The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewMichael Hudson Archive
The Dangers of Free Trade Agreements: TTIP’s Threat to Europe’s Elderly
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>
shutterstock_282241244

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New Reply
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

The most obvious approach to look at how European care for the elderly will evolve is to project technological trends and the costs of people living longer as diagnostic equipment, drug treatments and other medical science continues to improve. This kind of projection shows a rising cost to society of pensions and health care, because a rising proportion of the aging population is retiring. How will economies pay for it?

I want to point to some special problems that are looming on the political front. I assume that the reason you have invited me from America is that my country has been doing just about everything wrong in its health care. Its experience may provide an object lesson for what Europe should avoid (and indeed, has avoided up to this point).

For starters, privatization is much more expensive than European-style Single Payer public health care. Monopoly prices also are higher. And of course, fraud is a problem.

America’s Obamacare and health insurance laws have been written by political lobbyists for special interests. So has the TTIP: Transatlantische Handelsabwollen. Since George W. Bush, the U.S. Government has been prohibited from bargaining for low bulk prices from the pharmaceutical companies. Most Americans think that Health Management Organizations (HMOs) are rife with corruption and billing fraud. The insurance sector has made a killing by spending a great deal of money on bureaucratic techniques to reject patients who seem likely to require expensive health care. Doctors need to hire specialists working full time just to fill out the paperwork. Error is constant, and any visit to the doctor, even for a simple annual checkup, requires many hours by most patients on the phone with their insurance company to correct over-billing.

The dream of U.S. “free market” lobbyists to shift the costs of health care onto its users instead of as a public program. According to current plans backed both by the Republicans and by much of the Democratic Party leadership, these user costs ideally would be paid by pre-saving in special “health savings” accounts, to be managed by Wall Street banks as a kind of mutual fund (with all the financial risks this entails – the same kind of risks that are troubling most U.S. pension funds today).

The reason why the U.S. discussion of health care for the elderly is so relevant for Europeans is that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that President Barack Obama pushed on German Chancellor Angela Merkel two weeks ago. It poses a far-reaching threat to European policies.

The agreement has been drawn up in secret, and has only been available to Congressmen in a special room as a read-only copy. Not even Congressional staff have been permitted to see the details. The reason is that the terms of the TTIP are so awful that it could never be approved
2KillingTheHost_Cover_rule by voters. That is why the lobbyists for banks, insurance companies, drug companies, oil and gas companies and other special interests that wrote the law are trying to bypass democratic government and going directly to Brussels – and in the United States to the Executive Branch of government.

The aim of the TTIP is to replace the application of national laws with special courts of referees nominated by the special interests. This includes the organization of health care. Last week Britain’s main labor union, Unite, warned that the TTIP would mean that the National Health Service would have to be wound down and privatized.[1] Although “Austria, Germany, Greece and Italy do have explicit reservations in the TTIP text to protect existing rules relating to healthcare,” the privatization lobbyist strategy is to have the treaty “provisionally applied” to force matters, by backing compliant politicians. Objections will be sidestepped as the “provisional’ law becomes a fait accompli.

I think that the best perspective that I can give you is to discuss how the various interest groups are working to shape political decisions regarding the public and private role of health care. This is an area I have been involved with for forty years. In 1976, I contributed the economic section for two reports by The Futures Group in Glastonbury, Connecticut for the National Science Foundation analyzing the economic and financial consequences of life‑extending technology: When We Live Longer: Prospects for America (with Herb Gurjuoy et al., 1977) and A Technology Assessment of Life-Extending Technologies (Vol. 5: Demography, Economics and Aging, 1977). I believe these were the first reports to pinpoint the implications for the Social Security system of an aging population and its inter-generational financial tensions.

American politicians and economic futurists were concerned with the effect on public health budgets of a rising proportion of the population able to live out the maximum present human lifespan of 125 years (called “squaring” the life expectancy curve). What is the best public response to what should be a dream being realized? More to the point, how should governments cope with special interests seeking merely to profiteer from such breakthroughs – and use their promise in an extortionate manner?

Every interest group has its own perspective. Most politicians in the United States are lawyers, and they worried that the Social Security, pension and health care contracts were a legal right that could not be broken or modified. President Eisenhower had called Social Security the “third rail” of American politics – meaning that any politician or party that sought to downgrade its promises would quickly be voted out of office.

It was obvious that a population living longer would receive more Social Security and pension payments, and that a rising proportion of national income would be spent on their health care. Some of the politicians I talked to were so pessimistic about the costs involved that one said that he was sorry that kidney dialysis procedures had been invented, because with so many people having kidney problems, it would cost a fortune to provide this service to everyone who medically needed it.

Some politicians sought ways to not to fund expensive medical technologies – on the ground that if these were developed, the government might have an obligation to supply the most expensive technologies (especially dialysis and organ transplants) to the population at large. The costs of doing this would absorb nearly all the economic growth.

One set of futures envisioned that the more costly medical treatments might become available only on islands – in the Caribbean, for instance. After all, did not Hippocrates practice on the island of Cos?

As forecast decades ago, health care is the most sharply rising cost in the United States. What none of us were cynical enough to forecast was the corrupt role played by special interests in maximizing the costs by treating each element of health care as a profit center – indeed, as an opportunity to extract monopoly rent.

Privatization of health insurance under Obamacare has been a bonanza for the financial sector and the insurance industry. Initially a Republican “free market” proposal, it required the Democratic Party in power to disable popular pressure for “Medicare for all” in the form of single payer public health care. No discussion within Congress was even permitted to favor public health care. (I was economic advisor to Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, whom the Democratic Party leadership blocked from even discussing a public option in the Congressional debate.)

The enormous power of lobbyists from the pharmaceutical industry bought the loyalty of politicians who blocked anti-trust laws from being applied against the drug companies. As I noted earlier, these lobbyists even succeeded in blocking the government from negotiating directly with the drug companies over prices.

I mention these points because the U.S. solution should serve as an object lesson for what European and other countries should avoid in managing their care for the elderly. This is especially important to Europe, because its neoliberal policies favoring the financial sector imply a slow economic crash squeezing household and employer budgets. Five concerns are paramount.

Triage: restricting the most expensive health care only to the wealthy

Lower incomes lead to shorter lifespans as a result of worse health, and also suicides. Marriage and birth rates also are lower as economies polarize and growth slows. Russia, Ukraine, Latvia and other post-Soviet states show this – and it may be a forecast of European experience. This raises the ratio of elderly to working-age populations. A slowly growing labor force must support more and more retirees.

