Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Some Thoughts on The Decline of America

Someone asked me who I thought was the worst president of recent times. I said that Jimmy Carter may have been the worst president before Obama set a new standard for ineptness, but it was Lyndon Johnson who most sent this country into decline. I say this because of the three main programs and decisions of his presidency: 1. massive escalation of our participation in the Vietnam War, 2. AFDC Welfare, and 3. Medicare and Medicaid.

The Vietnam War destroyed trust in all forms of authority, it destroyed trust in government, it created a large, peace-at-any-price segment of our population, it created a wedge between generations, it created massive inflation in the 1970's, and it was the background for the free love and drug culture that now undermines our society.

Prior to AFDC Welfare, both white and black populations experienced about a 25% illegitimacy rate. Today that rate has escalated to 75% for blacks and 50% for whites. The term, “baby mama” has become mainstream, and millions of fatherless children are drowning in childhoods devoid of decent parenting. It has become acceptable behavior for couples to “hookup” and have children – just before they breakup and go their separate ways. It has also created a large segment of our population who refuse to work and who believe that the rest of us “owe” them.

Prior to Medicare, which created unlimited demand for a limited supply of medical treatments, a situation every economist knows leads to a surge in costs and prices, my four children’s births cost $65, $300, $300 and $300 for all physician and hospital bills. Today it costs about $9000 for a normal delivery. I do understand that incredible improvements in technology, medications and equipment have also increased costs – along with the inflation that has taken place since 1965 – but I firmly believe that my private health insurance premiums would be less today than my Medicare premiums are - if Medicare had not been instituted. We have also just been informed that massive increases in Medicare premiums are in store for 2014, when another fiasco, Obamacare, kicks in.

Medicare is entrenched in American society, and nothing can reasonably be done about it. If Obamacare is allowed to stand, there is no question in my mind that Medicare will be merged into it in a few years; and that Obamacare will result in poorer quality medicine and much higher costs. We must stop Obamacare from going forward.

Memories of the Vietnam War have already receded, although the disastrous effects on our culture and on our military will remain for years. Somehow it has also become ingrained among some quarters that it is wrong to use our military to defend or advance our interests. When all else fails, the job of soldiers is to kill people and break things until America’s interests are served.

The main and the only thing we can do to overcome the damage wrought by Lyndon Johnson is to recognize the corrosive effects on American society of AFDC Welfare, and change it. I would propose that Welfare not be changed for current enrollees, but that Welfare be changed to an emergency assistance program for all new applicants. Assistance should be provided for six months and then ended, and not become available again to that person or family for a five year period. Other family members and churches can step in and help, as they did before 1965.

This will end the inclination of so many young women to get pregnant to get Welfare, and of some young men to father many different children with many different women. It will gradually bring responsibility back to parenthood, and will once again attach a stigma to illegitimacy, as it should. Some people, especially children, will suffer until people “get it”, but American society as a whole will benefit greatly.

People of my generation, who worked and saved and planned, and who needed to overcome many hardships and pitfalls before they reached a comfortable retirement, are driven to distraction by the number of people who are freeloading in today’s society.

The future of Obamacare (this will absolutely happen here):

Surgeons raise alarm over waiting

By Branwen Jeffreys

Health correspondent, BBC News April 5, 2011 (Excerpt)

"Surgeons say patients in some parts of England have spent months waiting in pain because of delayed operations or new restrictions on who qualifies for treatment.

In several areas routine surgery was put on hold for months, while in many others new thresholds for hip and knee replacements have been introduced.

The moves are part of the NHS drive to find £20bn efficiency savings by 2015.

The government said performance should be measured by outcomes not numbers.

Surgeons have described the delays faced by patients as "devastating and cruel".

Peter Kay, the president of the British Orthopaedic Association (BOA), says they've become increasingly frustrated that hip and knee replacements are being targeted as a way of finding savings.

"We've started to get reports over the last nine months that access to these services are being restricted.

"GPs were told not so send as many patients to hospital, maybe to delay referrals until the end of the financial year while perhaps introducing thresholds for surgery." BBC News


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