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In my office we just lost 2 more people last week. The effect of this has been to deepen an already low morale, and hurt productivity further. There comes a point at which people become simply paralyzed by trauma, and employers are shooting themselves in the feet. Do you all remember the horrible psych experiments that involved placing dogs in cages with electrified floors, and shocking them randomly? Eventually the animals gave up even trying to run from the shocks, and laid in the cages while experimenters gave them shock after shock. That learned helplessness is what employers are teaching workers right now. Because whether you keep your job doesn't tie in to how well you do it anymore; as an employee, you are a liability, and every CEO's responsibility to the shareholders and his own stock options is to get you off the payroll as quickly as possible. If they could run their companies without people at all you can be damned sure they'd do it in a heartbeat. No, this is war on working people. Government policy of the past 35 years has created a business climate where making a product or offering a service is only a secondary function of a business, taking a back seat to quarterly profit-taking and shareholder fluffing. One day a change is gonna come, and it may not be very pretty.
Toggle Commented Sep 1, 2011 on "Job Insecurity Remains High" at Economist's View
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Hear hear.
Toggle Commented Sep 1, 2011 on "Job Insecurity Remains High" at Economist's View
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As many previous commenters have noted, the policies that were once associated with moderate Eisenhower-type Republicans have become the de facto policies of the Democratic Party as the Republican Party has been essentially taken over by the John Birch Society. When those extremist right-wing ideologies began to mainline themselves into the Republican bloodstream, the mildly left-wing policies of the Dems began to look absolutely Marxist in comparison, and to remain viable with the electorate, Democrats amenably moved right. Even the Democratic platform is ideologically to the left of most Democrats' espoused ideals. The point is that if this keeps up, we will eventually have a severely reactionary party on one hand, and an outright anarchist one on the other, and all those pundits and politicians blathering about "the moderate middle" will actually be talking about people who don't want the death penalty for shoplifting.
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Now victims of domestic violence who are treated by physicians after a beating cannot be asked whether there are weapons in their homes that could ultimately murder them. Very nice. Do you think they also prohibit docs from asking a gunshot victim about it in the ER? As for the NRA, they are nothing more than a lobbying arm of the weapons industry. The more that people die from their products, the more they can scare the survivors into buying them.
Thanks for this, Maggie. And re: your statement: "And while consumers can assess the quality of the picture on a flat-screen TV, they’re not in a position to judge which health care product or service is superior." The story the NYTimes ran earlier this month about Consumer Reports rating surgical groups included this tell: "The society, which has been tracking surgeons’ performance since 1989, gave the information to Consumer Reports. More than 90 percent of the nation’s heart surgery programs participate in the society’s registry. The 221 groups in the Consumer Reports ratings, fewer than a quarter of those performing bypass surgery in the United States, are the only ones who permitted their information to be published." So even when we TRY to obtain the information to make informed decisions, the very people being rated control whether we know about them. Surgeons are not refrigerator, and unlike surgeons, buying a bad one won't kill you.
Harriet, reconstructive surgery after deformity, illness, trauma, or surgery will not be taxed. Only elective cosmetic surgery will be taxed.
Maggie-- "THIS IS ABOUT PROTECTING WOMEN AGAINST AN UNNCESSARY MASTECTOMY_" --Although I haven't seen it raised much, I also think it's about shielding women from unnecessary ionizing radiation, which is also carcinogenic. Frankly, I have avoided mammograms for this very reason, and am willing to go for one every 4-5 years to minimize the risk. The US is obsessed with testing for breast and colo-rectal cancer, yet from what I have seen, the rate here is no greater than in many European countries where testing is relatively rare.
Sidney Wolfe has long recommended that no new drug should be taken for 5 years after it hits the market, unless the patient is facing imminent death or permanent impairment. He bases this on the fact that most serious problems with a new drug will come to light during that time. Of course, this mean allowing your fellow citizens to basically continue the clinical trial period for you...but the system offers us little choice. The fact is that there is no real substitute for human trials, and the economics of the current system encourage rushing past those trials for the sake of profit. One more reason, to me, for why the free market is not an acceptable model for health care.
I tried to post a comment earlier and may have screwed up. Shorter version: the man's body language reveals the kind of person I dread to have sitting at the helm of my very badly battered nation. Pray that most people will listen to their primitive brain, and vote for the one whose demeanor DOESN'T signal weakness, confusion, and fear.
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What a fascinating thread. Personally, I liked the series.
Toggle Commented May 25, 2007 on Covering Nimoy's Latest Subject at BAGnewsNotes
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So much information comes at us so fast now that books give us the chance to slow it all down and get an encapsulization of what we've been watching fly past. It's a pleasure to sit down and examine a book in thoughtful consideration after dashing around the internet or the TV channels. As for Chavez, his droll remarks set off just the fuss I'm sure he intended, and yes, the media bit, just like they bite anytime a celebrity steps outside of the expected role. In this case, while Chavez may have been fun to hear, his publicity stunt did nothing to further the cause of diplomatic resolution, which is, after all, the whole point of the UN. Instead, he just polarized people (the smaller nations were laughing and applauding gaily--what does that tell you?), and came off sounding like a loon. A loon in a nice suit, though.
Toggle Commented Sep 30, 2006 on Your Turn: By The Book at BAGnewsNotes
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