Nasty, Brutish & Short

Economy Archives

More socialized medicine horror stories from our friends up north

May 14, 2008 02:29 PM

This time from The Kraalspace, where Dr. Mabuse's 18 year-old daughter is having chronic seizures:

We finally got in to see our GP, after 2 weeks' wait. A week later, Emma went to the General Hospital and had an EEG - it was the middle of the day, not a time when she usually has a problem, so it didn't show up anything too unusual. Except when they started flashing the lights at her - when they got up to 16 pulses per second, her brainwaves started going haywire, so they stopped at that point and didn't do the last 3 levels (I think they can go up to 64 pulses per second).

About 2 weeks later, we finally got the referral to a neurologist at the Civic Hospital. Are you ready for this? The appointment is for August 18. April 4, when she had her big seizure, to August 18 - that's 4.5 months, for an 18-year old girl who is having chronic seizures.

Dr. Mabuse says:

I dream about getting rich, I'm sure many people do. But I never think, "If I had lots of money, I could buy a giant plasma TV and have a computer in every room of the house, and take vacations on a private island in the Caribbean." All I think is, "I'd get my kids the hell out of this dingy backwater, and down the U.S. where they have a decent medical system, and you don't die waiting for a doctor to look at a lump in your breast."

I should point out that Dr. Mabuse lives in Canada's capital city, which hardly needs to be a "dingy backwater," but because of the stupidity of socialism, apparently it is.  Meanwhile, down here in our supposedly "broken" American health care system, I have been shallowly dreaming of plasma tvs and Caribbean vacations.  Even worse, I've been complaining that our private insurer is making us pay the annual deductible for both Mrs. NBS and Baby NBS for the exciting, expensive birth.  I guess they are two people, but I felt the charges ($500 x 2) were outrageous, because it kind of felt like it was "one event" and not two.  But at least no one ended up dead, and when we wanted to stay an extra night, they said no problem.  And they covered the balance of the bill--which was well in excess of $15,000--without batting an eye.

Canada puts it all in perspective though, doesn't it?

Ohio, the Bleeding Heart of it All

May 5, 2008 05:00 PM

Wasn't that our state slogan at some point?  It was something along those lines.  Anyway, here's a story about the late Senator Metzenbaum that brought back fond memories of my grandmother.  How can that be?  Well, my grandmother absolutely despised Howard Metzenbaum.  And this article from the Wall Street Journal would have made her fume all the more:

Former Ohio Senator Howard Metzenbaum, who died in March at age 90, was an ultraliberal as a politician but also a savvy and very rich businessman. Before going to Washington in 1976, he had made a fortune on parking lots.

As a three-term Democrat, he made his reputation in Washington by attacking big business and fighting anything that even hinted of deregulation. His attacks against Clarence Thomas in 1991 prompted a famous retort from the future Supreme Court Justice: "God is my judge, Mr. Metzenbaum, not you."

But we come today not to judge the late Senator, only to praise him for one last act of personal financial acumen. Though a lifelong Ohioan, the Senator moved to Florida in 2002, according to a declaration of domicile filed with the Broward County Clerk's office in 2003. In doing so, he avoided paying his home state's income tax (top rate: 6.55%).

More important as he neared the end of his life, the former Senator also saved his family from paying Ohio's death tax, which features one of the highest state rates (7%) and lowest asset thresholds – $338,333 – in the country. Florida famously has no income or estate tax, which is one reason other than the climate that it is home to so many northern-born retirees.

Howard Metzenbaum thus denied the state in which he lived most of his life a parting financial gift. But he has at least provided the rest of us with a teaching moment in tax policy. If a liberal lion like Metzenbaum is willing to relocate late in life to avoid his state's death tax, maybe living politicians in Ohio will better understand how their confiscatory tax laws are driving its citizens to warmer climes.

Thanks for nothing, Senator.  The only thing that's nice about this is that Clarence Thomas was Senator Metzenbaum's Justice for the last seventeen years, and God is his Judge now.  Everything else makes you want to throw up your hands in despair. 

And speaking of despair: Did you know there are actually business owners in Cincinnati who "live" in Florida, have their families living in Ohio, and who actually go spend the night across the river in Northern Kentucky for X number of nights per year?  You have to be out of the State for enough nights per year to keep the Ohio taxman at bay.  I have clients do it all the time.  Keep your receipts, we tell them.  The government has to know where you sleep at night. 

HT: WMD

Breaking economic news from the New York Times: People are being forced to live within their incomes!

May 1, 2008 07:10 AM

My times are bad, aren't they?  Per the NYT:

As real estate prices plunge, so does the ability of homeowners to borrow against the value of their homes, crimping a major artery of spending. As banks grow tighter with their dollars in a period of uncertainty, families are running up against credit limits, forcing many to live within their incomes.

First, what's so bad about people living within their incomes? And second, if these people are up against their credit limits, THEY STOPPING LIVING WITHIN THEIR INCOME A LONG TIME AGO.

Maybe these people aren't the victims?  Maybe they're actually the ones who deserve the blame for the bad economy? 

Stimulus Package

January 24, 2008 05:02 PM

What I want to know is do we get extra money for the NBS baby even though she won't be born until March, but will be born before the checks start gettin' cut?

I wants to take our babymoney to the Argosy.

Married people to get screwed under Democrats' ecomonic stimulus package

January 18, 2008 11:16 AM

The White House wants tax rebates of $800 per person, or $1,600 per couple.  Democrats want rebates of $500 for individuals who make $85,000 or less, and (it sounds like) $1,000 for couples who make $110,000 or less.

$110,000 is not two times $85,000.

Details are still being worked out, of course.

What would you do with your check from da guvment?  Would you... buy a Hillary Clinton nutcracker from my google ads?  Just an idea, you know.  A small little hint.

But anyway... The Democrats think families who make more than $110,000 won't spend it.  I think they would, they would just spend it on higher ticket items, like durable goods, car downpayments, and domestic travel.  All sectors that are worth stimulating.

Why should we only stimulate convenience stories and Wal-mart?

Financial Advisers Survey: A Democrat in the White House is a bigger threat to the ecomony than global unrest, terrorism and, well, anything else.

January 14, 2008 10:19 AM

From Investment News:

Nothing worries financial advisers more than the prospect of a Democrat's being elected president in November, according to a quarterly poll by Brinker Capital Inc.

The fourth-quarter edition of the Brinker Barometer, which polled 236 advisers in December, found that 22% indicated that a "Democrat in the White House" worried them more than all other economic or geopolitical concerns.

Rounding out the list of concerns was "global unrest" (15%), "U.S. economic growth" (15%), "a terrorist attack" (13%) and "a recession" (13%).

Anyone surprised?