Our Nation DESERVES To Fail

by Karl Denninger, Market Ticker:

I will lay out the indictment here in brief form.  It's aimed at the American public at large because this is what is tolerated on a daily basis and what it costs us.  I'll leave this open for comment for a couple of days, after which I'm locking the topic.

Let's see if anyone can make the case for what they intend to do both personally and collectively about any of this -- and I'll keep this one short.  Trust me, there may be more where this came from if I decide it's worth my while.  After all it's not like I don't have 11,000 articles written over the last decade to draw from..... oh wait....

Let's start with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.  There is now incontrovertible evidence that several years before the Uranium One deal was signed off on by both Hillary and Obama, a deal that sold 20% of American uranium assets to Russia (and we all know what uranium is used for, right?), the FBI had an ongoing investigation into the Russian principals of that transaction for bribery and extortion.  There are only two possibilities, of course: Either the FBI (all of it) intentionally concealed the existence of the investigation from the administration or the administration knew damn well that the deal was coerced and went along with it despite having full knowledge of same.

Do I particularly care which it is?  No, because the FBI is the government.

What I do very much care about is that the Russian Government actively practiced extortion and bribery within our borders for years and exactly zero was done about it to this very day more than a decade later.  The FBI knew about it and did exactly nothing.  Not one person has been indicted, the acts themselves were covered up despite being known to the government and the "deal" that appears to have been procured through felony unlawful acts has not been forcibly unwound.  In other words the Russians have been allowed to keep what they stole; this is equally egregious to the FBI watching a mobster rob a bank, knowing who it is that robbed the bank and then not only refusing to prosecute them letting them keep the money.

I remind you that if the government merely suspects you have $10,001 in your briefcase due to selling a substance they don't like they will steal it from you at gunpoint even if they are unable to prove that you did anything illegal.  At the same time the millions of dollars that these people funneled to the Clinton Foundation remains there, it has not been seized and the deal has not been unwound, nor has one single indictment been leveled.

I further remind you that before you scream "Democrats!" that Donald J Trump has been President now for nearly 10 months and he and his attorney general Jeff Sessions have done exactly nothingabout any of this.  Trump and his administration along with both sides of the aisle in Congress are therefore explicitly confirming on a literal daily basis that this is "acceptable behavior" and notworthy of criminal punishment.  Let me remind you that Trump, during the campaign, repeatedly cheered on the premise "Lock Her Up."  Well?  Whether you're a "MAGA" supporter, an "establishment" Republican or a Democrat of any stripe go **** yourself with a rusty chainsaw because you are all explicitly supporting an administration that has intentionally refused to act on the "buying" of 20% of our nation's nuclear energy and weapons raw material by Russia through acts of bribery and extortion.

Considering that having our energy infrastructure strangled by a hostile government is arguably one of the greatest threats that we could face this activity is especially outrageous.  However, I can understand why you might stick you head in the sand on this; after all, the lights haven't so much as flickered in your house, right?

Ok, so maybe I'll let you slide on that one.

I won't let you slide on the $15,000 a year that is stolen from every family in this nation on an annual basis by the medical scam in the United States.

The means by which it happens are so varied and outrageous that they are almost beyond belief.  I have heard many people scoff at me when I point out that we overpay by five times in this country for medical care.  That is, if we stopped the scams I assert that your cost for medical care (and health insurance) would come down by 80% in a day.  I'm utterly confident in this number, however, and I would like to give you just a few reasons why.

One, for instance, is the fact that virtually every eye-drop medication is intentionally designed to waste half of the drug prescribed.  If that crap was to be stopped and the companies were prevented from simply doubling the price per-vial by competition the cost of said drops on a per-month basis would instantly fall by half.  Remember, this is without any other competitive pressures of any sort being brought to bear -- it would simply result from putting a stop to the intentional practice by the drug companies of designing a dispensing device that intentionally and unavoidably causes you to waste half the medication by having it run down your face.

Never mind the fact that such a practice also likely causes some percentage of users to suffer side effects that are harmful when the medicine goes in places it isn't intended (like your sinuses and throat), which you then must pay more money to counteract or treat.

The second I've written on several times: Drugs (such as antivenoms for scorpion stings and snakebites) that are sold in Mexico OVER THE COUNTER for $100 or so, yet in the United States a few dozen miles north the exact same drug, made in the exact same factory by the exact same company is available only from a hospital under prescription and costs tens of thousands of dollars.  This crap is true for almost every drug with varying differences by nation, with the United States paying the most in essentially every case.  While the really crazy ripoff percentages come for drugs that are relatively rarely used (like snakebite antivenom) they often amount to 500% or more for "mainstream" pharmaceuticals, whether they be for Hepatitis-C, diabetes (insulin), high blood pressure or hundreds of other conditions including various forms of cancer. The only reason this situation persists is that it is a federal offense for you to cross the Mexican (or any other) border, fill a suitcase with said drug for cash and then bring it back to the US and sell it for whatever you can fetch.

The third is "CON" laws in many states that require before you open or close a medical facility you receive a "Certificate Of Need."  The board evaluating your application?  It's made up of the owners of the existing medical facilities in the area.  This, along with other aspects of price fixing, is largely why you can literally fly to Narita, Japanhave an MRI done (for cash) and then fly home while spending less than the local imaging center charges you for the exact same scan and reading of same.  You are literally bilked out of anywhere from 5-10 times the cost in that first-world, first-class nation for the exact same thing.

Then there's The Surgery Center of Oklahomawhich I've written on several times.  They're a cash-based surgery center that will give you a price, soup-to-nuts, for a procedure just like the corner grocer does.  Hospitals and doctors for years have said you "can't" do that with medicine; this organization has proved that's a lie.  They not only do it their business is thriving.  Because they have quoted you a price and that's what you pay they also have every incentive not to screw up and give you an infection while there.  A traditional hospital gets to and does bill you to treat an infection they gave you while you were in surgery.  That incentive for them to not screw up is reflected in outcomes: The Surgery Center posts their infection rate and on a typical year it's twenty-five times lower than the national average.

Most of this is "hidden" from you through employer-provided insurance, but the scam continues nonetheless. The average Florida family pays over $18,700 a year for "health insurance" irrespective of who writes the check and if it was a more-appropriate $4,000 you'd get the nearly $15,000 a year difference in your salary.

Cut the crap, America.  Not only does the medical scam in this country, all of which I remind you is illegal and has been for 100 years, which medical and insurance firms twice tried to claim exemptions from when sued, the cases went to the US Supreme Court and the medical and insurance firms lost both times, cost every single family in this nation $15,000 each and every year, or enough to make the mortgage payment on a middle class house it also results, if you wind up in the hospital, a risk of infection twenty five times greater than what a market system brings you.

If the robbery isn't enough is a twenty-five times greater risk of a bankruptcy due to infection caused by the hospital, or, in the extreme cases, your death enough to get you off your ass?  May I remind you that roughly 200,000 people die in this country every single year due to preventable medical screwups, and that's only counting the ones that aren't successfully hidden.  In fact this is the third leading cause of death in the United States!

That isn't enough to get you off your ass?  Go **** yourself with a rusty chainsaw.

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