Stocks are up. Ben Bernanke says that the recession is over. And I sense a growing willingness among movers and shakers to declare “Mission Accomplished” when it comes to fighting the slump. It’s time, I keep hearing, to shift our focus from economic stimulus to the budget deficit.
No, it isn’t. And the complacency now setting in over the state of the economy is both foolish and dangerous.
More from Krugman
All in all, then, the government has played a crucial stabilizing role in this economic crisis. Ronald Reagan was wrong: sometimes the private sector is the problem, and government is the solution.
— Paul Krugman, NY Times 8/10/2009
and worth linking to!
Here’s a fool-proof business model in case you’re thinking of going into business. It has minimal risks and no (as in zero) competition plus lax oversight and look-the-other-way type regulations.
I’m talking about health insurance. It’s been such a good racket opportunity for such a long time that I do not understand why even more people aren’t choosing this fine line of business.
What other business do you know that offers these wonderful built-in safeguards?
— No need to insure the elderly. The government will take care of that high-risk sector of the population.
— Other high-risk groups, like those with pre-existing conditions, do not have to be taken on. Let the government take care of those problem-riddled customers, or hospital emergency rooms, or charity organizations or whatever…
— We only insure those that do not need insurance: the healthy! And if any of those folks stops being healthy, then we’ll just cut them loose or make it so difficult for them to get a dime out of us that they will wish they were dead (or they’ll stop fighting us and will then go to the above-mentioned government, hospital emergency room or charity provider). In any event, not a loss to us!
And how do we get away ensure that no one messes with our business model? Easy. We out-spend everyone, use the best lobbyists out there — preferably those that used to work for the government and know all of the ins and outs and the loopholes — and we buy legislators on both sides of the isle. It does appear that when it comes to accepting money from the insurance mafia lobby, there’s only one isle: the Isle of Greed Need in the Sea of Re-election.
There’s only one thing that could affect (even kill, God forbid!) our wonderful industry: This health insurance reform that everyone is talking about.
We’ve gone into high-alert/code-red to drag it out and then kill it. Just like in ’93. We have a lot of money invested and our crazy supporters — we use the word crazy in a loving way — are joining the good fight. Watch Fox News for details.
It’s important to keep muddying the water. Keep shouting at those town hall meetings. We’ll keep the money flowing to those responsible for making decisions in Washington. Our esteemed associates — Rush, Sarah, Dobbs, Beck — will continue the fear-mongering and race-baiting that has been so effective before.
If we succeed at killing this threat to our hegemony and bottom line, we can look forward to our beloved status-quo for at least another generation. Ah, what a nice feeling. Wealthy. Powerful. Invincible.
What a country!
(Do not forward or link to this Editorial about the Massachusetts Model. It might give some people ideas. And ideas can be dangerous things).