Friday, February 17, 2017

Q&A - 17/2

Tony Blair

[Scottish] independence case is 'more credible' after Brexit

True

Foxconn CEO

[From his open letter to Donald Trump] When Apple told me to start making iPhones in Brazil to get around import tariffs, I made it happen [..] I just exported pre-fabricated iPhones for the locals to slot together -- kind of like Lego -- but it got the job done. And by job, I mean kept Apple's and Brazil's leaders happy.

Ha Ha 

News

Japan is putting together a package it says could generate 700,000 U.S. jobs and help create a $450-billion market, to present to U.S. President Donald Trump next week, government sources familiar with the plans said.

Sounds too good to be true

They could be shit jobs like ones described by Foxconn CEO above (FC is the Apple iPhone manufacturer in China).

News

House Republican leaders on Thursday presented their rank-and-file members with the outlines of their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, leaning heavily on tax credits to finance individual insurance purchases

Tax Credit - No Good

There are restrictions on who can qualify for tax credits, having a job or a business (therefore paying taxes) is one.  Health insurance help must be direct, with no strings attached. See Canada, Australia - they have single-payer healthcare.

IMO providing healthcare for all is like infrastructure spending. Why is infrastructure spending good? It is good (if spent on right infrastructure) because it is given to ALL citizens. Here, I built a road and I AM GIVING IT TO YOU. You can't build a road that only a few can travel on. There are no roads for black people, for Asian people, for the poor, for the whites, or for the elderly. Once you build a road, everyone benefits. It is this aspect of infrastructure that helps the economy.

In a post-industrial, fast-moving, third-wave economy, free healthcare is that direct help. In the new age taking care of people's basic needs is of paramount importance, because the economy is too dynamic, uncertainties too high, the stresses caused by immense transitions need to be taken care of. Someone could be between jobs -- during that time, no healthcare, no tax credit.

A lot of citizens need help on these basic issues. Millions still have no insurance. 50 million people are on food stamps in America. People need to be out on the streets demanding this shit, but instead you see protests on "women issues" -- which only trigger anti-abortion reaction from the other side, there is bunch of useless rhetoric, and all of a sudden the discussion is back in the "familiar" territory. This might please some of the darker and shadier corners of the US government, but it is not what people need. Not by a long shot.

News

What is happening in Germany is the kind of Trump bump perhaps never foreseen by his supporters - a boost not for the German nationalists viewed as Trump’s natural allies but for his fiercest critics in the centre left. The Social Democrats (SPD) have bounced back under the charismatic Martin Schulz, the former head of the European Parliament who took over as party chairman last month and is now staging a surprisingly strong bid to unseat Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In a country that stands as a painful example of the disastrous effects of radical nationalism, Schulz is building a campaign in part around bold attacks on Trump.

Now I know this guy is a player

Apparently he stopped short of using the "N-word". But what he is doing is tactically sound. He is attacking hard, but since Merkel is the sitting chancellor she can't "go there" - at least not in the intensity that an opposition candidate can. So he discovered an advantage and is pressing for it. Tactics aside - both candidates are strong - the outcome is a win-win for Germany. 

Health Apocalypse Now

Link Much of my time for the past year has been spent navigating the medical maze on behalf of my mother, who has dementia. I obser...