Making a killing in the free market

Call it Personal Disaster Capitalism

   If Reform Costs X and Fighting it costs Y – choose the lesser of the two everytime.


    Executives of three of the nation’s largest health insurers told federal lawmakers in Washington on Tuesday that they would continue canceling medical coverage for some sick policyholders, despite withering criticism from Republican and Democratic members of Congress who decried the practice as unfair and abusive.


    Why? Why would they do this?

    Because it is profitable, of course.

    The line between taking a profit and making a killing is where ethics ends and Super Profits begin. There are thousands of examples we can find in our economy today where taking a profit is not good enough, and thus making a killing is what we do.

    It seems as though once the line between making a profit ethically is crossed there is no going back. Once the people who profit by stepping over the line and making a killing have gone there, the damage is already done and it is too late. What good is it to us if we fine a polluter some millions they can afford after they have made the Super Profit and ripped the resources out of the bare earth, or by denying someone Health Care they paid the Insurance for, or by ginning up a war fro their contractor buddies. The war still happens, people die of preventable disease and no one can put the environment back together again.

   This is how our economy works. Whoever can fuck over the most people the best win. You can be too big to fail but if there is any competition to worry about, don’t worry, the Government will take care of it for you, but if average Joe Sixpacks demand the same thing that is socialism, and that is bad.

    So what is a person to do?

    The first step to fighting the Class War is to know your enemy.


    An investigation by the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations showed that health insurers WellPoint Inc., UnitedHealth Group and Assurant Inc. canceled the coverage of more than 20,000 people, allowing the companies to avoid paying more than $300 million in medical claims over a five-year period.

    It also found that policyholders with breast cancer, lymphoma and more than 1,000 other conditions were targeted for rescission and that employees were praised in performance reviews for terminating the policies of customers with expensive illnesses.


    You see, if they actually provided the health care insurance policy holders are paying for, they would not make such a big profit. It is as simple as that. $300,000,000 over 5 years is hard for a Board of Directors to turn down.

    The Murder By Spreadsheet Industry is not alone here. Many industries and big businesses claim they can not survive without there special little exceptions around basic decency and common sense.

    Some examples are

    Mountain Top Removal Coal Mining

    You can call this Environmental Disaster Capitalism

    First off, these companies will NEVER invest in Green Technology and Green energy, because that costs money and any initial investment towards progress will hurt their profits, and that makes Executives cry.

    Never mind the fact that there are other, less destructive ways to mine for coal, but that costs money, and is less profitable than the Super – Profits that can be made by wrecking the place. Never mind the fact that coal is toxic, toxic to the air, the rivers, everything around it. That is not important, making money, now that is what is important.

    Labor Unions

    If companies do not have the ability to bust unions, how will they make their Super Profits? Can large employers like WalMart get by when their employees can demand better wages and benefits? Of course.

    Will they admit that? Hell no!

    What costs more, making TV ads or actually paying employees more? Do the long term benefits to society and our economy outweigh the initial costs? Of course not, that would get in the way of making a killing. What are you, some kind of socialist?

    Well, yes, if by socialist you mean something other than an unfettered free market capitalist. If that is what you mean by socialist I am guilty as charged.

    Wall St

    This one is so big I will not get into it too much, suffice it too say that they are certainly making a killing on Wall St. I have yet to hear when the Wall St Bailout will be paid back

    No matter how bad the risk, the people who take those risks never feel the pain of their failure. They are Too Big To Fail. You are not.

    Socialism for the rich is fine, just don’t go getting socialist on the rest of the proletariat. If you feed them once you will never get rid of them.

    War and The Military Industrial Complex

    This is true Disaster Capitalism at work, and the heart of all class warfare. War is class warfare.

    If we do not have wars to fight how will we ever justify spending a quarter of our federal budget on our military, plus supplemental spending and all the other goodies we hand out to the MIC year to year?

    And if there are no actual wars to fight, we can just invent them with a little help from the Corporate controlled media


97 Senators lead by Special Interests and the GOP, not progress

 The Jurassic Senate of the GOPosaurs and DINOsaurs is a fucking disgrace. Don’t blame Obama, blame these craven, weak kneed traitors to their nation.

   I only discount Ted Kennedy and Al Franken for obvious reasons, as well as Bernie Sanders, who votes more like I would than any other Senator. If you think your senator should get a pass here give me a good reason why,.

