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Author Topic: Economy  (Read 13176 times)

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Offline MYSTERY

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  • Posts: 186
Economy
« on: October 09, 2008, 11:56:57 PM »
Hi all,

I was just wondering if anyone else has been thinking about the stock market and the current state that we are in.  I have been thinking and am concerned about what it would take for insurance and pharmaceutical companies to be affected.  People with chronic illnesses would obviously be affected if pharmaceutical companies no longer made the medications because they did not have any money, or if insurance companies no longer provided insurance.  Therefore, all medication costs would have to come out of your own pocket because the insurance company would not be paying for them anymore.  I have been thinking of this lately because I was wondering how far we are from this to happen.  History has a way of repeating itself and I think the Great Depression would definitely mean an end to the medications many of us need to survive.

Just a thought, not meant to make anyone worry, but it is an interesting topic to think about.  I was just wondering if anyone else was putting any thought into it or if I am just being paranoid.   ;)
Atheist don't believe in GOD, but GOD believes in them and loves them. Never let the failure of man conflict with your love of GOD.

Offline atlq

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Re: Economy
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2008, 12:09:49 AM »
Mystery,

It should concern us. Many people on this board receive meds through state ADAP programs. Even in the recent "good times" those programs have been severely strained. In some states there are long waiting lists now. If the recession deepens, tax revenues go down and the states ( which are constitutionally required, in most cases, to have balanced budgets) will begin cutting programs.. Medicaid here has already been cut 2 percent with more to come.

For those of us with insurance?  A best case scenario would be for premiums and co-pays to rise. The worst case? Massive employment could move thousands of us into a public health system that is already completely overburdened.

I think the pharmaceutical industry will continue to supply the meds, but access will become a huge, huge problem...

We are looking at some tough times ahead in the next few months, no doubt....
“Keep up the good work....   And God bless you.”
  --  Sarah Palin, to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, 2008

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Economy
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2008, 07:22:35 AM »
Forgive my (naive?) good faith in the "goodness of America", but I would assume if there are 1 million americains (more or less) in need of treatment, and there was a catastrophic depression and insurance companies failed, then the government could step in and refuse the patents, in some national emergency measure, and make the meds for cost.  For HIV as well as other chronic illnesses. 

Other countries such as Brazil manage more or less to do this.  How low could the USA sink??? It's a bit insulting to think the USA could be so evil in a hypothetical situation. 

Nevertheless, I take note how discouraging it is to hear that there are ADAP waiting lists... This means in fact there is already a gross calculation going on. We all know this. The health of a certain number of people can be sacrificed to protect the American status quo.  Therefore the worst case scenario is not a complete economic castrophe but ever tightening budgets and ever worsening gradual recession, so that ever more people are dumped on public assistant and thus "sacrificed" - suffer and die without proper "first world" treatment.

It seems this sort of thing creeps up on a nation - acceptable loss.  This explains how the economy could be the number one issue in the presidential elections, according to media and polls, when there are catastrophic wars resulting in horrible waste of human lives, and also when there are already people living in misery in a "first world" country, that should be able to do better for all its citizens......

yuck
« Last Edit: October 10, 2008, 07:39:12 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Economy
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2008, 07:48:57 AM »
The situation is not "hypothetical." There is a reason we have many underground people and organizations who do HIV medicine distribution. Unused meds cannot be legally resold, nor given away. And people often donate to these individuals and groups when they switch meds or stop taking them (or die).

Sadly, with flat funding for Ryan White and other HIV related assistance as the number of HIV infected individuals in dire need of medicine grows, the situation you describe already exists. And outside the HIV community, the world is often unaware - or even hostile - to this process.

In a situation where a handful of missed doses can mean resistance to a whole class of drugs, these altruistic people and groups are more and more important. And in these trying economic times, I suspect we will not find more altruism on the part of those who are, themselves, struggling to stay afloat. Add to that the "donut hole" in Medicare and the limitations of existing healthcare plans, the upcoming spike in unemployment and strain on the COBRA resources, and we will quickly see how bad things will get.

What can we do?

We can donate our unused meds to the individuals and groups who are willing to take significant risk to distribute them, without cost, to those in need. We can donate unused canned and non perishable goods to food pantries. We can make a difference. Because our government cannot be counted upon to do so. Especially not now.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline mecch

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Re: Economy
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2008, 08:17:09 AM »
You realise I agree with you. 
If government inaction requires community action, and even as you say covert action, then something is terribly wrong. Those who do the community action are heroes and very generous people.

In New York City it started happening in the eighties and by the nineties it was revolting. The rich eating the poor, and the media and general opinion being, oh, I guess that's somehow free-market and good and American and we are all for it somehow if it doesn't touch me (the middle class, I guess)

Personally, travelling frequently in Western Europe in the 90's I saw a different way of thinking about how a rich country should be organised.  I bailed when NYC got insufferable. I had already experienced too many horror stories in the 80's - some HIV related..  And through the 90's, that dillinger capitalism spread all over the USA.

Every 4 years Americans get to vote and have a say about the direction and priorities of the nation -- but its all too centrist in the end!  Bill Clinton sent Hillary to Capital Hill with the same agenda Obama offers - much better health converage for all Americans, and they laughed at her!  Obama is a better hope then McCain (no hope) but what is needed is, I am afraid, something far more radical - a true shift in American conciousness about what is possible for citizens of a country with first world wealth.

This is why between community activist and government and elites one needs muckrackers like, with all his faults, Michael Moore, whose film sicko really shows the comparision between rich nations, and adds Cuba (a bit disingenously) to boot.

Western European countries have their problems and their limitations but truly, many of the treatment access and quality of life issues that break our hearts in these threads - western Europeans look on in bewilderment.  How is it possible Americans can live with such "acceptable losses". ???
« Last Edit: October 10, 2008, 08:22:28 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline atlq

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Re: Economy
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2008, 08:37:58 AM »
 
 
   

Western European countries have their problems and their limitations but truly, many of the treatment access and quality of life issues that break our hearts in these threads - western Europeans look on in bewilderment.  How is it possible Americans can live with such "acceptable losses". ???

