Societal Ills

because it is so demeaning to be without work.

If only it were seen as demeaning to be without work in the United Socialist States of America!


"McDonald’s in this town does not pay $12.50/hour. No way could you make $500 by working 10 hours a week. The bookkeeper’s husband is already working 60 hours a week. "

10-12 hours week * $8.50/hour = $85 - $105.00 week (adults usually make a bit more than the kids, so $9/ hour is not unrealistic). This makes up $360-$440 of the amount needed. If they can’t find a way to cut their costs $60-$140/month, I CAN show them…

If the husband is working 60 hours week with business being slow (?), and can’t make money, maybe he needs to think about being employed rather than beiing an employer…

While I agree that this “problem” will not go away, neither will universal healthcare… it will just exaccerbate the “problem”…

Minimum wage here is $7.50/Hour. It just went up on Jan. 1.



Surprisingly, McDonalds pays more than minimum wage, but McDonalds was used an example of what COULD be done during his “slow time”, meaning that his normal 60 hours / week has been cut back due to lack of work. I don’t care if it’s office cleaning on the weekends or a paper route in the morning (but I would have to get up early and go to bed earlier missing my TV shows - yes, it’s called sacrifice). Fortunately, as a mechanic, he has many options open to him - he could pick up work from dealers on weekends (those guys hate working weekends), he could work for a Jiffy-lube part-time, etc. That is if pride were not a factor.

For the person who WANTS it, $500 a month can be made up. Have them email me and I will start a dialog with them, and I guarantee that this can be done. BUT, and here’s the part that usually weeds them out, it will require SACRIFICE and EFFORT and a willingness to make change. It’s tax time, and a bookkeeper can’t find extra work? Try Craig’s List, try word of mouth, try, try, try… but don’t get stuck in the trap of having others do it for you… it comes at a steep price!

You mean I have to give up mine AND my husbands cell phone - yes, you can have a land line for much less each month and your husband most likely also already has a business land line, you mean I have to give up the $40 -$50 month cable/satellite TV - yes, you mean I have to clip coupons - yes (we feed a family of 6 for an average of $400/month - but it requires planning), you mean I have to shop at Goodwill instead of charging on my credit card - yes, you mean I have to start getting creative with “date night” or “movie night”, and instead of dropping $50-$100 a pop I can still have fun and invite friends over for pot-luck or go for walks, or whatever - yes, you mean I actually have to sacrifice and DELAY GRATIFICATION to get ahead? YES!

As a large family, our food bill in the past ws $700-$750/month when the kids were younger. Over time, we’ve wittled it down to an average of just over $400/month and two of them are in their teens - and yes, that does include meat, etc. Point is, you have to WANT to do it…

The reality is, that in most cases, $500 a month can be easily made up IF you want to, and you put your pride aside.

The challenge alot of people nowadays face, is that they have become weakened (we’ve made our own mistakes over the years, BTW, so I don’t exclude myself) by NOT learning to delay gratification and wanting to “have it all” (houses they can’t afford, HELOC’s they can’t pay, credit cards maxed out, etc.), and when things go south, instead of stepping up and making the hard changes that need to be made, foist their responsibility off on some one else in the form of “tax the rich” or “I want healthcare but I want somebody ELSE to pay for it” but call it universal healthcare so I don’t have to admit that I want SOMEBODY ELSE to pay for my healthcare…

The sad thing is, most will try to justify this in one red herring or straw man after another, but it comes down to, inidivdual responsibility. That has become a proverbial four-letter word.

Do bad things happen to good people? Yes, but that doesn’t mean you stop getting up in the morning and plough ahead. You CAN do it, IF you WANT to…

“Those who would sacrifice freedom for security, deserve neither…” - Benjamin Franklin

P.S. - I am serious about having them contact me, as I can show them many ways to get that $500… That is, unless you’ve already loaned it to them, gave them an advance, or a tax-deductible gift (have them “pay it forward” when times are better and they’ve developed their self discipline and are able to save more).

Positive Outlook,

Thank you for your offer to counsel. But I can’t do that, it would be a real violation of privacy. I hear where you’re coming from and you would be a great credit counselor.

I had a talk this morning with my bookkeeper and she is hopeful that the stimulus package will pick up sales at the new car dealer mechanic shop where her husband works. She talked about how they were able to make the health insurance premium payment this month, and how they are going to the park to play ball with the kids (3 and 5) instead of going to a kiddie movie. They are managing. The husband does repair cars already at home on the side. And grandma babysits at a less than market rate. They are getting by.for now. Thanks for your concern.

Here we are getting hit with vacancies at a time when we are normally full. I am starting to cut spending and postponing rehab. Why fix up more units if they will sit empty. We are living in interesting times.



No need to violate her privacy… provide her with my email, and we’ll talk… rather than struggle, tell her to put her pride aside and contact me…

It is interesting how we went from having to choose between food and electric and healthcare to being able to cover it…

As is usually the case, there is always more to the story, and usually things are not as bad as they seem.

As far as the stimulus helping… yeah… $26 buck a week between the two of them… what a joke… now they only need $396 more for that health insurance… change we can believe in…

In any case, nationalized healthcare ALWAYS leads to more costs by definition (the insurance companies are not going away, and the government is another layer of ADDED costs that we would have to pay, and we have example after example of how efficient the government is at administering… NOT!), and lower standard of care, and if it is nationalized, you can kiss the ability to sue for coverage that’s due goodbye, or worse yet, have to go through more layers of beaurocracy… ugh!.. no thanks!

I hear this argument a lot, most recently from the senator from LA in his response to Obamas speech.

But right now there are people who’s job it is to find a way to deny you a treatment! Their job! So why would the decisions about your treatments be any more out of the doctor’s hands in a non-profit govt run system than it is now in a for-profit system in which your treatment is barrier to that profit?

