Insurance

Insurance has an interesting history of development through the years. The business of insurance as it has evolved to today should leave us with knowing we must change our outlook as a community and challenge the structures that exist as is. We can sort through the pros and cons, then deliberate further pertaining to what is actually a “pro” or “con” about insurance. Personally, the concept of insurance isn’t a 100% knockout-great idea.

Insurance requires a person to plan is such a way, that you create a safety net for foreseeable and unforeseen issues alike. That is incredibly smart. But, insurance also asks for you to bet against yourself. You pay money, in the event you “lose,” whatever that may be, so the loss won’t be as bad. That problem with that is: if you win, by not having anything go wrong, then you have just lost that money you paid. It puts you in between a  rock and a hard place. Looking a bit closer, you may see insurance as a nice communal pot, where the money of one payer or many payers that don’t need end up requiring any insurance benefits, goes to help the smaller percentage of those that do require the policies of the insurance plan to take effect. The cornerstone of insurance companies is that they believe customers will not need their services, which customers pay for, more than they believe customers will need them. It gets worse when the government mandates that everyone have insurance in order to drive, practice medicine (malpractice insurance), or live as it relates to healthcare.

There are pros and cons to government involvement. Disregarding those pros or cons, government involvement has led to mis-legislation and mis-regulation, which allows for the concept of the insurance business to be manipulated to a point where people can’t help people, which is really the main goal or purpose of this business. What does that mean? I mean, insurance companies are to dole out cash to people who provide services in order to help those injured or afflicted in some way, which their insurance is supposed to cover. Doctors, mechanics, lawyers, etc. cannot or chose not to perform certain necessary services, which may be well within their power, for another because they know they will not be recouped those “costs” by insurance companies based on “policies.”

Looking to the insurers, or insurance companies, which run a very profitable business, it is clear that the money making aspect has trumped and eclipsed the business purpose. Plus, the money generated has to pay operating costs of running the business, so it’s like a money cycle or pie. Those who manage the flow of the cycle or those cutting the pie, find elaborate ways to take more of the money as it flows by them, or cut a bigger slice of the pie (whatever analogy works best). Essentially, the insurance industry has become a great place for the greedy and selfish to get their glutenous desires quenched, but those are vices that don’t quell easily.

Where does this leave the individual? What is the little boy or girl to do? What is the father or mother to do? What is the man or woman to do?

We have to take ownership and responsibility for ourselves. And, hope that we have prepared for a day when we need the assistance of a mechanic or doctor or lawyer when that unfortunate time arises. We could wish that the money paid to an insurance company that is unused for our own needs, will somehow be allowed to come back to us, or reduce future costs for ourselves and our progeny. Some plans out there actually have policies like that in existence, but not enough. At the end of the day, I’m not worried about having the best insurance company, I’m worried about having the best health, driving skills, home care, and business practice to avoid having to deal with the insurance companies. I hope to remain fortunate no one breaks into my house, or that I don’t get hit or hit anyone with my car; that I remain healthy by staying illness and injury-free. I hope I live long enough and generate enough income to where I can leave something for those I leave behind on that day I die. All of the above is regardless of having insurance to cover me or not. This is my Do It Yourself speech in so many words.

For Abortion or Gender Equality?

I’m for gender equality. Unfortunately, gender equality is at the heart of this abortion rights issue; yet, women should absolutely have the right to choose what they can or cannot do with their bodies. Period. Simply put: Abortion is a mechanism fostering growth toward complete gender equality. The sad thing about the Abortion debate is the fact that there is a loss of life hanging in the balance…all for women to achieve the equality they deserve. A necessary struggle–perhaps? Painful progress? Progress is painful and there are “lives” hanging in the balance.

There are justifications for abortion, such as it being medically necessary for an assortment of medical issues. Please consider that because of this fact, abortion will never be nonexistent; in addition, technology in the area keeps improving. Conversely, there are more than rational arguments made against abortion. Being pro life is at the top of that list of arguments in my opinion. But, the experts are in a far better position to discuss that than I am.

Taking a step back from the intricacies of the medically related and pro life debate, I posit that cultural or social norms ought to change, in addition to the substantive affect money has on the matter. I hypothesize that abortion or the stopping of it can best be effectuated by ending the pugilistic discussion and allow women (and possibly their partners) to have the right they are more than desperately and rightfully seeking. Relinquishing the stranglehold lawmakers have on abortion will allow women to approach the matter with a clearer head, without trying to exercise their beliefs where a life hangs in the balance. At that point, a more enlightened approach to abortion will ensue. It will allow the men and women involved to make a more balanced decision. I mean, that’s really what’s happening anyway. We just want the law to support that.

