Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Nanotechnology-The Next Quantum Leap for Mankind.

Okay, so it has been awhile seen my last post, but that's okay...I have been really busy. Currently, I am doing some simulation "side" work at a manufacturing company. I initially tried to do some computer simulations of their processes, but since they are not "in-control" of their processes...well lets just say we're working on the control portion and then we'll get to the industrial simulation.

Enough mindless dribble. I'm here to talk about nanotechnology.
Humankind has "suffered" through the agricultural revolution, the first and second industrial revoultion, the information revolution (we are kinda still in it), and now comes the bio-technology revolution. An off shoot of this development is nanotechnology. Nano-technology is literally the building of "stuff" at the molecular level. Yeah that's right...the molecular level. Wanna build a "motor" to help you with your poor blood circulation...yeah nano-technology potential has the ability to do that.

In the future, as I have mentioned before, those that are accustomed to technology and use it readily...will be part of the "Haves". Those that don't will be part of the "Have-Nots" (http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/fallsem98/final_papers/Rozner.html). Wanna be a "have"? Get in on the nano-technology wave. It will revolutionize our "physical reality" as we know it. If you are not familiar enough with nanotechnology...start getting familiar with it! American manufacturers, especially, should become intimately familiar with it!

Here are some good sites of interest concerning the topic, but start here: http://science.howstuffworks.com/nanotechnology.htm

Then work your way down and through these
http://e-drexler.com/
http://www.foresight.org/EOC/Engines.pdf
http://www.foresight.org/Nanomedicine/
http://www.research.ibm.com/nanoscience/nanotubes.html
http://www.crnano.org/

Until next time...and taking words from Mork from the TV show "Mork and Mindy"....

NANO NANO!

P.S. Any body reading this stuff? If you are, let me know what you think....

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

American's especially American Labor Just Don't Get It

American's just don't get it....

In the last blog, and in my predictions, I note how China will become the emergent world power. If CNN is to be believed, and as you can read below, maybe my prediction is right on the "money"?

The point is American's just don't get it, and especially American labor. American's buy Chinese goods, way below the true market value of their goods. You know Walmart, Big Lots, and what ever discount stores where you can get stuff real cheap? At this point, without natural market forces in play, Americans buying Chinese goods does nothing but propel the Chinese economy and soak the U.S. economy. I'm not saying thay we should not buy low priced goods, on the contrary I promote that, but I do espouse fair market practices and pricing for goods, services, and labor. Remember the Chinese government is COMMUNIST. This form of government is a severe form of socialism where the governement sets labor wages, prices, and centrally controls their economy contrary and unnaturally to free markets. You would think that American labor, read here the AFL-CIO, and so forth would start raisng a rumble over cheap goods and cheap labor from China, wouldn't you? At this point, with how the recent past elections went with Kerry attacking job loss from the outsourcing perspective, it doesn't necessarily seem so at this point. And I have to think about organized labor in the U.S., and think to myself, why lambaste American companies for going overseas when one of the biggest offenders of the free market is given a pass by the Democrats, especially with regard to the past elections and now, and currently with the administration now?!?! Does no one see, or does just no one really care? I guess the democrats especially aren't really concerned... I guess.

What can be done immediately is to force China to IMMEDIATELY re-evaluate the yuan (Chinese dollar) to market value and American labor needs to lead the charge. Case in point, Wall street Journal some months past reported how Chinese workers make something like 17 cents an hour. I guess American labor doesn't care that their jobs are lost or outsourced to people making less than 1/10 of what they make....I know blame the American companies...it's their fault for not being communists, right???


Sorry... I just re-gained my composure....awww just see below....


China Poised to Overtake U.S. in 2020s-Author


http://cnn.netscape.cnn.com/news/story.jsp?idq=/ff/story/0002%2F20050208%2F1926441300.htm

By Paul Eckert

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China's unprecedented rise, fueled by foreign investment and technology, has put the Asian giant on a path to surpass the United States economically by 2025, the author of a new book on China said on Tuesday.
U.S. pressure on Chinese authorities to revalue the yuan currency will bring only a brief respite from the fusion of cheap-but-skilled labor, imported technology and economies of scale that make China so competitive, said Oded Shenkar.
His book "The Chinese Century," represents neither a "China-bashing book" nor the 1980s "Japan as Number One genre," the Ohio State University business management professor said.
"The rise of China is a watershed," Shenkar told Reuters in an interview. "I compare it to the rise of the United States in the late 19th century."
Britain, the leading power of that era, did not take its former American colony seriously despite the geopolitical implications of the U.S. emergence. China aims to regain the world preeminence it had before the modern era, he said.
More than becoming a new Japan, "China will be overtaking the United States between 2020 and 2025," Shenkar said.
The Israeli-born researcher said he put China's emergence as the world economic power about two decades earlier than most analysts by measuring purchasing power rather than nominal figures to measure output and growth.
"I believe first of all that the Chinese economy is actually larger than the numbers would suggest," he said.