Agreed. However, Western Europeans should not be too smug when it comes to this situation. This contagion-if not checked-could threaten even the nationalized health systems in Europe. Iceland's bankrupcty shows that though this crisis orginated in the US, it is global in scope.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2008, 08:39:47 AM by atlq »
“Keep up the good work....   And God bless you.”
  --  Sarah Palin, to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, 2008

Offline mecch

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Re: Economy
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2008, 08:43:59 AM »
"I believe all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction. Yet true happiness comes from a sense of peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved through the cultivation of altruism, of love and compassion, and elimination of ignorance, selfishness, and greed."

- Dalai Lama

HHDL has been very wise about global politics (especially between "first" and "developing" nations) being based on greed and selfishness and jealousy as well.

I truly believe that within America, "Amercia is the Greatest" jingoism that both political parties have to spew is contributing to keeping many Americans ignorant that on many counts, the USA has not arrived at the best solutions for a first world country.

The Iraq war is a terrible mistake - quite related to present and future greed and selfishness of Americans.  Even if GB believes, truly believes, that "spreading democracy" was a good idea, hes surrounded by enough smart people who knew its all about maintaining American power and access to dwindling oil.

The idea that the marketplace, ESPECIALLY the American market, is going to take care of the well-being of the citizens is, well, WRONG.  You need a mix - you need either a people strong enough to demand a socialist government out of basically a ruling elite (in a gross instance - France) or you need a government altruistic enough to siphon off enough of capitalist profits to garantee a quality of life for its citizens (in a gross instance - Switzerland, Denmark, maybe Germany).

Who maintains the majority of Americans in this ignorance but elites from both the right and left who don't have the balls to call a spade a spade, and instead, coat everything under an sweet icing of "balanced journalism" and "both sides of the issue".

There's no debate!  Uninsured citizens in rich country is a sin.  Some greedy people selfish people are behind this state of affairs.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: Economy
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2008, 08:47:35 AM »
Some nations have so much wealth and are so committed to public welfare of its citizens that even a depression would not have to threaten basic health care and other social welfare programs.  Articles in the Zurich financial press these weeks assure that the disaster potentially facing the USA need not be global.  But I'm not an economist, whos to say.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline atlq

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Re: Economy
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2008, 08:54:31 AM »
Meech,

I don't disagree with you in terms of philosophy. However, we have an immediate crisis here, and calls to revolution aren't likely to instill confidence.

Yesterday, it was reported that Treasury would use a portion of the 700 billion authority it was granted to inject money directly into the banks, in return for equity stakes in the institutions and under the proviso that the funds injected be loaned to commercial and personal borrowers, This seems to be a wiser course right now than the mortgage securities "buy back", though that is probably necessary also.

The next step? The new administration will need to launch an economic stimulus initiative to create jobs (rebuilding bridges etc...)

I want systemic change here also. But first , the bleeding must be stopped.
“Keep up the good work....   And God bless you.”
  --  Sarah Palin, to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, 2008

Offline atlq

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Re: Economy
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2008, 08:55:11 AM »
Some nations have so much wealth and are so committed to public welfare of its citizens that even a depression would not have to threaten basic health care and other social welfare programs.  Articles in the Zurich financial press these weeks assure that the disaster potentially facing the USA need not be global.  But I'm not an economist, whos to say.

I certainly hope so...
“Keep up the good work....   And God bless you.”
  --  Sarah Palin, to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, 2008

Offline mecch

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Re: Economy
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2008, 09:11:56 AM »
The message that if America tanks, the world goes with it, seems possible part of American jingoism.

Nobody globally wants the American economy (and thus consumer market) to tank. But surely there are many plans to quickly switch oil trading to euros (a former threat also frequently mentioned as motivation for the Iraq war), and China for giving up its confidence in the dollar.

Do not forget that at the beginning of the 20th Century, Argentina was one of the richest and fastest developing countries in the world.  What happens with time...

Obama says "Americans deserve better" and I hope its not just a campaign rhetoric.  I don't think its a revolution so much as someone in power really calling it like it is...

If Obama gets a democratic house and senate, will Amercians get what they should already have.

Someone better start soaking the rich again.  Geez, its not like they'll really suffer giving up some.

(And if I ruled the world, a lot of people would be surprised to learn that in comparative terms, they are considered "rich", and they gotta belly up to the bar and pay.)


« Last Edit: October 10, 2008, 09:15:04 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline atlq

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Re: Economy
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2008, 09:17:01 AM »
The message that if America tanks, the world goes with it, seems possible part of American jingoism.



O.K. then . Problem solved.
“Keep up the good work....   And God bless you.”
  --  Sarah Palin, to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, 2008

Offline atlq

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Re: Economy
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2008, 09:25:46 AM »
I certainly hope people with the authority to take action (and all of us) are reading Krugman:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/10/opinion/10krugman.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
“Keep up the good work....   And God bless you.”
  --  Sarah Palin, to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, 2008

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Economy
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2008, 09:30:14 AM »
it's not just the US that's affected by this massive problem:

http://money.cnn.com/2008/10/09/markets/global_markets/index.htm?postversion=2008101005

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline mecch

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Re: Economy
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2008, 09:37:18 AM »
Well, returning to the HIV related component of this thread,
since my insurance is NOT counting my pills, I plan to slowly stock up a reserve.
At least this could give me some months manoeuvre time if the supply ever gets cut off suddenly.

If eventually it turns out I have a few months supply, and I should have to switch treatments for some reason so the supply is worthless to me, I'll be happy to share it with someone who needs.

Atripla shelf life is two years...  So if I keep a couple of pills a month, but always take the oldest pills in my stach, then eventually I'll be a month or two ahead in my script.

Also considered pulling the "lost" or "stolen" pills story - getting two months ahead in one swoop perhaps.  Incidentally, this is all related to my American fears of not being taken care of, even though I'm not living in America.  Share these fears with POZ compatriots in my country and they look at me like I was crazy.  "Health care is a legal right, don't know know."  Uh, as an American, its hard to believe sometimes this is possible....

This thread is very "Mad Max". Very "Water World". 

Reminds me of my grandma who lived the depression. She still always has a reserve of certain foods in her cupboard!
« Last Edit: October 10, 2008, 09:59:58 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: Economy
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2008, 09:42:50 AM »
You are linking American information sources.  Again I propose "if america goes, so goes the world" is part of american jingoism. Also, if stock markets tank, and jobs are lost, does still not mean social welfare states disintegrate.  Disintegration might come when the first world must redistribute wealth to the developing world and the poor.  A depression in first world countries may not have much impact on socialised medicine in first world countries.  A depression would wreck havoc on the precarious in the USA. Immediately. And that's my point. Yours too I think.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline komnaes

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Re: Economy
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2008, 10:14:29 AM »
A depression in first world countries may not have much impact on socialised medicine in first world countries. 

