Economical Insurance Quotes

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In the United States especially, politics and economics don’t mix well. Politicians have all sorts of reasons to pass all sorts of laws that, as well-meaning as they may be, fail to account for the way real people respond to real-world incentives.
Steven D. Levitt (SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance)
What I didn’t say was: I know you too well. You live your life idealistically. You think it’s possible to opt out of the system. No regular income, no health insurance. You quit jobs on a dime. You think this is freedom but I still see the bare, painstakingly cheap way you live, the scrimping and saving, and that is not freedom either. You move in circumscribed circles. You move peripherally, on the margins of everything, pirating movies and eating dollar slices. I used to admire this about you, how fervently you clung to your beliefs—I called it integrity—but five years of watching you live this way has changed me. In this world, money is freedom. Opting out is not a real choice.
Ling Ma (Severance)
He became convinced that ordinary commercial financing could be done for a service charge plus an insurance fee amounting to much less that the current rates of interest charged by banks, whose rates were based on supply and demand, treating money as a commodity rather than as a sovereign state's means of exchange.
Robert A. Heinlein (For Us, the Living: A Comedy of Customs)
We deem it opportune to remind our children of their duty to take an active part in public life and to contribute toward the attainment of the common good of the entire human family as well as to that of their own political community. They should endeavor, therefore, in the light of their Christian faith and led by love, to insure that the various institutions—whether economic, social, cultural or political in purpose—should be such as not to create obstacles, but rather to facilitate or render less arduous man’s perfecting of himself in both the natural order and the supernatural.... Every believer in this world of ours must be a spark of light, a center of love, a vivifying leaven amidst his fellow men. And he will be this all the more perfectly, the more closely he lives in communion with God in the intimacy of his own soul
Pope John XXIII (Pacem in Terris: On Establishing Universal Peace)
Life insurance ads merely insinuate that he may be guilty of dying without having provided for the smooth continuation of the system following the resultant economic loss, while the promoters of the “American way of death” stress his capacity to preserve most of the appearances of life in his post-mortem state. On all the other fronts of advertising bombardment it is strictly forbidden to grow old. Everybody is urged to economize on their “youth-capital,” though such capital, however carefully managed, has little prospect of attaining the durable and cumulative properties of economic capital. This social absence of death coincides with the social absence of life.
Guy Debord (Society of the Spectacle)
Michael Parenti has observed: The objective is not just power for its own sake but power to insure plutocratic control of the planet, power to privatize and deregulate the economies of every nation in the world, to hoist upon the backs of peoples everywhere – including the people of North America – the blessings of an untrammeled ‘free market’ corporate capitalism. The struggle is between those who believe that the land, labor, capital, technology, and markets of the world should be dedicated to maximizing capital accumulation for the few, and those who believe that these things should be used for the communal benefit and socio-economic development of the many.16
William Blum (America's Deadliest Export: Democracy The Truth about US Foreign Policy and Everything Else)
And a young man with every reason to work—a wife-to-be to support and a baby on the way—carelessly tossing aside a good job with excellent health insurance. More troublingly, when it was all over, he thought something had been done to him. There is a lack of agency here—a feeling that you have little control over your life and a willingness to blame everyone but yourself. This is distinct from the larger economic landscape of modern America. It’s
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
When the solution to a given problem doesn’t lay right before our eyes, it is easy to assume that no solution exists. But history has shown again and again that such assumptions are wrong. This is not to say the world is perfect. Nor that all progress is always good. Even widespread societal gains inevitably produce losses for some people. That’s why the economist Joseph Schumpeter referred to capitalism as “creative destruction.” But humankind has a great capacity for finding technological solutions to seemingly intractable problems, and this will likely be the case for global warming. It isn’t that the problem isn’t potentially large. It’s just that human ingenuity—when given proper incentives—is bound to be larger. Even more encouraging, technological fixes are often far simpler, and therefore cheaper, than the doomsayers could have imagined. Indeed, in the final chapter of this book we’ll meet a band of renegade engineers who have developed not one but three global-warming fixes, any of which could be bought for less than the annual sales tally of all the Thoroughbred horses at Keeneland auction house in Kentucky.
Steven D. Levitt (SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance)
Historically one of the main defects of constitutional government has been the failure to insure the fair value of political liberty. The necessary corrective steps have not been taken, indeed, they never seem to have been seriously entertained. Disparities in the distribution of property and wealth that far exceed what is compatible with political equality have generally been tolerated by the legal system. Public resources have not been devoted to maintaining the institutions required for the fair value of political liberty. Essentially the fault lies in the fact that the democratic political process is at best regulated rivalry; it does not even in theory have the desirable properties that price theory ascribes to truly competitive markets. Moreover, the effects of injustices in the political system are much more grave and long lasting than market imperfections. Political power rapidly accumulates and becomes unequal; and making use of the coercive apparatus of the state and its law, those who gain the advantage can often assure themselves of a favored position. Thus inequities in the economic and social system may soon undermine whatever political equality might have existed under fortunate historical conditions. Universal suffrage is an insufficient counterpoise; for when parties and elections are financed not by public funds but by private contributions, the political forum is so constrained by the wishes of the dominant interests that the basic measures needed to establish just constitutional rule are seldom properly presented. These questions, however, belong to political sociology. 116 I mention them here as a way of emphasizing that our discussion is part of the theory of justice and must not be mistaken for a theory of the political system. We are in the way of describing an ideal arrangement, comparison with which defines a standard for judging actual institutions, and indicates what must be maintained to justify departures from it.
John Rawls (A Theory of Justice)
One of the worst results of the retention of the Keynesian myths is that it not only promotes greater and greater inflation, but that it systematically diverts attention from the real causes of our unemployment, such as excessive union wage-rates, minimum wage laws, excessive and prolonged unemployment insurance, and overgenerous relief payments.
Henry Hazlitt (Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics)
No country without a revolution or a military defeat and subsequent occupation has ever experienced such a sharp a shift in the distribution of earnings as America has in the last generation. At no other time have median wages of American men fallen for more than two decades. Never before have a majority of American workers suffered real wage reductions while the per capita domestic product was advancing. Beside falling real wages, America's other economic problems pale into insignificance. The remedies lie in major public and private investments in research and development and in creating skilled workers to insure that tomorrow's high-wage, brain-power industries generate much of their employment in the United States. Yet if one looks at the weak policy proposals of both Democrats and Republicans, ‘it is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Lester Carl Thurow
The worst continued to worsen. What looked one day like the end proved on the next day to have been only the beginning. Nothing could have been more ingeniously designed to maximize the suffering, and also to insure that as few people as possible escape the common misfortune. The fortunate speculator who had funds to answer the first margin call presently got another and equally urgent one, and if he met that there would still be another. In the end all the money he had was extracted from him and lost. The man with the smart money, who was safely out of the market when the first crash came, naturally went back in to pick up bargains. The bargains then suffered a ruinous fall. Even the man who waited for volume of trading to return to normal and saw Wall Street become as placid as a produce market, and who then bought common stocks would see their value drop to a third or a fourth of the purchase price in the next 24 months. The Coolidge bull market was a remarkable phenomenon. The ruthlessness of its liquidation was, in its own way, equally remarkable.
John Kenneth Galbraith (The Great Crash 1929)
The motivation for taking on debt is to buy assets or claims rising in price. Over the past half-century the aim of financial investment has been less to earn profits on tangible capital investment than to generate “capital” gains (most of which take the form of debt-leveraged land prices, not industrial capital). Annual price gains for property, stocks and bonds far outstrip the reported real estate rents, corporate profits and disposable personal income after paying for essential non-discretionary spending, headed by FIRE [Finance, Insurance, Real Estate]-sector charges.
Michael Hudson (The Bubble and Beyond)
Climate change denialists are therefore engaged in intergenerational economic warfare on their own societies. They won’t witness the worst aspects of climate change—luckily for them they’ll die before they occur. But their children and grandchildren will be affected by them. The refusal of older people, and particularly old white males, to accept the need for climate action shifts costs that they themselves are causing onto their descendants, all of whom will pay higher prices, higher taxes and higher insurance premiums and enjoy poorer health, lower economic growth and fewer jobs because of climate change. Denialists are a form of economic parasite preying on their own offspring, running up a bill they’ll die before having to pay. And every year of delay increases the costs that future generations will have to bear.
Bernard Keane (A Short History of Stupid: The Decline of Reason and Why Public Debate Makes Us Want to Scream)
One powerful feature of a market economy is that it directs resources to their most productive use. Why doesn’t Brad Pitt sell automobile insurance? Because it would be an enormous waste of his unique talents.
Charles Wheelan (Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science)
What gives modern society a superficial appearance of individualism, independence, and self-reliance is the vanishing of the ties that formerly linked individuals into small-scale communities. Today, nuclear families commonly have little connection to their next-door neighbors or even to their cousins. Most people have friends, but friends nowadays tend to use each other only for entertainment. They do not usually cooperate in economic or other serious, practical activities, nor do they offer each other much physical or economic security. If you become disabled, you don’t expect your friends to support you. You depend on insurance or on the welfare department.
Theodore J. Kaczynski (Technological Slavery)
In fact, they are not taught in any university departments: the dynamics of debt, and how the pattern of bank lending inflates land prices, or national income accounting and the rising share absorbed by rent extraction in the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE) sector. There was only one way to learn how to analyze these topics: to work for banks. Back in the 1960s there was barely a hint that these trends would become a great financial bubble.
Michael Hudson (Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy)
The portentous development of our present economic system, leading to a mighty accumulation of social wealth in the hands of privileged minorities and to a continuous impoverishment of the great masses of the people, prepared the way for the present political and social reaction, and befriended it in every way. It sacrificed the general interests of human society to the private interests of individuals, and thus systematically undermined the relationship between man and man. People forgot that industry is not an end in itself, but should be only a means to insure to man his material subsistence and to make accessible to him the blessings of a higher intellectual culture. Where industry is everything and man is nothing begins the realm of a ruthless economic despotism whose workings are no less disastrous than those of any political despotism. The two mutually augment one another, and they are fed from the same source.
Rudolf Rocker (Anarcho-Syndicalism: Theory and Practice (Working Classics))
Most important of all: in our anxiety to "improve" the world and insure "progress" we have permitted our schools to become laboratories for social and economic change according to the predilections of the professional educators. We have forgotten that the proper function of the school is to transmit the cultural heritage of one generation to the next generation, and to so train the minds of the new generation as to make them capable of absorbing ancient learning and applying it to the problem of its own day. The
Barry M. Goldwater (The Conscience of a Conservative)
After the New Deal, economists began referring to America’s retirement-finance model as a “three-legged stool.” This sturdy tripod was composed of Social Security, private pensions, and combined investments and savings. In recent years, of course, two of those legs have been kicked out. Many Americans saw their assets destroyed by the Great Recession; even before the economic collapse, many had been saving less and less. And since the 1980s, employers have been replacing defined-benefit pensions that are funded by employers and guarantee a monthly sum in perpetuity with 401(k) plans, which often rely on employee contributions and can run dry before death. Marketed as instruments of financial liberation that would allow workers to make their own investment choices, 401(k)s were part of a larger cultural drift in America away from shared responsibilities toward a more precarious individualism. Translation: 401(k)s are vastly cheaper for companies than pension plans. “Over the last generation, we have witnessed a massive transfer of economic risk from broad structures of insurance, including those sponsored by the corporate sector as well as by government, onto the fragile balance sheets of American families,” Yale political scientist Jacob S. Hacker writes in his book The Great Risk Shift. The overarching message: “You are on your own.
