sibling, who through hard work and a couple of awards managed to amass several thousand dollars to be used toward college.  The eighth grader would love to have some of that money for a new laptop.  The eighth grader isn’t currently able to earn or save any such amount of money.  What would be the wisdom of taking some of the senior’s college money and giving it to the eighth grader to be fair?  I don’t know.  You answer that one.

The second thought is that the countries with the highest Gini, where the wealth is spread around pretty well, the standard of living remains high and the government provides a pretty wide and strong safety net, the suicide rates are among the highest in the world.  Spreading the wealth doesn’t answer that question either.

Dear President Obama

January 24, 2009
Dear President Obama,
 
I was deeply disappointed that you would lift the ban on funding overseas abortions.  I wish you would study what really happens during an abortion.  It is so grievously sad and tragic as well as cruel, what really happens.  I have personally seen abortions and aborted fetuses, and it totally changed my mind.  We can talk about “choice” all we want, but there are all kinds of choices, and people make the most horrendous choices every day.  God has given you so much power to do good.  Please think, pray and reconsider.
Nonni
 

Prayer for Barak Obama

January 19, 2009

With the historic inauguration of Barak Obama only hours away, Lord I pray that you will truly bless him.  He says he is a Christian, yet I never saw a word asking  prayer for him on the transition website.  He may not be used to asking for prayer for himself, and so I hope he gets a lot of prayer anyway from other people who recognize how much he needs it.

Leading this government and this people is a tall order, and most presidents have approached the job with humility.  We are in a world of trouble, more than most of the citizens realize.  Looking at the transition website, one would get the idea that the American people expect government to be their god and take care of absolutely everything in their lives.  They look to government and president Obama as their savior.  But he is not god or savior, he is an elected human being.  Help him God.  Give him wisdom even if he doesn’t have the wisdom to ask you for help.  Guide him.  Give him Your dreams and visions as you did to the leaders of old.  As he hits the rough patches, and he surely will, give him the insight to realize he needs to replace self-confidence with God confidence.  Thats not a lack of optimism, its optimism based on the right source for it.  The smartest men in the world have some incredible blind spots when they don’t allow You to search and know them, and don’t ask You to guide and protect them.  Help him to know You, Your power, Your concern and Your absolute reliability.  Protect him from those who would harm him or his family.  Protect him from temptation to do things from cowardly, selfish or less than noble motives.  Raise him to greatness, but let it be the true greatness of one who has let You be their helper, advisor and protector.  And, God bless this nation, Lord.  Do what is best for us, even if we go through some hard times to become refined into the high quality people you created us to be.  If we hit some hard bumps, don’t let us break.  As we are tested by fire, burn off all that is base, selfish, and foolish and bring out the finest in us all.  Please remember the prayers of those who planted the first crosses on this soil.  Let us be a nation who makes You smile.