Life expectancies

English: Life expectancy vs. GDP (PPP) per cap...

English: Life expectancy vs. GDP (PPP) per capita, accordig to World Bank, 2009 (sample: 162 coutries) Sources: :GDP per capita (PPP), (World Bank, 2009) :Life expancy (CIA factbook, 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I searched on-line for US life expectancies based on whether or not one has healthcare insurance, and I couldn’t find any statistics. According to an article on Forbes, those numbers don’t exist. Why not? Perhaps because someone wants to keep us in the dark. Logically, one would expect those with more access to healthcare to live longer than people with limited access. In his book The People of the Abyss, Jack London in 1902 found that the poor of London, England lived an average of only 30 years while the better-off Londoners lived an average of 55 years.

Of course, it is possible to manipulate statistics to produce any results you want. In the second related article below, the author removes deaths from car accidents and violent crimes to boost the US longevity results. Going further, if you were to remove all deaths before age 60 or 65 or 70, of course the resulting longevity average would be higher.

Please see People of the Abyss


A Failure of Capitalism

Richard Posner, one of the Chicago School, run...

Richard Posner, one of the Chicago School, runs a blog with Nobel laureate Gary Becker. “The Becker-Posner Blog” . . Retrieved 2010-05-20 . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Failure of Capitalism, The Crisis of ’08 and the Descent into Depression by Richard A. Posner. He believes that the Great Recession is actually a depression, but not as severe, so far, as the Great Depression.

“Some conservatives believe that the depression is the result of unwise government policies. I believe it is a market failure. The government’s myopia, passivity, and blunders played a critical role in allowing the recession to balloon into a depression, and so have several fortuitous factors. But without any government regulation of the financial industry, the economy would still, in all likelihood, be in a depression. We are learning from it that we need a more active and intelligent government to keep our model of a capitalist economy from running off the rails. The movement to deregulate the financial industry went too far by exaggerating the resilience–the self-healing powers–of laissez-faire capitalism.”


The trouble with insurance

Health Insurance Does Not Insure Health

Health Insurance Does Not Insure Health (Photo credit: SavaTheAggie)

The trouble with healthcare insurance is that you don’t know what needed care will cost. I don’t have dental insurance so my dentist can tell me in advance exactly what my needed care will cost. I believe that it is too expensive even with a discount for cash, but I know before I authorize treatment. With healthcare insurance, I don’t know.

Today I had my second visit to a dermatologist. Apparently Medicare plus a high plan secondary was sufficient to buy treatment without a co-pay, but I won’t know for months what my out-of-pocket costs are until the insurers send their statements/bills. This must change for consumers to make informed decisions. My wife and I am both postponing needed care because we fear costs not covered by insurance will overwhelm our limited budget.

Wall Street

Representative Barney Frank, co-architect of t...

Representative Barney Frank, co-architect of the Act (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Too big to fail
Too big to jail
Breaking up is hard to do
But it’s past due
Split the banks
Reinstate Glass-Steagall
Dodd-Frank is
Too little, too late
The Chinese wall between
Banking and investment banking
Never worked at all
Too big to fail
Not too big to nail
Not too big to jail
Save us from the banksters
And their 1% overlords.

State banks

Big Sur, California

Big Sur, California (Photo credit: the_tahoe_guy)


There is a move afoot to set up a state bank in California, owned by the state, to provide competition to the too-big-to-fail commercial banks that are too few to really compete. Since I no longer live in California, I am not familiar with the details, but I hope that the bank becomes a reality. Our present financial system is really set up to serve the banks, not the banks’ customers. That must change. The banks consume too large a portion of the gross domestic product, leaving too little for the rest of us. In other words, we are all poorer to make our financial institutions richer. Once California shows the way, it is my hope that other states will see the light and set up state banks of their own. Commercial banks will be forced to offer less costly services and treat their customers better or risk losing them to state-owned banks.