Jessica Bruder (Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century)
No one ever asks "Why are you married?" even though the question is just as valid as "Why are you single?" After all, people marry for many reasons other than pure love--fear of being alone, a desire for biological children, economic security, social status, health insurance.
Sara Eckel
By relying primarily on voluntary co-operation and private enterprise, in both economic and other activities, we can insure that the private sector is a check on the powers of the governmental sector and an effective protection of freedom of speech, of religion, and of thought.
Milton Friedman (Capitalism and Freedom)
A statistician for the Prudential Insurance Company predicted the imminent extinction of Black people in his epic book that relied on the 1890 census figures. Unlike the Plessy ruling, Frederick Hoffman’s Race Traits and Tendencies of the American Negro received plenty of attention in 1896. Packed with statistical tables and published by the American Economic Association, the book was a pioneering work in American medical research, and it catapulted Hoffman into scientific celebrity in the Western world as the heralded father of American public health. At “the time of emancipation,” he wrote, southern Blacks were “healthy in body and cheerful in mind.” “What are the conditions thirty years after?” Well, “in the plain language of the facts,” free Blacks were headed toward “gradual extinction,” pulled down by their natural immoralities, law-breaking, and diseases. Hoffman supplied his employer with an excuse for its discriminatory policies concerning African Americans—that is, for denying them life insurance. White life insurance companies refused to insure a supposedly dying race. Yet another racist idea was produced to defend a racist policy.3
Ibram X. Kendi (Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America)
Romantic literature often presents the individual as somebody caught in a struggle against the state and the market. Nothing could be further from the truth. The state and the market are the mother and father of the individual, and the individual can survive only thanks to them. The market provides us with work, insurance and a pension. If we want to study a profession, the government’s schools are there to teach us. If we want to open a business, the bank loans us money. If we want to build a house, a construction company builds it and the bank gives us a mortgage, in some cases subsidised or insured by the state. If violence flares up, the police protect us. If we are sick for a few days, our health insurance takes care of us. If we are debilitated for months, social security steps in. If we need around-the-clock assistance, we can go to the market and hire a nurse – usually some stranger from the other side of the world who takes care of us with the kind of devotion that we no longer expect from our own children. If we have the means, we can spend our golden years at a senior citizens’ home. The tax authorities treat us as individuals, and do not expect us to pay the neighbours’ taxes. The courts, too, see us as individuals, and never punish us for the crimes of our cousins. Not only adult men, but also women and children, are recognised as individuals. Throughout most of history, women were often seen as the property of family or community. Modern states, on the other hand, see women as individuals, enjoying economic and legal rights independently of their family and community. They may hold their own bank accounts, decide whom to marry, and even choose to divorce or live on their own. But the liberation of the individual comes at a cost. Many of us now bewail the loss of strong families and communities and feel alienated and threatened by the power the impersonal state and market wield over our lives. States and markets composed of alienated individuals can intervene in the lives of their members much more easily than states and markets composed of strong families and communities. When neighbours in a high-rise apartment building cannot even agree on how much to pay their janitor, how can we expect them to resist the state? The deal between states, markets and individuals is an uneasy one. The state and the market disagree about their mutual rights and obligations, and individuals complain that both demand too much and provide too little. In many cases individuals are exploited by markets, and states employ their armies, police forces and bureaucracies to persecute individuals instead of defending them. Yet it is amazing that this deal works at all – however imperfectly. For it breaches countless generations of human social arrangements. Millions of years of evolution have designed us to live and think as community members. Within a mere two centuries we have become alienated individuals. Nothing testifies better to the awesome power of culture.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
After the first lot of policyholders universally claimed to have lost their cattle, they decided that in order to claim that an animal had died, the owner would need to show the ear of the dead cow. The result was a robust market in cows’ ears: Any cow that died, insured or not, would have its ear cut off and the ear would then be sold to those who had insured a cow. That way they could claim the insurance and keep their cow. In
Abhijit V. Banerjee (Poor Economics: Rethinking Poverty & the Ways to End it)
The pity is that many Americans outside the elite bubbles know exactly what’s wrong, but our leaders seem determined to do nothing about it. Any attempt to cut the government chains and anchors off businesses so they can get back to growing, innovating, and creating jobs is demagogued as “tax breaks for the rich” or “favors for the one-percenters.” Never mind that many of those who would benefit are small-business owners who’ve been decimated over the past few years, first by the economic meltdown, then by government policies put in place to “fix” it. The money printed by the Fed to keep the economy pumped up flows to Wall Street, not Main Street, so small businesses aren’t borrowing it to pay for expansion. Even if they wanted to expand, about a third of all U.S. workers are employed by businesses with fifty or fewer employees, and Obamacare insures that if they hire a fifty-first, they’ll face crippling new costs for mandated health care.
Mike Huckabee (God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy: and the Dad-Gummed Gummint That Wants to Take Them Away)
it was England that shone as Hamilton’s true lodestar in public finance. Back in the 1690s, the British had set up the Bank of England, enacted an excise tax on spirits, and funded its public debt—that is, pledged specific revenues to insure repayment of its debt. During the eighteenth century, it had vastly expanded that public debt. Far from weakening the country, it had produced manifold benefits. Public credit had enabled England to build up the Royal Navy, to prosecute wars around the world, to maintain a global commercial empire. At the same time, government bonds issued to pay for the debt galvanized the economy, since creditors could use them as collateral for loans. By imitating British practice, Hamilton did not intend to make America subservient to the former mother country, as critics claimed. His objective was to promote American prosperity and self-sufficiency and make the country ultimately less reliant on British capital. Hamilton wanted to use British methods to defeat Britain economically.
Ron Chernow (Alexander Hamilton)
The nature of the present economic crisis illustrates very clearly the need for departures from unmitigated and unrestrained self-seeking in order to have a decent society. Even John McCain, the 2008 U.S. Republican presidential candidate, complained constantly in his campaign speeches of “the greed of Wall Street.” Smith had a diagnosis for this: he called promoters of excessive risk in search of profits “prodigals and projectors”—which, by the way, is quite a good description of many of the entrepreneurs of credit swaps insurances and subprime mortgages over the recent past.
Adam Smith (The Theory of Moral Sentiments)
Billions of dollars, trying unsuccessfully to keep drugs out of the world’s most porous border? One-tenth of the anti-drug budget going into education and treatment, nine-tenths of those billions into interdiction? And not enough money from anywhere going into the root causes of the drug problem itself. And the billions spent keeping drug offenders locked up in prison, the cells now so crowded we have to give early release to murderers. Not to mention the fact that two-thirds of all the “non-drug” offenses in America are committed by people high on dope or alcohol. And our solutions are the same futile non-solutions—build more prisons, hire more police, spend more and more billions of dollars not curing the symptoms while we ignore the disease. Most people in my area who want to kick drugs can’t afford to get into a treatment program unless they have blue-chip health insurance, which most of them don’t. And there’s a six-month-to-two-year waiting list to get a bed in a subsidized treatment program. We’re spending almost $2 billion poisoning cocaine crops and kids over here, while there’s no money at home to help someone who wants to get off drugs. It’s insanity.
Don Winslow (The Power of the Dog (Power of the Dog, #1))
THE BRANCH OF ECONOMICS concerned with issues like inflation, recessions, and financial shocks is known as macroeconomics. When the economy is going well, macroeconomists are lauded as heroes; when it turns sour, as it did recently, they catch a lot of the blame. In either case, the headlines go to the macroeconomists. We hope that after reading this book, you’ll realize there is a whole different breed of economist out there—microeconomists—lurking in the shadows. They seek to understand the choices that individuals make, not just in terms of what they buy but also how often they wash their hands and whether they become terrorists.
Steven D. Levitt (SuperFreakonomics, Illustrated edition: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance)
In times of crisis you either deepen democracy, or you go to the other extreme and become totalitarian. Our struggles for democracy have taught us some important and valuable lessons. Over a million citizen activists of all ethnic groups, mostly young people, made history by going door to door, urging voters to go to the polls and send Barack Obama to the White House in 2008. We did this because we believed and hoped that this charismatic black man could bring about the transformational changes we urgently need at this time on the clock of the world, when the U.S. empire is unraveling and the American pursuit of unlimited economic growth has reached its social and ecological limits. We have since witnessed the election of our first black president stir increasingly dangerous counterrevolutionary resentments in a white middle class uncertain of its future in a country that is losing two wars and eliminating well-paying union jobs. We have watched our elected officials in DC bail out the banks while wheeling and dealing with insurance company lobbyists to deliver a contorted version of health care reform. We have been stunned by the audacity of the Supreme Court as it reaffirmed the premise that corporations are persons and validated corporate financing of elections in its Citizens United decision.
Grace Lee Boggs (The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century)
In the case of the Irish banks, the private bonds that they had purchased were uninsured. In the case of Greek state bonds, their buyers also knew that these were Greek law contracts, meaning that they could be given a haircut (written down) by a future stressed Greek government. This is precisely why the interest rates were higher than in Germany. Higher risk, higher rewards. As long as the gamble was paying off, the German bankers reaped benefits that they shared with no one. But when the gambles turned bad, as Irish banks and the Greek state failed, they demanded that the taxpayers of Greece and Ireland pay up, as if they had bought insurance from them.
Yanis Varoufakis (And the Weak Suffer What They Must? Europe's Crisis and America's Economic Future)
Deuteronomy’s notion of tithes—that for two out of three years surplus is shared broadly with the disadvantaged, and in the third year is given to them outright—is sound economics when seen in light of conceptions of redistributive economics in primitive societies. In modern capitalist societies, surplus earnings are placed into savings, and insurance policies are taken out to hedge against various forms of adversity. The laws of tithing may be construed as another element in a program of primitive insurance. In a premodern society, A will give some of his surplus in a good year to B, who may have fallen on hard times in exchange for B’s commitment to reciprocate should their roles one day be reversed.
