Two Commodities Whose Costs are Out of Control
I usually stay clear of anything that’s remotely political on this site, and I’m not entirely sure if talking about commodity costs being out of control is, by itself, political or not, although there are definite political aspects to it, but I think this is so important that today I’m going to venture out into unchartered territory.
The two commodities I want to talk about are higher education and health care in the United States of America. I’ll take them one at a time. First higher education:
The cost of a four-year college degree has become insane. When middle-class parents struggle to send their kids to college, when the kids themselves have to borrow what is the equivalent of a small mortgage to go to school and start off life burdened by a financial ball-and-chain, something is amiss. I’m not suggesting a college degree isn’t worth it in the long run; it still is, for most people anyway, but something must be done to control the runaway costs. As a society, we have to stand up for ourselves and let the people running our universities know that they can’t keep doing things the way they’ve been doing it; that costs have to stop climbing at percentages that go way beyond the rate of inflation; that teaching young people at reasonable costs is just as important as research; that for the kind of money they’re charging, professors should be doing the teaching, not teaching assistants. None of this is going to happen unless you, the consumer, starts shopping for higher education like you do an automobile, pitting the universities up against each other, refusing to accept their financial self-serving agendas. You can do that. You have to do that!
Now, as to health care: First, let me say this has nothing to do with the new health care law, although, alas, it’s certainly true that the law was pushed through without regard to cost control, a grievous error due to the political tug-of-war between the left and right that most of us centrists are sick and tired of. This is about hospitals and drug companies—with the help of their political lackeys in government—squeezing the rest of us dry in order to maximize their profits. Time, in their March 4, 2013 Special Edition “Bitter Pill: How outrageous pricing and egregious profits are destroying our health care” by Steven Brill, exposes the shocking details of this conspiracy; yeah, that’s what I’m calling it—a grand conspiracy. I don’t care what it takes, what you have to do, but I want you to carefully read this article word for word. You have to do it! It’s your responsibility to do it!
I want you to learn what a chargemaster is, and why the hospitals don’t want you to be aware of it; your entire financial world could depend on it. I want you to understand why we in the United States are outrageously paying so much more for drugs than any other country on Earth. It’s in your interest to know why lowering the age of Medicare, not raising it, will actually lower hospital and drug costs, which is the antithesis of what we’re being told. You might also find it fascinating to discover the outrageous salaries the hospitals and drug companies are paying their executives, especially the “non-profit” hospitals, that are—get this!—even more profitable than their for-profit counterparts.
And so much more—Mr. Brill has dug into this like no one else ever has (that I’ve read anyway). You’re going to be shocked; you’re going to be outraged; you’re going to be livid! Please, go online and find this game-changing Special Edition and read every word of it; and then start screaming about it, doing something about it, including spreading the word to everyone you know!!!
And if you’re not an American, I hope you’ll stop laughing at us, although we certainly deserve it.
Posted by Robert Terson | 3 comments