Friday, February 28, 2014

Speed-Blogging 2/28/14

This is from the "It's OK For Me But Not For You" files:

More than a decade ago, Arkansas Rep. Josh Miller (R) was in a catastrophic car accident that broke his neck and left him paralyzed. Medicare and Medicaid paid the $1 million bill for his hospitalization and rehabilitation.
But this week, as the Arkansas legislature has debated continuing its privatized Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, Miller has remained steadfast in his opposition.
The Arkansas Times highlighted the contrast in a Thursday report. The alternative newspaper reported that Miller receives ongoing coverage through the government programs, including Medicaid-covered personal care assistance.
The Times asked Miller, 33, about this apparent contradiction: Shouldn't someone who has experienced the benefits of health insurance, including insurance paid for by the government, understand the importance of expanding those benefits to others?
The difference, he said, is that some of the 100,000 people who have gained coverage through Arkansas's Medicaid expansion don't work hard enough or just want access to the program so they can purchase and abuse prescription drugs.
"My problem is two things," Miller said. "One, we are giving it to able-bodied folks who can work ... and two, how do we pay for it?"
The accident that paralyzed Miller occurred about 11 years ago, the Times reported. He was driving with a friend, alcohol was involved, but Miller said he couldn't remember who was driving. When he arrived at the hospital with his life-changing injuries, he was uninsured.

Bolds are mine.

It's fascinating how all that works.  Others are not deserving.  And if there are people who might abuse a system or benefit from it in unethical ways (those others, naturally), the solution is never to fix the loopholes but not to have the system at all.  I have read something similar about those pro-life folk who get abortions themselves.  Their abortions are justified, those others are killing babies because of selfish motives.

Jezebel has a post about the Men's Rights Movement article at the New Republic. The two sites the New Republic piece quotes as sources are listed as misogyny sites at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Retail chains are seeing their profits drop:

The results paint a grim picture of an industry hit hard by the sluggish job recovery and slow wage growth, which have turned U.S. consumers into a nation of penny pinchers. Earnings are expected to drop 6.1 percent on average during the holiday quarter, according to Retail Metrics data. The broader pool of Standard & Poor’s 500 Index companies, meanwhile, are estimated to see profit rise 8.5 percent.

Move on, nothing to see there.  Or that's what those who focus on supply side economics would argue.  We need more austerity and more trimming-of-the-fat from public sector workers and the like, more tax cuts for corporations and fewer social welfare programs.  And more firms like Walmart and Amazon. 

The point, of course, is that the demand side matters.  If consumers have little discretionary income, firms will find it harder to sell their products and make profits from that.  Even firms which try not to pay their workers at all.

The Republicans have a lot of trouble with that wimminz thing.