Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Elizabeth Warren on Health Care

Thanks to Truthspew for this post.  It dovetails nicely with a recent post Raulito did on Trickle Down BS The only thing I would add to her explanation of Health Insurance syphoning off billions of dollars to pay CEOs and administrative expenses is the payout to shareholders - the ultimate For Profit scam on middle America.


Thanks to Stan at Metrodystopia, THIS ITEM: the Walton (Walmart) Six have more wealth than the lowest 30% of the entire population of the US. Keep shopping Walmart, everyone. Read about it here and here. And more detail here.

NOTE: While I attempted to verify this story, I found it difficult to do so.  I found the story repeated almost verbatim in various web sites and blogs.  The so-called "source" - a government report, was indecipherable for me.  

Russ, at Blue Truck, Red State did a little more research and found the numbers questionable.  And his point that when making an argument, we should not make up "facts" is an important one.

Perhaps the only point I can make here is "obscene wealth is obscene wealth - give or take a few million dollars".

In any case, I choose not to shop at Walmart.


Stan said...

Every once is a great while somebody comes along who I honestly can believe in. Elizabeth Warren is one of them. Senator Bernie Sanders (I) from Vermont is another.
I really, really hope Ms. Warren gets to be the next Senator from MA.

Russ Manley said...

Excellent comments from Ms. Warren, I may repost that on my blog; everybody needs to hear this.

The thing about the Waltons, though, I think is a little bit misleading. Like Ms. Warren, thermodynamics is not my strong suit, and neither is economics. But I followed your link to Maddow's blog, and her link to the Berkeley blog, where I found this comment from a reader there:

"But these numbers almost seem too extreme. The bottom 30% of Americans in 2011 is about 100 million people. That means that if they have the wealth of the Waltons, it would translate into $930 for each of these people. I guess that’s possible, assuming a lot of people in the bottom thirty percent have a negative net worth because of debts, but I have a hard time visualizing it. In our consumer society, you’d think even a person in the bottom quintile of wealth would have enough assets to get to a meager $930. Maybe this is only a measure of financial assets?"

Which if you follow the first link on the blog to the EPI report on Working America's Wealth, 2011, you get a more detailed and nuanced explanation of what the figures mean.

Seems likely that the lucky Waltons don't have storerooms with stacks of gold bars and thousand dollar bills piled up floor to ceiling, but rather most of their fortune is in shares of stock - which can go up or down with the stock market.

Granted, they are no doubt living a very nice life on the dividends from that Wal-Mart stock, but I think it's important to be clear on what all these numbers really mean, or don't mean.

Unlike the rightwing nuts, who just make shit up to suit their fancy.

truthspew said...

I should have also mentioned in my post that Medicare runs at a level of 3% overhead. Private insurance runs at 15% to 28% overhead.

Who says government can't do anything right, or as Ronald Reagan put it, government does everything wrong.

I say government can do a better job at guaranteeing us health care than private concerns can. It's simple, the government has no profit motive. Insurance companies live and die by their profit motive.

FDeF said...

Profit is exactly why the Republican Fat Cats want everything privatized - so they and Wall Street can steal whatever they can from the middle and lower classes. Once we are all poor, what will they do?

As for mathematics regarding the Waltons, I don't have the skill, time or patience to do the math. All that really matters is that some folks just have too much wealth - they sit on it, and it does no good for the country or the world - it helps to create and maintain an unhealthy economic unbalance.


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