I am sitting here, pen or keyboard in hand and trying to come up with some clever witticisms or pithy comments to assure you and myself that all is well with our world. I am struggling. I want to work on my golf game but I find this gnawing in my gut that can’t be denied. I want to have a conversation that does not involve politics or basketball or SNL but it always keeps coming back like a vortex that wants to suck you in.
Of course I pride myself by the company I keep which is why you are all on such a select list. We are the learned ones, the seers, the titans of industry, medical wizards et alia. If we are all so damn smart why do we have so much strife? The problems from healthcare to education to tax reform to immigration have been out there for years and yet we keep doing the dance. A little sparring, a clinch or two and then back to our respective corners.
I had a conversation last night with an acquaintance just trying to elucidate the top five in our myriad of problem children today. I brought up the fact that a vast majority of baby boomers don’t have bupkus in the bank for retirement. It is not because I am doing okay and they aren’t but rather this is a crisis that we will all share in. His response was somewhat startling. He merely said the government would take care of it. The simplicity of his answer may portend the future.
We boomers are part of a crazy generation. Make love not war was the catchphrase and Woodstock would go on forever. Just smoke a toke and all your troubles will go away. While in Hawaii some very old hippies came into the ice cream store and you could see they were just waiting for the next big wave. Forget about what means of support they had presently as opposed when they are old and broken do we all foot the bill? I guess Uncle Sam will and ultimately you and me.
On the subject of healthcare there seems to be a bigger piece than who pays for what. Did it ever occur to any of us there is a finite amount of money we can throw at the problem? We spend $10,000 per person per year on healthcare. I don’t know about you but I don’t. And it goes higher and higher. Do we do away with roads, bridges, defense and other sciences and put it all into medical costs and Social Security? Can we pay $300,000 for a drug to extend someone’s life for three months when they are 85 years old? Don’t even raise that question TTG. We are a civil society no matter what the cost. The inability to address that could just bring that little Fantasyland down big time.
Immigration reform is insanity. I get a number of emails from very well meaning people about one side or the other. The nightly news will bring story after story of a family busted up because of a deportation. The tears and mayhem give everyone the guilts.On the other hand people will raise a defiant hand saying this land is our land and no one else’s. Send them sons of bitches back. Nice rhetoric that leaves out any sense of practicality. If we sent them all back who will cut lawns, wait tables or staff our hospitals and yes do important research? In sheer demographics with the number of people reaching retirement age we are going to become woefully short of just enough people to work and pay taxes that will support SS and Medicare. Sorry. Don’t know what I was thinking.
Where do we go? A former classmate from Georgetown, Roger Altman wrote an oped for the Wall Street Journal about what the Dems have to do to get back in power. A very well written piece but to me it consisted of structural deficiencies as it only related to gerrymandering and getting younger people involved. I was hoping to see more of a trend to less emotional and more business like approaches to the above and more. Chaos reigns in DC right now and indeed we need a totally new approach rather than refining one’s message. Admittedly he hoped for this but in our populist world is it possible?
It seems we have left the planning to those who have ascended to power and the bureaucrats alike.One is based on glad-handing and the other is lauded for consistency and perpetuating programs. Mr Altman does point out that if the managers of the Democratic party were in a corporation they would all be fired for poor results. As a country both on national and local levels we do have a zillion dollar business and we are its stockholders.
The current playbook of the Donald is being decried for its lack of transparency. Rex Tillerson has not held a news conference. Wilbur Ross was wearing Gucci slippers to the State of Chaos address. This is really getting nuts. True they will be taking hatchets not scalpels to various programs. I am not a Trumpists but can anyone tell me the old way is better?
We are truly in a critical situation. It has been created by an egotistical and terribly sensitive CEO, a press that is in a frenzy of salacious detail and politicians that have more time in front of microphones that they do in their committees. Shut down the tweets. Turn down the blare on reporting. Disband the dais and bands of brothers and sisters appearing on capitol steps throughout our country. Lock everybody up on a farm in Idaho and don’t let them out until there is substantive progress is made. No press. No phones. No leaks.
Then we have a shareholder meeting where we can question and vote down management if we deem them inadequate. No golden parachutes. No cushy deals. Just results. Sound impossible? Maybe. But then again Trump did get elected didn’t he? Wonders never cease.
Ted The Great
When President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law over 80 years ago this month, he said that while “ we can never insure one hundred percent of the population against one hundred percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life … we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age.” Hmmm! 4.9% of GDP
• Per capita national health expenditures: $9,523 (2014)
• Total national health expenditures: $3.0 trillion (2014)
• Total national health expenditures as a percent of Gross Domestic Product: 17.5%
• Percent of national health expenditures for hospital care: 32.1% (2014)
• Percent of national health expenditures for nursing care facilities and continuing care retirement communities: 5.1% (2014)
• Percent of national health expenditures for physician and clinical services: 19.9% (2014)
• Percent of national health expenditures for prescription drugs: 9.8% (2014)
There were 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. in 2014,
The U.S. civilian workforce included 8 million unauthorized immigrants in 2014, accounting for 5% of those who were working or were unemployed and looking for work,
Mexicans made up 52% of all unauthorized immigrants in 2014, though their numbers had been declining in recent years.
The US admits approximately 1,000,000 legal immigrants per year.
Six states accounted for 59% of unauthorized immigrants in 2014: California, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey and Illinois
A rising share of unauthorized immigrants have lived in the U.S. for at least a decade.