Joshua A. Berman (Created Equal: How the Bible Broke with Ancient Political Thought)
Fifteen years ago, a business manager from the United States came to Plum Village to visit me. His conscience was troubled because he was the head of a firm that designed atomic bombs. I listened as he expressed his concerns. I knew if I advised him to quit his job, another person would only replace him. If he were to quit, he might help himself, but he would not help his company, society, or country. I urged him to remain the director of his firm, to bring mindfulness into his daily work, and to use his position to communicate his concerns and doubts about the production of atomic bombs. In the Sutra on Happiness, the Buddha says it is great fortune to have an occupation that allows us to be happy, to help others, and to generate compassion and understanding in this world. Those in the helping professions have occupations that give them this wonderful opportunity. Yet many social workers, physicians, and therapists work in a way that does not cultivate their compassion, instead doing their job only to earn money. If the bomb designer practises and does his work with mindfulness, his job can still nourish his compassion and in some way allow him to help others. He can still influence his government and fellow citizens by bringing greater awareness to the situation. He can give the whole nation an opportunity to question the necessity of bomb production. Many people who are wealthy, powerful, and important in business, politics, and entertainment are not happy. They are seeking empty things - wealth, fame, power, sex - and in the process they are destroying themselves and those around them. In Plum Village, we have organised retreats for businesspeople. We see that they have many problems and suffer just as others do, sometimes even more. We see that their wealth allows them to live in comfortable conditions, yet they still suffer a great deal. Some businesspeople, even those who have persuaded themselves that their work is very important, feel empty in their occupation. They provide employment to many people in their factories, newspapers, insurance firms, and supermarket chains, yet their financial success is an empty happiness because it is not motivated by understanding or compassion. Caught up in their small world of profit and loss, they are unaware of the suffering and poverty in the world. When we are not int ouch with this larger reality, we will lack the compassion we need to nourish and guide us to happiness. Once you begin to realise your interconnectedness with others, your interbeing, you begin to see how your actions affect you and all other life. You begin to question your way of living, to look with new eyes at the quality of your relationships and the way you work. You begin to see, 'I have to earn a living, yes, but I want to earn a living mindfully. I want to try to select a vocation not harmful to others and to the natural world, one that does not misuse resources.' Entire companies can also adopt this way of thinking. Companies have the right to pursue economic growth, but not at the expense of other life. They should respect the life and integrity of people, animals, plants and minerals. Do not invest your time or money in companies that deprive others of their lives, that operate in a way that exploits people or animals, and destroys nature. Businesspeople who visit Plum Village often find that getting in touch with the suffering of others and cultivating understanding brings them happiness. They practise like Anathapindika, a successful businessman who lived at the time of the Buddha, who with the practise of mindfulness throughout his life did everything he could to help the poor and sick people in his homeland.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Creating True Peace: Ending Violence in Yourself, Your Family, Your Community, and the World)
this integration of Jefferson and Jesus is in many ways how members of the evangelical right can oppose abortion yet ignore the needs of disenfranchised members of society, how they can rage against sexual revolutions and offer little critique on economic greed or mass consumption, and how they can keep labor unions and government in check while not doing the same to Wall Street, insurance companies, and other big American businesses. Of course, much of today’s evangelical political doctrine has become so radical, so driven by fear and hyperbole that it’s more or less a parody of the doctrines of Thomas Jefferson and Jesus, a culture where the poor in spirit are not blessed, they are marginalized and expected to care for themselves.
Matthew Paul Turner (Our Great Big American God: A Short History of Our Ever-Growing Deity)
The painful fact that the poor end up paying more than the rich for many goods and services has a very simple and systemic explanation. It generally costs more to provide goods and services in low-income neighborhoods. For example, insurance and security costs are often higher in poor neighborhoods due to high crime and vandalism rates. This is a factor frequently forgotten by those who look to personal intentions for an explanation for this phenomenon. For example, a shopping center within a populous neighborhood of a midtown city spent 15 percent more on security guards and night lighting than a shopping complex within a residential area of ​​the same city. All these costs are passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices.
Thomas Sowell (Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy)
The U.S. government stepped in during economic crises all the time. Less than five years earlier, the United States had used billions of dollars of taxpayer money to bail out Wall Street banks during the 2008 financial crisis. During the Great Depression the government had prohibited U.S. citizens from owning gold: in 1933, President Roosevelt had signed executive order 6102, requiring citizens to turn in their gold for cash. It wasn’t until 1975, when President Ford repealed this order, that it was again legal for Americans to own gold that wasn’t jewelry or coins. And all bank deposits were only insured to the tune of $250,000. “More than twenty thousand account holders at Laika, the second largest bank in Cyprus, are going to have half of their savings taken away,
Ben Mezrich (Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption)
Consider almost any public issue. Today’s Democratic Party and its legislators, with a few notable individual exceptions, is well to the right of counterparts from the New Deal and Great Society eras. In the time of Lyndon Johnson, the average Democrat in Congress was for single-payer national health insurance. In 1971, Congress overwhelmingly passed the Comprehensive Child Development Act, for universal, public, tax-supported, high-quality day care and prekindergarten. Nixon vetoed the bill in 1972, but even Nixon was for a guaranteed annual income, and his version of health reform, “play or pay,” in which employers would have to provide good health insurance or pay a tax to purchase it, was well to the left of either Bill or Hillary Clinton’s version, or Barack Obama’s. The Medicare and Medicaid laws of 1965 were not byzantine mash-ups of public and private like Obamacare. They were public. Infrastructure investments were also public. There was no bipartisan drive for either privatization or deregulation. The late 1960s and early 1970s (with Nixon in the White House!) were the heyday of landmark health, safety, environmental, and financial regulation. To name just three out of several dozen, Nixon signed the 1970 Clean Air Act, the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the 1973 Consumer Product Safety Act. Why did Democrats move toward the center and Republicans to the far right? Several things occurred. Money became more important in politics. The Democratic Leadership Council, formed by business-friendly and Southern Democrats after Walter Mondale’s epic 1984 defeat, believed that in order to be more competitive electorally, Democrats had to be more centrist on both economic and social issues.
Robert Kuttner (Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism?)
But this book is about something else: what goes on in the lives of real people when the industrial economy goes south. It’s about reacting to bad circumstances in the worst way possible. It’s about a culture that increasingly encourages social decay instead of counteracting it. The problems that I saw at the tile warehouse run far deeper than macroeconomic trends and policy. too many young men immune to hard work. Good jobs impossible to fill for any length of time. And a young man [one of Vance’s co-workers] with every reason to work — a wife-to-be to support and a baby on the way — carelessly tossing aside a good job with excellent health insurance. More troublingly, when it was all over, he thought something had been done to him. There is a lack of agency here — a feeling that you have little control over your life and a willingness to blame everyone but yourself. This is distinct from the larger economic landscape of modern America.
J.D. Vance
In other words, money isn’t a material reality – it is a psychological construct. It works by converting matter into mind. But why does it succeed? Why should anyone be willing to exchange a fertile rice paddy for a handful of useless cowry shells? Why are you willing to flip hamburgers, sell health insurance or babysit three obnoxious brats when all you get for your exertions is a few pieces of coloured paper? People are willing to do such things when they trust the figments of their collective imagination. Trust is the raw material from which all types of money are minted. When a wealthy farmer sold his possessions for a sack of cowry shells and travelled with them to another province, he trusted that upon reaching his destination other people would be willing to sell him rice, houses and fields in exchange for the shells. Money is accordingly a system of mutual trust, and not just any system of mutual trust: money is the most universal and most efficient system of mutual trust ever devised. What created this trust was a very complex and long-term network of political, social and economic relations. Why do I believe in the cowry shell or gold coin or dollar bill? Because my neighbours believe in them. And my neighbours believe in them because I believe in them. And we all believe in them because our king believes in them and demands them in taxes, and because our priest believes in them and demands them in tithes. Take a dollar bill and look at it carefully. You will see that it is simply a colourful piece of paper with the signature of the US secretary of the treasury on one side, and the slogan ‘In God We Trust’ on the other. We accept the dollar in payment, because we trust in God and the US secretary of the treasury. The crucial role of trust explains why our financial systems are so tightly bound up with our political, social and ideological systems, why financial crises are often triggered by political developments, and why the stock market can rise or fall depending on the way traders feel on a particular morning.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
If there are costs to becoming legal, there are also bound to be costs to remaining outside the law. We found that operating outside the world of legal work and business was surprisingly expensive. In Peru, for example, the cost of operating a business extralegally includes paying 10 to 15 per cent of its annual income in bribes and commissions to authorities. Add to such payoffs the costs of avoiding penalties, making transfers outside legal channels and operating from dispersed locations and without credit, and the life of the extralegal entrepreneur turns out to be far more costly and full of daily hassles than that of the legal businessman. Perhaps the most significant cost was caused by the absence of institutions that create incentives for people to seize economic and social opportunities to specialize within the market place. We found that people who could not operate within the law also could not hold property efficiently or enforce contracts through the courts; nor could they reduce uncertainty through limited liability systems and insurance policies, or create stock companies to attract additional capital and share risk. Being unable to raise money for investment, they could not achieve economies of scale or protect their innovations through royalties and patents.
Hernando de Soto (The Mystery Of Capital)
If you are stuck in circumstances in which it takes Herculean efforts to get through the day— doing low-income work, obeying an authoritarian boss, buying clothes for the children, dealing with school issues, paying the rent or mortgage, fixing the car, negotiating with a spouse, paying taxes, and caring for older parents— it is not easy to pay close attention to larger political issues. Indeed you may wish that these issues would take care of themselves. It is not a huge jump from such a wish to become attracted to a public philosophy, spouted regularly at your job and on the media, that economic life would regulate itself automatically if only the state did not repeatedly intervene in it in clumsy ways. Now underfunded practices such as the license bureau, state welfare, public health insurance, public schools, public retirement plans, and the like begin to appear as awkward, bureaucratic organizations that could be replaced or eliminated if only the rational market were allowed to take care of things impersonally and quietly, as it were. Certainly such bureaucracies are indeed often clumsy. But more people are now attracted to compare that clumsiness to the myth of how an impersonal market would perform if it took on even more assignments and if state regulation of it were reduced even further. So a lot of “independents” and “moderates” may become predisposed to the myth of the rational market in part because the pressures of daily life encourage them to seek comfort in ideological formations that promise automatic rationality.
William E. Connolly (The Fragility of Things: Self-Organizing Processes, Neoliberal Fantasies, and Democratic Activism)
Staying at Home during this lockdown period is the right time to find your life purpose within Ba Ga Mohlala family/clan. This is an opportunity to know yourself better and to understand what motivates and feeds your mind and your soul, and also to find out as to where you fit in the bigger Ba Ga Mohlala family/clan. All members of each family/clan possess characteristics, abilities, and qualities specific to that family/clan. It is up to the family/clan to distinguish itself amongst other families/clans. Ba Ga Mohlala has become an institution to build cooperation in order to build and forge unity for social and economic benefits for Ba Ga Mohlala and Banareng in general. An institution is social structure in which people cooperate and which influences the behavior of people and the way they live. intelligence and assertiveness comes to us as our nature, it is in our blood (DNA) and all there is for us to do is to nature it and it will shine, otherwise it will gather dust and rust in us. The key of brotherhood and sisterhood is that brothers and sisters carry the same genetic code. Together, united, they carry the legacy of their forefathers. Our bond (through our shared blood/DNA) as Ba Ga Mohlala family/clan is our insurance for the future. As Ba Ga Mohlala we can have our own Law firms, Auditing Firms, Doctors's Medical Surgeries, Private School, Private Clinics or Private Hospital, farms and lot of small to medium manufacturing, service, retail and wholesale companies and become self relient. All it takes to achieve that is unity, willpower and commitment.