   The rest of the Senate can go fuck itself.

   That’s right. The Senate has sold out to the banks, the insurance companies, the special interests, anybody with a dollar gets their time.

    40 GOPosauars who say “No No!” , 55 DINOsaurs who say “Not Now!”, Arlen Specter trying to remember which side he is on today and whatever the hell Joe Lieberman is skittering across the wall.

   The Conservative status quo sets the tone in Washington and in the MSM. The GOP sets the obstruction agenda, plain and simple, and I hope you are with me when I say I have had enough.

(P.S. – thank you Buhdy for putting this on the FP, when I saw the words

the Senate can go fuck itself.

I had to laugh.)


And Now? (w/poll)

I know it’s hard to move on, but I really hope that in the months and weeks leading up to January 20th, the left liberal blogosphere will not focus its attention single-mindedly on every rumor of Obama cabinet appointments or even every toothsome morsel of gossip about Republican backbiting and infighting.

It seems there are three main responses progressives and leftists are taking to the new administration-in-formation.

The first is the classic honeymoon:

Cut the guy some slack, he’s got a lot on his plate. Already the election has had a transforming effect on the mood of people in the country and more good stuff is on the way. Now is not the time to be tugging his coattails.

The second is to try and lobby or bring direct pressure to bear on the Obama/Biden team, the Congressional Dems and/or the Democratic Party machine around a broad agenda or, more commonly a particular issue. In particular, This takes the form of trying to call in markers by forces who worked hard to produce the Obama landslide. The clearest example is the drive announced by the Change to Win union coalition to get the Employee Free Choice Act “card check” law passed in the first 100 days of the new administration. The AFL-CIO, for its part, is calling for a million EFCA petition signatures to be delivered on Inauguration Day. Similar calls have been launched by health care reform groups, (The push here to defend the 50 state strategy and its organizing core seems to fall into this category.)

The third is the one I want to argue for. It has already been modeled modeled by the Proposition 8 activists in California and their supporters around the country in the wake of Tuesday’s vote.. They chose a target, the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (a/k/a the Mormon Church), and lit it up with militant demonstrations, extensive muckraking exposure of the facts, and public online debate over, and planning for, a possible boycott of Utah.

I would characterize this third option as creating a firestorm of struggles, locally-based in the main, around critical issues. These will by and large not make the administration-to-be their main target but will create facts on the ground in terms of social unrest among important sections of the people, which will have to be factored into their planning and policy-making.

A couple of additional points on this strategic approach:

1. Those arguing for the second approach should bear in mind the FISA battle of this spring, when folks across the left liberal blogosphere, a sector Obama owed bigtime, fought urgently to get him to stand up for constitutional rule in this country. A broad united front of progressives, liberals, civil liberties advocates and libertarians was quickly built. Funds were raised and teevee ads even made. What his backers got from Obama was one live-blog session with some staffers defending his unconscionable support for the Bush-engineered FISA bill, which passed.

2. Some may object that this doesn’t deal with the big picture can be made, but let’s take the example of the global economic meltdown and the rapidly deepening depression in this country. Obama’s seventeen-advisor panel is drawn from the very clowns and crooks who dragged the world into this mess. The best thing that could happen before the inauguration would be a wave of protests-against plant closings here, foreclosures there, tuition hikes on campus, service cuts in broke communities. The bankers, the automakers, the shippers are already whispering in every ear they can find, amplifying their urgency with “common sense” and the rustle of lobbying cash. We have to show that listening to them has real social costs as well as fiscal ones.

3. The worst thing about Obama for many of his supporters was his “tough guy” military stance, The promise of an eventual substantial withdrawal from Iraq-providing the high command agrees-is more than undercut by his pledge to dump thousands more troops into Afghanistan (the Graveyard of Empires, going back millennia) and “plans to increase the size of the Army by 65,000 soldiers and the Marines by 27,000 troops.” It is time for the anti-war movement, which has done so much to crystallize opposition to the occupation of Iraq (and thus to turn the public away from the Republicans), to step up again. Troops are dying, Iraqis are dying. The war has brought unimaginable devastation to their country and costs ours $2.5 billion a week. We can’t wait for Inauguration Day to make our voices heard. A good place to start is the Iraq Moratorium. This locally-based Third Friday protest will be observed by groups and individuals around the country on November 21, for the fifteenth straight month. Make plans to take part now!

Crossposted at

Daily Kos