Iceland
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Economy
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2008, 10:19:47 AM »
Some nations have so much wealth and are so committed to public welfare of its citizens that even a depression would not have to threaten basic health care and other social welfare programs.  Articles in the Zurich financial press these weeks assure that the disaster potentially facing the USA need not be global.  But I'm not an economist, whos to say.

Ask Iceland. No matter how much "good will" social services will be the first and sharpest cut.

Offline mecch

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Re: Economy
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2008, 11:31:27 AM »
Ask Iceland. No matter how much "good will" social services will be the first and sharpest cut.

Says who? When the bean-counting capitalists try to cut the French social welfare state, the people immediately strike and object and nothing happens.

Assuming that social services are the first and sharpest cut may be an American assumption.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Assurbanipal

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Re: Economy
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2008, 12:03:07 PM »
Actually, on a more cheerful note and reflecting the fact that Democrats are currently in control of both House and Senate, there's talk of additional funding for Medicaid as part of a post election stimulus package to direct more money to state governments.  Not clear that the money will stay with Medicaid, but it would at least start there.

The Democratic proposal would provide tax relief in some form for families, the goal being to step up their spending, as the rebates were intended to do earlier this year. In addition, unemployment insurance benefits would be extended beyond 39 weeks and the food stamp program would expand. Both would channel money to people who would probably spend every penny to meet their needs. But the biggest chunk, perhaps as much as $150 billion, would go to states and cities to sustain their everyday spending.


...

Under the stimulus package that the Congressional Democratic leadership is considering, the mechanism for funneling money to the states and cities would be an increase in federal funding of state Medicaid programs. Those states hardest hit economically would receive more proportionally than those relatively better off.

Whatever the amounts, the federal subsidies would free up money the states currently must put into Medicaid. States might divert that money to cities, for example, to pay teachers and vendors, or it might be used to quickly resume public works projects shut down for lack of funding.

Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate, now supports a stimulus plan similar to the one the Congressional Democratic leadership is seriously considering. “Mr. Obama has been calling for six months for a demand-side fiscal stimulus,” said Jason Furman, the candidate’s economic policy director.

Senator John McCain, the Republican candidate, is less enthusiastic. His campaign prefers, as a stimulus, making President Bush’s tax cuts permanent and lowering corporate tax rates. But the McCain camp does not reject out of hand the Democratic proposal now taking shape.



http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/10/business/10stimulus.html
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Economy
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2008, 12:09:28 PM »
Assuming that social services are the first and sharpest cut may be an American assumption.

Along the lines of assumption by Europeans, that they would not be affected by America's economic crisis. Seems Sarkozy would argue with your naive assumption, but you keep on whistling past that economic graveyard.

edited to add:

Just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.

Iceland's parliament voted to adopt sweeping new emergency powers to stabilise its struggling financial sector late Monday night. Mr Haarde indicated in a dramatic speech that he could not find an affordable loan from abroad that would not be disastrous for Iceland's public coffers.

He also warned of "chaos" if Iceland's banks stopped operating, and rushed through emergency legislative measures designed to stop the collapse of the Icelandic banking system.

Mr Haarde added: "A lot of the banks' business is in Britain, so it is likely that Britain might well be affected."
 
« Last Edit: October 10, 2008, 05:06:45 PM by Dachshund »

Offline atlq

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  • Posts: 518
Re: Economy
« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2008, 12:11:42 PM »


The Democratic proposal would provide tax relief in some form for families, the goal being to step up their spending, as the rebates were intended to do earlier this year. In addition, unemployment insurance benefits would be extended beyond 39 weeks and the food stamp program would expand. Both would channel money to people who would probably spend every penny to meet their needs. But the biggest chunk, perhaps as much as $150 billion, would go to states and cities to sustain their everyday spending.


...

Under the stimulus package that the Congressional Democratic leadership is considering, the mechanism for funneling money to the states and cities would be an increase in federal funding of state Medicaid programs. Those states hardest hit economically would receive more proportionally than those relatively better off.

Whatever the amounts, the federal subsidies would free up money the states currently must put into Medicaid. States might divert that money to cities, for example, to pay teachers and vendors, or it might be used to quickly resume public works projects shut down for lack of funding.

Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate, now supports a stimulus plan similar to the one the Congressional Democratic leadership is seriously considering. “Mr. Obama has been calling for six months for a demand-side fiscal stimulus,” said Jason Furman, the candidate’s economic policy director.

 
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/10/business/10stimulus.html

Excellent news...but they need to hit the ground running on Nov the 5th...This can't wait until the new administration is sworn in.....
“Keep up the good work....   And God bless you.”
  --  Sarah Palin, to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, 2008

Offline komnaes

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Re: Economy
« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2008, 12:16:42 PM »
Quote
Says who? When the bean-counting capitalists try to cut the French social welfare state, the people immediately strike and object and nothing happens.

You know they grow money on trees in Europe..
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Economy
« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2008, 12:18:54 PM »
Some nations have so much wealth and are so committed to public welfare of its citizens that even a depression would not have to threaten basic health care and other social welfare programs.  Articles in the Zurich financial press these weeks assure that the disaster potentially facing the USA need not be global.  But I'm not an economist, whos to say.

Let's see -- Iceland just went bankrupt or is so close that they're looking to Russia for money instead of any NATO member -- what's that tell you?  UK, France, Germany, Italy and Japan's foreign ministers are rushing to Washington to coordinate bank action because the bottom is falling out in those countries too.  Every major world stock market has plummeted for the past week.  It was reported earlier this week that Pakistan has one month's worth of foreign reserves before it goes bankrupt -- hmmm... nuclear power full of militants.  Sounds fab!
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline Basquo

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Re: Economy
« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2008, 12:43:58 PM »

 present and future greed and selfishness of Americans.  


Please refrain from making inclusive generalizations like this. It makes me think that you're biased, and makes me not want to believe anything else you've written. You lose credibilty when you lump everyone into one group, and you know damn well that not all Americans fall into that category.