Abortion is viewed as an appropriate recourse in response to other stimuli like: rape, incest, pregnancy outside of marriage, expense, and expense from an unplanned pregnancy. It’s crazy how many abortions are a result of the latter three.

Humans should move beyond relying on dictation of religion. This point cannot be fully hashed out in a blog post because it incorporates other heavy topics. At the core is having sex; which potentially creates certain outcomes, such as pregnancy that people must be prepared for, if they are willing to go down the road of engaging in sex. People are clearly having sex outside of marriage these days, as a result of a sweeping cultural lifestyle change and access to related information. So, if you can accept the responsibility of sexual relations, you should also consider and be willing to deal with the results, without using abortion as a safety net. But shit happens. We will have to move beyond certain stigmas or fear of them, because abortion is also sex image issue as things are now. Are you having sex? Are you having sex outside of Marriage? Who is the father? etc etc.

Cost!! Children are expensive. In America, we believe that your children need to be able to eat, have a roof over their head, be clothed, and be educated–with all the associated costs. College alone is a ridiculous expense. Having to send multiple children through college is no cheap task. Moreover, the cost of living is disproportionately high as compared to the wages Americans earn. Thus, abortion is not only an equality issue, but a socioeconomic issue.

In conclusion, these lawmakers supported by religious zealots and pro-lifers, who are manipulating abortion rights with ultrasound laws and regulation of the medical profession, need to take a step back and assess the reasoning behind why abortion is so attractive to some. This may be a global issue, that will only be sorted out with time and an enhanced understanding of all the surrounding influences. Once other things change so will this matter. Other things like women having the right to make their decision as any man can make his own decision, creating income equality, and removing the taboo nature surrounding a necessary aspect of human existence or life, which is sex.

Additional Reason the Legal Profession has Changed

There are countless articles regarding the change of the legal market. We hear that law schools are overpriced and jobs are drying up. This creates too many lawyers being out of work or underpaid for work without the ability to pay back loans, if they had them. Statistics show that youngsters should not go to law school to enable them to pursue a legal career. Statistics regarding cost-benefit analysis. But why is that? Many can blame it on the recession; hourly rates being attacked by companies; and, no one wanting to pay new attorneys huge rates without any tangible experience. But, this is a situation created by lawyers themselves with the aide of national economic trends. Lawyers who went from big firms or small firms alike over to in-house corporate counsel (most have the big pockets that can afford law firm rates) and governmental relations offices, then started protesting firm rates in order to appease the company or corporation. Lawyers only thought to attack hourly wages because of their inside knowledge of firms’ billables. Now, firms are forced to do more with less, and they are. Moreover, it’s putting a tight squeeze on students and the talented people to fight for positions adequate to compensate them for the amount of money spent for law school. But there is another issue that I have not yet seen mentioned: legislators are quietly limiting the roles that attorneys can play–at least concerning litigation. Just look to the American Invents Act and the Affordable Care Act.

Those laws have changed the format for lawyers to earn a living. With the American Invents Act, America now has a first to file system. That means there will not be the possible litigation potential that was in place with the first to invent system. Patent attorneys could rack up billables like crazy there arguing over the inception of an idea and submitting evidence to prove it; but now it’s just a matter of who put the application in first. The Affordable Care Act, prevents many private rights of action. Moreover, when an individual wants to protest a coverage issue, they have to exhaust all administrative procedures through Health and Human Services Agency, before they can have an external review by a court. This could potentially create more business for some lawyers who can go through those procedures, but more often than not people will be pushed about by those procedures or die from an illness before the can have their day in court. Therefore, just using these two Acts as examples, we see that legislation has cut down on the ability for attorneys to actively advocate of behalf of clients because there is no longer enforcement provisions for that. There are pros and cons to everything, but as this pertains to the legal market, it is not the greatest.

The best and the brightest are being run out and or punked-out of being lawyers based on law school costs and grading systems that directly correlates to a student’s ability earn certain grades in order for them to graduate then be able to eat earn a commensurate living. This isn’t solely because a recession hit, and firms learned to do more with less. First year associates still exist and still charge for hours worked. There is just less money and hours to go around. I posit that the real blame goes to Governmental Relations departments of corporations that are run by attorneys for the most part, and definitely General Counsel offices. It’s clear that attorneys’ chickens are coming home to roost on the successor generation because of how the money tree is being pruned. The money is still out there, it’s just not for the attorneys anymore.

