This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Israel / Turkey relations poisoned further by spy revelation accusation
- Saudi Arabia shocks U.N. by rejecting Security Council seat
- Obamacare insurance companies trapped in a vicious financial Catch-22
Israel / Turkey relations poisoned further by spy revelation accusation
Erdogan and Netanyahu
The mutual personal hatred between Turkey’s hardline president Recep TayyipErdogan and Israel’s hardline Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hasbeen pretty apparent the last few years as Israeli-Turkish relationshave become poisonous. Tensions have been high particularly since the the deaths of nine Turkishcitizens on May 31, 2010, in a confrontation between Israel’s navy andthe boat Mavi Marmara in a flotilla headed for Gaza in violation ofIsrael’s Gaza blockade. Israel finally apologized several months ago(see “15-Apr-13 World View — Turkey warns Israel against ‘dirty bargaining’ over flotilla compensation”), but it did little to help the relationshipbetween the two countries.
Now, a new accusation is threatening to worsen relations even further.According to a report by David Ignatius in the Washington Post, at theheight of the mutual bitterness over the Mavi Marmara incident, HakanFidan, the head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT),transmitted to Iranian intelligence the identities of up to tenIranians who had been working with Israel’s Mossad intelligenceagency. Israel believes that the disclosure by Erdogan’s governmentwas deliberate, and that President Obama supported Erdogan.
However, Turkey is vehemently denying the charges and counter-charging that the Israelis are manufacturing accusations as aform of “psychological warfare against the government and itsintelligence service.” According to one of Erdogan’s advisers,according to agreements.” Washington Post and Hurriyet (Istanbul)
Saudi Arabia shocks U.N. by rejecting Security Council seat
After spending months lobbying to get one of the nine non-permanentseats on the United Nations Security Council, and after finallyachieving their goal when they were awarded at seat on Thursday,Saudi Arabia shocked the U.N. diplomats by rejecting theseat because of the U.N.’s hypocrisy. The Saudis are givingthe following reasons for the dramatic rejection:
- There have been over 100,000 deaths and several million refugees from the fighting with Syria, and there was a horrific chemical weapons attack on August 21, and yet the U.S. and the U.N. have done nothing and are doing nothing to stop it.
- In particular, the Saudis are unhappy with President Obama for several reasons, most recently his pathetic flip-flop on the Syria issue, after setting “red lines” which he then ignored. Secretary of State John Kerry has even said he was “pleased” with Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad for signing a chemical weapons agreement, even though al-Assad is free to ignore the agreement with impunity.
- After World War II, the deadliest conflict in history, the U.N. was supposed to stop wars between countries, but it’s track record is dismal.
- Because any of the five permanent members (U.S., Russia, Britain, China, and France) can veto any attempt to stop war, as the horrific situation in Syria has illustrated, it leaves the Security Council handcuffed. Since 1982, the U.S. has vetoed 32 Security Council resolutions that criticize Israel.
- It has been argued that the five permanent members of the Security Council, who are all nuclear powers, have created an exclusive nuclear club that predominately addresses the strategic interests and political motives of the permanent members to the detriment of other states. Since three of the five permanent members are European, and four are predominantly white Western nations, the Security Council has been described as a pillar of global apartheid.
It’s very hard to disagree with the criticisms, especially afterthe recent debacle over Syria, where al-Assad has beencommitting genocide of innocent civilians throughheavy weapons supplied by Russia and by chemical weapons. Thisis happening right before our eyes, but the U.S. is tooconfused and the United Nations is too pathetic to do anythingabout it.
Meanwhile, Sunni and Shia jihadists from around the world areconverging in the Mideast, particularly in Iraq and Syria, inpreparation for sectarian war which can be blamed on Russia, the U.S., and, most of all, the United Nations. Saudi Gazette and CS Monitor
Obamacare insurance companies trapped in a vicious financial Catch-22
A survey by the Wall Street Journal finds that the insurance companiesthat have received insurance plan signups from the Obamacare websitesare finding that the information they’re receiving is wrong. Somespouses are shown as children, some people are shown as signing up formultiple plans, in other cases data is missing. “Luckily,” there haveonly been a few signups for many insurance companies, so they’re callingthe customers on the phone to verify the information that theObamacare website has provided.