Studies in almost every country have shown that health standards and lifespans are polarizing between wealthy and poor. A recent U.S. study notes: “The life-expectancy gap between rich and poor in the United States is actually accelerating. Since 2001, American men among the nation’s most affluent 5 percent have seen their lifespans increase by more than two years. American women in that bracket have registered an almost three-year extension to their life expectancy. Meanwhile, the poorest five percent of Americans have seen essentially no gains at all.”[2]

This has important implications regarding recent proposals to raise the retirement age at which people can qualify for Social Security. Only the well to do are living longer, not blue-collar labor. Raising the retirement age would deprive the latter of the retirement years that better-paid individuals enjoy as a result of their healthier lives.

I mentioned above one scenario drawn by futurists: that the best medical care might only be available in “medical islands” or their equivalent in the United States, called “Cadillac health insurance plans.”

Blaming the victims for their unhealthy environment as the problem were their “personal responsibility.”

George W. Bush recommended that the poor simply should go to hospital emergency wards when they get sick. This obviously is the most expensive approach. Prevention is by far more economical. But public moves along this line are being fought tooth and nail by the tobacco and soft-drink industries, and other purveyors of bad health.

Better health and longer lifespans are achieved not only by advanced medical technology, but by better public health standards, and personal diets and exercise. The most serious behaviors impairing health and longevity are smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and eating junk foods to the point of obesity. In the United States, childhood diabetes is rising sharply, especially among racial and ethnic minorities, and the poor in general.

An obvious way to keep down health expenditures is to lead a more healthy life. In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg sought to ban the sale of large sugar-drink servings. Lawyers for the junk-food industry, supported by fast food restaurants and movie theaters, blocked his initiative. And an even more powerful legal tool to block public health warnings is contained in the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement and its European counterpart, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. These proposed treaties follow the earlier North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in levying enormous fines on government who warn populations of the dangers of smoking or other unhealthy behavior that is highly profitable to cigarette companies, soft drink “sugar water” makers, and fast food restaurants selling food-like substances that give little nourishment. Under the proposed neoliberal agreement being put in the hands of Brussels politicians by American lobbyists, government warnings of the health hazards of smoking will require these governments to pay the tobacco companies what they would have earned if cigarette sales had notdeclined as a result of these warnings! Fines already have been levied against Australia for seeking to improve public health by requiring such warnings on cigarette packages. A recent Australian report concludes:

Tobacco policies implemented in the past have been effective at decreasing overall rates of smoking, but new and innovative interventions will be needed in the future to affect change in all populations.

Six chapters were identified with potential to limit governments’ ability to implement tobacco control policies. The key chapters are: investment, particularly the ISDS mechanism; rules related to trademarks in intellectual property, regulatory coherence, cross-border services and technical barriers to trade. … Multiple chapters may also interact with the potential for amplified effects on tobacco control. Various provisions in these parts of the TPP may provide the tobacco industry with greater influence over policymaking and more avenues to contest tobacco control measures, as well as preventing governments from introducing new policies.[3]

Last week the European Court of Justice upheld the 2014 Tobacco Products Directive against challenges from British-American Tobacco (BAT) and Philip Morris. Like similar laws in other countries, the European law called for public warnings on cigarette packs telling smokers that nicotine kills. But the tobacco companies vowed to fight back, and the TTIP is now their major hope.

Dangers of privatization of health law under the TTIP

A recent British article lays out the problem:

A salient goal of TTIP is to shadow the Investor-State Dispute Settlement system (ISDS), an instrument of public international law granting firms the right to raise an action in a tribunal on the basis that a state’s policies have harmed their commercial interests. … The economist Max Otte has called ISDS ‘a complete disempowerment of politics’. The tribunals are confidential, as is usual in arbitration. Negotiations over ISDS within TTIP are also secret, the aim being to get the ink dry on the agreement before it can provoke opposition by being made public. …

As the Economist put it, ‘if you wanted to convince the public that international trade agreements are a way to let multinational companies get rich at the expense of ordinary people, this is what you would do.’[4]

Dangers of financialization

The most efficient way to finance care for the elderly – and pensions – remains pay-as-you-go planning. This is becoming difficult in a neoliberal political environment with shrinking economic growth and consequent demographic shrinkage. The horror story today is a Ukraine-like situation where the labor force has fled, leaving the elderly to be supported without much of a social budget. That is becoming the post-Soviet model, from East Germany to the Baltics.

The American situation is worse, because Social Security, Medicare and pensions are front-loaded by being financialized – paid for in advance. For decades, savings have been set aside in the form of stock and bond purchases. The problem is that when more workers retire than are contributing to the pension plan or similar plans, their prices will decline. This will leave the retirement plan under-funded.

As interest rates have been reduced to nearly zero since 2008 by Quantitative Easing by the U.S. Federal Reserve and now European Central Bank, pension funds and insurance companies have become desperate to meet their statistically required targets. They have turned to gambling on complex financial derivatives – and have lost heavily, because their managers are no match for Wall Street sharpies.

It may be appropriate here to note the monetary madness of the eurozone not having a central bank to monetize budget deficits to spend into the economy to help it grow. That is the proper function of a real central bank, from the Bank of England to the U.S. Federal Reserve System. European voters are being frightened by junk economics claiming that only commercial banks should create money and credit, not central banks. The reality is that central banks can create the money to fund health programs without inflating the economy. What would inflate health care costs, especially proper care for the elderly, would be privatization and a relinquishing of health policy to the large corporations best in a position to profiteer.

Danger of trade agreements raising the cost of drugs and medical technology

The technological medical revolution involves high rent-extracting opportunities, especially in treating the elderly. The Australian study cited above notes the dangers posed by the TPP (and hence also by its European version) to public health expenditure, especially health costs for the elderly. Designed largely to protect “intellectual property rights,” the proposed treaty aims to increase monopolyrent extraction by the pharmaceutical sector.

Provisions proposed for the TPP that have the potential to limit implementation of new food labelling requirements in Australia include the ISDS mechanism; the regulatory coherence chapter and technical barriers to trade chapter. Provisions in these parts of the TPP have the potential to restrict policymakers to regulate using the most effective public health nutrition instruments. For example, the food industry could argue that introduction of mandatory front-of-pack nutrition labelling would be a technical barrier to trade. Without strong compensatory intervention to improve consumer awareness of the relative healthfulness of foods, it is likely that there will be no change to current high rates of obesity, metabolic syndrome and non-communicable diseases. This would have a negative impact on health, particularly for vulnerable populations.

