December 28, 2009

Dirty little secret of 'government' health care.

It is pretty simple really.
Outside of capital investment such as a CT Scanner or a huge lab, the item which in almost all cases the LARGEST cost of ANY business is always wages/labor.

America has offshored almost all of its manufacturing capability since the end of World War Two.
Manufacturing was the holy grail of working class wages, driven by  "organized" labor and rising standards of living brought on by these decent (if mundane and boring), jobs. Factory labor was often the PRIMARY source of tax revenue, and municipal income.

Then the sharp pencil kids figured out that Japanese, Koreans, Indonesians and others would do the same job for three or four CENTS on the dollar that American labor was charging. A 'new day' in profiteering was begun.

As people began to complain about losing family incomes... another voice was heard from.

Enter stage left those that while reaping the benefits of the increase of dividends on the bottom line made public pronouncements of how WE somehow 'owed' it to these people to raise THEIR standard of living. These same people that were crying in other countries milk neglected to mention that vast numbers of Americans would lose the only decent paying job that their families had EVER had.

Time passes. People adjust. Some retire or are RETIRED forcibly. Some die from Lung Cancer, Silicosis, other things brought on either by the job or by the lifestyle made possible by these jobs and simple human cussedness.

A new generation arrives. Jobs are FOUND for them, specially those with the wherewithal or gumption to morph thru the government training systems and come out degree or certificate in hand.

The new holy grail of American labor? Wait for it..... HEALTHCARE.

NOW in order for the stage left folks to consolodate POWER wich is the ONLY goal of politics a huge RUSHED push is made to get 'universal healthcare' IMPOSED, even though a quick read of all the plans SHOWS that it won't be "universal".

So... back to point 'a'... the LARGEST cost of ANY business, and make NO MISTAKE about it 'heath care' IS a BUSINESS is always wages/labor.

All those kids that went into the medical arena are about to be factory workers, EXCEPT instead of the jobs going AWAY they will be DRAFTED at some lower form of compensation, whether it is simply fewer of the 'gravy' billings that everyone has gotten used to OR some form of government IMPOSED fee structure.

The fat cats will never lose a dime but the nurses, the radiologists, the clerks and the maintenance people will see a drop in the standard of living BEYOND that their parents did.

And this time???? where will THEIR kids go for work.

December 18, 2009

My first experience with the shortfalls of academia.

My first experience with the shortfalls of academia.

It was May 5, 1961 and I was in elementary school.
Alan Sheppard sat atop a Redstone Rocket in what was then Cape Canaveral, Florida. I was in Port Orange a scant 35-40 miles down the Intracoastal Waterway, a block or two from the water.

In years to come I stood on my dock and watched the Double , then Triple manned test ships lift from the Cape, often able to hear and feel the roar. I saw every Moon shot from that dock and listened to Uncle Walter telling us about the brave new future.

Back to that morning in 1961, the powers that be had  jammed about 160 of us into the auditorium to look at a grainy, black and white picture on what had to have been a nineteen inch teevee.

When the view was far better in the real world outside.

Things have not improved much in academia.

December 10, 2009

Ghosts of eBay.

In about 1963-4 we went back to Colorado to get Grandads, (Dad's Dad), old Dodge. We took it home to Florida when he moved in with my Uncle in N. Carolina.
Moms Mother had a 1961 Chrysler too with the big fins on the back. she drove along with us.
About two months ago I got this postcard off of eBay for a couple of bucks of the little motel right up near the house.
The more I looked at it the more it nagged me till I blew it up.
The FIRST NIGHT we were home, for reasons I no longer remember, after going back to get the car, we stayed at that hotel...
This was shot early in the morning!
what are the ODDS?!?!?!

December 1, 2009

When morning comes.

November 26, 2009
Today begins the second year without a family of any kind.
Oh Mom actually died the thirtieth, just her and I here alone.
In spite of all of the Hospice, and the former long-time hospice nurse, Renda that used us to ego-up,... assurances that it wouldn't happen that way.

But it is today, by my choice, that I choose to begin the second year.
It was Thanksgiving afternoon that I decided to put that hospice bird in,
For something to keep busy with as much as anything,
and almost the last time Mom spoke to me.

She came back from where she was going... to visit here,
looked up at me from the hospital bed in the living room and said, "what's going on?"
I had already had to explain to her three times that she was dying,
And I just didn't have it in me to do again so I said "I'm cooking a Turkey".

"What the hell for?" was her reply.
"It was thawed out and not enough room in the freezer for it"
Was my answer, and she was gone again.
I finished cooking that day, stayed awake for two more,... deathwatch alone.

The last thing she said to me hours before she died was,
"I'm so worried about leaving you here alone",  she'd been assured I wouldn't be…
When she was bright-eyed, sitting at her craft bench working and asked directly.
By someone who made now admits proudly she made no effort at all to do so.

Mom kept the blood pumping, the breath going till
It was no longer my birthday, did not leave me with that,
as well as the assertion that according to Renda I wasn't worth any effort in ANY way, from someone so selfish as to come into our lives, then denigrate them and leave BOTH of us hanging knowing full well what they were from the start, simply to feel good about her own.

Friends tell me not to dwell on this, and most times I do not,
But as I told the woman who spent ten years with me recently, NO ONE is more amazed that I survived all this relatively intact than am I, and no one could have anticipated such interweaving.

I did my job, I completed my mission, I did not shirk.
Mom was terrified for me at the end and even though it added to my burden I  lied and told her "It's OK, I've met somebody…"
Once again, two years on, when morning comes I will be alone.

Now... if I bring this up I am scorned by the perpetrator as interfering
with her LATEST happiness and threatened with legal action for telling the truth.
Shunned by that sorority of women that caused John Updike to state
“How do you write women so well? I think of a man and I take away reason and accountability.”

There have been others here since, for I'm not shy, or terribly ugly,
But the thought that someone would do that to another in that kind of stress simply to make themselves feel good about themselves, released by $3500 in job bonuses...
That would give a stone pause, in pursuit of companionship.

Night after night the dog and I watch Law & Order on teevee,
Monster after monster paraded to 'justice',... almost universally male.
Because advertisers know that women hold the purse strings
For the soap and sneaker culture that teevee runs on.

But often now I wonder, having run off all applicants
Who makes the monsters?
Who breaks the men?
And perhaps John Updike was understating the situation.