Offline mecch

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Re: Economy
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2008, 01:27:28 PM »
Please refrain from making inclusive generalizations like this. It makes me think that you're biased, and makes me not want to believe anything else you've written. You lose credibilty when you lump everyone into one group, and you know damn well that not all Americans fall into that category.
My context is that the Bush administration was acting upon its belief that such a war will protect American supremacy and privileges, vis a vis the rest of the world. In other words the Policy is based on greed.  I did not and have never stated that all Americans are greedy and selfish.
Hey, I'm American.
Also all you people who are talking about the European banking and financial crisis joining the American.
I didn't say it wouldn't happen.
I don't deny the Icelandic fanancial collapse.
Geez.
I said, a depression does NOT garantee the dismantling of European social welfare states. Do you understand the difference?  In many countries, universal well being is a right and written in law. Do you REALLY think Britain would dismantle the national health service because of as stock market crash? Get real!
And Sarkozy is in the pockets of dillinger capitalism.
I agreed that it would be catastrophic to Americans at risk if the current crisis leads to further social welfare cuts. That was the original fear posted in this thread.  I disagree that a stockmarket collapses and banking crisis are going to necessarily result in the same in Europe. I tend to think not.
Read the whole thread before you dump on me, please.
Best to all.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline LordBerners

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Re: Economy
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2008, 02:10:15 PM »
You know they grow money on trees in Europe..

Actually this post made me think of a point I like to bring up whenever people discuss the Great Depression, the current Depression, and Keynesian economics.  It is erroneous to look at government actions during deflations/depressions as potentially 'running out of money'.  The whole point is to simply create money by fiat in order to keep economic activity going.

As much as I agree that the ordinary American would like to throw HIV people to the wolves as soon as things get bad (or probably even if things weren't bad), I think that the new liberal Democratic super majority will do better.  I think this depression may actually increase our chances of some State support, national health care, or at least better funding of current programs. 

Keynes basically recommended spending (creating) whatever money and programs it took to get us out of capitalism's inevitable collapses.  One of those programs could be us.  I think there are still people in Washington who understand what made America work from the 30's till Reagan got in and destroyed it all, and I think they're about to be returned firmly to power.  And they know, as Keynes taught us - no spending is wasteful, and no program is a bad program - the only caveat being that the money should go as much as possible to people who will spend rather than save it.  I think we are eminently qualified in that respect, as are other destitutes.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2008, 02:12:46 PM by LordBerners »
Please, just call me Berners.. or Baron.

Offline atlq

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Re: Economy
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2008, 05:36:34 PM »
...as Keynes taught us - no spending is wasteful, and no program is a bad program - the only caveat being that the money should go as much as possible to people who will spend rather than save it.  I think we are eminently qualified in that respect, as are other destitutes. - Lord B.

Word.
“Keep up the good work....   And God bless you.”
  --  Sarah Palin, to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, 2008

Offline komnaes

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Re: Economy
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2008, 10:51:01 PM »
Quote
Hey, I'm American.

Quote
You realise I agree with you.

Not many Americans I know spell this way.. just saying..

The current crisis as far as I know is a credit problem - meaning businesses/individuals and even banks are not getting the credit they need to function properly. It will lead to further economic turmoils as businesses begin to close and jobs are being cut, which mean much lower taxes that can be collected. And fewer people with good incomes also mean less consumer spending and hence you have a vicious circle.

The world economy has gone through one cycle of recession after another and somehow many economies managed to correct themselves, but this time the fear is that whether we have bumped into one of those structurally changing crisis that will take years to go back to normal - and in the meantime it's significantly damaging enough to change the fundamentals on what we have taken for granted on what a free economy should be ran.

Maybe it will swing the American to the more Keynesian regime, maybe not. Maybe it will strengthen the Europeans' belief in universal health care and social benefits, maybe not. Both have worked in their own respectively political environments and economic realities, whether you agree with or like it or not. What we're waiting to see is whether this wave is big enough to capsize the fundamentals and force us to rethink and regroup.
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline Robert

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Re: Economy
« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2008, 02:16:35 AM »

What we're waiting to see is whether this wave is big enough to capsize the fundamentals and force us to rethink and regroup.

I think it's pretty much a given that the conservative thought triumphed by Regan ("....gov't isn't the solution.  Gov't is the problem" (something like that.) and carried on by Bush and Bush and the 10 years of a Republican Congress from 1995 to 2006) is out the window. 

IF Bush 2 wasn't bad enough with his unfathomable foreign policy (which itself has sent our economy in the tank)and his shady interpretation of the individual rights, then his fiscal policy will finally do him in. 

God I bet he's pissed.  His presidency is in shambles, people ignore him and he has to plead his case for "socialized" measures to salvage the economy.  He and Chaney and Rove can go f$#& themselves.  ASsholes.

robert
..........

Offline MitchMiller

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Re: Economy
« Reply #30 on: October 11, 2008, 02:36:37 AM »
After living in DC for 20 years and working for various gov't agencies, in some cases, the efficiency of gov't is a real problem.  Reagan's solution was to just get rid of it.... out-source it rather than face the challenge of fixing it.  A real leader would have worked to improve efficiency, somethat that should be a continual, never ending process.
I'm sorta out of touch now, but 30 years ago when I worked for the Navy as a civilian, out of about 50 people in an office, about 5 really worked hard.  The rest came in late, left early, took two 45 minute coffee breaks/day and took 1.5 hours at lunch.  I caught my boss asleep at his desk numerous times.  The dept. manager seemed like a really good, hard working guy, but his hands were tied.  He could do nothing due to the power of the employees civil service union.  The common practice to get rid of someone was to give them stellar appraisals and promote them up and out.  I somehow believe the gov't today probably has more than its fair share of this dead weight now sitting in GS14 and GS15 positions doing little more than nothing. 
Hopefully, if gov't intervention can get us past this financial debacle and save us from financial collapse, people will begin to believe again in gov't and what it can do.  Maybe then our elected officials will get serious about true civil service reform so college grads put gov't service on their short list of careers.
(maybe after that diatribe you might guess I'm somewhat of a socialist)

Offline Mike89406

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Re: Economy
« Reply #31 on: October 11, 2008, 03:56:14 AM »
Actually this post made me think of a point I like to bring up whenever people discuss the Great Depression, the current Depression, and Keynesian economics.  It is erroneous to look at government actions during deflations/depressions as potentially 'running out of money'.  The whole point is to simply create money by fiat in order to keep economic activity going.