For starters, the trade agreement limits the ability of public or community pharmacies to bargain for lower drug prices. Also, any attempt at anti-monopoly legislation would require governments to pay the foreign producers or investors as much money as they wouldhave earned if no “interference with markets” (that is, regulation of monopoly prices) had existed. This would sharply increase the cost of healthcare, and “many TPP provisions proposed during the negotiations are likely to be harmful to health.”

There is sufficient evidence which show that increases in the cost of medicines lead to greater patient copayments through the PBS, and that increases in patient copayments lead to lower rates of prescription use. Changes to prescription costs impact particularly on vulnerable populations who have less capacity to accommodate increased out-of-pocket expenses such as women, elderly adults, cultural and linguistic minorities, and low-income populations; people with chronic disease; geographically remote communities; and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.

Many provisions proposed for the TPP had the potential to increase the cost of medicines. These were identified in leaked drafts of the intellectual property chapter; the healthcare transparency annex; and the investment chapter, which includes an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism. These provisions, if adopted, could be expected to lead to an increase in the costs of managing the PBS by delaying the availability of generic medicines, and constraining the ability of the PBS to contain costs. An increase in the cost of the PBS to government would be likely to lead to higher copayments for patients.

Summary

European sponsors of U.S.-style neoliberalism pose a threat of transforming European politics, and with it the structure of economies and society. Enormous sums of money are being spent on public relations, and to support politicians willing to shepherd corporate monopoly power against that of democratic government and voters. The most serious threat to European health care and care for the aging population in general is pressure from U.S. firms and diplomats to ram through the TTIP.

It is much more than a free trade agreement. Its “investor dispute” mechanism threatens to disenfranchise governments. The intent is to block them from protecting Europe’s economy, population and basic social philosophy that has developed over the past century of social democracy.

That is why so many of us in the United States also are fighting against this agreement. It has been a major issue in this year’s presidential campaign. Republican nominee Donald Trump has affirmed that the public option is by far the most economic. And Democratic contender Bernie Sanders has opposed Hillary Clinton’s support for her patrons on Wall Street and in the pharmaceutical monopolies. I hope that a similar fight will be waged in Europe.

This is the text of Michael Hudson’s speech to SANICADEMIA, May 9, 2016 in Villach, Austria for the 5th International Congress on Geriatrics and Gerontology = 59th Austrian Convention for Hospital Management, “We’re Living Longer: The healthcare challenges for today and tomorrow.”

Notes.

[1] Hazel Sheffield, “TTIP could cause an NHS sell-off and UK Parliament would be powerless to stop it, says leading union,” The Independent, April 29 2016.http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/ttip-could-cause-an-nhs-sell-off-and-parliament-would-be-powerless-to-stop-it-says-leading-union-a7006471.html

[2] Sam Pizzigati, “Inequality Kills: Top 1% Lives 15 Years Longer Than the Poorest,” Naked Capitalism, May 3, 2016, originally published at Other Words.http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/05/inequality-kills-top-1-lives-15-years-longer-than-the-poorest.html

[3] Katherine Hirono, Fiona Haigh, Deborah Gleeson, Patrick Harris, Anne Marie Thow and Sharon Frie, “Is health impact assessment useful in the context of trade negotiations? A case study of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement,” April 4, 2016.http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/4/e010339.full. The report notes: “The final agreement also included an optional tobacco carve-out from ISDS, allowing TPP countries to prevent the use of ISDS to challenge tobacco control measures. Yet even these apparent ‘wins’ have some limitations. Unlike tobacco, the health system, food and alcohol were not carved out from ISDS, leaving these policy areas vulnerable to claims by foreign investors. While various safeguards have been included to try and protect public health, experts have raised doubts about whether they will be sufficient.”

Michael Hudson’s new book, Killing the Host is published in e-format by CounterPunch Books and in print by Islet. He can be reached via his website, mh@michael-hudson.com

[4] Glen Newey, “Investors v. States,” London Review of Books blog, April 29, 2016. http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2016/04/29/glen-newey/investors-v-states/

(Republished from Counterpunch by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Counterpunch Archives, EU, Free Trade, TTIP 
Hide 33 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
    []
  1. Even from a libertarian perspective, Hudson gets a LOT right. The TTIP is not a free market treaty; it’s corporatist fascism.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rehmat
    Nope - TIP is Zionism fascism.

    On June 29, 2015, Israel-First Congressman Peter Roskam boasted on his website: “This is an historic milestone in the fight against Israel’s enemies, as American opposition to insidious efforts to demonize and isolate the Jewish state is now the law of the land. The bipartisan bill enacted today conditions any free trade agreement with the European Union on its rejection of BDS. This will force companies like telecom giant Orange, which is partially owned by the French government, to think twice before engaging in economic warfare against Israel. No longer will these companies be able to freely attack a key U.S. ally without consequence. Nevertheless, what we accomplished today is just the beginning. As the BDS movement continues to evolve, so too must our response. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure the U.S.-Israel relationship remains strong now and in the future.”

    Currently, Canada, New Zealand, Philippine, Japan, Chile, Malaysia, Australia, Brunei, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam are negotiating with the US to join this Israeli-controlled trading club.

    Professor Gurdial Singh Nijar (University of Malaya) in a recent article wondered why a Muslim-majority nation like Malaysia that doesn’t recognize Israel, and has long been targeted by the US, Israel and Jewish groups (here, here and here) would be interested in joining TPP which is another whip to beat criticism of the Zionist regime.

    “The TPP text being negotiated is shrouded in secrecy and is not fully disclosed to the people of the countries involved: citizens, legislators, farmers and such like. Since Wikileaks started disclosing some chapters, the text is being made available on limited basis to some chosen people and groups. And they must sign a non-discloser agreement. The secrecy applies up to five years after the treaty comes into force,” says Nijar.

    https://rehmat1.com/2015/07/28/tpp-serves-israels-interests/
    , @Mark F.
    Agreed, it's not "free trade" in any sense a libertarian would approve of.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
    AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
    Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
    Sharing Comment via Twitter
    /mhudson/the-dangers-of-free-trade-agreements-ttips-threat-to-europes-elderly/#comment-1416545
    More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  2. That’s a lot of words to say “socialized medicine doesn’t work.”

    Read More
    • Disagree: edNels
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  3. Wally says: • Website

    The agreement has been drawn up in secret, and has only been available to Congressmen in a special room as a read-only copy. Not even Congressional staff have been permitted to see the details. The reason is that the terms of the TTIP are so awful that it could never be approved.

    So how does Hudson know what’s in it?

    Did I miss something?

