Money Links – Health Care Rage Edition

by Darwin on August 22, 2009

These People are Crazy!  Damned Lobbyists!

These People are Crazy! Damned Lobbyists!

Another week of great reads.  These are entries from blogs I frequent, and I hope you will too (just come back!).  I’ve also included various finance/investing carnivals that published my material this week as well as my posts within my network since the last weekly links.

This week’s edition coincides with a heated health care debate which is quite intriguing since it’s unclear what any of the bills being proposed would actually look like.  In typical fashion, lawmakers craft covert and ambiguous bills chock full of earmarks and hidden provisions which nobody sees, they sign in a hurry “there’s no time to wait” and then after enacted, they say, “I didn’t see that in the bill” and the taxpayer gets the short end of the stick.  Well, this time around, the ire of the American has held up the process to greater scrutiny and things will have to be more transparent given this delay.

The left claims that any angry constituent at a town hall meeting must be a product of a Texas lobbyist, while the media portrays these people as nuts.  After all, anyone that disagrees with Obama’s agenda has to be nuts right?  On the other hand, some of these folks are just ruining it for everyone one else.  People show up at a town hall meeting to hear their elected official speak or to voice their concerns civilly only to have any meaningful dialogue drowned out by yelling on the mic and chanting from the audience.  While it’s OK to disagree, it’s rather annoying and really childish in my opinion to resort to stomping your feet and yelling – my 3 year old does that now.  But.  But…let’s not forget, this is right out of the left wing play book.  I’ve seen speech after speech where an orator speaking out against anything from illegal immigration to the speaking at the Republican National Convention constantly interrupted by left wing protesters.  So, while annoying and distracting, I think the nation is so shocked because middle America’s concerned citizens have resorted to the same tactics as the left in having their voice heard.

On that, here are my favorite reads in Money, Investing, Personal Finance and the Economy from the week:

Health Care Debate:

Obama-Care Contradictions

A Weakonomics Health-Care Debate Summary

The Post Office Stinks – and is losing $6 Billion this year!  Any analogies to be drawn here?  If you haven’t seen this one from Obama on comparing the Post Office to the proposed government health care empire, this is worth the 90 second view:

He contradicts himself completely!  I thought I was watching “W” here for a minute, this is really bad.  OK, so if government health care is the equivalent of our Post Office, and as he states, “it’s the Post Office that’s always screwing up”, is this what we want for another Trillion Dollars+ in debt to our children?

Personal Finance:

Roth IRA conversion basics

Taking Advantage of Extended Warranty from your credit card issuer

Check out this great series on Secrets Financial Advisors Never Tell You

A Cool “Credit-Savvy” Test for you.  Will you pass?

How to Detect Junk Science – This will save you from being scammed at some point in your life.

Investing:

A Cool Way to Strategically Pick your yields in stocks by using Target Yields – as long as the shares didn’t decline because the market anticipates a dividend cut!

Interesting Arbitrage Opportunities

Dividend Stocks raising their payouts

My Recent Posts from Everyday Finance and Darwin’s Finance:

High Yields in a Crummy Low Rate Environment

How to Stock Options Work – Puts and Calls

Option Hedge Strategy – 2 by 1 Put Ratio Spread

Why Credit Card Companies are Evil – Because they can be

Understanding the correlation between Oil Prices and Gasoline Prices

Dog Costs – That Puppy Will Cost you $100,000.  No kidding!

Every Leveraged ETF in Existence – Tickers, Names, Sectors and a Warning to Boot!

Cash for Appliances Program is Coming – Hold off on that purchase! (Wait – cash for caulkers too!)

Carnivals that Featured my Content Recently:

Carnival of Personal Finance

Carnival of Savings

Pecuniary Delights

Road to Financial Independence

Money Hacks

Financial Planning

Festival of Stocks

Stock Market Fast Swings

Twenty Something Finances

One Mint Economy and your Finances

Carnival of Personal Finance #219 – I made Editor’s Choice!

Work at Home Carnival

Carnival of 20-Something Finances

Money Hacks – I made Editor’s Choice!

Carnival of Pecuniary Delights

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Phillip August 25, 2009 at 10:48 am

And again, we have another post that needlessly contains politics. Your readers don’t come here to hear your political slant, or I don’t at any rate.

” But…let’s not forget, this is right out of the left wing play book.”

I can agree that anything that prevents an open dialogue or meaningful discussion is not helpful. However, you shift the blame to the “left” as if they were responsible for the actions of all Americans.

Obama does not contradict himself. You state “OK, so if government health care is the equivalent of our Post Office” which is a complete misrepresentation of his words. He stated that a public option (read: government run insurance business), one part of health care reform, could be compared to the USPS. Such a comparison shows that an unsubsidized government run business can be competed with by private business. There was no contradiction. Now, whether or not we need the government running unsubsidized businesses can be debated, and in general I don’t think we do. But that opinion has nothing to do with his statements. He simply disproved the sentiment that private business can’t compete with unsubsidized government business such as the USPS.

Additionally, you misquote him as saying “it’s the Post Office that’s always screwing up” when he actually said “it’s the Post Office that’s always having problems”. To me it seems that your political bias is held so close to your heart that your slip up not surprisingly suggested that the government (Post Office) always screws up.

I think the issue to debate is government subsidy. In some cases I think the subsidized services provided are worthwhile, and in others they are not. What services should our government provide and which should they regulate? and which should they leave alone completely? Now if the democrats or republicans actually had distinct differences in their philosophies on government, a post with political leanings would be appropriate. However, the events over the past 20 years do not give evidence that either party is commited to reducing unnecessary involvement of the government in American lives.

[Reply]

2 Darwin August 25, 2009 at 11:09 am

Hi Philip
Thanks for your comments. Yes, I do try and keep any political sentiments to a minimum and sometimes my bias slips through. I just can’t help myself sometimes. I don’t want to alienate half my readers that are big Obama fans right? But this health care debate is a prominent topic in the news right now and has the potential for significant financial implications to both current citizens and future generations so I dedicated this week’s edition to the topic.

To clarify the Obama Post Office statement, what I found amusing was that he basically vocalized (which we all know) how much better a private enterprise (UPS/Fedex) is at doing something compared to a govt run entity (post office). Look, I like my mail carrier. He’s a nice guy. But compare him to UPS. I see the drivers run-literally-run out if the truck, deliver, run back and drive away. These guys work their butts off. Have you ever seen a mail carrier run (except when being chased by a dog)? It’s just about incentives, competition and what private enterprise is all about vs the govt which has no competition and no incentive to be efficient.

You raised some good points and I appreciate the constructive manner in which you did so. At a high level I’ll try to do my best to keep it objective and continue to rely on readers to keep me honest.

[Reply]

3 HIFU September 23, 2009 at 8:41 pm

No matter what happens in healthcare we have got to provide procedures that keep the best interest of the patients in mind. And not the $$ that pads the wallets of politicians. Everything revolves around the mighty dollar and everyone pays the price.

[Reply]

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