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Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2009-08-05          164672


Just got back from a company quarterly status meeting.

Our sales are down a third from a year ago, not unusual.

Apparently, though, the stimulus program is directly reducing our sales.

We sell a lot to universities, medical research facilities and the like. They
are telling our sales force that they are holding off on all capital purchases
until they see how/if/what/when the stimulus program will impact them.

Note that they do have the money to spend but they are waiting to see if the
stimulus program will give them a windfall and allow them to buy more or buy
differently.

In the mean time our company has cut 600 jobs and closed four production facilities.

I can't wait to see the unintended consequences of the health care train wreck.
They are surely worse than any of the reports we've heard so far.


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Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5223 South Carolina
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2009-08-05          164673


The "intended consequences" ones will be bad enough. The trickle down effect will be more like a raging river. Three local hospitals have already began freezes in hiring, notice of no wage increases, lay offs, hours worked reduced and termination of construction and careful review of any capital purchases due to revenue levels they will be at. Note, these three local hospitals are: one county own, one private nonprofit and the third not sure of it's ownership.

The fact Congress has exempted it self from this and allows them to keep the coverage they now have tells us enough.

Then guess I am one of the idots who is being paid and bused to say this. ....

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Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2009-08-05          164684


Personally, the health care industry NEEDS to have the same thing hapen to it that has happened to the car industry. For way too long wages have been bloated for no reason. Doctors especially need a good spanking.

Next in line are teachers. In my area of Metro Detroit our teachers are some of the highest paid. My former girl friend teaches 5th graders and clears $38 an hour plus bennies. Just more with the entitlement mentality that they deserve the best no matter the cost to society.

BTW, I'm changing my name to Hardwood Jr. LOL ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2009-08-05          164686


There are a bunch of things wrong with health care, and government can play a role, but the way they are going about it will kill anyone sickly or over 50 and raise costs to unsustainable levels.

I mostly blame lawyers, bureaucracy, pharmaceutical companies and government. Lawyers for treating the judicial system like a lottery, bureaucrats for allowing their ranks to get so bloated that ~50% of health care dollars go to pay pencil pushers, pharmaceutical companies for charging ridiculous prices to developed countries "because they can" (they charge far less in countries that can't afford it) and government for failing in their oversight role, passing unsustainable programs that cause all of our rates to go up and sucking at the teat of business for self enrichment.
....

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Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-08-06          164692


Either the TV ad's for health insurance are total lies or the old time insurance companies we all have been paying are total theives.
Two ad's come to mind, one that says that for ten dollars a day they will insure a family with a list of coverages that seem to cover every possible situation. The other ad I saw just yesterday says that for the cost of a cup of coffee a day you can have health insurance, it must be premium coffee.
Our Medicare supplement policy alone costs just short of ten dollars a day for the two of us so somebody just isn't telling the whole story here.
EW; Should I be flattered or what that you would want me to adopt you. First thing you would have to do is buy a gear drive tractor to even be considerd for the position. ....

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Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2009-08-06          164693


KW: "Unintended consequences." Yes, that is bound to become a major theme in public consciousness. Your example is one of many, but a particularly compelling one. I urge you to write an op-ed piece on this, and submit it to the largest nearby newspaper. ....

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Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5223 South Carolina
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2009-08-06          164694


Without a doubt there are many items in health care that could be improved and lower the cost. Hardwood those prices you are seeing if for insurance are plans that pay at Medicare reimburse rates which are much lower than anyone else can pay and is shown by your need for a Medicare Supplement.

I learned yesterday the reason for so few OBGYN doctors who do delieveries is to the law suits they face if a "normal" birth does wrong so it is safer for them to go to a "C" section if there is any thing out of "normal" going on. Guess it proves they did all they could to potect the child and mother when in many cases less costly and less stressful normal child birth would have done well in vast majority of cases.

I listened to Obama's previous Doctor last night tell how Medicare have never gotten between him and what care he wanted to give...with a family member in the health care they may not get between they just nick pick everything with threaten fines and such. Yet they are full of fraud as has been reported over and over to the point they went to the Medicare Advantage plans with insurance companies taking on claims management to reduce over all cost.

As an insurance agent let me be the first to say there are insurance companies who are anything but ethical. There are also agents almost as dishonest as many in the current administration in DC. ....

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Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2009-08-06          164697


Quote:
Originally Posted by auerbach | view 164693
KW: "Unintended consequences." Yes, that is bound to become a major theme in public consciousness. Your example is one of many, but a particularly compelling one. I urge you to write an op-ed piece on this, and submit it to the largest nearby newspaper.