As much as I agree that the ordinary American would like to throw HIV people to the wolves as soon as things get bad (or probably even if things weren't bad), I think that the new liberal Democratic super majority will do better.  I think this depression may actually increase our chances of some State support, national health care, or at least better funding of current programs. 

Keynes basically recommended spending (creating) whatever money and programs it took to get us out of capitalism's inevitable collapses.  One of those programs could be us.  I think there are still people in Washington who understand what made America work from the 30's till Reagan got in and destroyed it all, and I think they're about to be returned firmly to power.  And they know, as Keynes taught us - no spending is wasteful, and no program is a bad program - the only caveat being that the money should go as much as possible to people who will spend rather than save it.  I think we are eminently qualified in that respect, as are other destitutes.

After reading your post I remember we briefly covered Keynesian Economics in college. After reading wikipedia and looking at my old textbook what you mentioned is already happened or about to happen.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keynesian_economics
 
A couple tidbits

"Keynes argued that the solution to depression was to stimulate the economy ("inducement to invest") through some combination of two approaches :

a reduction in interest rates.
Government investment in infrastructure - the injection of income results in more spending in the general economy, which in turn stimulates more production and investment involving still more income and spending and so forth. The initial stimulation starts a cascade of events, whose total increase in economic activity is a multiple of the original investment"
« Last Edit: October 11, 2008, 04:02:28 AM by Mike89406 »

Offline komnaes

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Re: Economy
« Reply #32 on: October 11, 2008, 04:17:45 AM »
The scariest aspect of this crisis though is even the governments don't have the credit/cash to invest - we're seeing assets - real or magically created by all those investment banks - rapidly vaporized and we still don't know where the bottom is. The UK has more or less nationalized their banking system and there's simply no more cash or credit line for them to go if those assets they're holding through the banks turn into Monopoly banknotes.

And the US - the source of this global crisis - is simply too heavily in debt and their credit line from China and all those Asian countries is also disappearing. With the way things are going no one is going to spend or expand any credit line for the next 6 months. And even if the governments can arrest the free falling of the stock markets, there will be another wave of bad results, bankruptcies and foreclosures by early next year as many companies are barely holding on and waiting for Christmas to recuse them. But if people are not spending, and I don't think we will, we can expect to see another wave of market crashes early 2009.

So even the old Keynesian way may not work..

The more frightening part of this is - the last Great Depression triggered massive economic downturn in Europe and hyper-inflation in countries like Germany, and we all know it's a breeding ground for what.
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline LordBerners

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Re: Economy
« Reply #33 on: October 11, 2008, 04:30:20 AM »
After living in DC for 20 years and working for various gov't agencies, in some cases, the efficiency of gov't is a real problem. 

Inefficiency is not a problem when fighting deflation by Keynesian means, MithcMiller - inefficiency actually helps.  It allows you to throw more money at the same 'problems'.  It is the throwing of made up or redistributed money that fixes the economy.  Fixing the actual problems is just a side effect, and not really essential.

So even the old Keynesian way may not work..

The more frightening part of this is - the last Great Depression triggered massive economic downturn in Europe and hyper-inflation in countries like Germany, and we all know it's a breeding ground for what.

Don't worry, komnaes, Keynes' plan for us will work, just as it did before.  Credit is not an issue as 1) the Fed can just print the money, 2) as the deflation sets in savings will have no where to go (during the first depression interest rates were extremely low), and finally 3) If those who own capital refuse to lend, it can be confiscated with progressive taxation. 

I don't know if anyone has noticed, but this collapse of the US has, paradoxically, caused the dollar to strengthen tremendously.  Don't worry about the Chinese et al, they're along for our ride, and we'll be more in charge even than we were in the good times.  (I don't say that boastfully, believe me).

« Last Edit: October 11, 2008, 04:31:59 AM by LordBerners »
Please, just call me Berners.. or Baron.

Offline Mike89406

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Re: Economy
« Reply #34 on: October 11, 2008, 04:36:06 AM »
And in other news the Iran celebrates the Global Meltdown...... ???
 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7663487.stm

Seriously President Ahmadinejad has really lost his marbles is he really that naive? Doesn't he realize that when big brother goes down it will take others down?

Mike 
« Last Edit: October 11, 2008, 04:37:45 AM by Mike89406 »

Offline Mike89406

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Re: Economy
« Reply #35 on: October 11, 2008, 04:42:15 AM »
Inefficiency is not a problem when fighting deflation by Keynesian means, MithcMiller - inefficiency actually helps.  It allows you to throw more money at the same 'problems'.  It is the throwing of made up or redistributed money that fixes the economy.  Fixing the actual problems is just a side effect, and not really essential

Don't worry, komnaes, Keynes' plan for us will work, just as it did before.  Credit is not an issue as 1) the Fed can just print the money, 2) as the deflation sets in savings will have no where to go (during the first depression interest rates were extremely low), and finally 3) If those who own capital refuse to lend, it can be confiscated with progressive taxation. 


One thing I remember from Macroeconomics is that you can always adjust the cash flow they can increase the amount of money being printed contracting the national economy. I believe I said it right someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Also I forgot to mention

In Keynes's theory, some micro-level actions of individuals and firms can lead to aggregate macroeconomic outcomes in which the economy operates below its potential output and growth. Many classical economists had believed in Say's Law, that supply creates its own demand, so that a "general glut" would therefore be impossible. Keynes contended that aggregate demand for goods might be insufficient during economic downturns, leading to unnecessarily high unemployment and losses of potential output. Keynes argued that government policies could be used to increase aggregate demand, thus increasing economic activity and reducing high unemployment and deflation. Keynes's macroeconomic theories were a response to mass unemployment in 1920s Britain and in 1930s America

Mike
« Last Edit: October 11, 2008, 05:00:27 AM by Mike89406 »

Offline komnaes

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Re: Economy
« Reply #36 on: October 11, 2008, 05:10:25 AM »
Hey Lord, as you can see I am not as optimistic as you're.. ;)

I suppose we can all wait and see - but I will just add that as we're at the tail-end of China I am seeing a lot of fearful signs. The problem in China is not entirely economic - China is sitting on a large foreign reserve but a large portion of it is in US Treasury Bonds, and they can only continue to buy more do if export remains strong. I read somewhere that 1/3 of factories invested by Hongkong people in China have closed down this year, and this trend seems widespread. Large unemployment can easily turn political in China, as the only way for the Communist to claim any form of legitimacy is to deliver economically.