Pekwa Nicholas Mohlala
[A] central theme is why social, political, and economic institutions tend to coevolve in a manner that reinforces rather than undermines one another. The welfare state is not 'politics against markets,' as commonly assumed, but politics with markets. Although it is popular to think that markets, especially global ones, interfere with the welfare state, and vice versa, this notion is simply inconsistent with the postwar record of actual welfare state development. The United States, which has a comparatively small welfare state and flexible labor markets, has performed well in terms of jobs and growth during the past two decades; however, before then the countries with the largest welfare states and the most heavily regulated labor markets exceeded those in the United States on almost any gauge of economic competitiveness and performance. Despite the change in economic fortunes, the relationship between social protection and product market strategies continues to hold. Northern Europe and Japan still dominate high-quality markets for machine tools and consumer durables, whereas the United States dominates software, biotech, and other high-tech industries. There is every reason that firms and governments will try to preserve the institutions that give rise to these comparative advantages, and here the social protection system (broadly construed to include job security and protection through the industrial relations system) plays a key role. The reason is that social insurance shapes the incentives workers and firms have for investing in particular types of skills, and skills are critical for competitive advantage in human-capital-intensive economies. Firms do not develop competitive advantages in spite of systems of social protection, but because of it. Continuing this line of argument, the changing economic fortunes of different welfare production regimes probably has very little to do with growing competitive pressure from the international economy. To the contrary, it will be argued in Chapter 6 that the main problem for Europe is the growing reliance on services that have traditionally been closed to trade. In particular, labor-intensive, low-productivity jobs do not thrive in the context of high social protection and intensive labor-market regulation, and without international trade, countries cannot specialize in high value-added services. Lack of international trade and competition, therefore, not the growth of these, is the cause of current employment problems in high-protection countries.
Torben Iversen (Capitalism, Democracy, and Welfare (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics))
The US traded its manufacturing sector’s health for its entertainment industry, hoping that Police Academy sequels could take the place of the rustbelt. The US bet wrong. But like a losing gambler who keeps on doubling down, the US doesn’t know when to quit. It keeps meeting with its entertainment giants, asking how US foreign and domestic policy can preserve its business-model. Criminalize 70 million American file-sharers? Check. Turn the world’s copyright laws upside down? Check. Cream the IT industry by criminalizing attempted infringement? Check. It’ll never work. It can never work. There will always be an entertainment industry, but not one based on excluding access to published digital works. Once it’s in the world, it’ll be copied. This is why I give away digital copies of my books and make money on the printed editions: I’m not going to stop people from copying the electronic editions, so I might as well treat them as an enticement to buy the printed objects. But there is an information economy. You don’t even need a computer to participate. My barber, an avowed technophobe who rebuilds antique motorcycles and doesn’t own a PC, benefited from the information economy when I found him by googling for barbershops in my neighborhood. Teachers benefit from the information economy when they share lesson plans with their colleagues around the world by email. Doctors benefit from the information economy when they move their patient files to efficient digital formats. Insurance companies benefit from the information economy through better access to fresh data used in the preparation of actuarial tables. Marinas benefit from the information economy when office-slaves look up the weekend’s weather online and decide to skip out on Friday for a weekend’s sailing. Families of migrant workers benefit from the information economy when their sons and daughters wire cash home from a convenience store Western Union terminal. This stuff generates wealth for those who practice it. It enriches the country and improves our lives. And it can peacefully co-exist with movies, music and microcode, but not if Hollywood gets to call the shots. Where IT managers are expected to police their networks and systems for unauthorized copying – no matter what that does to productivity – they cannot co-exist. Where our operating systems are rendered inoperable by “copy protection,” they cannot co-exist. Where our educational institutions are turned into conscript enforcers for the record industry, they cannot co-exist. The information economy is all around us. The countries that embrace it will emerge as global economic superpowers. The countries that stubbornly hold to the simplistic idea that the information economy is about selling information will end up at the bottom of the pile. What country do you want to live in?
Cory Doctorow (Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future)
But the world is changing at warp speed, and cities have to evolve to stay ahead of the curve. Which brings us to the third generation of cities, Cities 3.0, where the city is a hub of innovation, entrepreneurship and technology. Cities 3.0 is paperless, wireless and cashless. In Cities 3.0, we have more cell phones than telephone landlines, more tablets than desktop computers, more smart devices than toothbrushes. We know that in order to keep up in the modern era, we have to be innovative. If cities are going to drive the nation's economic revitalization, then we need to become laboratories and incubators of change. Yet the pending state legislation, which seeks to require the same insurance for ride-sharing companies as for old-style taxi companies, would discourage innovation and force out-of-date thinking on Next Economy companies such as Uber and Lyft.
privatising the weaker ones, this space could become even more interesting. The government’s intention to continue with economic reforms is clear from the fact that it brought two ordinances, to clear bills relating to insurance and coal, after the legislative process was stymied by the opposition. Without going ahead with auctioning of coal blocks, India’s power sector would have been badly hit in 2015, and hence it was necessary to bring in an ordinance. What’s in store for 2015? The US will raise interest rates, which will lead to some outflow from emerging markets. But after that foreign money will return, provided that the government continues with its economic reforms. The Make in India campaign would bring back jobs with Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking all his ministries to make it easier to do business in India. A dip either caused by foreign institutional investment outflow or due to a harsher than expected budget or to a political crisis, should be an opportunity to enter the markets.  (J Mulraj is a stock market commentator and India head for Euromoney Conferences;views are personal) Now,
Unhorsing capitalism was never the New Deal’s intent anyway. Especially since the outset of the war, the regime had largely come to agreeable terms with big business interests. It shed most programmatic overtures to universalize the welfare state and extend it into areas like health and housing. Structural reconfigurations of power relations in the economy, long-term economic planning, and state ownership or management of capital investments (commonplace during the war) were all offensive to the new centers of the postwar policy making, what soon enough would be widely referred to as the Establishment. Moreover, the “welfare state,” for all the tears now shed over its near death, was in its origins in late-nineteenth-century Europe a creature of conservative elitists like Bismarck or David Lloyd George, and had been opposed by the left as a means of defusing working-class power and independence, a program installed without altering the basic configurations of wealth and political control. As the center of gravity shifted away from the Keynesian commonwealth toward what one historian has called “commercial Keynesianism” and another “the corporate commonwealth,” labor and its many allies among middle-class progressives and minorities found themselves fighting on less friendly terrain. If they could no longer hope to win in the political arena measures that would benefit all working people—like universal health insurance, for example—trade unions could pursue those objectives for their own members where they were most muscular, especially in core American industries like auto and steel. So the labor movement increasingly chose to create mini private welfare states.
Steve Fraser (The Age of Acquiescence: The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power)
The market/non-market boundary does not define the edge of the economy: unpaid work in preparing a meal for someone is as much an economic act as preparing pizzas for sale – or selling computers or insurance.
Andrew Sayer (Why We Can't Afford the Rich)
Louisiana’s fiscal troubles can be traced to the economic boom that followed Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when rebuilding efforts, insurance payouts and federal money pushed cash into the state budget. Many lawmakers expected the heady times and increased revenue to last, and they made the bold decision to cut income taxes by roughly $700 million annually for the highest brackets — a decision some are now second-guessing.
The unprecedented bull market in Treasury bonds, supported by the belief that Treasury bonds are “insurance policies” in the case of financial collapse, could end as badly as the bull market in technology stocks did at the turn of the century. When economic growth increases, Treasury bondholders will receive the double blow of rising interest rates and loss of safe-haven status. One of the prime lessons learned from long-term analysis is that no asset class can stay permanently detached from fundamentals. Stocks had their comeuppance when the technology bubble burst and the financial system crashed. It is quite likely that bondholders will suffer a similar fate as the liquidity created by the world’s central banks turns into stronger economic growth and higher inflation.
Jeremy J. Siegel (Stocks for the Long Run: The Definitive Guide to Financial Market Returns & Long-Term Investment Strategies)
While Brazil is not much of a role model for India in terms of income equality, its effective focus on inclusion over the last decade has some lessons for us. Article 7 of the Brazilian constitution speaks forcefully in favour of employee rights, minimum wage, unemployment insurance and a social safety net for those who lose their jobs or are retired.
N. Ramachandran (A Visible Hand: Essays on the Intersection of Economics, Politics, and Society)
Anyone under the age of 65 that has private health insurance is not the true customer in American healthcare. Large and small group employers are.
Kat Lahr (What the U.S. Healthcare System Doesn't Want You to Know, Why, and How You Can Do Something About It (To Err Is Healthcare #1))
Picture a small South American dictatorship, weakened by economic stresses and a popular demand for more freedom, resulting from the existence of a laissez-faire society nearby. What would the dictator of such a country do if faced by a large and powerful insurance company and its defense service (or even a coalition of such companies) demanding that he remove all taxes, trade restrictions, and other economic aggressions from, say, a mining firm protected by the insurance company? If the dictator refuses the demand, he faces an armed confrontation which will surely oust him from his comfortable position of rule. His own people are restless and ready to revolt at any excuse. Other nations have their hands full with similar problems and are not eager to invite more trouble by supporting his little dictatorship. Besides this, the insurance company, which doesn’t recognize the validity of governments, has declared that in the event of aggression against its insured it will demand reparations payments, not from the country as a whole, but from every individual directly responsible for directing and carrying out the aggression. The dictator hesitates to take such an awful chance, and he knows that his officers and soldiers will be very reluctant to carry out his order. Even worse, he can’t arouse the populace against the insurance company by urging them to defend themselves—the insurance company poses no threat to them. A dictator in such a precarious position would be strongly tempted to give in to the insurance company’s demands in order to salvage what he could (as the managers of the insurance company were sure he would before they undertook the contract with the mining firm). But even giving in will not save the dictator’s government for long As soon as the insurance company can enforce noninterference with the mining company, it has created an enclave of free territory within the dictatorship. When it becomes evident that the insurance company can make good its offer of protection from the government, numerous businesses and individuals, both those from the laissez-faire society and citizens of the dictatorship, will rush to buy similar protection (a lucrative spurt of sales foreseen by the insurance company when it took its original action). At this point, it is only a matter of time until the government crumbles from lack of money and support, and the whole country becomes a free area. In this manner, the original laissez-faire society, as soon as its insurance companies and defense agencies became strong enough, would generate new laissez-faire societies in locations all over the world. These new free areas, as free trade made them economically stronger, would give liberty a tremendously broadened base from which to operate and would help prevent the possibility that freedom could be wiped out by a successful sneak attack against the original laissez-faire society. As the world-wide, interconnected free market thus formed became stronger and the governments of the world became more tyrannical and chaotic, it would be possible for insurance companies and defense agencies to create free enclaves within more and more nations, a sales opportunity which they would be quick to take advantage of.
