EUPHEMISMS

Quantitative easing. It has a nice, soothing quality to it. In its third iteration it has the friendly, familiar nickname, “QE3.” I don’t know who coined the term, but I hope they got paid well. It’s brilliant. Unfortunately, what they paid will certainly be worth less tomorrow than it is today.

It isn’t only the name that’s brilliant. The concept itself shines. What other ploy robs you of your hard-earned money so elegantly, all the while making you feel as if you have more? If they called it by its real name, “inflation,” you’d be furious. So they’re going to “quantitatively ease” you. It’s the equivalent of the king’s executioner twisting the vise screw against your temples and telling you he’s “supporting your aching head.”

Of course, before a major election, it pays to “ease” things a bit. Each injection of cash makes things better, for a while, kicking the can down the ever-shortening road for an ever-briefer euphoric fix. But it’s enough to create the illusion, at least for half the nation’s voters, that the Obama economic plan is making a dent in the failing economy.

Meanwhile, the only dent our enemies in the Middle East see is in our armor. Because an economically weak U.S. is a vulnerable U.S. For those apologists who think we’ve been too big a presence in the world, wait and see what it’s like with someone else (perhaps China?) at the forefront. Not a pretty picture.

That’s not to say we haven’t been as poor a steward of our military resources as we’ve been with every other aspect of the economy. Waste has been a way of life for us. Now it’s payback time. Either we do it or our children and grandchildren will.

Unless our enemies cancel the debtor.

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6 Responses to “EUPHEMISMS”

  1. Ira Says:

    If you don’t mind leaving economics aside (where, honestly, your opinion is as uninformed as the next guy), I have a question about healthcare (where I really do value your thoughts). I reread your “5 prescriptions”. What is your opinion of (and I think I’m forgetting the “term of art” here) outcome or results based medicine? (that is the system wrought to maximize the best overall result for the patient).

    • Davecor Says:

      That’s the concept behind ACOs or Accountable Care Organizations. The concept’s great. The devil’s in the details. The local meeting I attended describing the attempted launch of one of these things was arcane and convoluted and I didn’t trust it. And you’re mistaken about my opinions on economics — I know everything, and if you knew half as much about it as I know you’d know I know twice as much a the next guy.

  2. Ira Says:

    Perhaps the specific ACO implementation was faulty… is it a concept worth pursuing? On a similar but related topic, I just read a discussion about incentivizing hospitals to reduce Medicare readmissions… apparently there is currently no incentive. Thoughts?
    Finally, I solved for your “opinions on economics” riddle. The solution that works is zero. I concur.

    • Davecor Says:

      The concept behind the ACO, i.e., moving toward cost effective outcomes, is solid. The trick is walking that fine line so as not to disincentivize physicians to the point that it’s not worth doing. We also mustn’t forget that money drives innovation — we don’t want to kill the goose laying the golden egg. As far as hospital disincentives, they’re already in place. There are financial penalties if readmissions are deemed to be related. Unfortunately, since we eke every last ounce of life out of everyone with greater and greater success, the number of unrelated admissions is burgeoning due to multiple comorbidities that no longer kill, just maim. As for the last point, zero is what we’ll all have left if smart people like you can’t see the shrinking dollar signs on the wall. Unfog those economic glasses.

  3. Ira Says:

    I am rolling that term “comorbidities” around on my tongue. How do we kill grandma before she bankrupts us all?

    Now don’t go espousing about economics. Remember, getting economics lessons from Fox News is like getting medical advice from Mr. Magoo. The solution to the Bush disaster, while onerous, can be worked out given enough time and intelligence by reasonable men . Do you know any?

    By the way, is anyone reading this besides us?

    • Davecor Says:

      See my current post. Your perspicacious comments are available to all who have the time and wisdom to visit heartheaded.wordpress.com.

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