From: Jim Rossi (e-mail him)
Re: Edwin S. Rubenstein's Column: April Jobs: Immigrant Displacement Of American Workers Resumes
Rubenstein's statistics about American workers' displacement are even more astonishing when you consider that the country's financial condition is graver than its 9.5 percent unemployment rate indicates.
According to John Williams at ShadowStats.com, since the mid-1980s, the methods used to measure inflation and unemployment have been altered to minimize their rates, with the biggest distortions coming during the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.
Using the older methods, Williams has unemployment at 20.6 percent versus 9.5 percent as currently measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Comparing the present recession to recessions before 1992, using official government statistics, is like comparing apples to oranges. Very few commentators on the economy mention this but it is significant.
Rossi's previous letters about Hillary Clinton's 2012 prospects, the GOP's numerous political problems besides immigration and the prospects of an abbreviated David Dinkins-like political career for Barack Obama are here, here and here.
From: Robert B. Murray, Ph.D. (e-mail him)
Re: Joe Guzzardi's Column: U.S.-Haiti Immigration Policy Wins No Friends And Influences No People
Guzzardi's column about Haiti demonstrates how stupid our government is regarding its federal immigration policy. There is absolutely no reason to allow Cubans in, keep Haitians out, build a fence to keep Mexicans out, all the while encouraging everyone to come in.
Only a government that doesn't care about its people's future would permit such a policy.
Two prominent immigration advocates, Jorge Castaneda and Tamar Jacoby, recently wrote in the Washington Post, that "The bottom line is that the only way to stop illegal outflows from Mexico is to legalize them, adapting the law to reality, not the other way around." [Immigration Pitfall: Why Legalization Only Won't Fly, by Jorge Castaneda and Tamar Jacoby, Washington Post, July 21, 2009]
Why not just cede the western United States to Mexico which would have the same result as the revolving amnesty policy that Castaneda and Jacoby favor?
Murray attended forestry school at the University of Montana (BSF and MSF) and earned a Ph.D. in Plant Ecology at Washington State University. His previous letters about his former Senator Craig and Mike Crapo, hiring foreign-born teachers, Cardinal Roger Mahony and the U.S. immigration crisis are here, here, here and here.
From: Herbert Chen, M.D. (e-mail him)
Re: Washington Watcher's Column: Obamacare Will Cover Illegal Aliens—Unless Americans Say: "No!"
I have attended several conferences this year on national health care and my conclusion is that it's not happening any time soon.
Everyone has his own definition of national health care.
For middle class Americans, it means no more co-payments for doctor office visits or prescriptions.
The poor, welfare-dependent interpret national health care as another way for the government to subsidize their lifestyle. Now, care denied them under the Medicaid or Medi-Cal system would be available at no cost. Hair transplant, face lift, dental implants would all be accessible
Medicaid or Medi-Cal—state insurance for the poor—rations care by setting the reimbursement for health care providers so low that few hospitals or doctors are enthusiastic about providing it. No doctor in private practice can afford to accept Medicaid patients unless he sees 50 patients an hour.
For middle class America this would be an unacceptable situation. Under the "everyone has the same insurance" idea, those covered by Obamacare will compete with the indigent for increasingly scarce health resources.
For those whose private health insurance payments are now deducted from their paycheck, national health care implies higher net pay. But the health care they receive will not be what they hoped for.
They will be able to keep their present coverage. But who would spend twice as much for the same coverage they can get from the government?
President Obama proposes that the cost of this new health care system would be partly paid for by 1) changing to electronic computerized system of health care 2) cracking down on fraud and abuse and 3) paying for preventative health care that would save 50 percent on the total health cost.
The sad truth is that preventive health measures offers no financial gain and is costly in itself. You can make as many fat jokes as you want, you can tax cigarettes until they cost more than a small car, and people will continue in their lifelong bad habits. Any money sunk into prevention is lost forever.
As for electronic charting, most U.S. hospitals have already accrued all the economic benefits that computerized medicine can achieve.
Billing, charting, archiving, prescribing have all been computerized for nearly two decades. Until we can teach a laptop to empty a bed pan or change sheets or perform a kidney transplant there will be no more financial gain from cyberspace.
Obama claims that by stamping out fraud he can save billions of dollars.
But the FBI has been monitoring the health care industry closely ever since 1992, when Hillary made medical abuse priority one for the agency.
The glaring abuses are found in many minority-run businesses that apparently have government dispensation to operate without regard to pesky regulations. I doubt that Obama will wipe out 10,000 minority-owned health care businesses by cracking down on fraud.
The real driver in soaring health care costs remains technologic advances that enable people to survive otherwise fatal heart attacks, have their cancers treated, and defibrillators inserted at $40,000 a piece. There is no doubt that technology enables Americans to remain alive and active into their 80s and 90s. But the cost has become enormous.
This means that America's intensive care units are filled with octogenarians who have no hope of ever being weaned from a ventilator or coming off vasopressors, but whose families steadfastly refuse to stop any care.
In the end, we have to support health costs for increasing millions who do not have the potential of ever producing enough value in their lifetime to offset the costs of their high-tech health care.
Then there's the immigration angle.
Many immigrants come from cultures where ancestor worship is practiced. These families are reluctant to discontinue respirators, pull feeding tubes, stop dialysis care, or allow patients to die of natural causes.
With the proposed Obamacare many of the 20 million illegal immigrants will "come out of the shadows" and into hospital ICUs. Expect millions more immigrants filling the patient rosters of our hospitals when the word is spread that Obamacare has been born.
Obamacare would have to have a system to verify that only Americans receive care—a provision he seems not to want to provide.
Either Obama will have to shut down the border or our hospitals will become beacons to every ill person throughout the world.
Chen, who practices in a state carried by Obama, wrote a previous letter urging the federal government not to invite the entire world to America. Read it here.