Republicans and teabaggers are constantly saying that we shouldn't be spending taxpayer's money on healthcare reform in a time when unemployment is so high and our economy is in such bad shape. I gave that some thought and realized that the people who helped us get into our economic mess in the first place are the last people that should be giving us economic advice. Those right wing guys seem to get their fiscal advice from the Wall Streeters and bankers who got us into our current precarious situation. The irony is that the Democrats are getting their advice from those very same people, that's what I call change that is deceiving.
I will be the first to tell you that I am not an economist, nor do I consider myself to be an expert on that subject by any means. What I do have going for myself in that area of expertise is my God given common sense, the same common sense that tells me that I shouldn't run while carrying scissors or unplug an electric power cord when my hands are wet. I have decided to use my awesome super-human Wade power of common sense for the good of mankind, womankind and our nation to come up with several immutable laws of common sense economics that could help get us out of our current fiscal morass, or not.
Without any further adieu, in increasing order of importance,
WADE'S FISCAL RULES TO LIVE BY, OR NOT:
Rule 1 –Ya can't spend what ya ain't got! When you pull out the plastic and charge something, you are not getting your purchase for free, that debt can be generating high interest charges for years. If you must use credit cards, only buy what you can comfortably pay off before it generates interest charges.
Carefully read all notices from your credit card company as they could be notices of a change in terms , more fees, higher interest, etc.
Rule 2 – In most cases, financial institutions are not there to help the little guy or gal. Your bank isn't usually your friend and your insurance company isn't usually on your side. Find a credit union for your banking. Be extremely careful and read the fine print when buying insurance. Verbal promises don't mean a thing, get everything in writing.
Rule 3 – Unions are your friend! If you are represented by a union, give thanks to God. You are in the enviable position of having a negotiated contract that gets you a higher than average rate of pay, decent benefits and a modicum of job stability. If your co workers are talking about unionizing your workplace, give it serious consideration. If you have relatives or friends who live in a right to work state (a state that has a law that makes it hard to unionize a company), let them know that unions can benefit them and they shouldn't believe any anti union propaganda they've heard in the workplace. Here's a little union humor: What is the mating call of an anti union employee in a right to work state? You want fries with that?
Rule 4 – For the working person, there is nothing “free” about free trade! Free trade is the main cause of our current economic problems. America is becoming a nation with no product. Short-sighted, unpatriotic corporations manufacture overseas and are looking at foreign countries as “lucrative” places to sell their wares. They are trying to sell their stuff overseas because they know that they outsourced your job and you can no longer afford their products. To sum it up, to our corporations, Americans are neither employees nor customers, we just live here! Things must change!! That leads me to rule 5.
Rule 5 – Support issues, not parties! As Democrats, most of us feel that the Republicans represent corporate interests and our party represents working people. If that were the case, how do we explain Bill Clinton's strong support of free trade during his administration? The truth of the matter is that corporate lobbyists have the ears of BOTH parties, the Republicans are just more blatant in their pro-corporate stance. As we saw during the healthcare debates, the republicans took a unified position against any healthcare bill, the Democrats had their Blue Dogs getting concessions that diluted the healthcare bill. The take away from that is if we want change we can really believe in, we have to let our representatives know that they can ONLY count on our votes, if they fully support OUR issues. We should also let the Democrats know that, as working people, we are prepared to throw our support to a progressive third party.
Now did I tell you something that you don't instinctively already know? That's how common sense economics works, ignore the other kind, it's gotten us into too much trouble.
Due to the conservatives' pro business, anti middle class war on the health care bill and on working families, the final version is not the safety blanket American families need. We must continue our fight for single payer health care. To hear what I have to say about it, visit my Listen Here! page.
You are wonderful listeners, who are a joy to tweet with on Twitter and never cease to amaze me. Could you please do me a favor and pass the following message along to any of your friends, acquaintances or associates who actually support and believe the nonsense that the Tea Party and Republicans have been spewing about the Healthcare bill.
Ok, here goes:
Listen-up sport!!! Let me explain a few basic concepts to you, because no one has had any luck getting them past your 30 sec. sound bite attention span. First of all, even though I have no connection with them, on behalf of America's insurance corporations, I want to thank you for following the commands of your favorite conservative radio talk show hosts and cable network.
All of the hours that you spent waving your misspelled protest signs and shouting profanities and racial insults at the top of your lungs weren't in vain, they helped them increase their profits. They also want you to know, that ALL they are going to give you for that is a quick thanks and want me to remind you that should you have a pre-existing condition, it's still your tough luck and you can expect your premiums to go up like everyone else's. By the way, don't expect them to lower YOUR rates, that would be Socialism. Don't forget that this is America and they are in business to make a profit. You wouldn't want to deny them that, would you? You would then be considered to be a Progressive/Socialist/Lefty, like anyone who believes that you should not deny healthcare to people who can't afford it.