    Read More
    • Replies: @edNels


    read what he said.. re read... read it again... and then you ask... what did Hudson says... you are a nit wit. So you cannot understand what M. Hudson says...he says it very good.
    , @empty
    there's been a leak ...

    https://ttip-leaks.org/
    , @Stan d Mute
    Great question. Seems like he's built himself a fantastical strawman then proceeded to give it a few good whacks. I do, however, think it's a reasonable assumption that any treaty the government cooks up in secret and refuses to let the public read before ratification is ipso facto a raw deal for the people. Also, in the debates, Trump didn't endorse single payer but instead suggested he would remove barriers to competition (particularly inter-state insurance).
    , @East Indian
    Because only the Government of New Zealand published it in its website for its citizens.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  4. edNels [AKA "geoshmoe"] says:

    oh yeah!! lets us have secret agreements…. that’s a good plan!!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
    that is par for the course of an oligarchy.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  5. edNels [AKA "geoshmoe"] says:
    @Wally

    The agreement has been drawn up in secret, and has only been available to Congressmen in a special room as a read-only copy. Not even Congressional staff have been permitted to see the details. The reason is that the terms of the TTIP are so awful that it could never be approved.

     

    So how does Hudson know what's in it?

    Did I miss something?

    read what he said.. re read… read it again… and then you ask… what did Hudson says… you are a nit wit. So you cannot understand what M. Hudson says…he says it very good.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wally
    geoshmoe, you said:

    read what he said.. re read… read it again… and then you ask… what did Hudson says… you are a nit wit. So you cannot understand what M. Hudson says…he says it very good.
     
    Stan d Mute said:

    Great question. Seems like he’s built himself a fantastical strawman then proceeded to give it a few good whacks.
     
    So then geoshmoe, show us where in the article Hudson explains how he knows what's in the TTIP.

    Hudson again:


    The agreement has been drawn up in secret, and has only been available to Congressmen in a special room as a read-only copy. Not even Congressional staff have been permitted to see the details.
     
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  6. helena says:

    “European sponsors of U.S.-style neoliberalism pose a threat of transforming European politics, and with it the structure of economies and society.”

    The import of US-style neoliberalism into Europe is very worrying. It is apparent in daily life that American ‘experts’ appear as public commentators in Britain more and more often. They talk with an assurance, confidence and ease that is very persuasive to anyone listening who still thinks ‘experts’ speak objective truths rather than promoting ideology.

    I suspect that the gift from EU to US will be the eventual loss of free speech.

    Neofeudalism might be a more accurate way to label what is going on. Which is ironic because the meme about Britain being a ‘a mongrel nation’, used to justify current levels of immigration, is in reality based on four invasions (roman, german, scandi and norman) and they were followed by 350 yrs of feudalism.

    Read More
    • Replies: @annamaria
    Yes, neo-Feudalism is a correct word.
    The NSA has been able to peek into private communication of any and every person – except for the off-shore giants among tax evaders. Fantastic. Should we know more about Masters of Western world? No wonder that they have the unbounded and vicious hatred towards Assange and whistleblowers in general.
    https://www.icij.org/blog/2016/04/luxembourg-trial-affront-journalism-whistleblowers
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  7. empty says:
    @Wally

    The agreement has been drawn up in secret, and has only been available to Congressmen in a special room as a read-only copy. Not even Congressional staff have been permitted to see the details. The reason is that the terms of the TTIP are so awful that it could never be approved.

     

    So how does Hudson know what's in it?

    Did I miss something?

    there’s been a leak …

    https://ttip-leaks.org/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wally
    Thanks.
    Curious that Hudson never mentions it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  8. Rehmat says:
    @Fidelios Automata
    Even from a libertarian perspective, Hudson gets a LOT right. The TTIP is not a free market treaty; it's corporatist fascism.

    Nope – TIP is Zionism fascism.

    On June 29, 2015, Israel-First Congressman Peter Roskam boasted on his website: “This is an historic milestone in the fight against Israel’s enemies, as American opposition to insidious efforts to demonize and isolate the Jewish state is now the law of the land. The bipartisan bill enacted today conditions any free trade agreement with the European Union on its rejection of BDS. This will force companies like telecom giant Orange, which is partially owned by the French government, to think twice before engaging in economic warfare against Israel. No longer will these companies be able to freely attack a key U.S. ally without consequence. Nevertheless, what we accomplished today is just the beginning. As the BDS movement continues to evolve, so too must our response. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure the U.S.-Israel relationship remains strong now and in the future.”

    Currently, Canada, New Zealand, Philippine, Japan, Chile, Malaysia, Australia, Brunei, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam are negotiating with the US to join this Israeli-controlled trading club.

    Professor Gurdial Singh Nijar (University of Malaya) in a recent article wondered why a Muslim-majority nation like Malaysia that doesn’t recognize Israel, and has long been targeted by the US, Israel and Jewish groups (here, here and here) would be interested in joining TPP which is another whip to beat criticism of the Zionist regime.

    “The TPP text being negotiated is shrouded in secrecy and is not fully disclosed to the people of the countries involved: citizens, legislators, farmers and such like. Since Wikileaks started disclosing some chapters, the text is being made available on limited basis to some chosen people and groups. And they must sign a non-discloser agreement. The secrecy applies up to five years after the treaty comes into force,” says Nijar.

    https://rehmat1.com/2015/07/28/tpp-serves-israels-interests/

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  9. Rehmat says:

    I wonder if Michael Hudson ever heard about Iran’s “Health House” concept for cheaper healthcare?

    These health houses provide preventative care in informal yet effective manner. They can provide healthcare faster than far-away emergency rooms. In case of extensive care, these houses have contract with local hospitals and clinics.

    Over 90% of Islamic Republic’s 23 million rural population enjoys primary healthcare services free of charge.

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are more than 17,000 ‘health houses’ in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The concept was conceived and introduced during the 1980-88 war imposed by Western countries through Saddam Hussein against the Islamic regime in Tehran.

    The health house workers from the local communities, known as Behvarzan (meaning good skill in Persisn language) are trained to meet the basic health care needs of people living in rural areas. A female Behvarzan is responsible for, among other things, child and maternal health, vaccination, administering medicine, registration, etc; a male Behvarzan is responsible for the outdoor activities, such as, follow-up visits to the patients, sanitation and environment projects. Both work out of the health house, a rural medical post and the most basic unit of service delivery in country’s healthcare plan. The minimum age of male and female healthcare worker is 20 and 16 respectively. They’re required to have had 11 years of regular education plus two years of theoretical and practical training before being awarded a certificate to be allowed to practice. Even after graduation they’re subject to regular monitoring.

