Monday, March 18, 2013

Who Profits...? [part two]

Things have just gotten rather interesting here in Europe.  To "save" banks from supposed failure, the EU is taxing The People.  This, without debate, without discussion, and without consent.  People here see quite clearly that the rich will be protected at all costs.

Curious Objects

Zerohedge says it correctly when they said...

"...Let's be quite clear; the European Union has confiscated the private property of the citizens in Cyprus without debate, legislation or Parliamentary agreement...Please note that until yesterday all depositors in Cypriot banks were insured up to the value of €100,000 with any one bank. Today that solemn governmental promise has been shown for what it is; a lie... Nothing now; Nothing is safe!"

On Friday, Jude and I went to share a light meal with our landlords.  Part of our discussion included thoughts on what might happen should The People be pushed too far.

We agreed that here in France, people will not sit by and let things "take their course".  That, we understand, is what happens in the USA.  No one rises up to shout "no!"  No one takes power from the greedy 1%.  Rather, ever more power is given to those at the top of the economic heap.

Curious Objects

In France?  Well, let's just say things will be different.  Time and again, history has shown that the French are quite good at reminding the rich overlords who actually can become quickly in charge here.

The anglo-saxon press has started talking about similar taxes being placed on private bank deposits in Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal.  Afterall, if the Germans and Dutch can pull this little coup on Cyprus, then there's nothing stopping them from doing the same thing to other countries that are in steep debt with the EU.

Though little is being said openly, I imagine people are thinking they might withdrawl their monies to avoid the German/Dutch "bank tax."  If a run on the banks in Europe begins, watch out!  Anything can and will happen.

Curious Objects

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Who profits...?

File this under the heading, "Things that make you go Hmmmm...."

How you Americans can put up with the Greedy Bastards who own the place is beyond me.  What benefit do you actually see from allowing and enabling the top 1% to do what they do?

Here are a few facts to warm up a conversation.
Here are a few facts about how the top 1% is getting wealthier.
This stuff goes on every single day in America and no one blinks an eye.  In fact, a large part of the population are rabid supports of this level of greed.  The top 1% are even called "job creators", when the opposite is actually the truth.  Nice "feel good" dodge from reality, don't you think?

Given the facts: What are you people thinking, that you would allow some people to amass this kind of money while jobs you could perform are sent to China?  Do you really feel that powerless that you do nothing to help yourselves get to a different and better place?

la descente aux enfers

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Black Smoke?

Damn!  No Pappa.  Not yet, at least.  The smoke was black last night.

la descente aux enfers

From watching Telematin this morning it looks like the Men in Dresses have closed the doors and are arm wrestling, or whatever they really do in there, over who will be the next Prince of the Church.

I'm stunned.  But not from what you might think.

You see, my wife and I were in the kitchen cleaning the dishes.  I'd just finished washing a frying pan and Jude was drying it when she put her nose to the pan and said "here, smell this, it still smells like onions."

Being the dutiful and curious husband, I bent forward to put my nose where her's had just been.


Right between my eyes.

I'm stunned and backing up to lean against the frigo.  No time to say "ouch."  No brain capacity to process what just happened.  Yes.  I'm still stunned.  Jude's wet hands felt the pan's sudden shift and could do nothing to prevent the rather minor attack on her husband.

la descente aux enfers

Which brings me to the costs of healthcare here.  Had I needed a doctor, which I don't since the THONK to the head left only a Small Red Spot and there's nothing to be concerned about, it might not have cost me anything.

Here in France, unless something is urgent, you head to the pharmacy first to see if they can diagnose you and provide the right medicine or ointment or treatment.  If it's beyond their ability to help, they will send you on to a regular doctor.  Right then and there you can have an appointment made for the very same day.  Once your doctor's visit is done, you hand the Good Doctor between 21 and 24Euros and go home.

My wife and I carry major medical insurance.  It costs us around 2000USD a year total for the two of us.  And this is the expensive insurance.  Next year we will likely buy into a European plan and the price could drop as much as 40 percent over what we're currently paying.

Back in the United Corporate States of America, we paid 40USD to see a doctor _and_ had the privilege of paying an insurance company to manage, oh, I don't know, maybe how the money was best deposited to the CEO's bank account?  Each month we handed over 1200USD to the greedy unhelpful bastards.  Yes, that is 14,400USD _each and every year_ to claim the right to hold a piece of plastic that said we had something called "insurance."

la descente aux enfers

 See the difference?  Not yet?

OK, how about this: The United Corporate States of Greedy Business Bastards has you ranked number 37 in the world for healthcare.  Yes.  Number thirty seven.

Any guesses on who's Number One (and Everyone Loves a Winner, don't they?) in the world?  Oh dear.  You will have to scroll a Long Way down the Business Insider web page to see it.  So I will not hold you in suspense any longer.  It is France (and Everyone Loves a Winner, unless you are a medical industry CEO who doesn't want you to know you're paying Way Too Much for Every Thing in the UCSofGBB! and no! it is _not_ Mr Obama's fault as his approach is based on the German system of medical care which cuts out the Greedy Bastards and you've been held over a barrel by your Republican "business friendly" hoards for decades).

How can it be that the county that pays the most for health care in the world is ranked so low?

How is it that France provides the best care for it's citizenry at 2/3rd's the cost of the UCSofGBB?

When you take into account denied benefits (thank you UCSofGBB "insurance" companies), the cost of pharmaceuticals (have I yet mentioned that the cost of one of my wife's medicines here is less than 2Euro out of pocket for something we paid 20USD back in the UCSofGBB for the very same thing?), the fact that the medical industry lobbies the UCSofGBB more heavily than any business, and, finally, add the fact that "healthcare" in the UCSofGBB is a For Profit Business (as opposed to being a basic human right that everyone has access to) and you can see what drives cost.

la descente aux enfers

Pure and simple: It is greed.

Meanwhile, here in France, a social system has been in place for many decades that ensures quick, easy, efficient, cost effective access to healthcare.  Heaven forefend I refer to such a social systems as, oh, how shall I put it?, Socialism.

This leads me back to the beginning and il Pappa and the odds on favorite being the Archbishop of Milan.  It's time to turn on the TV to see if the smoke has turned white.  The costs of US medical care are no longer a concern for us, just so long as we stay away from that costly country.

News Update:  Il fume noir!   Nous n'avons pas un Pappa.  Bientot, peut-etre.