The last time I wrote a letter to the editor of the Oregonian newspaper they rewrote it to make me sound like a drooling moron and printed that instead. My letter of complaint to their "consumer advocate" was responded to with a form letter restating their policy that they reserve the right to edit all submissions for clarity, brevity and content. I won't make that mistake again, they are a prime example of what is wrong with journalism in this country and there's a good reason why nobody buys what they print. I am hoping for the day when they go belly up altogether. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2009-08-06          164698


Interesting. I posted our companies experience with customers delaying purchases due to the stimulus in a usenet newsgroup and another guy said the sales guys in his company are saying the same thing. Besides the stupidity of it all one has to wonder if the stimulus is really delaying any possible recovery.

Stimulus dollars here are being spent to repave roads that don't really need it. They could be adding lanes or paving over all the dirt roads in the county but that would make too much sense. ....

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Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2009-08-06          164703


You're a good writer, KW, but newspapers have their own editorial conventions, space limitations, "balance" issues, legal fears, etc., and some low-level editors feel that the more they change in a submission, the better they're doing their job. You have an important and timely point to make, and if you'd like to get a former columnist's comments on your first draft, you're welcome to send to me. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2009-08-06          164706


Quote:
Originally Posted by auerbach | view 164703
You're a good writer, KW, but newspapers have their own editorial conventions, space limitations, "balance" issues, legal fears, etc., and some low-level editors feel that the more they change in a submission, the better they're doing their job. You have an important and timely point to make, and if you'd like to get a former columnist's comments on your first draft, you're welcome to send to me.


Thanks for the compliment and the offer. Why are you a former rather than current columnist? Retirement?

The letter I submitted referenced gun issues from a viewpoint opposed to the editorial stance of the newspaper. It was polite and within length constraints specified on the letters page. Their edit job introduced misspellings, poor grammar, incoherent and incomplete sentences and unfocused thoughts that were not present in the original letter. It was clear to me that their policy was to demean anyone who dared to disagree with the editors.

So now I don't bother, but do try to cost them subscribers whenever the opportunity arises.
....

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Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5223 South Carolina
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2009-08-06          164707


Ken was this a Knight Ridder paper?

I will not buy our local daily for such reasons. ....

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Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2009-08-06          164708


Quote:
Originally Posted by kthompson | view 164707
Ken was this a Knight Ridder paper?I will not buy our local daily for such reasons.


It's not Knight Ridder and is privately owned IIRC. I have forgotten who owns it and it doesn't seem to be posted on their web site. ....

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Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2009-08-06          164710


I was wrong, the Oregonian is owned by Newhouse Newspapers and appears to be the only newspaper they own that is west of the Mississippi.
....

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Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2009-08-06          164711


I'm no longer many things I used to be. Really a teacher (now retired), I also did a weekly consumer-advice column, but after three years, the research time it took was more than my interest and the pay justified.

Sounds like you have a legitimate complaint against the paper. In Canada there's a national "Press Council" that hears such complaints and adjudicates them. Papers found at fault are obliged to print that fact. Hope you have something similar. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7155 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2009-08-06          164712


Quote:
Originally Posted by kwschumm | view 164698
Stimulus dollars here are being spent to repave roads that don't really need it. They could be adding lanes or paving over all the dirt roads in the county but that would make too much sense.


Ken, we are seeing much the same thing up here, but it's for a sound reason, unfortunately.

The 'goobermint' announced the spending spree, errr, I mean 'stimulus package', with a rather stringent set of qualifications attached. Amongst the 'conditions' is a quiet killer, the project must be at the 'greenlight' stage to qualify for funding. In other words, it must be ready to commence "immediately". If it requires anything in the way of clearance, i.e. environmental study, engineering study, public approval, it doesn't qualify for funding.

On top of this there is a dollar amount cap for the entire scheme. When they have received & approved applications for a total amount equal to what they have committed to spend, the program is closed, period.

The end result is everybody is racing to get projects approved so they can secure 'their share' of the windfall before it's gone.

There's no yardstick by which anything is measured as to it's worth except $$$$, no having to justify anything.

Sad but true.

Best of luck. ....

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Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7155 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2009-08-06          164714


Quote:
Originally Posted by kwschumm | view 164706
It was clear to me that their policy was to demean anyone who dared to disagree with the editors.So now I don't bother, but do try to cost them subscribers whenever the opportunity arises.


