No time for data-mining or much in the way of analysis this morning, but I thought I’d at least try to update the full-time employment chart I’ve been posting every month. As usual all the data comes from the Bureau of Labor Standard’s Household Survey.
February had almost exactly the same value as January, so no progress on employment this month.
Drug Costs Get Real March 6, 2014Posted by skinbad in Economics, Family.
I kind of hesitate to do this because I don’t want to get too personal, but I guess I can just throw out a few things I’ve learned over the last few months.
One of your kids getting a chronic health disorder shakes your world. It’s not life-threatening, but it is serious and something she’s going to deal with all her life.
Thank God (and science) for medications that make a miserable condition livable.
No matter how long medicines have been around, this doesn’t mean a generic version is available. If it’s not economically worth it for a drug company to produce the generic because there aren’t enough people with the condition, then there just isn’t one (although one might be available out of the country–more on that in a moment).
By most measures, I have good health insurance. I work for our state’s higher education system. It pays 60 percent of prescription costs. The drug company also gave us a discount card that takes $120 off the price each month for a year. I guess you can get a new card then, I don’t know. Even so, our out of pocket expense for this drug is hundreds of dollars each month. It’s more than any car payment I’ve ever had–not half of our mortgage, but pretty close to it.
It’s possible to keep paying this, but it’s a serious blow to the budget. So we did what a lot of people have done–started trying to find out if there are other ways to get this medicine for less money. Because it feels like you’re getting held up–that somebody is ripping you off. That it just isn’t right. Friends with other illnesses in their families told us to try this or that program to see if we can get help with the cost. But, we have insurance, we don’t qualify–at least with the ones we’ve checked on.
I started researching getting drugs from Canada. It’s not technically legal, but the FDA basically turns a blind eye to personal use prescriptions that aren’t bought in mass quantities. There are ways to check on the Canadian pharmacies to see if they are registered/legit in Canada. We did that, priced a generic alternative, emailed them our prescription and bought enough for three months for the price of one month of our out of pocket-expense with our local pharmacy. The Canadians told us it would take three weeks to arrive because it would be coming from India. We swallowed hard because that was a new wrinkle. They assured us it was exactly the same medicine.
So, (unless these pills don’t work and we have to go back to the local pharmacy) the U.S. drug company will end up getting nothing and this online Canadian pharmacy (I’m sure one of hundreds) that exists to sell medicine to U.S. citizens will split my payment with their Indian counterparts. I want the drug companies to make a profit. I want them to have enough money to do research so that better drugs can be produced. But everybody has a line and they found mine.
It is a seriously screwed up situation.
The Congressional Budget Office Stops Burying the Lede March 1, 2014Posted by geoff in News.
Looking over the offerings at the Congressional Budget Office today, I was struck by the cover page of the report titled “The Slow Recovery of the Labor Market,” published just this last month.
Yeah, that’s the cover page. It’s almost like the CBO can’t live with obscuring the pitiable economic efforts of the administration anymore.
About That Silly Obama/Biden Workout Video February 28, 2014Posted by geoff in News.
It could have been worse:
If you must, the Obama/Biden “Let’s Move” video is available here.
Ninth Circuit: Mexicans are Violent, Savage Animals February 27, 2014Posted by Sobek in News.
…and therefore whites must lose their freedoms.
At least, that’s what this decision seems to imply, right?
Mexicans are the new Muslims? I never got that memo.
Tire Changing Excitement February 27, 2014Posted by Retired Geezer in Gardening, Personal Experiences.
I thought I would generate some excitement with this tire-changing video.
Ready for Hillary? February 24, 2014Posted by geoff in News.
At this point I’m ready for Carrot Top.
The Benefits of Obamacare vs. Math February 24, 2014Posted by geoff in News.
Laura Doesn’t Think Much of Communism February 24, 2014Posted by Sobek in News.
I wanted to throw in my two cents about this.
Obviously, the standard conservative response when a young brain-dead re-discovers the glories of the proletariat movement is a sarcastic “sure, maybe this time it will work.” Let me make a few other points.
Come and See the Violence Inherent in the System!
Young Brain-Dead: Sure, every single communist regime has ended up (or started out by) butchering millions of people, but that’s only because they did it wrong!
Sobek: Actually, Marx made it pretty clear that violence is an integral part of the plan. ”In depicting the most general phases of the development of the proletariat, we traced the more or less veiled civil war, raging within existing society, up to the point where the war breaks out into open revolution, and where the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie lays the foundation for the sway of the proletariat.” Marx (Verso: London, 1998), p. 49.
“The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a communistic relovution.” p. 77
Marx didn’t just say hey, maybe we should all share our stuff. No, he had a theory of history, that ours is a history of class struggle that moves inevitably toward the increased concentration of wealth in the hands of a smaller and smaller group, which provokes a violent revolution by the oppressed masses.
Let’s Talk About the Weather
Young Brain-Dead: The only reason so many people died is because they had crummy luck with the weather!
Sobek: That doesn’t explain all the dead bodies in places where the weather’s nice, so this one applies more for the Soviets and ChiComs than for the Cubans or Venezuelans or Vietnamese or the East Germans or the rest of ‘em.
There’s a great book called “Silent Steppe: The Memoir of a Kazakh Nomad Under Stalin,” by Mukhamet Shayakhmetov. He was about nine when the Soviets decided to bring progress to the Asian steppes and tell them how they and their ancestors were doing it all wrong for the past 500 years. By quirk of history, the same year the Soviets came in and stole the cattle from the nomads and forced them into agriculture (although neither the Soviets nor the nomads knew how to grow crops), there was a massive drought. So what would have been a bad harvest due to inexperience turned into no harvest due to inexperience combined with no rain. Traditional Kazakh society utterly collapsed, and millions of people starved to death. Therefore, argues the Young Brain-Dead, it’s not communism’s fault, it was just bad weather!
Well, no. Because the 1920s were not the first time there was a drought in the Asian steppe. The nomads had experienced and managed drought for hundreds of years. They had developed strategies to deal with drought. People could still suffer and even die in a bad year, but never before had 1.5 million Kazakhs starved to death in a year.
My Typical Work Week of Blog Surfing February 20, 2014Posted by geoff in News.
- Monday is Leon’s “Ridiculously Fit Women with Ginormous Aft Ends” post at The Hostages
- Tuesday it’s pointless to get on the Intertubes
- Wednesday is RFH’s “Hunky Hunks and the Lonely Women Who Love Them” post at The Hostages. I get a lot of work done on Tuesday and Wednesday.
- Thursday is Hooker and Booze’s “Thursday Random” post
- Friday is MJ’s “I Can’t Find Many Skinny Women With Huge Boobs, so I’ll Rerun Previous Entrants; Otherwise I’d Have to Run Plus-Sized Chicks Like Rosetta” post at The Hostages
Today is Thursday, so you should be hustling over to Hookers and Booze for their Thursday Random post. A sample:
Wouldn’t Have Thought This Was Possible if I Hadn’t Seen It February 19, 2014Posted by geoff in News.
A cruise ship gets cut in half, a 90 ft section is inserted, and it’s all put back together.