Hospitals are Businesses too

Imagine having car problems while out of town.  The nearest repair-shop is a quaint little place, nicely kept, and the mechanic is friendly and knowledgeable.  In a hour, he has fixed your original complaint, but now he is telling you that there is more wrong with your car.  The transmission fluid needs changing, your brake discs are warped, and you are leaking anti-freeze. He wants to keep it overnight and charge you 4-figures tomorrow morning.  For most of us, this would set off alarms.  Do I really need all those things?  Can I trust him, or is he just trying to siphon cash out of me?  This is a normal distrust of a stranger, a stranger whose primary intentions are making money and not necessarily to keep your car in perfect working order.

Yet, walk into a hospital, and all those good instincts fly out the window.  The doctor said I need it, I must definitely need this drug or surgery.  He couldn’t possibly have profits on the mind instead of my well-being.  But he is a businessman too, along with the hospital, and the drug companies.

Stop and think about what first pops into your mind when an acquaintance tells you they are a doctor.  They must be rich! is likely to be first, followed by They must be smart!  Yet when you walk into the doctor’s office, immediately the thought becomes, They have my well-being at heart!

So why the dichotomy?  Why is it so hard for people to see all the advertisements for drugs and hospitals, and realize it’s about making money, not keeping you healthy?  When the doctor pushes a drug on you, do you not realize a drug company pays him to do it?  When he says you need a surgery, his bank account may benefit more than your body.  Look for alternatives.  Use your own God-given brain; it might just be smarter than the “good” doctor’s.

Happy Columbus Day

“As soon as I arrived in the Indies, in the first island which I found, I took some of the natives by force, in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these parts. … They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge  and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane. … They would make fine servants… With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”

~Christopher Columbus Captain’s Log, 1492

One of Columbus’ men, Bartolome De Las Casas, was so mortified by Columbus’ brutal atrocities against the native peoples, that he quit working for Columbus and became a Catholic priest. He described how the Spaniards under Columbus’ command cut off the legs of children who ran from them, to test the sharpness of their blades.
According to De Las Casas, the men made bets as to who, with one sweep of his sword, could cut a person in half. “Such inhumanities and barbarisms were committed in my sight as no age can parallel,” De Las Casas wrote. “My eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature that now I tremble as I write.”
It was a general rule among Spaniards to be cruel; not just cruel, but extraordinarily cruel so that harsh and bitter treatment would prevent Indians from daring to think of themselves as human beings or having a minute to think at all. So they would cut an Indian’s hands and leave them dangling by a shred of skin and they would send him on saying “Go now, spread the news to your chiefs.”
They would test their swords and their manly strength on captured Indians and place bets on the slicing off of heads or the cutting of bodies in half with one blow. They burned or hanged captured chiefs.”

De Las Casas spent the rest of his life trying to protect the helpless native people. But after a while, there were no more natives to protect. Experts generally agree that before 1492, the population on the island of Hispaniola probably numbered above 3 million. Within 20 years of Spanish arrival, it was reduced to only 60,000. Within 50 years, not a single original native inhabitant could be found.

Blame the Game, Not the Player

Apple is under scrutiny by Congress for being able to keep billions of dollars in profits in Irish subsidiaries to pay little or no taxes to any government.  Is it any surprise that US companies would rather keep their foreign earnings overseas than repatriate them at the second highest corporate tax rate in the world?

One gem of all this is Senator Rand Paul (R. KY) blasting his colleagues about bringing Apple executives before a Senate subcommittee.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • “…congress should be on trial for chasing the profits of great American companies overseas”
  • “…instead of Apple executives, we should have brought in here today a GIANT MIRROR… because this problem is solely and completely created by the awful tax code.”
  • “Money goes where it’s welcome.  Currently our tax code makes money not welcome in this Country.”

Is a College Degree Worth the Cost?

Peter Schiff is CEO and chief global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital Inc. Schiff also predicted the 2008 market crash and is the author of six books.

Published on Nov 13, 2012

President Obama promotes the myth that everyone must go to college. That if you don’t go, your life will be ruined — that you will end up waiting tables, or trapped in some other mundane occupation. The truth is, even with a college degree, you may still end up waiting tables, you’ll just begin your “career” four or five years later, tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

Here is an example of some of the plumb jobs college grads were able to land during the Obama administration. Not just liberal arts majors mind you, but graduates with degrees in mathematics, robotics, neuroscience, engineering, accounting, business administration, economics, biology, communications, graphic design, marketing, and linguistics.

Of course when it comes to education, it’s not just the Obama administration that deserves a failing grade. For years, politicians of both parties have pandered to students by promising more aid in the form of direct or subsidized student loans. As a result, colleges and universities are freed from competitive forces that would otherwise keep tuition low. Easy access to cheap credit enables students to bid up tuition, benefiting the educational establishment at their expense. Politicians secure student’s votes by promising relief from skyrocketing tuition by providing even more loans. Ironically, the loans themselves are the very reason tuition is so high in the first place.

Before the Federal Government got involved, college degrees were much more affordable, and ambitious students from poorer families could easily work their way through. In addition, as fewer high school graduates actually went on to college, not only were college degrees much less expensive to obtain, they were far more valuable to have. With so many high school grads now going on to college, a college degree is actually less valuable in today’s job market, despite its inflated price tag, than was a high school diploma in the 1950s. The only solution is to get the Federal Government completely out of higher education, and let the free market fix what the government broke!