Keep up the good work and the insurance company CEO's will let you wave as you drive past their mansions. America's corporations also asked me to tell those of you who are anti-union and still think that you are part of the "middle class" to get back to work, those burgers and fries aren't going to cook themselves.
If you are between 40 and 64 years old and unemployed, you've probably found that it's virtually impossible to find a job. Age discrimnation is the rule, rather than the exception in the "good old USA". To find out more about this sad state of affairs, visit my Listen Here! page.
If you are between 40 and 64, please take this poll:
After spending an enjoyable day cheering on our courageous health insurance protesters, I was treated to a thoroughly annoying news story on one of the evening network newscasts. The thrust of the story was that insurance companies have taken a new direction in their fight against the upcoming health care legislation. The Insurance people have released advertising that says that insurance company profits have only gone up by a small percentage last year, but health care and pharmaceutical costs have risen dramatically.
That may or may not be so, but one thing the insurance companies don't tell you is that the rise in health care costs can be statistically mitigatged by the fact that all of their insured people are not sick at once, that is to say that the healthy insureds ostensibly can offset some of the expense incurred by the unhealthy insureds. That's why insurance companies love to disqualify pre existing conditions and, in some cases refuse to write policies.
I feel that the very reason private health insurance DOESN'T work in our country is, in it's present state, it HAS to disqualify some of it's less healthy potential clients in order to exist. That is to say, if an insurance company has a client base that was largely in poor health, the operating expenses would drive it out of business. That is inconsistent with the idea of getting health care for all.
The insurance companies have a point about the rapid rise in medical and pharmaceutical costs. We should thank them for bringing it to our attention because it tells us that we need to nationalize every aspect of health care to really control it's spiraling costs. Private insurance companies can not regulate health care expenses by law, governments can.
At this point I can hear loud sqeals of protest coming from conservatives. They will say that government shouldn't be in the health care business. I say that health care should have always been a government function because it protects and serves public life and safety in the same way a police or fire department does. We wouldn't think of privatizing our police departments, why should we privatize our health care? Some people might say, doctors sacrifice their lives by spending years in medical school and should be rewarded for their effort. Police, fire and for that matter our military personnel have sacrificed their lives to protect our lives.
Under a national health care model, doctors will be free to be doctors, not businessmen.
The dispute between WABC's parent company, The Walt Disney Co. and Cablevision does more than inconvenience some viewers, it portends a scary trend in the broadcasting industry. To hear about it, visit my Listen Here! page.
This just in: Fifteen minutes into the Academy Awards, WABC restored it's program feed to Cablevision. Gee, thanks a lot Disney & Cablevision, that was big of you!
We have always been concerned when our government attempts to invade our privacy. We should be twice as concerned when big business actually invades our privacy, violates our rights as citizens and hurts our means of earning a living.
What I'm refering to is the pre-employment credit check that is a part of almost every job application these days. I've called it the double whammy on my show because a person who becomes unemployed, through no fault of his or her own will probably fall behind on credit card and or mortgage payments. When a company uses the credit check as part of it's hiring criteria, it guarantees a perpetual cycle of unemployment.
As usual, you can't ask big business to do the right thing, you have to make big business do the right thing. The State of Illinois has pending legislation that addresses that issue, HB4658, The Employee Credit Privacy act. That legislation should be a model for similar federal and state laws.
Stand up for your rights as a citizen and working person. Ask your state and federal representatives to sponsor similar legislation.
Mr. President, I am going to give you some unsolicited free advice. You were elected based on your campaign that pointed out many of the failures of the previous administration and some glaring shortcomings of the American system. When you point out a problem, the implication is that you are prepared to fix it. In other words, if you point it out, you own it.
Pointing out many of those problems can get you elected, but can also be like opening up Pandora's box. You have reminded and, in some cases awakened people to some major inequities in the American system:
To the fact that two percent of the US population control most of the wealth.
To the fact that banks and Wall Street had a party during the Bush administration. To the fact that our health care system sacrifices the heath of many of our citizens to allow others to profit.
If you can't fix those problems, the Republicans and other Right Wing elements will use them against you. Right Wing talk show hosts have openly said that they want you to fail:
You can guarantee failure by seeking a bipartisan solution to those issues. The Republicans will not profit by your success and are willing to take our country down the drain to get back in power.
You can guarantee failure by seeking the approval of the Blue Dogs, they are Republicans dressed up as Democrats.
You can guarantee failure by continuing to court the independent voter at the expense of the principals that got you elected in the first place.
I am a Progressive Democrat and a Progressive radio talk show host, I want you to succeed. In case you don't realize it by now, we were your core supporters during your Presidential campaign. Out of necessity, you had to court unaffiliated voters and disgruntled Republicans. But, to be honest with you, what hurts us the most is when, in the name of bipartisanism, you classify us as the extreme left side of the political spectrum. The take away from this, for ALL Democrats is that you can't be all thing to all people and expect to get re-elected.