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Friday, January 29, 2010

What's wrong? Here's what's wrong...

Ian Welsh linked to these words by Paul Craig Roberts, the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury to Ronald Reagan (!!). I can only do likewise...
My doctor has more people employed doing paperwork than he does delivering health care.
Legislation that cuts payments to private physicians and increases the payments to large corporate entities is intended to destroy private practice and to create in its place corporate bureaucracies in which doctors are wage slaves. The physician’s income is diverted to shareholders, CEO bonuses, and Wall Street. Health care is being replaced with health business.
It turns one’s stomach to watch libertarians and “free market economists” defend bureaucratized impersonal health care as “free market medicine.” There is no free market present. Corporate lobbies and campaign contributions use government power to create bureaucratized monopolies that destroy medicine for the practitioner and the patient. Wall Street pushes for greater shareholder earnings, which are achieved by denying care.
In other words, tax money is being diverted to the pockets of private businesses. This is par for the course in “capitalist” America.

In today’s America, Karl Marx’s criticisms of capitalism are understated. Wherever one looks, the scene is one of the government using taxpayers’ money to enrich private interests. Taxes are collected from people who can barely make it, and the revenues are transferred to multi-millionaires and billionaires. The federal government piles debt on the backs of heavily-burdened and dispossessed Americans in order that investment banksters can pay annual bonuses that exceed the lifetime earnings of most Americans.
Okay, the Marx reference was hyperbolic. Marx wrote about ten year-olds being forced to work in coal mines. We haven't reverted to that stage...yet.
Wall Street is romanticized by libertarians and “free market economists.” They believe, entirely on the basis of their ideology, that Wall Street finances venture capitalists who bring economic progress and higher living standards. Wall Street does no such thing, especially since financial deregulation turned Wall Street into a speculative hedge fund.
This...this, from the man called the "father of Reaganomics."

Here's today's idea on How To Fix Everything: Replace Larry Summers with Paul Craig Roberts, replace Timmy Geithner with Ha-Joon Chang (presuming the Constitution allows us to "outsource" that job to a foreigner) and replace Bernanke with Paul Krugman. If Ha-Joon Chang is impossible, consider DK over at The Confluence.
It's too late now, obviously, but Joseph Stiglitz said he was willing to take the job of Fed Chairman, and he is an honorable economist (Nobel Prize Winner from Columbia University. Of course, we all know the fix is in, so all this is strictly fantasy on our parts.

Mr. Roberts has been somewhat radicalized over the years. His jeremiads are posted widely, from the libertarian Justin Raimondo's site, to's fringy offerings site. He's come a long way from the early '80s, that's for sure.

Several of the founding fathers of this country stated the people and the country faced their greatest nemesis from the money power. In the same year as the Declaration of Independence, 1776, Adam Smith's 'Wealth of Nations' stated the greatest enemy of the genius of markets was the marketeers (businessmen) themselves.

Most politicians these days don't mention this problem. When one did, if obliquely, Howard Dean (who suggested a) we should break up the media cartels, and b) we should have a more even-handed approach to the Middle East), he found himself destroyed as a viable candidate over a triviality inside of two weeks from the statement.

While Medicare payments to doctors have been cut, regulations have been increasing: “Almost every outside diagnostic procedure (CT, MRI scan, sonogram) ordered by this office now has to be pre-approved by some outside agency.

Gee. Not so much with my mother's physician. He examines her. If he decides he needs a CAT or x-ray or something I wheel her down the hall in the wheelchair to the radiology group which is separate but in the same bldg. and the test is done. By the time I have taken her back, the doc usually has an image available on his table pc. No pre-approvals or anything.
The rehabilitation of Karl Marx. Will wonders never cease.

having read and studied Karl Marx for years- I'm sorry to have to say it but as far as his descriptions of capitalism, the guy was on the fucking money.
On everything else, as someone born and raised under communism- not so much.
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