And is it not these very issues which cause lawsuits, which in turn contribute to the healthcare being so ridiculously expensive. Imagine if your doctors only concern in treating you was medical. No financial justifications to an insurance co playing hardball, or a drug co pushing a particular drug because they have a patent, when one just as good but much cheaper is available.

Another point is that right now I pay a premium every month. Why not pay it to the govt and know I’ll get the coverage I’m paying for. One difference though, if I quit my job I won’t have coverage unless I pay a ridiculous COBRA payment. To me that’s a huge lack of freedom. Any decision I want to make to relocate, go back to school, or start my own business is hinged on the problem of providing coverage for my family. People always talk about small biz being the backbone of our economy. How many more people would take that plunge if health coverage wasnt an issue, or if they didnt have to provide it to their employees to get good talent.

I know that universal health care would come with a ton of issues. I don’t know if it would work, but I think its worth plenty of research. We’ve got to do something. Having a child with cancer should not bankrupt a family. Just because it would be SOCIALISM-ISM-ISM :twisted is not a reason to disregard. Whats the fear? That we’ll be one slippery slope away from being communists? Cats and dogs living together. It’ll be anarchy! (name that movie quote)

“So why would the decisions about your treatments be any more out of the doctor’s hands in a non-profit govt run system than it is now in a for-profit system in which your treatment is barrier to that profit?” - MikeInCali

Ask ANY PERSON who is currently receiving their medical treatment via the government (i.e. - VA, Medicaid, Medicare. etc.), and you will see the NIGHTMARE that awaits EVERYONE ELSE on a government run system. SOME of the reason’s provided by congressional subcommittee’s as to the LACK of care provided on government run healthcare services…

…underfunded, inadequate care, substandard facilities, lack of choice as to WHERE you get your treatment, bureaucracy, ever-INCREASING deductibles, I could go on and on, and this is BEFORE adding the WHOLE or SUBSTANTIAL part of the country to it.

They have already been PROVING TO YOU that they CANNOT do this with example after example of how they cannot operate efficiently, WITHIN budget to even provide similar care. Add to this, that the government run system adds ANOTHER lay of bureaucracy AND cost to the system which HAS to be paid for. This does not take into account the 10’s of thousands of people that will have to be ADDED to the ever-growing State and Federal government to actually administer the program. Never mind the legion of lawyers the government will have to hire to handle the lawsuits that will CONTINUE to come because of coverage issues.

MikeInCali, I challenge you to name just ONE, out of the THOUSANDS of government run social programs out there, that is able to provide…

A) Better Service,
B) More Service,
C) Less Bureaucracy,
D) At ANY type of savings over what Private Industry can do…
E) Has not been found to be mismanaged

I’ll even make it easier, choose just two of the above bullet-points. I’ll save time for you… IT DOES NOT EXIST! And yet , you just want to hand over to the government 1/7th of the ENTIRE US ECONOMY!

“And is it not these very issues which cause lawsuits, which in turn contribute to the healthcare being so ridiculously expensive.”

Here we can agree… the ridiculous amounts awarded (of which the LAWYERS take 35-45%) above and beyond actual damages, ALONG with many other factors.

"One difference though, if I quit my job I won’t have coverage unless I pay a ridiculous COBRA payment. "

MikeInCali, so you think that if you QUIT your job, without any preplanning on your part (i.e. - lining up employment BEFORE making the switch), that not only are you somehow not going to have to pay the government premium, but then worse case, SOMEONE ELSE should have to pay it for you? Is this really what you believe? I’ve got news for you, COBRA IS already a government run program, and if you lose your job or quit, you MUST pay the premium each month TO THE GOVERNMENT or coverage is lapsed and you CANNOT get it back. The difference is that you now have a “CHOICE” of whether or not you CHOOSE to keep paying the COBRA premium. Once it becomes a deduction out of your check (employed check or unemployment check), you will have NO CHOICE - IT WILL BE TAKEN, even IF you don’t like the coverage plan.

“People always talk about small biz being the backbone of our economy. How many more people would take that plunge if health coverage wasnt an issue, or if they didnt have to provide it to their employees to get good talent.”

MikeInCali, you’ve obviously not had to deal with the bureaucracy of State and Federal government from an employer perspective. THINK about what you are saying, the money is STILL going to come out of your check, but it will be going to the government. The employer will STILL be paying it out to the government. You currently can deduct 100% of your healthcare costs if they are above 7% of your gross income (i.e. - deductibles, co-pays, the amount the insurance company doesn’t cover, etc.), and if you think this will remain in place IF the government takes it over, you’re not being realistic, as they will now look at it as THEIR money you are taking.

“Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither.” Benjamin Franklin

To illustrate the point, I’d like you to consider something… the government run schools cost TWICE as much as their privately run school counterparts, and the privately run schools are MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE.

And, BTW, if you use government run schools, you have NO CHOICE where they attend… THEY tell you where to go, EVEN if the school does not meet your standards or is a war zone…

And yet, in the new “stimulus” bill, the answer to the failing school system… MORE MONEY!

Private/Home school students are MUCH more prepared for college than their government run school counterparts, and the government has been doing this for over 100 years! The result? Costs TWICE as much, worse result, worse experience, larger student/teacher ratio, worse college transition rate… need I go on?

And you are OK with giving this same organization (i.e. - government) CONTROL over more of your life, with NO choice? If we contracted out the school system privately and they achieved the same results we have gotten, there would be a hue and cry defaming them, and calls for congressional hearings, fines, accountability, etc. BUT, because it is the GOVERNMENT, it DOES NOT HAPPEN!

What do you think will happen with government healthcare, which is not only much more complex, but costs in the TRILLIONS!

Is this REALLY what you want to burden your kids with?