For those of you who feel a college degree is essential to financial success consider John D Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and Cornelius Vanderbilt. Rockefeller dropped out of high school and began working full-time at age 16. Carnegie didn’t even go to high school and began working full-time at age 13. Vanderbilt dropped out of school at age 11, and by age 16 had started his own ferry business. All three were born poor and became self-made billionaires, who attained estimated net worths (in today’s dollars) of approximately $670, $300. and $175 billion respectively. To put those numbers into perspective, the richest living American, Bill Gates, who dropped out of Harvard during his sophomore year, has an estimated net worth of just $65 billion.

Price Controls Hurt Sandy Victims

When we hear the term “Price Gouging” that brings to mind and image of the evil shopkeeper charging what ever he wants for essential items after an emergency or disaster; there’s more to it than that.  Review the two videos below for examples of how price gouging actually helps groups of people affected by disasters

For those of you interested in pursuing independent scholarship of economic science, a great place to start is with Henry Hazlitt’s classic Economics in One Lesson available in hardcover or for free online.  Chapter 17, Government Price-Fixing is immediately relevant.


Operation Screw: The Fed goes all-in on QE3

Peter Schiff, CEO and chief global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital Inc., comments on yesterday’s decision by the Federal Reserve to engage in endless money printing.  The Federal Reserve announced that it will buy at least $40 BILLION per month in mortgage-backed bonds (toxic assets) and plans to keep interest rates near-zero into the year 2015!

Within an hour of Chairman of the Fed. Ben Bernanke opening his mouth at the press conference, Gold and Silver soared while bonds and treasuries tanked.

For those of you who don’t study economic science in your free time, here is a funny video explaining what “Quantitative Easing” is.

Former Marine Detained, Without Charge, After Anti-Government Facebook Postings

UPDATE:  Brandon Raub makes first public comments following ordeal.

Here’s a great video on this developing story.  Following the video is text from a copy of a Facebook post that Brandon Raub made in 2011.

The Truth
by Brandon J Raub on Friday, November 11, 2011 at 10:00 am

America has lost itself. We have lost who we truly are. This is the land of the free and the home of the brave.

This is the land of Thomas Jefferson.

This is the land of Benjamin Franklin.

This is the land of Fredrick Douglas.

This is the land of Smedley Butler.

This is the land John F. Kennedy.

This is the land of Martin Luther King.

This is the land where the cowboy wins. This is the land where you can start from the bottom and get to the top. This is the land where regardless of you race and ethnicity you can succeed and build a better life for you and your family. This is the land where every race coexists peacefully. This is the land where justice wins. This is the land where liberty dwells. This is the land where freedom reigns. This is the land where we help the poor, and people help each other. This is land where people beat racism.

The Federal Reserve is wrong. They have designed a system based off of greed and fear. They designed a system to crush the middle class between taxes and inflation. This is wrong, and it is unjust. It is wrong.

We have allowed ourselves to be deceived and seduced by the powers of the printing press. It is not a good system. It discourages saving: the foundation for all stable economic activity. The Federal Reserve is artificially manipulating interest rates and creating phony economic data.

This thing has deceived our entire nation.

They created it in 1913. They also created the income tax in 1913. They encouraged the growth of debt so they can tax you on it. There is interest on the debt. Your government is in bed with these people. They want to enslave you to the government so that they can control every aspect of your lives. It is an empire based on lies. They operate of greed and fear.

There is a better way. It’s called freedom. Freedom is called a lot of things. But there is a true meaning. It means very simply that you have the right to do whatever you want as long as you are not infringing on the freedoms of other people.

I firmly believe that God set America apart from the other nations of the world. He saved a place where people could come to to escape bad systems of goverment. This system we have created works. It really works.

There is evil going on all around the world. The United States was meant to lead the charge against injustice, but through our example not our force. People do not respond to having liberty and freedom forced on them.

Men and Women follow courage. They follow leadership, and courage. Our example has paved the way for people all around the world to change their forms of government.

Force is not the way because liberty is a powerful concept. The idea that men can govern themselves is the basis for every just form of government.

We can govern ourselves. We do not need to be governed by men who want to install a one world banking system. These men have machine hearts. Machine and unnatural hearts.

They have blocked out the possibility of a better world. They fear human progress. They have monopolies on everything.

This life can be free and beautiful. There are enough resources on this earth to support the world’s population. There are enough resources on this earth to feed everyone. There is enough land for everyone to own their own land and farm, and produce their own energy.

These people have been hiding technology. There are ways to create power easily. There is technology that can provide free cheap power for everyone. There are farming techniques that can feed the entire world.

The Bill of Rights is being systematically dismantled. Men have spilled their blood for those rights.

Your sons and daughters, your brothers and sisters, and Americas best young men and women are losing their limbs. They are losing their lives. They are losing the hearts. They do not know why they are fighting. They are killing. And they do not know why.

They have done some extraordinary acts. Their deeds go before them. But these wars are lies. They are lies. They deceived our entire nation with terrorism. They have gotten us to hand them our rights. Our Rights! Men died for those rights!

September Eleventh was an inside job. They blew up a third building in broad daylight. Building 7.

Your leaders betrayed you.

You elected an aristocracy. They are beholden to special interests. They were brainwashed through the Council on Foreign Relations. Your leaders are planning to merge the United States into a one world banking system. They want to put computer chips in you.

These men have evil hearts. They have tricked you into supporting corporate fascism. We gave them the keys to our country. We were not vigilant with our republic.