It's Time for Please Tell Me I'm Right on Thursday!

CHARLES HARRINGTON ELSTER IS ON TODAY For another rousing episode of "Please Tell Me I'm Right" with Charles Harrington Elster.  Find out more about Charles and buy his new book by clicking here!  

MILLENNIAL MONOPOLY HAS TICKED OFF AN ENTIRE GENERATION Well maybe not ALL Millennials but a good number of them.  Monopoly has lots of specialty versions of the game where they change up the names of the streets and stuff, but this is the first version to fundamentally trash the completely capitalistic nature of the original.  Millennial monopoly is a box full of the most negative stereotypes about the Millennial generation made into a super fun game!  At least that's what Hasbro is trying to tell them.  From the description:

  • MONOPOLY FOR MILLENNIALS GAME: Adulting is hard; take a break from the rat race with this edition of the Monopoly game
  • PARTY BOARD GAME: This Monopoly game is a great choice for Millennials who need a break from the life of adulting; great for parties and get-togethers
  • CHOOSE COOL PLACES AND DESTINATIONS: Collect Experience points by visiting the hottest Destinations -- from your Friend's Couch, to the Vegan Bistro, to a Week-Long Meditation Retreat
  • SET THE TREND: Collect money from players who visit the Destinations you discovered first
  • IT'S ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE: In this version of the Monopoly game, the player who collects the most Experience -- not the most money -- wins the game

I think this might have legs.  Let's decide what Baby Boomer Monopoly would look like next!  

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM OUR NEW DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY IN COLORADO?  According to this rather depressing column in Colorado Peak Politics pretty much every progressive dream bit of legislation out there.  Sigh.  I sure hope everyone who mad-voted for Democrats appreciates how badly they have screwed this state by doing so.  

BERNIE SANDERS HATES WALMART And he's introducing legislation (which will go nowhere) that would force Walmart to pay it's workers $15 an hour.  Of course if Bernie knew anything about economics he would recognize that starting salaries are rising now as the labor market tightens, all without a stupid new law Bernie wants to champion because he's Bernie. 

I GOT AN EMAIL ABOUT SINGLE PAYER And I want to share it with you because it contains the talking points you will hear from people who want single payer and this is a handy way to dispel them in one fell swoop.  Here is it, with my answers in Italics.

Hi Mandy,

I know I won’t convince you to support Medicare for all like I do but I do want to make a couple quick points. Proponents of Medicare for all are not proposing a government run system in the form of say the VA and the USPS. They are proposing the goverment simply be the one making the payments to the healthcare providers. They would be taking the place of the insurance companies, not the hospitals and clinics. If they were trying to institute a VA like system for all I would be strongly against that as goverment is not efficient at managing the actual coordination of care. 

I am currently enrolled in a government administrated plan of this type, Tricare Prime.  Our doctor in Florida stopped accepting it because it didn't pay him enough to cover the cost of some of the services he was required to provide.  Other docs won't accept it because of slow payments and the cumbersome referral services that are constantly changing.  It's not sunshine and roses.  

As for the cost, even a study from a Koch Brother’s funded think tank showed that the cost difference between our current system and Medicare for all would be around $2 trillion less. Of course they tried to dishonestly frame this debate the way most conservatives do and only talk about the cost without context of the cost difference. 

No, it didn't.  Charles Blauhaus, the man who did the study, has been screaming from the rooftops about the cherry picking done of his rather lengthy study.  Washington Post recently fact checked this again, you really should read it, but here is an important part of what Blauhaus said: 

“To lend credibility to the $2 trillion savings number, one would have to argue that we can cut payments to providers by about 40 percent at the same time as increasing demand by about 11 percent,” Blahous said.

The main point of his study is being ignored by Democrats — that even by generously accepting Sanders’s assumptions that he could squeeze providers so much, the plan would still raise government expenditures by $32.6 trillion. This is in line with a 2016 estimate by the left-leaning Urban Institute of an earlier version of the M4A plan — that it would cause federal expenditures to increase by $32 trillion. (Without the provider cuts, Blahous estimated  the additional federal budget cost at nearly $40 trillion over 10 years.)