    As the result of the heath house scheme, the infant death have dropped from 200 per 1000 births to 26. With the Mississippi Delta rate 10 time worse than Iran’s – a group of volunteers from the US are traveling to Islamic Republic this month to get a crash course in how health houses work. The poor communities in America, 40 millions of whom cannot afford healthcare, because they cannot pay for medical insurances – have been considering to adopt Iranian healthcare model. However, they’re getting a big NO from the state and federal healthcare funding agencies for a healthcare system originated in Islamic Iran, thanks to the powerful pro-Israel lobby groups

    https://rehmat1.com/2010/06/04/irans-health-house-model-for-us/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sherman
    Hey Homer

    You should take your goat and move to Iran.

    Maybe their superior healthcare system can treat your OCD and other mental illnesses.

    Sherm

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  10. @Wally

    The agreement has been drawn up in secret, and has only been available to Congressmen in a special room as a read-only copy. Not even Congressional staff have been permitted to see the details. The reason is that the terms of the TTIP are so awful that it could never be approved.

     

    So how does Hudson know what's in it?

    Did I miss something?

    Great question. Seems like he’s built himself a fantastical strawman then proceeded to give it a few good whacks. I do, however, think it’s a reasonable assumption that any treaty the government cooks up in secret and refuses to let the public read before ratification is ipso facto a raw deal for the people. Also, in the debates, Trump didn’t endorse single payer but instead suggested he would remove barriers to competition (particularly inter-state insurance).

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  11. Sherman says:
    @Rehmat
    I wonder if Michael Hudson ever heard about Iran's "Health House" concept for cheaper healthcare?

    These health houses provide preventative care in informal yet effective manner. They can provide healthcare faster than far-away emergency rooms. In case of extensive care, these houses have contract with local hospitals and clinics.

    Over 90% of Islamic Republic’s 23 million rural population enjoys primary healthcare services free of charge.

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are more than 17,000 ‘health houses’ in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The concept was conceived and introduced during the 1980-88 war imposed by Western countries through Saddam Hussein against the Islamic regime in Tehran.

    The health house workers from the local communities, known as Behvarzan (meaning good skill in Persisn language) are trained to meet the basic health care needs of people living in rural areas. A female Behvarzan is responsible for, among other things, child and maternal health, vaccination, administering medicine, registration, etc; a male Behvarzan is responsible for the outdoor activities, such as, follow-up visits to the patients, sanitation and environment projects. Both work out of the health house, a rural medical post and the most basic unit of service delivery in country’s healthcare plan. The minimum age of male and female healthcare worker is 20 and 16 respectively. They’re required to have had 11 years of regular education plus two years of theoretical and practical training before being awarded a certificate to be allowed to practice. Even after graduation they’re subject to regular monitoring.

    As the result of the heath house scheme, the infant death have dropped from 200 per 1000 births to 26. With the Mississippi Delta rate 10 time worse than Iran’s – a group of volunteers from the US are traveling to Islamic Republic this month to get a crash course in how health houses work. The poor communities in America, 40 millions of whom cannot afford healthcare, because they cannot pay for medical insurances – have been considering to adopt Iranian healthcare model. However, they’re getting a big NO from the state and federal healthcare funding agencies for a healthcare system originated in Islamic Iran, thanks to the powerful pro-Israel lobby groups

    https://rehmat1.com/2010/06/04/irans-health-house-model-for-us/

    Hey Homer

    You should take your goat and move to Iran.

    Maybe their superior healthcare system can treat your OCD and other mental illnesses.

    Sherm

    Read More
    • Replies: @stickman
    Sherm is a worm.
    , @Rehmat
    Hey Sharon ..... Every time I hear your joke it reminds me of you the Jewish dog who was sentenced to death by stoning for insulting some idiot Israeli judge.

    Israel daily YNet reported on June 16, 2011 that a Jerusalem rabbinical court recently sentenced a wandering dog (considered an impure animal by Halacha) to death by stoning. The cruel sentence stemmed from the suspicion that the spirit of a famous secular lawyer, who insulted the court’s judges 20 years ago, had been transferred into the dog’s body.....

    Looking for your next hasbara joke....

    https://rehmat1.com/2011/06/17/israeli-dog-sentenced-to-death-by-stoning/
    , @annamaria
    What is wrong with "more than 90% of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s 23 million rural population enjoys health-care services through the health houses..."? In certain respect the Iranian healthcare system seems to be indeed superior to the for-profit US system. http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/86/8/08-030808/en/
    The latest data show that estimated 29 million Americans are living without health insurance: http://q13fox.com/2016/05/12/why-are-29m-americans-still-living-without-health-insurance/
    Moreover, "Medical Bills Are the Biggest Cause of US Bankruptcies:" http://www.cnbc.com/id/100840148
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  12. AmericanaCON [AKA "Jolie Pepperdine"] says:

    Well, most of the Western Europe has introduced New Public Management (NPM) which (in part) means that government will outsource their services to private corporations. By doing so politicians believe they can cut costs. Although it is true that government is ineffective on providing healthcare, energy and other services the NPM-system had made it possible for multinational corporations and other contractors to make an enormous amount of money.

    The scheme is simply. Government officials are approached by a corporation which says that they will provide elderly care (or whatever) for a marginally lower price. Government officials than accepts. The corporation provides the service but as a corporation they are able to do it more effectively. The difference is than pocket by the corporation. The success of these corporation have made it possible for them to buy government property such as schools, hospitals and infrastructure often below the market value which is then used to expand their business. Politicians are willing to sell and it is not uncommon that when they left service they have lucrative job offering waiting for them and so it not uncommon that former politicians and bureaucrats are key-people within these corporations.

    Neo-Classical theory would tell us that the price would go down as more corporations would compete for government bids. However, it has not because the market tends to be monopolized by a few corporate actors. In recent years prices have even gone up for energy and public services. The actors on the monopolized market are now able to demand higher prices than what it would cost for government to provide the same service. Naturally, nothing will change as politicians and public officials are in their pockets. There is also a massive infrastructure of lobbyists and paid academics that will push their agenda. Note, that the executives of this corporation have become enormously wealthy on the back of taxpayers and raised consumer prices. This is not an argument against the “free market” but against dishonest politicians who sellout their constituencies and corrupt government officials

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  13. I was reading in this article with some interest until I came upon this little clunker:

    “It may be appropriate here to note the monetary madness of the eurozone not having a central bank to monetize budget deficits to spend into the economy to help it grow. That is the proper function of a real central bank, from the Bank of England to the U.S. Federal Reserve System. European voters are being frightened by junk economics claiming that only commercial banks should create money and credit, not central banks. The reality is that central banks can create the money to fund health programs without inflating the economy. What would inflate health care costs, especially proper care for the elderly, would be privatization and a relinquishing of health policy to the large corporations best in a position to profiteer.”