If within 1-2 year US' spending does drop significantly, plus the global effects of a massive stock market collapse, China won't be able to absorb more US' debt and it in itself is another vicious circle. If US just pump more money for increasing M0 and M1 supply, inflation will immediately follows.

But on the other hand - if the whole banking system can be nationalized by an urgent bill, by comparison nationalizing the health care system doesn't seem so impossible afterall.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2008, 05:12:01 AM by komnaes »
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline mecch

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Re: Economy
« Reply #37 on: October 11, 2008, 06:03:23 AM »
History has a way of repeating itself and I think the Great Depression would definitely mean an end to the medications many of us need to survive.

It has been very interesting to read everyones theories on the economy and economic crisis. However let's take all that back to the original poster's topic.

I am reassured to see a few socialists in this thread who might agree with my contention that in European states long committed to socialised universal health care, economic crisis does not necessarily require the dismantling of the social welfare state.

When i originally suggested that, in this thread, lots of posters jumped in with the idea that economic crisis is garanteed globally if the US soon tanks.  And then the idea if there is no money supply, then everything will be cut in other countries.

There was a argumentative slippage in this thread, into assuming since Iceland is in a horrible banking crisis (yes, agreed), Iceland is going to cut its social welfare (why? says who?). Or if England slips into a crisis, goodbye NHS.  You really think that? Says who?

Its clear that an economic crisis poses enormous threats to the precarious and uninsured, and perhaps the insured, in the USA.  However an economic crisis could also result in the reverse - a collapse of the inefficient and much too diversly paid health care system of the us. If more and more people are dumped into public assistance, perhaps Medicare is extended in an emergency measure to all unemployed, and voila, then the USA has figure out a long-term solution for universal health care.

I contend that there was a LOT of slippage in this thread, of the USA-based fear onto the actual conditions in other rich countries.  This is what I meant by American jingoism.  Meaning, Americans assume that other rich countries would have it as bad. Its just not clear that is true. 

I, as an American, carry these fears that I will not be convered for my medications, even though I live in a country with universal coverage.  My friends here say I am nuts to think it would ever be taken away.  I don't think it would.  Not as easily as Amercans might imagine...

The fact of the matter is that the USA could really use a wake up call -- rather than apply its own fears onto countries that have DONE BETTER for their citizens regarding health care, they could apply that cognitive dissonance and fix the USA health system to provide universal care.

USA is the only rich country without universal care.  Its a fact. Its shameful.  As Obama says, Americans deserve better than that.

Far be it for me to recommend a long-winded NYer article about the subject of health in the usa, but it is pretty good, this one:
http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/08/29/050829fa_fact
THE MORAL-HAZARD MYTH
The bad idea behind our failed health-care system.
by Malcolm Gladwell
 


« Last Edit: October 11, 2008, 06:21:39 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline komnaes

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Re: Economy
« Reply #38 on: October 11, 2008, 07:16:10 AM »
Mecch, I think your arguments just come down to two points - none of them valid.

There's no American jingoism - the crisis we have now originated from the US and it's a credit crisis. It's a fact. The European banks got into trouble because they bought those securitized and "magically" repackaged debts/mortgages that worth nothing right now. It's vast enough that it's destabilized the world's banking system and it's the result of years of globalization that cannot be undone.

And when those banks everywhere loss money they're essentially losing our deposits, i.e. real money. And in order not to do more real damages many banks are not lending and calling up debts that would have been fine just months ago. And this process of tightening credit is hurting businesses everywhere - hence you have a vicious circle of business closing, job losses, lower spending, etc.

So it's a reality that this crisis is having a global effect NOT because it's started in the US. It could have been ANY large enough economies that had engaged in this kind of restless securitization of debts with massive involvement from both global financial institutions and banks. In short, it's a global crisis because large amount of debts/mortgages (i.e. real money) are being turned into worthless papers, and banks everywhere in the world have bought into those worthless papers.

And your second point - as far as I can see we're not (at least not me) are arguing that some states are going to break up their universal health care systems now just because of this crisis. It's a committed ideology in many countries that cannot be changed so quickly - I mentioned Iceland only because I am seeing a situation that the state can no longer pay for all these supports and benefits. The state is bankrupted.

If I was living with HIV right now in Iceland I would be very concern (or anyone with chronic diseases that need medications to survive). Not because Iceland might immediately decide now they would get rid of their belief in the importance of social welfare or universal health care once and for all - I would be concern because I don't know how my government is going to pay for them.

It seems to me that you're the only person in this thread to keep insisting that it's an argument about whether the US has a better system to take care of our fellow HIVers than Europe, while the rest of us are just worrying that how things will be paid for in the face of a seemingly imminent collapse of our respectively economies.
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline madbrain

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Re: Economy
« Reply #39 on: October 11, 2008, 07:35:33 AM »
Hi,

I was just wondering if anyone else has been thinking about the stock market and the current state that we are in.

No, absolutely no one has been thinking about the stock market lately !
:)

Quote
I have been thinking and am concerned about what it would take for insurance and pharmaceutical companies to be affected.  People with chronic illnesses would obviously be affected if pharmaceutical companies no longer made the medications because they did not have any money, or if insurance companies no longer provided insurance.  Therefore, all medication costs would have to come out of your own pocket because the insurance company would not be paying for them anymore.  I have been thinking of this lately because I was wondering how far we are from this to happen.  History has a way of repeating itself and I think the Great Depression would definitely mean an end to the medications many of us need to survive.

Just a thought, not meant to make anyone worry, but it is an interesting topic to think about.  I was just wondering if anyone else was putting any thought into it or if I am just being paranoid.   ;)

I think you are being paranoid.

For one thing, the cost of manufacturing drugs is not going up, even though the prices some drug companies are charging is going up. That is mostly due to the patents they own for having developed them.

The patents on all existing drugs run for 17 years. Many of the patented life-saving HIV medications will become available as less expensive generics over the next 3 to 5 years. Not all of them, but many. This is going to lower costs for all of us with the disease, and for insurance companies as well.

IMO, what the recession might more likely do is cause research to suffer, and cause fewer new drugs to be made available, or at the very least delay their development. This is more problematic for those with drug resistance issue and running out of treatment options.

I don't think the insurance companies are going to go belly-up or stop covering chronic illnesses. There are many other chronic illnesses that require drugs for life that are not cheap. People suffering from these conditions, or their employers, would not go for insurance plans that don't cover them.