Morris Tannehill (Market for Liberty)
in 2012, the three hundred largest cooperatives worldwide, covering agriculture, retail, insurance and healthcare, generated $2.2 trillion in revenue—equivalent to the world’s seventh largest economy.66 In the UK, the John Lewis Partnership, a leading retailer for almost a century, has over 90,000 permanent staff named as Partners in the business. In 2011, the company raised £50 million in capital by inviting employees and customers to purchase five-year bonds in return for an annual 4.5 percent dividend plus 2 percent in shop vouchers.
Kate Raworth (Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist)
He then took out maximum terrorist insurance coverage only 6 weeks before the attacks…talk about good timing. From an economic standpoint, the World Trade Center, government-subsidized since its inception, had never functioned in the real world real
J. Micha-el Thomas Hays (Rise of the New World Order: The Culling of Man)
(People generally like the idea of being able to buy into Medicare, but not the idea of being required to give up private insurance if they’re happy with it.)
Paul Krugman (Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future)
Barack, meanwhile, had managed to reverse the most serious economic crisis since the Great Depression. He’d helped to broker the Paris Agreement on climate change, brought tens of thousands of troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, and led the effort to effectively shut down Iran’s nuclear program. Twenty million more people had the security of health insurance. And we’d managed two terms in office without a major scandal. We had held ourselves and the people who worked with us to the highest standards of ethics and decency, and we’d made it all the way through.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
Nazi economic radicalism did not disappear, however. Private insurance executives never stopped fighting attempts by Nazi radicals to replace them with nonprofit mutual funds organized within each economic sector—“völkisch” insurance. While the radicals found some niches for public insurance companies in SS enterprises in the conquered territories and in the Labor Front, the private insurers maneuvered so skillfully within a regime for which some of them felt distaste that they ended up with 85 percent of the business, including policies on Hitler’s Berghof, Göring’s Karinhall, and slave-labor factories in Auschwitz and elsewhere. Generally, economic radicals in the Nazi movement resigned (like Otto Strasser) or lost influence (like Wagener) or were murdered (like Gregor Strasser). Italian “integral syndicalists” either lost their influence (like Rossoni) or left the party (like Alceste De Ambris).
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
If you buy a car today, you will probably buy a car that costs thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. You'll also be paying to maintain it and to keep it insured. And with all that expense, you'll only use it an hour or two a day; the rest of the time, it will sit in your garage. That's hardly a great economic decision.
Irena Cronin (The Infinite Retina: Spatial Computing, Augmented Reality, and how a collision of new technologies are bringing about the next tech revolution)
After he had reviewed in his mind all of his former interviews, he made another discovery so important in nature that it should become known to every man who is engaged in the business of selling life insurance. He discovered that life insurance is sold to the life insurance salesman himself. Sold before he ever calls upon his prospective buyer. Sold by his own mental attitude. His own faith. His own conviction that every man should provide himself with this sort of economic security.
Napoleon Hill (How to Own Your Own Mind (The Mental Dynamite Series))
An automobile ties up capital with the purchase and entails significant additional annual costs in terms of fuel, parking, insurance, and repairs. Young people with college debts or “gig” jobs may not want the added burden of ownership. Compare the economics. Let’s say the average number of miles driven in a year in the United States is twelve thousand. Owning a car for that year would cost around $7,000, including the proportionate cost of car ownership, fuel, and other operating expenses. Given the average ride-hailing trip, $7,000 would equate to around six hundred separate trips per year, or twelve per week—almost two per day. Of course, on the other side of the ledger, there’s no residual value from Uber or Lyft rides, as there is when selling a used car. And no pride of ownership.
Daniel Yergin (The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations)
And that is why, when attempting to balance and evaluate their investment port-folio, people often err by failing to knock down mental walls among accounts. As a result, their true portfolio mix—the combination of stocks, bonds, real estate, insurance policies, mutual funds, and the like—is often not what they think, and their investment performance often suffers.
Gary Belsky (Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes and How to Correct Them: Lessons from the Life-Changing Science of Behavioral Economics)
People employ what economists call “rational ignorance.” That is, we all spend our time learning about things we can actually do something about, not political issues that we can’t really affect. That’s why most of us can’t name our representative in Congress. And why most of us have no clue about how much of the federal budget goes to Medicare, foreign aid, or any other program. As an Alabama businessman told a Washington Post pollster, “Politics doesn’t interest me. I don’t follow it. … Always had to make a living.” Ellen Goodman, a sensitive, good-government liberal columnist, complained about a friend who had spent months researching new cars, and of her own efforts study the sugar, fiber, fat, and price of various cereals. “Would my car-buying friend use the hours he spent comparing fuel-injection systems to compare national health plans?” Goodman asked. “Maybe not. Will the moments I spend studying cereals be devoted to studying the greenhouse effect on grain? Maybe not.” Certainly not —and why should they? Goodman and her friend will get the cars and the cereal they want, but what good would it do to study national health plans? After a great deal of research on medicine, economics, and bureaucracy, her friend may decide which health-care plan he prefers. He then turns to studying the presidential candidates, only to discover that they offer only vague indications of which health-care plan they would implement. But after diligent investigation, our well-informed voter chooses a candidate. Unfortunately, the voter doesn’t like that candidate’s stand on anything else — the package-deal problem — but he decides to vote on the issue of health care. He has a one-in-a-hundred-million chance of influencing the outcome of the presidential election, after which, if his candidate is successful, he faces a Congress with different ideas, and in any case, it turns out the candidate was dissembling in the first place. Instinctively realizing all this, most voters don’t spend much time studying public policy. Give that same man three health insurance plans that he can choose from, though, and chances are that he will spend time studying them. Finally, as noted above, the candidates are likely to be kidding themselves or the voters anyway. One could argue that in most of the presidential elections since 1968, the American people have tried to vote for smaller government, but in that time the federal budget has risen from $178 billion to $4 trillion. George Bush made one promise that every voter noticed in the 1988 campaign: “Read my lips, no new taxes.” Then he raised them. If we are the government, why do we get so many policies we don’t want?
David Boaz
People employ what economists call “rational ignorance.” That is, we all spend our time learning about things we can actually do something about, not political issues that we can’t really affect. That’s why most of us can’t name our representative in Congress. And why most of us have no clue about how much of the federal budget goes to Medicare, foreign aid, or any other program. As an Alabama businessman told a Washington Post pollster, “Politics doesn’t interest me. I don’t follow it. … Always had to make a living.” Ellen Goodman, a sensitive, good-government liberal columnist, complained about a friend who had spent months researching new cars, and of her own efforts study the sugar, fiber, fat, and price of various cereals. “Would my car-buying friend use the hours he spent comparing fuel-injection systems to compare national health plans?” Goodman asked. “Maybe not. Will the moments I spend studying cereals be devoted to studying the greenhouse effect on grain? Maybe not.” Certainly not —and why should they? Goodman and her friend will get the cars and the cereal they want, but what good would it do to study national health plans? After a great deal of research on medicine, economics, and bureaucracy, her friend may decide which health-care plan he prefers. He then turns to studying the presidential candidates, only to discover that they offer only vague indications of which health-care plan they would implement. But after diligent investigation, our well-informed voter chooses a candidate. Unfortunately, the voter doesn’t like that candidate’s stand on anything else — the package-deal problem — but he decides to vote on the issue of health care. He has a one-in-a-hundred-million chance of influencing the outcome of the presidential election, after which, if his candidate is successful, he faces a Congress with different ideas, and in any case, it turns out the candidate was dissembling in the first place. Instinctively realizing all this, most voters don’t spend much time studying public policy. Give that same man three health insurance plans that he can choose from, though, and chances are that he will spend time studying them. Finally, as noted above, the candidates are likely to be kidding themselves or the voters anyway. One could argue that in most of the presidential elections since 1968, the American people have tried to vote for smaller government, but in that time the federal budget has risen from $178 billion to $4 trillion.
David Boaz (The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom)
No nation influenced American thinking more profoundly than Germany, W.E.B. DuBois, Charles Beard, Walter Weyl, Richard Ely, Richard Ely, Nicholas Murray Butler, and countless other founders of modern American liberalism were among the nine thousand Americans who studied in German universities during the nineteenth century. When the American Economic Association was formed, five of the six first officers had studied in Germany. At least twenty of its first twenty-six presidents had as well. In 1906 a professor at Yale polled the top 116 economists and social scientists in America; more than half had studied in Germany for at least a year. By their own testimony, these intellectuals felt "liberated" by the experience of studying in an intellectual environment predicated on the assumption that experts could mold society like clay. No European statesman loomed larger in the minds and hearts of American progressives than Otto von Bismarck. As inconvenient as it may be for those who have been taught "the continuity between Bismarck and Hitler", writes Eric Goldman, Bismarck's Germany was "a catalytic of American progressive thought". Bismarck's "top-down socialism", which delivered the eight-hour workday, healthcare, social insurance, and the like, was the gold standard for enlightened social policy. "Give the working-man the right to work as long as he is healthy; assure him care when he is sick; assure him maintenance when he is old", he famously told the Reichstag in 1862. Bismarck was the original "Third Way" figure who triangulated between both ends of the ideological spectrum. "A government must not waver once it has chosen its course. It must not look to the left or right but go forward", he proclaimed. Teddy Roosevelt's 1912 national Progressive Party platform conspicuously borrowed from the Prussian model. Twenty-five years earlier, the political scientist Woodrow Wilson wrote that Bismarck's welfare state was an "admirable system . . . the most studied and most nearly perfected" in the world.
Jonah Goldberg (Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning)
Net wages: “It’s not what you make, but what you net” after paying the FIRE sector, basic utilities and taxes. The usual measure of disposable personal income (DPI) refers to how much employees take home after income-tax withholding (designed in part by Milton Friedman during World War II) and over 15% for FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) to produce a budget surplus for Social Security and health care (half of which are paid by the employer). This forced saving is lent to the U.S. Treasury, enabling it to cut taxes on the higher income brackets. Also deducted from paychecks may be employee withholding for private health insurance and pensions. What is left is by no means freely available for discretionary spending. Wage earners have to pay a monthly financial and real estate “nut” off the top, headed by mortgage debt or rent to the landlord, plus credit card debt, student loans and other bank loans. Electricity, gas and phone bills must be paid, often by automatic bank transfer – and usually cable TV and Internet service as well. If these utility bills are not paid, banks increase the interest rate owed on credit card debt (typically to 29%). Not much is left to spend on goods and services after paying the FIRE sector and basic monopolies, so it is no wonder that markets are shrinking. (See Hudson Bubble Model later in this book.) A similar set of subtrahends occurs with net corporate cash flow (see ebitda). After paying interest and dividends – and using about half their revenue for stock buybacks – not much is left for capital investment in new plant and equipment, research or development to expand production.