This is giving rise to a kind of “Catch-22.” In order to controlprices, the Obamacare law specifies that insurance companies are onlyallowed to charge 20% of the premiums they receive to administrativepurposes. In order to make Obamacare work, millions of young, healthypeople have to sign up. But if that ever happened, then the insurancecompanies would have enormous administrative costs verifying thesignup data, putting them into a huge financial squeeze.
Obviously, millions of young, healthy people are not signing up forObamacare, and it’s very unlikely that they will. The only people whoare willing to put up with the “glitches” on the website are those whodesperately need insurance — that is, the old and sick people. Thiswould destroy the entire financial model of Obamacare. (See “15-Oct-13 World View — Aetna CEO predicts Obamacare IT failures until 2017”)
Long-time readers are aware that from the day it was first proposed in2009, I’ve referred to President Barack Obama’s health care plan as a proposal of economic insanity,because it’s a repeat of President Richard Nixon’s wage-pricecontrols, which were an utter, total disaster for the economy.
Some people have written to me to complain that the comparison toNixon’s wage-price controls is not valid because there are no pricecontrols in Obamacare.
I’m no expert on the details of Obamacare, but from the day it wasproposed in 2009, I heard story after story about all the differentways that prices were going to be controlled. Insurance companies arelimited in profits, hospitals and doctors were restricted in charges,and so forth. Some of the loudest complainers are labor unions whoare being taxed because they offer “Cadillac” plans. Whether done bytaxes or restricting prices, these are all price controls, as in thecase of Nixon’s wage-price controls.
For those of you who are “liberal” and “progressive,” you’re the oneswho owe the world an explanation, not me.
If you’re “liberal” or “progressive,” then you have to believe thatNixon’s wage-price controls should have worked. They wereenthusiastically backed by labor unions and other liberals, they werefully backed by the Nixon administration, and almost everyone thoughtthey’d work to reduce inflation from 2-3% down to 1% or so.
Instead, they were a disaster, and inflation rocketed to 10%. ( “5-Jul-13 World View — Eurozone and Obamacare continue their parallel economic collapse”)
If you’re liberal or progressive, then you owe me and others an explanation whythat happened. This is a simple non-ideological question.
Wage-price controls were a typical liberal program, attempting tocontrol the markets through government regulation, and it was adisaster. Give me and others an explanation of why this typicalliberal program was a disaster.
When you go past your ideology and understand that you have noexplanation why Nixon’s wage-price controls were a catastrophe, thenyou’ll also understand why Obamacare is a catastrophe.
In simple economic terms:
- If you want health care prices to go down, then you need to increase the supply of medical services — doctors, hospitals, devices, insurance companies, and so forth.
- The only way to increase the supply is to allow prices to find their own levels, which means no price controls.
- Instead, Obamacare seeks to control prices, which is going to DECREASE the supply of medical services.
- This means that the prices of medical services are going to explode.
That’s exactly what happened in the Nixon era, and it’s exactly what’shappening today.
Once again, forget your ideology for a moment, and go back and checkout what happened under Nixon’s wage-price controls, and you’ll seethe same thing happening today.
One bit of irony: Labor unions were the loudest advocates ofwage-price controls, and they were the loudest complainers when thecontrols failed. Today, labor unions were the loudest advocates ofObamacare, and today they’re the loudest complainers. Go figure.WSJ and USA Today
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Israel, Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan,Benjamin Netanyahu, Gaza, Mavi Marmara,National Intelligence Organization, MIT, Hakan Fidan,Saudi Arabia, United Nations Security Council,Syria, Bashar al-Assad, Obamacare