Offline madbrain

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Re: Economy
« Reply #40 on: October 11, 2008, 07:41:17 AM »
Hi,

For those of us with insurance?  A best case scenario would be for premiums and co-pays to rise. The worst case? Massive employment could move thousands of us into a public health system that is already completely overburdened.

I think you meant to say unemployment. And yes, that's a distinct possibility unfortunately.

Unemployment insurance in the USA is extremely insufficient. The benefits don't come close to replacing wage income, not to mention that they don't replace any of the money your employer was paying for your health insurance coverage.
Another thing that needs fixing. That and single payer universal healthcare.

Offline atlq

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Re: Economy
« Reply #41 on: October 11, 2008, 07:49:05 AM »
Hi,

I think you meant to say unemployment. And yes, that's a distinct possibility unfortunately.
 


Thanks for the catch there. Yeah I meant unemployment.. If anyone can lay out a few scenarios that would cause massive employment, speak up!   :) 
“Keep up the good work....   And God bless you.”
  --  Sarah Palin, to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, 2008

Offline atlq

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Re: Economy
« Reply #42 on: October 11, 2008, 08:00:12 AM »
Credit is Tight.

Banks are struggling.

The U.S. and Europe are facing economic contraction.

The commodity supplying countries (Russia and others) are watching revenues drop.

These conditions make life more difficult for us all.

That difficulty manifests itself in different ways in different countries.

And its consequences are another thing that increase the difficulty of living with HIV.




“Keep up the good work....   And God bless you.”
  --  Sarah Palin, to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, 2008

Offline Assurbanipal

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Re: Economy
« Reply #43 on: October 11, 2008, 09:08:50 AM »
Thanks for the catch there. Yeah I meant unemployment.. If anyone can lay out a few scenarios that would cause massive employment, speak up!   :) 

They are speaking up here:
http://www.barackobama.com/issues/economy/

Invest in the Manufacturing Sector and Create 5 Million New Green Jobs
Invest in our Next Generation Innovators and Job Creators: Obama and Biden will create an Advanced Manufacturing Fund to identify and invest in the most compelling advanced manufacturing strategies. The Fund will have a peer-review selection and award process based on the Michigan 21st Century Jobs Fund, a state-level initiative that has awarded over $125 million to Michigan businesses with the most innovative proposals to create new products and new jobs in the state.
Double Funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership: The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) works with manufacturers across the country to improve efficiency, implement new technology and strengthen company growth. This highly-successful program has engaged in more than 350,000 projects across the country and in 2006 alone, helped create and protect over 50,000 jobs. But despite this success, funding for MEP has been slashed by the Bush administration. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will double funding for the MEP so its training centers can continue to bolster the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers.
Invest In A Clean Energy Economy And Create 5 Million New Green Jobs: Obama and Biden will invest $150 billion over 10 years to advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel infrastructure, accelerate the commercialization of plug-in hybrids, promote development of commercial scale renewable energy, invest in low emissions coal plants, and begin transition to a new digital electricity grid. The plan will also invest in America's highly-skilled manufacturing workforce and manufacturing centers to ensure that American workers have the skills and tools they need to pioneer the first wave of green technologies that will be in high demand throughout the world.
Create New Job Training Programs for Clean Technologies: The Obama-Biden plan will increase funding for federal workforce training programs and direct these programs to incorporate green technologies training, such as advanced manufacturing and weatherization training, into their efforts to help Americans find and retain stable, high-paying jobs. Obama and Biden will also create an energy-focused youth jobs program to invest in disconnected and disadvantaged youth.
Boost the Renewable Energy Sector and Create New Jobs: The Obama-Biden plan will create new federal policies, and expand existing ones, that have been proven to create new American jobs. Obama and Biden will create a federal Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that will require 25 percent of American electricity be derived from renewable sources by 2025, which has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs on its own. Obama and Biden will also extend the Production Tax Credit, a credit used successfully by American farmers and investors to increase renewable energy production and create new local jobs.
New Jobs Through National Infrastructure Investment
Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe that it is critically important for the United States to rebuild its national transportation infrastructure – its highways, bridges, roads, ports, air, and train systems – to strengthen user safety, bolster our long-term competitiveness and ensure our economy continues to grow.

Create a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will address the infrastructure challenge by creating a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to expand and enhance, not supplant, existing federal transportation investments. This independent entity will be directed to invest in our nation’s most challenging transportation infrastructure needs. The Bank will receive an infusion of federal money, $60 billion over 10 years, to provide financing to transportation infrastructure projects across the nation. These projects will create up to two million new direct and indirect jobs and stimulate approximately $35 billion per year in new economic activity.
Technology, Innovation and Creating Jobs
Barack Obama and Joe Biden will increase federal support for research, technology and innovation for companies and universities so that American families can lead the world in creating new advanced jobs and products.

Invest in the Sciences: Barack Obama and Joe Biden support doubling federal funding for basic research and changing the posture of our federal government from being one of the most anti-science administrations in American history to one that embraces science and technology. This will foster home-grown innovation, help ensure the competitiveness of US technology-based businesses, and ensure that 21st century jobs can and will grow in America.
Make the Research and Development Tax Credit Permanent: Barack Obama and Joe Biden want investments in a skilled research and development workforce and technology infrastructure to be supported here in America so that American workers and communities will benefit. Obama and Biden want to make the Research and Development tax credit permanent so that firms can rely on it when making decisions to invest in domestic R&D over multi-year timeframes.
Deploy Next-Generation Broadband: Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe we can get broadband to every community in America through a combination of reform of the Universal Service Fund, better use of the nation's wireless spectrum, promotion of next-generation facilities, technologies and applications, and new tax and loan incentives.


Vote for Obama
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Offline bocker3

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  • You gotta enjoy life......
Re: Economy
« Reply #44 on: October 11, 2008, 10:34:13 AM »
Someone better start soaking the rich again.  Geez, its not like they'll really suffer giving up some.

(And if I ruled the world, a lot of people would be surprised to learn that in comparative terms, they are considered "rich", and they gotta belly up to the bar and pay.)

Your penchant for sweeping generalizations is starting to frustrate me.  First off -- you don't get to decide who is "rich".  Although, I'm sure that you would consider me to be so given my six figure salary.....  therefore I'm going to give you a small view into my life (to show all the "rich" aren't afraid to "belly up and pay".