Michael Hudson (J IS FOR JUNK ECONOMICS: A Guide To Reality In An Age Of Deception)
The Economics of Property-Casualty Insurance With the acquisition of General Re — and with GEICO’s business mushrooming — it becomes more important than ever that you understand how to evaluate an insurance company. The key determinants are: (1) the amount of float that the business generates; (2) its cost; and (3) most important of all, the long-term outlook for both of these factors. To begin with, float is money we hold but don't own. In an insurance operation, float arises because premiums are received before losses are paid, an interval that sometimes extends over many years. During that time, the insurer invests the money. Typically, this pleasant activity carries with it a downside: The premiums that an insurer takes in usually do not cover the losses and expenses it eventually must pay. That leaves it running an "underwriting loss," which is the cost of float. An insurance business has value if its cost of float over time is less than the cost the company would otherwise incur to obtain funds. But the business is a lemon if its cost of float is higher than market rates for money. A caution is appropriate here: Because loss costs must be estimated, insurers have enormous latitude in figuring their underwriting results, and that makes it very difficult for investors to calculate a company's true cost of float. Errors of estimation, usually innocent but sometimes not, can be huge. The consequences of these miscalculations flow directly into earnings. An experienced observer can usually detect large-scale errors in reserving, but the general public can typically do no more than accept what's presented, and at times I have been amazed by the numbers that big-name auditors have implicitly blessed. As for Berkshire, Charlie and I attempt to be conservative in presenting its underwriting results to you, because we have found that virtually all surprises in insurance are unpleasant ones. The table that follows shows the float generated by Berkshire’s insurance operations since we entered the business 32 years ago. The data are for every fifth year and also the last, which includes General Re’s huge float. For the table we have calculated our float — which we generate in large amounts relative to our premium volume — by adding net loss reserves, loss adjustment reserves, funds held under reinsurance assumed and unearned premium reserves, and then subtracting agents balances, prepaid acquisition costs, prepaid taxes and deferred charges applicable to assumed reinsurance. (Got that?)
Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway Letters to Shareholders, 2023)
The right to health care provides insurance against the misfortune of having bad genes.
Jean Tirole (Economics for the Common Good)
Equality of opportunity in education aims to insure us against disparities arising from the situation in which we are born
Jean Tirole (Economics for the Common Good)
information could destroy health insurance systems,
Jean Tirole (Economics for the Common Good)
Since governments have the ability to both make and borrow money, why couldn’t the central bank lend money at an interest rate of about 0 percent to the central government to distribute as it likes to support the economy? Couldn’t it also lend to others at low rates and allow those debtors to never pay it back? Normally debtors have to pay back the original amount borrowed (principal) plus interest in installments over a period of time. But the central bank has the power to set the interest rate at 0 percent and keep rolling over the debt so that the debtor never has to pay it back. That would be the equivalent of giving the debtors the money, but it wouldn’t look that way because the debt would still be accounted for as an asset that the central bank owns, so the central bank could still say it is performing its normal lending functions. This is the exact thing that happened in the wake of the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many versions of this have happened many times in history. Who pays? It is bad for those outside the central bank who still hold the debts as assets—cash and bonds—who won’t get returns that would preserve their purchasing power. The biggest problem that we now collectively face is that for many people, companies, nonprofit organizations, and governments, their incomes are low in relation to their expenses, and their debts and other liabilities (such as those for pensions, healthcare, and insurance) are very large relative to the value of their assets.
Ray Dalio (Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail)
What if we looked at the law as a piece of software, the operating system of the United States of America. After all, laws play the same role as software in providing instructions for a given system - if this, then that, and so on. If a team of software engineers was asked to analyze the entire body of federal law, they would see tens of thousand of pages of poorly documented code, with a multitude of complex, spaghetti-like interdependencies between the individual components. Could the principles of good software design be used to improve the way we write financial regulations? Li, William, Pablo Azar, David Larochelle, Phil Hill, and Andrew W. Lo. 2015. 'Law Is Code: A Software Engineering Approach to Analyzing the United States Code.' Journal of Business and Technology Law 10: 297. A useful feature of network graphs if the ability to model contagion. Like an epidemiologist studying the spread of a contagious disease from its point of origin, we should identify the potential linkages through which a financial crisis may travel. Billio, Monica, Mila Getmansky, Andrew W. Lo, and Loriana Pelizzon, 2012. 'Econometric Measures of Connectedness and Systemic Risk in the Finance and Insurance Sectors.' Journal of Financial Economics, 104: 535-559. This approach can also be used to measure the network of banks, insurance companies, and sovereign nations. The idea is to see how macroeconomic problems facing countries might get transmitted to the financial system and vice versa. Billio, Monica, Mila Getmansky, Dale Gray, Andrew W. Lo, Robert C. Merton, and Loriana Pelizzon. 2016. 'Granger-Causality Networks of Sovereign Risk.' Working Paper, MIT Laboratory for Financial Engineering.
Andrew W. Lo (Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought)
Us yokels who majored in beer and getting the skirts off Tri-Delts bear no responsibility for Thoreau’s hippie jive or John Kenneth Galbraith’s nitwit economics or Henry Kissinger’s brown-nosing the Shah of Iran. None of us served as models for characters in that greasy Love Story book. Our best and brightest stick to running insurance agencies and don’t go around cozening the nation into Vietnam wars. It wasn’t my school that laid the educational groundwork for FDR’s demagoguery or JFK’s Bay of Pigs slough-off or even Teddy Roosevelt’s fool decision to split the Republican Party and let that buttinski Wilson get elected. You can’t pin the rap on us.
P.J. O'Rourke (Holidays in Hell: In Which Our Intrepid Reporter Travels to the World's Worst Places and Asks, "What's Funny About This?" (O'Rourke, P. J.))
The plantation system allowed owners to amass “large concentrations of laborers under the control of a single owner produced goods— sugar, tobacco, rice and cotton— for the free market.” The African slave trade was a major part of the world economy, and “slave labor played an indispensable part in its rapid growth.” In the case of the United States, this was paradoxical, as the country was founded and supposedly dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Thus, by the 1820s, slavery became a source of conflict. Northern businesses prospered from slavery, and “New York merchants, working with their representatives in Southern ports and smaller towns purchased and shipped most of the cotton crop.” Economic gain prompted the growth in slavery, and slaves were essential for profit. As such, “[the] first mass consumer goods in international trade were produced by slaves— sugar, rice, coffee, and tobacco. The profits from slavery stimulated the rise of British ports such as Liverpool and Bristol, and the growth of banking, shipbuilding, and insurance, and helped to finance the early industrial revolution. The centrality of slavery to the British empire encouraged an ever- closer identification of freedom with whites and slavery with blacks.
Steven Dundas
The ideas behind Bitcoin and blockchain technology give us a new starting point from which to address this problem. That’s because the question of who controls our data should stem first from a more fundamental question about who or what institutions we must trust in order to engage in commerce, obtain services, or participate in modern society. We see compelling arguments for a complete restructuring of the world’s data security paradigm. And it starts with thinking about how Internet users can start to directly trust each other, so as to avoid having to pour so much information into the centralized hubs that currently sit in the middle of their online relationships. Solving data security may first require a deliberate move from what we call the centralized trust model to one of decentralized trust. In an age when technology is supposed to be lowering the cost of entry, the outdated centralized trust-management system has proven expensive and restrictive (think about the 2 billion people in the world who are unbanked). It has also failed—spectacularly. Even though the world spent an estimated $75 billion on cybersecurity in 2015, according to estimates by Gartner, total annual losses from online fraud theft were running at $400 billion that year, said Inga Beale, CEO of British insurance market Lloyd’s of London. If you’re alarmed by that figure—and you ought to be—try this one on for size: $2.1 trillion. That’s the estimated fraud loss Juniper Research came up with after extrapolating from current trends into the even more digitally interconnected world projected for 2019. To put that figure in perspective, at current economic growth rates, it would represent more than 2.5 percent of total world GDP.
Michael J. Casey (The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything)
building is the central club-house of a community of a thousand or more Negroes. Various organizations meet here—the church proper, the Sunday-school, two or three insurance societies, women’s societies, secret societies, and mass meetings of various kinds. Entertainments, suppers, and lectures are held beside the five or six regular weekly religious services. Considerable sums of money are collected and expended here, employment is found for the idle, strangers are introduced, news is disseminated and charity distributed. At the same time this social, intellectual, and economic centre is a religious centre of great power.
W.E.B. Du Bois (The Souls of Black Folk (Original Classic Edition))
At various times he was on the boards of no less than five investment and insurance companies, the chief one being the National Mutual Life Assurance Company, whose chairman he was from 1921 to 1937. From 1923 to 1931, he was chief proprietor and chairman of the board of the weekly journal, the Nation and Atheneum, working closely with its editor, Hubert Henderson. His editorship of the Economic Journal (1911–37) was also conducted from London. London was crucial to Keynes as a base of influence.
Robert Skidelsky (Keynes: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions))
Victor R. Fuchs, 1976, “From Bismarck to Woodcock: The ‘irrational’ pursuit of national health insurance,” Journal of Law and Economics, 19(2), 347–59.
Anne Case (Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism)
In the eighties, the design community witnessed the great rise of “professionalism” (now a euphemism for the production of noninnovative but stylishly acceptable work—usually in corporate communications—coupled with very good fees). Along with “professionalism” came the “business consultant to the designers,” who proclaimed, “Design is a business.” This became the mantra of the eighties. The AIGA, along with other organizations and publications, produced seminars, conferences, and special magazine issues devoted to the business of design. These were followed by a plethora of design self-help books, which told you how to set up your own business, how to promote, how to speak correct business jargon, how to dress, how to buy insurance, and so on. There was nothing inherently wrong with this except for the subsequent confusion it caused. “Professional” work did look more professional, and corporate communications in general were visually improved. The level of design mediocrity rose. Also, practicing designers as a rule had previously been rather sloppy about running their businesses. They were easily taken advantage of, didn’t know how to construct proposals, and were generally more interested in designing than in minding the store, networking, or planning for the future. The business seminars did no harm, but the political and economic climate of the eighties in general, coupled with the pervasiveness of the “design is a business” hype, perverted the design community’s overall goal. The goal became money.
Paula Scher (Make It Bigger)
To Chen’s surprise, Felix and the others responded rationally. When the price of a given food rose, the monkeys bought less of it, and when the price fell, they bought more. The most basic law of economics—that the demand curve slopes downward—held for monkeys as well as humans.