    Does this mean Hudson wants these countries to institute the same sort of central banking systems like those found in the US and UK which are owned by private banks working in secret to benefit mostly themselves and not the society as a whole? Their control of the money supply allows them to exert often nefarious control (in secret) over politics which gives them the ability quickly dispose of politicians who anger them by raising interest rates before elections. This allows these central banks to stall economic recoveries and depose incumbent politicians, particularly presidents or prime ministers. The Fed did this to George Bush Senior in 1992 perhaps because GHWB was then still in hot water with the Israel Lobby for simply standing up, admittedly feebly, for American interests in Iraq and elsewhere in the Mideast.

    The left wing and left wing politicians have always had a rather intense love affair with the Federal Reserve Bank because the Fed has been the source of the deficient funding for all the social programs that they loves so much (just as many,if not most, Republican politicians love in in turn for its deficit funding of the defense industry) They don’t want this funding to be curtailed in any manner. This is the reason left wing politicians in particular have been the main opponents of any sort of reform of the Fed or even the simple auditing of it. In addition, the Fed now has some new fans. We stock speculators now love it to death because of the low margin interest rates (1.5%) we now receive which push up stock prices. The continuing low inflation that Hudson loves so much has devastated those formerly middle class retirees who depend on bank and bond interest to fund their retirements.

    As regards the rest of Hudson’s article, I don’t believe in trying to reinvent the wheel. Single payer systems seem to work in the rest of the world and ours doesn’t and threatens to (further) bankrupt us. It’s as simple as that. American politicians have been fighting over health funding systems for well over fifty years and during this period only the health industry seem to have benefited from this continuing malaise. I am simply getting tired of hearing about it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @stickman
    Good catch and excellent points. The central bank concept could only have possible validity were the bank fully controlled and owned by the nation rather than the current private scheme of the trillionaire Babylonian magic money changers.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  14. Wally says: • Website
    @edNels


    read what he said.. re read... read it again... and then you ask... what did Hudson says... you are a nit wit. So you cannot understand what M. Hudson says...he says it very good.

    geoshmoe, you said:

    read what he said.. re read… read it again… and then you ask… what did Hudson says… you are a nit wit. So you cannot understand what M. Hudson says…he says it very good.

    Stan d Mute said:

    Great question. Seems like he’s built himself a fantastical strawman then proceeded to give it a few good whacks.

    So then geoshmoe, show us where in the article Hudson explains how he knows what’s in the TTIP.

    Hudson again:

    The agreement has been drawn up in secret, and has only been available to Congressmen in a special room as a read-only copy. Not even Congressional staff have been permitted to see the details.

    Read More
    • Replies: @edNels


    Ok Wally, first I want to clear the deck and apologise for being a we bit antagonistic there...

    So what I want to say is, Mick Hudson or anybody else too, my point is that: I don't like the secretive methods... that these things like TTPP, are not open to the public, is totally,totally...!!!

    Don't you see that there is a problem when government/globalist/business/banksters are doing things openly bogus... that is that it is open to view that it is bogus, that there is shady dealing to put it mildly... and you are kept in the DArk! and guys like you... Wally, are ok with that?

    Not me, I don't subscribe to secrecy not much... not in my Lexicon... it is the province of the devil... and spiders and mites... not good folks, in any of the different religeos persuasions.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  15. Wally says: • Website
    @empty
    there's been a leak ...

    https://ttip-leaks.org/

    Thanks.
    Curious that Hudson never mentions it.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  16. stickman says:
    @Sherman
    Hey Homer

    You should take your goat and move to Iran.

    Maybe their superior healthcare system can treat your OCD and other mental illnesses.

    Sherm

    Sherm is a worm.

    Read More
    • Replies: @edNels


    Now here is an issue.. TTPP that will change the game... give up Soverienty for coutries etc...
    and look at the lack of interest!!!

    You know, so, the thing is that, the f'n dumb dumbs, the Sheeple... they really don't have much of a brain... and the government, or the what ever it is, thjat is the thing... don't have to have any respect for this bunch of idiots... which they sure don't!!

    You know, I mean when you get down to the basics.... maybe the rulers are monsters, maybe from some other planet, or, maybe they are coevolved, monsters that we are, that will always be... monsters from the Id... if you remember the greatest SF movie... Forbidden Planet

    That movie is so damned prescient for today... with our over abundant teckno crap!.... it is too much a thing that we, need to know... that the blah blah...
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  17. stickman says:
    @silly billy
    I was reading in this article with some interest until I came upon this little clunker:

    "It may be appropriate here to note the monetary madness of the eurozone not having a central bank to monetize budget deficits to spend into the economy to help it grow. That is the proper function of a real central bank, from the Bank of England to the U.S. Federal Reserve System. European voters are being frightened by junk economics claiming that only commercial banks should create money and credit, not central banks. The reality is that central banks can create the money to fund health programs without inflating the economy. What would inflate health care costs, especially proper care for the elderly, would be privatization and a relinquishing of health policy to the large corporations best in a position to profiteer."


    Does this mean Hudson wants these countries to institute the same sort of central banking systems like those found in the US and UK which are owned by private banks working in secret to benefit mostly themselves and not the society as a whole? Their control of the money supply allows them to exert often nefarious control (in secret) over politics which gives them the ability quickly dispose of politicians who anger them by raising interest rates before elections. This allows these central banks to stall economic recoveries and depose incumbent politicians, particularly presidents or prime ministers. The Fed did this to George Bush Senior in 1992 perhaps because GHWB was then still in hot water with the Israel Lobby for simply standing up, admittedly feebly, for American interests in Iraq and elsewhere in the Mideast.

    The left wing and left wing politicians have always had a rather intense love affair with the Federal Reserve Bank because the Fed has been the source of the deficient funding for all the social programs that they loves so much (just as many,if not most, Republican politicians love in in turn for its deficit funding of the defense industry) They don't want this funding to be curtailed in any manner. This is the reason left wing politicians in particular have been the main opponents of any sort of reform of the Fed or even the simple auditing of it. In addition, the Fed now has some new fans. We stock speculators now love it to death because of the low margin interest rates (1.5%) we now receive which push up stock prices. The continuing low inflation that Hudson loves so much has devastated those formerly middle class retirees who depend on bank and bond interest to fund their retirements.

