Hyperliterate & Illiterate

Ever since the housing bubble burst and the market crashed for financial derivatives tied to home mortgages, it has been a mystery to me how citizens and politicians could have let this happen. My theory to-date is this – the citizens who fell into this trap were financially illiterate, and the financiers who engineered the trap were financially hyperliterate. That is – ordinary people abandoned their common sense and felt they had to buy a home because prices would keep going up – accepting mortgage obligations no financially literate person would tolerate, and elite financiers were similarly unable to see the forest for the trees because they knew so much they lost their perspective – their hyperliterate quantitative models gave them a false sense of security.

No wonder the science of economics is not only dismal these days, but in the grip of a well deserved intellectual crisis. But there is another theory that is taking hold among a sorely disgruntled American population, a theory that if it spreads, will abruptly and severely rearrange the American political balance of power – hopefully for the better. That theory holds that this crisis was caused by a decade or more of bipartisan, elitist abandonment of the interests of hard working American citizens in favor of big government, big labor, and big finance.

A commentator of extraordinary lucidity who provides useful insights on this topic not always available in the American press can be found at Asia Times [...] Read More

Healthcare in America

As someone who has either owned small companies or worked for small companies, I have had to frequently change health care plans. Sometimes my healthcare was earned as an employee benefit, sometimes I joined a small group plan as the principal of my own company, and sometimes I participated in a COBRA program through a former employer.

With this background, it is fair to say I know what it takes to get health insurance coverage in America. For nearly 30 years now, two things have always been true: I have never been unemployed, and I have never been without a quality PPO health insurance plan. And it hasn’t been easy.

The problem with Obama’s health care plan – similar to pretty much everything Obama is doing – is that it is aimed at helping anyone but people like me. Why is this? Because I have been responsible. I have always found work, often without benefits, and I have always made sure to purchase quality health insurance – one way or another. And there is no way Obama’s health care plan is going to make health insurance better and cheaper than the health insurance I currently have – this despite the fact that as a healthy 51 year old Californian, without COBRA (which will expire soon, yet again), I will have to pay $750 per month for a good PPO. If Obama’s plan is enacted, I will have no choice but to enroll in a rationed publically administered health insurance plan. [...] Read More