Steven D. Levitt (SuperFreakonomics, Illustrated edition: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance)
Enter, therefore, a new and ingenious variant of Ultimatum, this one called Dictator. Once again, a small pool of money is divided between two people. But in this case, only one person gets to make a decision. (Thus the name: the “dictator” is the only player who matters.) The original Dictator experiment went like this. Annika was given $20 and told she could split the money with some anonymous Zelda in one of two ways: (1) right down the middle, with each person getting $10; or (2) with Annika keeping $18 and giving Zelda just $2. Dictator was brilliant in its simplicity. As a one-shot game between two anonymous parties, it seemed to strip out all the complicating factors of real-world altruism. Generosity could not be rewarded, nor could selfishness be punished, because the second player (the one who wasn’t the dictator) had no recourse to punish the dictator if the dictator acted selfishly. The anonymity, meanwhile, eliminated whatever personal feeling the donor might have for the recipient. The typical American, for instance, is bound to feel different toward the victims of Hurricane Katrina than the victims of a Chinese earthquake or an African drought. She is also likely to feel different about a hurricane victim and an AIDS victim. So the Dictator game seemed to go straight to the core of our altruistic impulse. How would you play it? Imagine that you’re the dictator, faced with the choice of giving away half of your $20 or giving just $2. The odds are you would . . . divide the money evenly. That’s what three of every four participants did in the first Dictator experiments. Amazing! Dictator and Ultimatum yielded such compelling results that the games soon caught fire in the academic community. They were conducted hundreds of times in myriad versions and settings, by economists as well as psychologists, sociologists, and anthropologists. In a landmark study published in book form as Foundations of Human Sociality, a group of preeminent scholars traveled the world to test altruism in fifteen small-scale societies, including Tanzanian hunter-gatherers, the Ache Indians of Paraguay, and Mongols and Kazakhs in western Mongolia. As it turns out, it didn’t matter if the experiment was run in western Mongolia or the South Side of Chicago: people gave. By now the game was usually configured so that the dictator could give any amount (from $0 to $20), rather than being limited to the original two options ($2 or $10). Under this construct, people gave on average about $4, or 20 percent of their money. The message couldn’t have been much clearer: human beings indeed seemed to be hardwired for altruism. Not only was this conclusion uplifting—at the very least, it seemed to indicate that Kitty Genovese’s neighbors were nothing but a nasty anomaly—but it rocked the very foundation of traditional economics. “Over the past decade,” Foundations of Human Sociality claimed, “research in experimental economics has emphatically falsified the textbook representation of Homo economicus.
Steven D. Levitt (SuperFreakonomics, Illustrated edition: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance)
ONCE YOU STRIP AWAY the religious fervor and scientific complexity, an incredibly simple dilemma lies at the heart of global warming. Economists fondly call it an externality. What’s an externality? It’s what happens when someone takes an action but someone else, without agreeing, pays some or all the costs of that action. An externality is an economic version of taxation without representation. If you happen to live downwind from a fertilizer factory, the ammonium stench is an externality
Steven D. Levitt (SuperFreakonomics, Illustrated edition: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance)
I was ironing shirts one night when my father dropped by to remind me that times have changed. “When I was your age,” he said, peeling off his grey fedora and easing himself into a soft chair, “I enjoyed being a man. Oh sure, life wasn’t beachfront property then either. There were pyramids to build, dinosaurs to avoid, and fire to invent. But at least we had clearly defined roles. Not anymore. Not you guys. No siree.” He sniffed the air. “Speaking of rolls, are those cherry tarts done yet?” “Not quite,” I said, holding a shirt up to the light with a critical gaze. “They need another 10 minutes. I always put the cherry ones on 350, you know. The crust is flakier that way.” “Flakier, alright,” he said softly, hauling both feet onto a stool. “You know, I wouldn’t trade places with today’s guy for a doctorate in Home Economics. No way. I get tired just watching you.” I creased another collar, listened to his laugh, and wondered if he had a point. It was the first thinking I’d done in awhile, what with attending church planning sessions, babysitting during Ladies’ Night Out, driving kids to sporting events, hollering at insurance salesmen, and...oh yes, holding down a full-time job.
Phil Callaway (The Christian Guy Book)
it is difficult to coordinate opposition to any program that benefits few at the expense of many because of the transactions costs of political activity. Second, taxpayers cannot easily identify the allocation of costs and benefits from bailouts, which is determined not by the courts but by a deposit-insurance resolution authority operating within the government under opaque circumstances and ad hoc arrangements. Third, because taxpayers are sometimes depositors, they may not be able to determine whether they are better or worse off as a result of the government’s intervention.
Charles W. Calomiris (Fragile by Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World Book 50))
But American capitalism was not ideologically rigid. It was never the laissez-faire laboratory of purist, principled imaginations. The strength of the system came through its pragmatism and flexibility, juggling competing and contradictory ideas, just as Carnegie did personally, and eventually finding political solutions to seemingly intractable issues, especially after the scars of the Civil War. Just as successful species adapted to changes in their environment, democracy would shape capitalism to adapt to social conditions, with compromise emerging as the best form of insurance against any risk of revolution. This middle ground, forged by the clashing interactions of capitalism and democracy, a free people acting to check free markets, would give rise to the regulatory framework that would govern its economic system.
Bhu Srinivasan (Americana: A 400-Year History of American Capitalism)
labour? The elite cared not that education standards were falling in the state sector, because by and large they had no connection with the state sector. For the most part they had private health insurance too. And in a sense the economic shibboleths of the 1980s paid for these people to live the less dirigiste social lives made possible by the new freedoms of divorce and separation. The poor, as we have seen, still cannot afford to divorce. When they do, the misery – economic and social – is boundless. I do not want to kill
Rod Liddle (Selfish Whining Monkeys: How we Ended Up Greedy, Narcissistic and Unhappy)
The United States incarnates a more cutthroat form of capitalism, while the Scandinavian countries, and to a lesser extent Germany, are the representatives of a more cuddly capitalism. According to this view, insofar as innovation at the technological frontier relies on strong monetary incentives, the countries that aim for frontier innovation should forgo the goals of insurance and equality: in other words, they should renounce “cuddly capitalism” in favor of a “cutthroat” form of capitalism. As for the countries who choose cuddly capitalism, they would have no alternative but growth by imitation of technologies invented by the frontier countries. The “cuddly” countries provide their citizens with greater equality and insurance, but their growth depends ultimately on the growth of the “cutthroat” countries, which, one might say, work for the benefit of the rest of the world.
Philippe Aghion (The Power of Creative Destruction: Economic Upheaval and the Wealth of Nations)
From Fox News and the Hoover Institute and every newspaper in the land they sing the praises of the working man’s red-state virtues even while they pummel the working man’s economic chances with outsourcing, new overtime rules, lousy health insurance, and coercive new management techniques.
Thomas Frank (What's the Matter With Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America)
What are your feelings from Bush to Obama? Besides being responsible for the death of half a million people, I feel like Bush dealt a huge economic and social blow to the USA, one from which we may never fully recover. He directly flushed 3 trillion dollars down the toilet on hopeless, pointlessly destructive wars in Afghanistan and Iraq …and they’re not even over! For years to come, we’ll be paying costs for all the injured veterans (over 50,000) and destabilizing three countries, because you have to look at the impact that the Afghan war has on Pakistan. Bush expanded the use of torture, and created a whole new layer of government bureaucracy (the “Department of Homeland Security”) to spy on Americans. He created Indefinite Detention (at Guantanamo and other US military bases) and expanded the use of executive-ordered assassinations using the new drone technology. On economic issues, his administration allowed corporations to run things and regulate themselves. The agency that was supposed to regulate oil drilling had lobbyist-paid prostitutes sleeping with employees while oil industry lobbyists basically ran the agency. Energy companies like Enron, and the country’s investment banks were deregulated at the end of the Clinton administration and Bush allowed them to run wild. Above all, he was incompetent and appointed some really stupid people to important positions at every level of government. Certainly, Obama has been involved in many of these same activities. A few he’s increased, such as the use of drone assassinations, but most of them he has at least tried to scale back. At the beginning of his first term, he tried to close the Guantanamo prison and have trials for many of the detainees in the United States but conservatives (including many Democrats) stirred up public resistance and blocked this from happening. He tried to get some kind of universal healthcare because over 50 million Americans don’t have health insurance. This is one of the leading causes of personal bankruptcies and foreclosures because someone gets sick in a family, loses their job, loses their health insurance (because American employers are source of most people’s healthcare) and they can’t pay their health bills or their mortgage. Or they use up all their money caring for a sick family member. So many people in the US wanted health insurance reform or single-payer, universal health care similar to what you have in the UK. Members of Obama’s own party (The Democrats) joined with Republicans to narrowly block “The public option” but they managed to pass a half-assed but not-unsubstantial reform of health insurance that would prevent insurers from denying you coverage when you’re sick or have a “preexisting condition.” The minute it was signed into law, Republicans sued in the courts (all the way to the supreme court) and fought, tooth and nail to block its implementation. Same thing with gun control, even as we’re one of the most violent industrial countries in the world. (Among industrial countries, our murder rate is second only to Russia). Obama has managed to withdraw troops from Iraq and Afghanistan over Republican opposition but, literally, everything he tries to do, they blast it in the media and fight it in Congress. So, while I have a lot of criticisms of Obama, he is many orders of magnitude less awful than Bush and many of the positive things he’s tried to do have been blocked. That said, the Democratic and Republican parties agree on more things than they disagree. Both signed off on the Afghan and Iraq wars. Both signed off on deregulation of banks, of derivatives, of mortgage regulations and of the energy and telecom business …and we’ve been living with the consequences ever since. I’m guessing it’s the same thing with Labor and Conservatives in the UK. Labor or Democrats will SAY they stand for certain “progressive” things but they end up supporting the same old crap... (2014 interview with iamhiphop)
Andy Singer
I am on Aid to Families with Dependent Children, and both my children are in school. . . . I have graduated from college with distinction, 128th in a class of over 1000, with a B.A. in English and sociology. I have experience in library work, child care, social work and counseling. I have been to the CETA office. They have nothing for me. . . . I also go every week to the library to scour the newspaper Help Wanted ads. I have kept a copy of every cover letter that I have sent out with my resume; the stack is inches thick. I have applied for jobs paying as little as $8000 a year. I work part-time in a library for $3.50 an hour, welfare reduces my allotment to compensate. . . . It appears we have employment offices that can’t employ, governments that can’t govern and an economic systemthat can’t produce jobs for people ready to work. . . . Last week I sold my bed to pay for the insurance on my car, which, in the absence of mass transportation, I need to go job hunting. I sleep on a piece of rubber foamsomebody gave me. So this is the great American dream my parents came to this country for: Work hard, get a good education, follow the rules, and you will be rich. I don’t want to be rich. I just want to be able to feed my children and live with some semblance of dignity. . . .