If you believe that doctors and hospitals would accept a 40% reduction in payments please read up on the "doc fix".  This part of Bernie's plan is pure fantasy and is completely politically not viable on any level.

And yes obviously taxes would go up to pay for this. 

Nice that this is getting lip service, but let's talk real numbers.  European style healthcare requires a MASSIVE tax increase on EVERY taxpayer, not just the rich.  Check out the rates for #2-#6 in this article.  Those salaries are not very high to hit a tax rate over 50%.  Is someone in the US making 20 grand  year willing to pay 36% in taxes?  I doubt it, but that's what it would take. 

But you wouldn’t be paying insurance payments at all. So if the Koch Brothers who are going to be overly negative on this are even partly right, the net costs we will pay will be less. It’s not surprising though considering it’s getting rid of the middle man insurance companies, reduces administrative costs for hospitals and clinics, and creates an entity with great negotiating power to keep pricing fair. We pay nearly twice as much for healthcare as other 1st world countries yet our results are worse.

No, they aren't.  If we weren't fat and young men didn't keep killing each other, our life expectancies are the SAME.  And when you factor in our sky high obesity rates, it's a damn miracle more people don't die sooner in the US.  Cancer outcomes for the US are better than most of the European countries you cite. When you factor in the growing body of evidence that obesity can actually cause cancer, we are doing pretty dang good right now. 

 For example our life expectancy is several years less than Canada and these European counties with Medicare for all type of systems. Even Cuba with universal healthcare ranks slightly higher than us in life expectancy despite how poor they are. 

Cuban healthcare is not what Michael Moore says it is.  From a report by a man who visited many facilities that didn't make it into the movie Sicko: 

According to a report by the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, hospitals “are generally poorly maintained and short of staff and medicines.” The writer visited facilities in Havana such as the Calixto García, 10 de Octubre and Miguel Enrique hospitals and describes them in an advanced state of neglect and deterioration. In the 10 de Octubre, “the floors are stained and surgeries and wards are not disinfected. Doors do not have locks and their frames are coming off. Some bathrooms have no toilets or sinks, and the water supply is erratic. Bat droppings, cockroaches, mosquitos [sic] and mice are all in evidence.”

I prefer my healthcare without bat droppings, but you do you.  

Medicare for all should be what true constitutionalists would prefer over the insurance mandate of Obamacare (which by the way is really a republican style system designed by the Heritage Foundation and also what was implemented by Romney in Massachusetts.) Medicare for all doesn’t force you to buy a product, let alone one from a private corporation. You can also have supplemental insurance if you choose. 

You operate under the assumption that these are the only two choices.  And no, no self respecting constitutionalist would support a plan of Medicare for All.  This shows how little you know about the Constitution and those of us who think it's pretty rad.  

I know you won’t ever support it like 70% of Americans now do but please don’t repeat the dishonest talking points of the republicans and corporate democrats. Thanks!



If 70% of Americans support the "idea" of Medicare for All, I'm betting they certainly wouldn't support the reality of it.  Here's what happens when liberals actually find out how much Europeans pay.  

RIP ROY CLARK I know this is probably not a popular opinion in the Big City, but used to LOVE Hee Haw.  And Roy Clark and buck Owens WERE Hee Haw to me.  Roy Clark has now passed away and lest you go through life not knowing what a stunningly good musician he was, you need to watch this from an old episode of The Odd Couple.  

REMEMBER THE COUPLE WHO SET UP A GOFUNDME FOR A HOMELESS GUY?  It was all a complete lie.  And this is why you should only donate to causes you or someone you know can vouch for personally.  

REMEMBER THAT LAST TERRIFYING REPORT ON OCEAN WARMING?  Turns out that it was complete garbage and should be ignored because of some very apparent (to those who know such things) mistakes.  Whoopsie!  

ARE SCHNAPPS NEXT?  The FDA is trying to ban menthol cigarettes to combat youth smoking.  Okay, fine, but what about malt beverages that taste like Kool Aid?  Or marshmallow schnapps?  I really hate smoking but this seems to be a bit much for my tasted.  

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