History Lessons

I have never liked studying history and most likely never will be a history buff. The devil is in the details–huh? Good. That’s why I try to stay away from those details concerning history. But, what I believe we can take from history are the overarching lessons of many regimes, empires, men and women. We can learn from their successes and failures alike. Those are the history lessons we should appreciating. No, I don’t know what year or who was the head of a certain army or governmental regime, but I do know that they eventually won or failed based on a mixture of luck, circumstances, and skill. For those who lost, it’s clear that they couldn’t remain the power that they thought they were because there is and always will be a younger, more eager, smaller yet determined faction, country, or person waiting in the wings to rise up; and another dying to assist them if they need it.

We can take magnificent quotes and individual acts of greatness to heart and as inspiration for how to potentially affect your own future positively. These are the best of the history lessons. We know that as far as we have come with society and technology, humans are still human. We find are selves trapped by our ego, selfishness, and arrogance that comes from vices of having too much power and greed. We can learn from history that Nation States or Empires cannot stay on top forever. We all fall down. We just don’t want to fall hard. In bicycle racing, the leader cannot or should not try to keep the lead the entire race. Endurance is a factor that is viciously after us all. History can teach that lesson many times over. Now, with America it is time to recognize that we are heading for a repositioning greater than what we may realize. The writing is on the wall, and in those history books I never took too much of a liking to.

Shutdown a Hoax?

I’m not sure we aren’t all being duped by this Shutdown. Everywhere we look we see that it’s Republicans vs. Democrats; Boehner vs. Obama; Tea party vs. Obamacare. But, I can’t imagine that these incredibly smart and successful people are this dumb: 1) Obamacare will continue to have America and Americans spending money on healthcare, which will allow those who profit from medicine to continue to do so; and 2) America has spoken; and politicians have an interest in remaining in office, assuming voting isn’t rigged, so they should act in the best interest of their constituents. Unless of course, there is something going on we do not know about.

How does this affect money? I’m not an economist, but “when there is blood on the street, buy property.” And the World is clearly bleeding behind this and someone is making money or setting up to make it. I don’t know, maybe some of the largest American Companies’ stocks will drop. Companies that heavily rely on government contracts especially…so buy low, then sell high when stuff gets “better.” Wall Street is having a ball again. But who else? Those at the top are going to remain at the top, while we, at the bottom, suffer–and we have been suffering. Would anyone think that this is a continuation of what we have already seen? The 1% are wielding all the money and power just now with the Affordable Care Act being the smoke and mirror to allow for more chicanery. Maybe we can sacrifice and get in on the stock market game?

In the NFL, it is well known that Quarterbacks have a fraternity of sorts, and there is a pecking order there, but at the end of the day they are all friends no matter how much they want to beat each other when they face off. Politicians are the same way. The new guys get hazed, and find their buddies in the Capitol, then develop while trying to remain in office, as QBs try to stay in the NFL or keep a starting job.

Rappers are notorious for hating one another but it’s all a show. They want to be “the best,” but they are usually rapping on each other’s songs, sharing studio space, producers, and the like. It’s show biz. A business profiting off of us every time there is a “beef ” or “dispute.” Profits come in the form of radio play and singles or albums bought. There is no difference with politics. They share the same work space, socialize with the same people, and have similar agendas. There may be harsh feelings and bad blood when someone is on the short-end of the stick, but it is the game they love and the show must go on. More importantly, they have to take care of their financial interests of companies paying lawyers and lobbyists who all then donate to campaigns.

During this Shutdown, is the federal money being stored anywhere? Collecting interest? Are the wheels really stopped, for those Politicians think are important? This can’t be about the President being black, although many think it could be, like Bill Mahr; or that the ACA is that horrible? But the result of this may give us pause when electing another minority to office. The Shutdown is clearly showing that there is a battle going on. It’s just not the one we see promoted. I’m simply taking another view that these politicians have made a grand show of this, and are somehow working in concert in order to benefit a certain few interests.

24/7

Constant with consistency is the key
Stringing together enough highs
to have highlights
Bringing together enough eyes
to have crowds creating stars
Stadiums roar with lights outshining the day’s twilight
We delight in another’s greatness but what we don’t see
what we need to to appreciate the delight
Constant with consistency is the key

Constant with consistency is the key
for the greatest of greats
it’s what separates bad from the good
and the good from the great
being patient may be needed
but never wait
and never weigh
yourself down with doubt
no doubt about it being
constant with consistency as the key

And for me or you, or the janitor honored for 32 years of service
To the Two Star General
In general, greatness is born through the test of time
No flash in the pan
No two week effort or get rich quick scam
Nothing worth having is freely given
Earned with time and sweat of the brow, wearing smile or frown
Constant with consistency is the key