    As regards the rest of Hudson's article, I don't believe in trying to reinvent the wheel. Single payer systems seem to work in the rest of the world and ours doesn't and threatens to (further) bankrupt us. It's as simple as that. American politicians have been fighting over health funding systems for well over fifty years and during this period only the health industry seem to have benefited from this continuing malaise. I am simply getting tired of hearing about it.

    Good catch and excellent points. The central bank concept could only have possible validity were the bank fully controlled and owned by the nation rather than the current private scheme of the trillionaire Babylonian magic money changers.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wally
    How many Fed Chairmen have been Jews?

    Why is an audit of The Fed being resisted?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  18. Wally says: • Website
    @stickman
    Good catch and excellent points. The central bank concept could only have possible validity were the bank fully controlled and owned by the nation rather than the current private scheme of the trillionaire Babylonian magic money changers.

    How many Fed Chairmen have been Jews?

    Why is an audit of The Fed being resisted?

    Read More
    • Replies: @edNels


    Well I agree with on that point...

    I was going to reply to the above coments though, where I said some thing.. I guess I was defending Michael Hudsons post... well.. I think I like M Hudson...

    but I don't like his Lispy voice, not one bit... that spells... Punk!

    But the guy is saying stuff that I think is correct, about the economy and how it works... If he is Marxist, or not, to me... you just tell it like it is, tell the srory, be real,

    they will brand you a Marxist...you know that!!
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  19. edNels [AKA "geoshmoe"] says:
    @Wally
    How many Fed Chairmen have been Jews?

    Why is an audit of The Fed being resisted?

    Well I agree with on that point…

    I was going to reply to the above coments though, where I said some thing.. I guess I was defending Michael Hudsons post… well.. I think I like M Hudson…

    but I don’t like his Lispy voice, not one bit… that spells… Punk!

    But the guy is saying stuff that I think is correct, about the economy and how it works… If he is Marxist, or not, to me… you just tell it like it is, tell the srory, be real,

    they will brand you a Marxist…you know that!!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  20. edNels [AKA "geoshmoe"] says:
    @Wally
    geoshmoe, you said:

    read what he said.. re read… read it again… and then you ask… what did Hudson says… you are a nit wit. So you cannot understand what M. Hudson says…he says it very good.
     
    Stan d Mute said:

    Great question. Seems like he’s built himself a fantastical strawman then proceeded to give it a few good whacks.
     
    So then geoshmoe, show us where in the article Hudson explains how he knows what's in the TTIP.

    Hudson again:


    The agreement has been drawn up in secret, and has only been available to Congressmen in a special room as a read-only copy. Not even Congressional staff have been permitted to see the details.
     

    Ok Wally, first I want to clear the deck and apologise for being a we bit antagonistic there…

    So what I want to say is, Mick Hudson or anybody else too, my point is that: I don’t like the secretive methods… that these things like TTPP, are not open to the public, is totally,totally…!!!

    Don’t you see that there is a problem when government/globalist/business/banksters are doing things openly bogus… that is that it is open to view that it is bogus, that there is shady dealing to put it mildly… and you are kept in the DArk! and guys like you… Wally, are ok with that?

    Not me, I don’t subscribe to secrecy not much… not in my Lexicon… it is the province of the devil… and spiders and mites… not good folks, in any of the different religeos persuasions.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  21. @edNels


    oh yeah!! lets us have secret agreements.... that's a good plan!!

    that is par for the course of an oligarchy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @edNels


    thanks for reafirming or what ever... of course the monsters... oligaarchs...monsters... H G Wells called the bastards... the Molochs in the movie ''the time machine''... the Morlochs... something like that... they were the folks that were cannibles... and they lived down in the boules of the earth...
    and they preyed upon the nice normal folks.... (they Ate them!).
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  22. Rehmat says:
    @Sherman
    Hey Homer

    You should take your goat and move to Iran.

    Maybe their superior healthcare system can treat your OCD and other mental illnesses.

    Sherm

    Hey Sharon ….. Every time I hear your joke it reminds me of you the Jewish dog who was sentenced to death by stoning for insulting some idiot Israeli judge.

    Israel daily YNet reported on June 16, 2011 that a Jerusalem rabbinical court recently sentenced a wandering dog (considered an impure animal by Halacha) to death by stoning. The cruel sentence stemmed from the suspicion that the spirit of a famous secular lawyer, who insulted the court’s judges 20 years ago, had been transferred into the dog’s body…..

    Looking for your next hasbara joke….

    https://rehmat1.com/2011/06/17/israeli-dog-sentenced-to-death-by-stoning/

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  23. edNels [AKA "geoshmoe"] says:
    @stickman
    Sherm is a worm.

    Now here is an issue.. TTPP that will change the game… give up Soverienty for coutries etc…
    and look at the lack of interest!!!

    You know, so, the thing is that, the f’n dumb dumbs, the Sheeple… they really don’t have much of a brain… and the government, or the what ever it is, thjat is the thing… don’t have to have any respect for this bunch of idiots… which they sure don’t!!

    You know, I mean when you get down to the basics…. maybe the rulers are monsters, maybe from some other planet, or, maybe they are coevolved, monsters that we are, that will always be… monsters from the Id… if you remember the greatest SF movie… Forbidden Planet

    That movie is so damned prescient for today… with our over abundant teckno crap!…. it is too much a thing that we, need to know… that the blah blah…

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  24. edNels [AKA "geoshmoe"] says:
    @Astuteobservor II
    that is par for the course of an oligarchy.

    thanks for reafirming or what ever… of course the monsters… oligaarchs…monsters… H G Wells called the bastards… the Molochs in the movie ”the time machine”… the Morlochs… something like that… they were the folks that were cannibles… and they lived down in the boules of the earth…
    and they preyed upon the nice normal folks…. (they Ate them!).

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  25. annamaria says:
    @helena
    "European sponsors of U.S.-style neoliberalism pose a threat of transforming European politics, and with it the structure of economies and society."

    The import of US-style neoliberalism into Europe is very worrying. It is apparent in daily life that American 'experts' appear as public commentators in Britain more and more often. They talk with an assurance, confidence and ease that is very persuasive to anyone listening who still thinks 'experts' speak objective truths rather than promoting ideology.

    I suspect that the gift from EU to US will be the eventual loss of free speech.