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: American Beginnings to Reconstruction (New Press People's History, 1))
This observation means that if you consider the benefits of the New Deal—among them, saving Americans from starvation and idleness; rescuing banks and the currency; bringing electricity to people who never had it; building a national road network; controlling flooding; eradicating diseases in much of the nation; and establishing the right to join a union, secure an old-age pension, obtain unemployment insurance, and earn a minimum wage; and in doing so, renewing Americans’ faith in democracy because they could see that their government would work for them and attend to their needs—then you can say Americans were able to enjoy all those gains without forgoing a robust economic recovery.
Kevin M. Kruse (Myth America: Historians Take On the Biggest Legends and Lies About Our Past)
By including special language in your LLC’s operating agreement you may be able to create a safe harbor to insure that future special allocations will have a substantial economic effect.
Garrett Sutton (Start Your Own Corporation: Why the Rich Own Their Own Companies and Everyone Else Works for Them (Rich Dad Advisors))
Private equity surrounds you. When you visit a doctor or pay a student loan, buy life insurance or rent an apartment, pump gas or fill a prescription, you may—wittingly or not—be supporting a private equity firm. These firms, with obscure names like Blackstone, Carlyle, and KKR, are actually some of the largest employers in America and hold assets that rival those of small countries. Yet few people understand what these firms are or how they work. This is unfortunate because private equity firms, which buy and sell so many businesses you know, explain innumerable modern economic mysteries. They explain, in part, why your doctor’s bill is so expensive and why your veterinary clinic seems to be in decline. They explain why so many stores are understaffed or closing altogether. They explain why there are ever fewer companies in America and why those that remain are selling ever lower-quality products. In fact, despite their relative anonymity, private equity firms are poised to reshape America in this decade the way in which Big Tech did in the last decade and in which subprime lenders did in the decade before that. And as we will explore, they’re all doing it with the government’s help.
Brendan Ballou (Plunder: Private Equity's Plan to Pillage America)
Understandably, given public anger at bailouts, support had been gathering from both the right and the left for breaking up the largest institutions. There were also calls to reinstate the Depression-era Glass-Steagall law, which Congress had repealed in 1999. Glass-Steagall had prohibited the combination within a single firm of commercial banking (mortgage and business lending, for example) and investment banking (such as bond underwriting). The repeal of Glass-Steagall had opened the door to the creation of “financial supermarkets,” large and complex firms that offered both commercial and investment banking services. The lack of a new Glass-Steagall provision in the administration’s plan seemed to me particularly easy to defend. A Glass-Steagall–type statute would have offered little benefit during the crisis—and in fact would have prevented the acquisition of Bear Stearns by JPMorgan and of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America, steps that helped stabilize the two endangered investment banks. More importantly, most of the institutions that became emblematic of the crisis would have faced similar problems even if Glass-Steagall had remained in effect. Wachovia and Washington Mutual, by and large, got into trouble the same way banks had gotten into trouble for generations—by making bad loans. On the other hand, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers were traditional Wall Street investment firms with minimal involvement in commercial banking. Glass-Steagall would not have meaningfully changed the permissible activities of any of these firms. An exception, perhaps, was Citigroup—the banking, securities, and insurance conglomerate whose formation in 1998 had lent impetus to the repeal of Glass-Steagall. With that law still in place, Citi likely could not have become as large and complex as it did. I agreed with the administration’s decision not to revive Glass-Steagall. The decision not to propose breaking up some of the largest institutions seemed to me a closer call. The truth is that we don’t have a very good understanding of the economic benefits of size in banking. No doubt, the largest firms’ profitability is enhanced to some degree by their political influence and markets’ perception that the government will protect them from collapse, which gives them an advantage over smaller firms. And a firm’s size contributes to the risk that it poses to the financial system. But surely size also has a positive economic value—for example, in the ability of a large firm to offer a wide range of services or to operate at sufficient scale to efficiently serve global nonfinancial companies. Arbitrary limits on size would risk destroying that economic value while sending jobs and profits to foreign competitors. Moreover, the size of a financial firm is far from the only factor that determines whether it poses a systemic risk. For example, Bear Stearns, which was only a quarter the size of the firm that acquired it, JPMorgan Chase, wasn’t too big to fail; it was too interconnected to fail. And severe financial crises can occur even when most financial institutions are small.
Ben S. Bernanke (Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and Its Aftermath)
a basic income is arguably more justified by the need for economic security than by a desire to eradicate poverty. Martin Luther King captured several aspects of this rather well in his 1967 book, Where Do We Go from Here? [A] host of positive psychological changes inevitably will result from widespread economic security. The dignity of the individual will flourish when the decisions concerning his life are in his own hands, when he has the assurance that his income is stable and certain, and when he knows that he has the means to seek self-improvement. Personal conflicts between husband, wife and children will diminish when the unjust measurement of human worth on a scale of dollars is eliminated.15 Twentieth-century welfare states tried to reduce certain risks of insecurity with contributory insurance schemes. In an industrial economy, the probability of so-called ‘contingency risks’, such as illness, workplace accidents, unemployment and disability, could be estimated actuarially. A system of social insurance could be constructed that worked reasonably well for the majority. In a predominantly ‘tertiary’ economy, in which more people are in and out of temporary, part-time and casual jobs and are doing a lot of unpaid job-related work outside fixed hours and workplaces, this route to providing basic security has broken down. The
Guy Standing (Basic Income: And How We Can Make It Happen)
When Warren was a little boy fingerprinting nuns and collecting bottle caps, he had no knowledge of what he would someday become. Yet as he rode his bike through Spring Valley, flinging papers day after day, and raced through the halls of The Westchester, pulse pounding, trying to make his deliveries on time, if you had asked him if he wanted to be the richest man on earth—with his whole heart, he would have said, Yes. That passion had led him to study a universe of thousands of stocks. It made him burrow into libraries and basements for records nobody else troubled to get. He sat up nights studying hundreds of thousands of numbers that would glaze anyone else’s eyes. He read every word of several newspapers each morning and sucked down the Wall Street Journal like his morning Pepsi, then Coke. He dropped in on companies, spending hours talking about barrels with the woman who ran an outpost of Greif Bros. Cooperage or auto insurance with Lorimer Davidson. He read magazines like the Progressive Grocer to learn how to stock a meat department. He stuffed the backseat of his car with Moody’s Manuals and ledgers on his honeymoon. He spent months reading old newspapers dating back a century to learn the cycles of business, the history of Wall Street, the history of capitalism, the history of the modern corporation. He followed the world of politics intensely and recognized how it affected business. He analyzed economic statistics until he had a deep understanding of what they signified. Since childhood, he had read every biography he could find of people he admired, looking for the lessons he could learn from their lives. He attached himself to everyone who could help him and coattailed anyone he could find who was smart. He ruled out paying attention to almost anything but business—art, literature, science, travel, architecture—so that he could focus on his passion. He defined a circle of competence to avoid making mistakes. To limit risk he never used any significant amount of debt. He never stopped thinking about business: what made a good business, what made a bad business, how they competed, what made customers loyal to one versus another. He had an unusual way of turning problems around in his head, which gave him insights nobody else had. He developed a network of people who—for the sake of his friendship as well as his sagacity—not only helped him but also stayed out of his way when he wanted them to. In hard times or easy, he never stopped thinking about ways to make money. And all of this energy and intensity became the motor that powered his innate intelligence, temperament, and skills.
Alice Schroeder (The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life)
Your Personal Economic Model One tool we use when discussing the best course of action to secure your financial future is the Personal Economic Model®. Just as a medical doctor would use an anatomical model to convey medical concepts, we use the following model to convey financial concepts. This model offers a visual representation of the way money flows through your hands. On the left, you will notice the Lifetime Capital Potential tank, which illustrates that the amount of money you will control during your lifetime is both large, as well as finite. Most people are shocked to see how much money can flow through their hands in their lifetime. Once earned, your money flows directly to the Tax Filter where the state and federal governments take tax dollars owed from your paycheck. The after tax dollars are then directed to either your Current Lifestyle or your Future Lifestyle. Your management of the Lifestyle Regulator determines where these dollars go. Regulating the cash flow between your current lifestyle desires and your future lifestyle requirements may be the most important financial decision you will ever make. Here’s why. Each and every dollar that is allowed to flow through to your Current Lifestyle is consumed and gone forever. The goal is to accumulate enough money in the Savings and Investment tanks so that when you retire, the dollars in those tanks can be used to pay for your future lifestyle requirements. Retirement planning seems hard for most people to do but it is not rocket science. The best position, position A, would be to have enough in the tanks so that you can live in the future like you live today adjusted for inflation and have your money last at least to your life expectancy. That’s a win, but the icing on the cake would be to accomplish that with little to no impact on your present standard of living, and that is exactly what we strive to help our clients to do. Working with us can help you with the following: Optimize the balance between your Current and Future Lifestyles Identify inefficiencies in your current personal economic model (where are you losing money) Design, implement, and execute a plan to secure your financial future Limit the impact on your Current Lifestyle dollars (maintain your current standard of living)
Annette Wise
The default posture of Generation X has always been to trash the boomers. The boomers were yuppie sellouts, sanctimonious blowhards, fair-weather hippies who joined the establishment as soon as they realized the upsides to having health insurance and retirement accounts (see: backstories of Big Chill characters and Hope and Michael et al.). They did tons of drugs and had tons of sex and then left us to trudge through the AIDS and crack epidemics they left in their wake. If you were a young writer in the 1990s, as I was, you could find a steady stream of magazine work composing irony-laden rants about how much the boomers had screwed over the Xers—economically, culturally, sexually-transmitted-diseasedly, et cetera. In the span of a few years, I wrote no fewer than fifteen articles that were essentially some variation on “broken homes ruined our belief in marriage, MTV ruined our attention spans, and AIDS ruined our sex lives. Our world and the baby boomers’ world are many galaxies apart.
Meghan Daum (The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion)
Dollars to donuts you’re looking at ODs there,” said Kemper, pointing to some young people getting out of cars and heading to one of the gravesites. “Over eighty thousand people in America this year alone,” she added. “More than died in Vietnam and the wars in the Middle East combined. And far more than die in traffic accidents or by guns, and it’s only getting worse. Next year we’ll probably be looking at over a hundred thousand dead. The opioid crisis is actually responsible for the life expectancy in this country starting to go down. Can you wrap your head around that? Nearly a half million dead since 2000. Drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans under age fifty. We had a recent study done at DEA. Life insurance companies value a human life at about five million bucks. Using that number and other factors, our people projected the economic loss to the country each year due to the opioid crisis at about a hundred billion dollars. A third of the population is on medication for pain. And they’re not getting addicted on street corners. They’re getting addicted at their doctors’ offices.” “From prescription painkillers.
David Baldacci (The Fallen (Amos Decker, #4))