I pay all the taxes that I'm supposed to pay -- I don't look for loopholes, I take "normal" deductions -- mortgage interest, charitable deductions, state and local taxes.
My total tax bill far exceeds my gross earnings for each of the first 10 yrs after I left college.
I subsidize a number of family members (so take more from me, and they may need to turn to the gov't for help)
My partner has just lost his job, so we are now missing an income
My health insurance has skyrocketed -- partly due to adding my partner to it and the additional taxes I know must pay because he isn't recognized as "family"
I pay a portion of my dr. visits, lab costs, meds cost, etc
I have already stockpiled a 6 mos. supply of my meds (over the last couple of yrs) -- just in case

So -- I am not whining, far from it.  I realize that I am in a better position than most.  The notion that I should pay up even more simply because you "think" I should is insanity.  I pay my fair share of taxes and I use a good chunk of my discretionary income to help support other family members (I grew up rather poor -- my mother relying on welfare for a number of years while I was a child) and I donate to charitable causes.

Believe me, I am feeling the pain of this economy (my partner is unemployed now).  Again, I am not whining -- I will be taking a 3 week vacation next month -- I paid for it a long time ago and I can't get out of it without losing my $$, so while I certainly would not be planning this same trip today, it is done and I'm going to enjoy it.

My point -- in opening up a bit, is that you can't make this sweeping generalization and, frankly, I don't care what you would consider "rich" if you ruled the world.  I have always paid my fair share and will continue to do so, and I certainly wouldn't be devastated if the Bush tax cuts get rolled back (I didn't support them to begin with) -- assuming that I don't lose my job.

Oh yeah -- in case you "assume" I'm a Republican due to this reply -- I will be voting for Obama and I am certainly in favor of our country moving to Universal Health Care of some sort (but everyone should be paying for it, not just those you think are rich).

Mike
(who apologized for the hijack, but these stmts just begin to get to me after a while)
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Offline Basquo

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Re: Economy
« Reply #45 on: October 11, 2008, 11:59:43 AM »
Your penchant for sweeping generalizations is starting to frustrate me. 

Amen, brother!

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: Economy
« Reply #46 on: October 11, 2008, 03:46:47 PM »
Far be it for me to recommend a long-winded NYer article about the subject of health in the usa, but it is pretty good, this one:
http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/08/29/050829fa_fact
THE MORAL-HAZARD MYTH
The bad idea behind our failed health-care system.
by Malcolm Gladwell
 

Thanks for posting the link. The article was interesting, although the author could have made his point with half the number of words.

Offline mecch

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Re: Economy
« Reply #47 on: October 11, 2008, 05:12:51 PM »
Thanks for posting the link. The article was interesting, although the author could have made his point with half the number of words.

Yeah, thats a classic New Yorker flaw - long winded!!!  Glad you found it interesting though.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Economy
« Reply #48 on: October 11, 2008, 05:32:46 PM »
My statement about "If i ruled the world" was purely a hypothetical megalo frill, not to be taken seriously.  Of course I don't get to decide!  And why should you take this so personally.

It was related to my idea that the ONLY way I could imagine commited social welfare states of the first world being dismantled were if, on a global scale, wealth were redistributed around the world. In that respect, most people in the first world are considerably richer than people in the developing world.  This is an HIV issue, afterall - access to treatment in poor countries, compare to rich countries. I AM ACCUSING NO INDIVIDUAL, its about populations, my dears.

Otherwise, my argument was, as some have since agreed or given my point, that these welfare garantees in the first world are too entrenched to be easily changed, and the first world is too rich to need to give them. up.  (Its only the USA that hasn't managed to make the commitment.)

Some of you keep hijacking this thread into a discussion about the causes and extent of economic crisis in the world and I have nothing to say about that, not being an economist, other than to offer up the view point, many times over, that it seems unreasonable to assume that any banking crisis in these social welfare states, such as Western Europe, or Canada, is going to endanger universal health care in these countries. 

If one of you can show me an economist saying otherwise, that would be most interesting to read....

As to the poster who took my statement about the rich so personally, it had NOTHING to do with some individual middle class person not pulling his weight.  It had to do with the USA assuming that is has the "right" to consume more than it can pay for, as a population.  Thus one of the reasons for the Iraq war - haven't any of you heard of The Project for the New American Century.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century

That discussion was a tangent and only related to people who continually hijack the original posters discussion about his fear for health care security in an economic downturn. 

Look, the if the USA wants to continue to consume so much, it must therfore belly up to the bar and pay the asking price for the petrol, etc.  It is IMMORAL to invade a country for, in part, garanteeing a source of dwindling oil supply, in order to maintain a country's disproportional consumption.  Gas prices go up in the USA and people have a riot, so the USA government has a hard time telling the US population, tough shit, thats the price of oil and if we are going to consume so much, we just got to pay. And what's more, Saudi and Iraq have every right to their future reserves - even if in 30 years time that could seriously destablise American military might. 

Americans seem to have forgotten that the IRAQ war might have anything to do with the republican government unwilling to tell Americans, sorry, you are consuming too much. And now we got to pay! Because we can't garantee this level of consumption for the 21st century without becoming some sort of new colonial power.

Therefore, in a global sense, either the rich countries pay the full price for what they want to consume, or they consume less. 

Its related to the universal health care issue.  The only way the USA is going to manage universal health care is if a higher proportion of GNP is spent on it, on the level of the countries who do have universal health care.  France, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, etc, all shell out between 30 and 40% of GNP on their welfare states (including free education through university).

The USA will have to cut some spending to spend more on health. And increase tax revenue. Perhaps the military spending, which is  lately being spent on some Republican ideal that American consumption and economic superiority must be preserved through force.  So either you cut the military spending to reasonable amounts, like Europe, or you up the tax revenues derived from corporations and the rich (also a European model).  Or both.

Mine is a simple anti-REPUBLICAN party argument, and hardly and ANTI-AMERICAN argument. Its not Anti-American to make the observations that America consumes too much resources, too much consumer goods - in a global comparison.  Its not Anti-American to say that American is a very rich country that has too many people living in precarity, without necessary income or health care.  The facts are there. 

I am an old fashioned Democrat who believes in big government and a benevolent state.  Its the least a democratic and rich country can do for its citizens.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2008, 05:57:07 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Economy
« Reply #49 on: October 11, 2008, 05:39:24 PM »
mecch, I believe you post just to be posting. You aren't making any sense now.

 


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