Ken, based on experience, you would get much farther making a note of the major advertisers in that newspaper and writing to them briefly explaining the situation, and enclosing a copy of both your original letter, and the one they published.

Then go on to say that because of this intolerable situation you will no longer read that newspaper and that you wished to inform them that their advertising dollars spent on that newspaper were being wasted as far as your consumer spending was concerned. Be sure to CC the newspaper editor & publisher also with each letter.

I did this when a local up here did something similar to me over a controversial golf course being proposed.

Very shortly thereafter I had an apology from the newspaper, and my original, unedited letter published right next to it.

Best of luck. ....

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Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2009-08-06          164722


Well Franky...er..."Pa", you're in luck--I DO have a gear tractor--a '91 Ford--so where do I sign?

We'll need to discuss a lttle thing called in-her-it-tence LOL

(he-he little does he know that it's a Ford garden tractor--an' don't mention it's belt driven TO the gears) ....

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Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2009-08-06          164725


Quote:
Originally Posted by Murf | view 164714
Ken, based on experience, you would get much farther making a note of the major advertisers in that newspaper and writing to them briefly explaining the situation, and enclosing a copy of both your original letter, and the one they published. Then go on to say that because of this intolerable situation you will no longer read that newspaper and that you wished to inform them that their advertising dollars spent on that newspaper were being wasted as far as your consumer spending was concerned. Be sure to CC the newspaper editor & publisher also with each letter.


Murf, I'm sure you're right but this situation made me so mad I threw the newspaper on the burn pile. They are losing advertisers right and left and like a lot of other newspapers are in deep trouble. They just raised the per-copy price from 35 or 50 cents to a buck. Yep, that will help. ....

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Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5223 South Carolina
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2009-08-07          164732


Advertisers do carry at least more weight then a reader. As it is their dollars the papers depend on which depends on positive results. ....

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Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-08-07          164746


EW; I think you may have breathed a bit too much big city smog to want to come to the peace and quiet of Iowa.
Oh, about your in heritance. I'll leave you all I've inherited, ever see a check with all zeros to the left of the decimal point? ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2009-08-07          164748


Big city, eh? Just yesterday the local combine guy turned his rig around on our private road and tore it up after I just graded it. We're 25 miles from Deeeetroit, and 25 miles from Ooooo-hi-o. Actually, Canada is only ten miles away.

Shoot, if I had YOUR money---I'd BURN mine. LOL ....

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Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2009-08-08          164768


Quote:
Originally Posted by kthompson | view 164732
Advertisers do carry at least more weight then a reader. As it is their dollars the papers depend on which depends on positive results.


Yes, newspapers are in business to make a profit that does depend on their advertisers, but one principle of newspaper ethics is the separation of the editorial and advertising wings. For instance, movies once threatened to stop advertising in a Toronto paper's entertainment section because of a critical film reviewer -- the paper said "Sorry but we can't stifle the expression of expert opinion" and the movie folks caved. Car advertisers threatened our local paper with a boycott because of critical comments in my column. The paper made me aware of the threat for my information but assured me they would not interfere with whatever I wrote. ....

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Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2009-08-08          164769


Auer, I'm an avid viewer of Canadian TV and some radio. Isn't it fair to say though there is a vast difference between your culture and ours in basically every aspect--up to and including the way we each see the world, to morals, to politics, to journalism, even TV programs? ....

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Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5223 South Carolina
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2009-08-08          164771


Quote:
Originally Posted by hardwood | view 164746
EW; I think you may have breathed a bit too much big city smog to want to come to the peace and quiet of Iowa.Oh, about your in heritance. I'll leave you all I've inherited, ever see a check with all zeros to the left of the decimal point?


Frank, there is much more than money or such that our parents can pass on to us. In that theme you can help out of Jeff a lot and me too. ....

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Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2009-08-09          164778


Kenny, ah-hem, WHAT might THAT be? ....

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Unintended consequences of the Stimulus package

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2009-08-10          164820


Quote:
Originally Posted by earthwrks | view 164769
Auer, I'm an avid viewer of Canadian TV and some radio. Isn't it fair to say though there is a vast difference between your culture and ours in basically every aspect--up to and including the way we each see the world, to morals, to politics, to journalism, even TV programs?


There are certainly differences between the two countries, just as there are between regions within each country. But I think our similarities are pretty striking compared to other adjoining countries. Think of US and Mexico, N & S Korea, China & Russia, etc. ....

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