    Neofeudalism might be a more accurate way to label what is going on. Which is ironic because the meme about Britain being a 'a mongrel nation', used to justify current levels of immigration, is in reality based on four invasions (roman, german, scandi and norman) and they were followed by 350 yrs of feudalism.

    Yes, neo-Feudalism is a correct word.
    The NSA has been able to peek into private communication of any and every person – except for the off-shore giants among tax evaders. Fantastic. Should we know more about Masters of Western world? No wonder that they have the unbounded and vicious hatred towards Assange and whistleblowers in general.

    https://www.icij.org/blog/2016/04/luxembourg-trial-affront-journalism-whistleblowers

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  26. annamaria says:
    @Sherman
    Hey Homer

    You should take your goat and move to Iran.

    Maybe their superior healthcare system can treat your OCD and other mental illnesses.

    Sherm

    What is wrong with “more than 90% of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s 23 million rural population enjoys health-care services through the health houses…”? In certain respect the Iranian healthcare system seems to be indeed superior to the for-profit US system. http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/86/8/08-030808/en/
    The latest data show that estimated 29 million Americans are living without health insurance: http://q13fox.com/2016/05/12/why-are-29m-americans-still-living-without-health-insurance/
    Moreover, “Medical Bills Are the Biggest Cause of US Bankruptcies:” http://www.cnbc.com/id/100840148

    Read More
    • Replies: @edNels


    the monsters, don't like any threat to their profit centers...monsters/paracits, we got 'em!
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  27. edNels [AKA "geoshmoe"] says:
    @annamaria
    What is wrong with "more than 90% of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s 23 million rural population enjoys health-care services through the health houses..."? In certain respect the Iranian healthcare system seems to be indeed superior to the for-profit US system. http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/86/8/08-030808/en/
    The latest data show that estimated 29 million Americans are living without health insurance: http://q13fox.com/2016/05/12/why-are-29m-americans-still-living-without-health-insurance/
    Moreover, "Medical Bills Are the Biggest Cause of US Bankruptcies:" http://www.cnbc.com/id/100840148

    the monsters, don’t like any threat to their profit centers…monsters/paracits, we got ‘em!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  28. edNels [AKA "geoshmoe"] says:

    well I call them Monsters… I mean that too!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  29. Incitatus says:

    “Privatization of health insurance under Obamacare has been a bonanza for the financial sector and the insurance industry.”

    Cigna, profiled in the Hartford Courant 6 May 2016, is timely proof (http://touch.courant.com/#section/4321/article/p2p-87101010/):

    “Cigna told investors Friday that it’s possible its purchase by Anthem may not be approved by regulators before the end of 2016, “In light of the complexity of the regulatory process and the dynamic environment.””

    This is surprising, since the Connecticut Insurance Commissioner is a former Cigna VP for government affairs. She’s refused to recuse herself from ruling on the merger, despite her history and a Cigna corporate attorney husband. The delay certainly didn’t affect Cigna CEO David M. Cordani’s compensation – he collected $49 million last year, up from a modest $27 million in 2014. But the most surprising news is later in the Courant article:

    “Cigna, which sells Medicare plans in 15 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, has been barred from signing up new customers under sanctions imposed in January. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said “Cigna’s conduct poses a serious threat to the health and safety of Medicare beneficiaries,” because of its pattern of delays and denials of claims.””

    Barred from new business as “a serious threat to the health and safety” and still operating! Only in America.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  30. This is how the author has some information about fascist manifestos known as TTIP and TPP, you simpletons! If you had taken a moment to search about it, you wouldn’t have asked stupid questions.

    In short order, those 2 fascist manifestos are all about transferring sovereignty from nation states to corporations. According to manifestos, corporations will have the power to set up their arbitrary courts to process all disputes, which means they will hold the power to circumvent and sidestep laws of sovereign countries, which means they will not be bound by laws of sovereigns. It’s not only fascism through and through, but it represents an “upgrade” or “advancement” of western fascism since fascism of 1930s was defined by the very coiner of the term (Benito Mussolini) as the merger of state and corporate power. Now, you see, USA Corporation, as Washington DC is known by the Act of 1871, seeks to make sovereign states subordinates of corporations. Definitely an upgrade in the minds of fascists, aristocrats and corporatists. Who is advocating such a fascist travesty? Murica. Globalist cesspool and their bitch. And not only that, but they are advertising manifestos as “free trade” deals which is an insult in itself for the free and sovereign people of the planet and those aspiring to be so (or regain their freedom).

    Read More
    • Replies: @OutWest
    Doesn’t fascism usually involve transfer of control from private hands to government dictators?

    Not saying the reverse is less objectionable when it includes the state imprimature. It just needs a more accurate description.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  31. Mark F. says:
    @Fidelios Automata
    Even from a libertarian perspective, Hudson gets a LOT right. The TTIP is not a free market treaty; it's corporatist fascism.

    Agreed, it’s not “free trade” in any sense a libertarian would approve of.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  32. OutWest says:
    @Khan Bodin
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ozj0qwnMGZ0

    This is how the author has some information about fascist manifestos known as TTIP and TPP, you simpletons! If you had taken a moment to search about it, you wouldn't have asked stupid questions.

    In short order, those 2 fascist manifestos are all about transferring sovereignty from nation states to corporations. According to manifestos, corporations will have the power to set up their arbitrary courts to process all disputes, which means they will hold the power to circumvent and sidestep laws of sovereign countries, which means they will not be bound by laws of sovereigns. It's not only fascism through and through, but it represents an "upgrade" or "advancement" of western fascism since fascism of 1930s was defined by the very coiner of the term (Benito Mussolini) as the merger of state and corporate power. Now, you see, USA Corporation, as Washington DC is known by the Act of 1871, seeks to make sovereign states subordinates of corporations. Definitely an upgrade in the minds of fascists, aristocrats and corporatists. Who is advocating such a fascist travesty? Murica. Globalist cesspool and their bitch. And not only that, but they are advertising manifestos as "free trade" deals which is an insult in itself for the free and sovereign people of the planet and those aspiring to be so (or regain their freedom).

    Doesn’t fascism usually involve transfer of control from private hands to government dictators?

    Not saying the reverse is less objectionable when it includes the state imprimature. It just needs a more accurate description.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  33. @Wally

    The agreement has been drawn up in secret, and has only been available to Congressmen in a special room as a read-only copy. Not even Congressional staff have been permitted to see the details. The reason is that the terms of the TTIP are so awful that it could never be approved.

     

    So how does Hudson know what's in it?

    Did I miss something?

    Because only the Government of New Zealand published it in its website for its citizens.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
Current Commenter says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Michael Hudson Comments via RSS