CURRENCY PRESSURE MISPLACED
Although he expects an eventual modest revaluation of China's currency, Shenkar said lobbying China to alter the yuan's decade-old peg to the dollar would not help much.
"Pressure on not only currency rates, but also tariffs and quotas will have only a temporary effect," he said, citing the case of Japan's dramatic revaluation in the late 1980s.
"What you are going to do if you revalue the currency, is lower their costs of importation," he said.
To cope with competition from China, the U.S. government must improve education in science, while American negotiators must drive harder bargains on counterfeiting, said Shenkar.
"In intellectual property rights (IPR), the Chinese continue to play games," he said, describing celebrated crackdowns that never seem to put Chinese counterfeiters out of business.
"Most people still think of IPR violations in terms of bootlegging of DVDs," he said. "The reality is this is happening across the board," he said, citing fake machinery, shampoo and medicine that cause billions of dollars of losses.
A major theme of Shenkar's book is how technology transfers have helped China catch up to U.S. competitors at low cost.
"Maybe we are selling our technology too cheap, or as in the case of China, we're giving it away or somebody is taking it without compensating us," he said.

02/08/05 19:25

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Technology and our Future?

So what about our future? What is in store for us of the next 20 to 50 years? I agree with what Richard Morley and Patricia Richardson predict:

1. Technology will drive not only manufacturing, but also social structures and communications. Expect technology linkages to replace geography and family language affinities that now form “natural” boundaries and communication patterns.
2. Mass production will give way to fully distributed manufacturing and point-of-sale manufacturing…manufacturing will become replication at the point of consumption and design…what counts are (is) design, time to market, and diversification of type.
3. The 2020 winners in fifteen years will be small unknowns, unheard of or unrecognized now.
4. The 2020 losers are big, insular companies…GM and Xerox…less obvious victims include Microsoft, StorageTek, and Seagate.
7. Remanufacturing and retrofit industries (mining junkyards for scrap components, rebuilding things with scrapped technologies, i.e. car parts, electronics parts, etc.).
17. Companies will bet bigger and smaller…middle firms of about $100 Million
to $1 Billion will not be able to compete.
29. …technology personnel shortage…especially high-tech males…drive more
women into technology positions.
30. Television will be dead. Downloads and uploads through Internet communications.
33. Computers …ten thousand times more powerful.
50. At-home ASIC’s (Application-Specific Integrated Circuits) - burn it at home chips.
63. Education. K-12 in turmoil…mega-corporations tired of social engineering experiments…assume comprehensive, effective education programs. Universities will form and reform…to absorb new technologies.
91. …Hand-made, as opposed to machine mass-produced items will enjoy a resurgence…
97. …DNA and aptitude testing will vector kids’ future professions and interests, starting at age three.
99. We will explain everything, but know nothing. … spreadsheets, DNA code, standards (ISO 9000), business strategies, manufacturing variables…and the results will be less meaningful.
104. …smart electric drive equipment.
106. Speak English (the predominate if not the only language).
114. Slap and fix…very fast fixes for quick turnaround (my narrative: kind of like the SoBig.exe virus we just experienced, it was more economical for Microsoft to issue a patch after the fact rather than provide for good programming code in their software initially)
127. Fastest-growing professions…computer science, network technology, health-care, …maintenance.


My predictions for the next 20 years:
1) There will be a further divide of the "haves" and the "have-nots".
The "haves" will be those people that embrace technology...the engineers, scientists, and technical types that will use it on a daily basis.
2) The poor will get poorer and the wealthy will get wealthier.
3) Hollywood movie stars will be replaced by very "life-like" animations. The high ticket, high dollar movie stars will be replaced by these low dollar, high animation, marquee movie stars. Why pay $20 million to a star for one film when you can take the 20 Mill to open up an animation production company? Movie stars will remain but only because they are held in esteem for their "social activism", "social value", animation voice-overs, and their interactive commercial spots done on the internet rather than their acting and marquee abilities. The video gamers will mesh with film makers; individuals will make their own "virtual reality" movies, sell them over the internet with immediate download and viewing capability. You become the movie star.
4) The scram jet will become a commercial reality. Flight from NY to Tokyo will take about an hour of flight time as the scram plane shoots directly to the atmosphere and then bounces off to land in Tokyo.
5) Politics in the U.S. will remain divided. The Democratic party will splitter the way the Whig party splittered into the present day Republican party in the 1850's.
6) Humans will become much more susceptible to technological peril. Thosuands will be killed in an instance by technogolgy-driven disasters. Bhopal, terror attacks on the twin towers, and the jerk that caused the derailment are just the start.
7) China will emerge as the next world power offset the slightly diminished global hegemony of the US.
8) The world will plunge toward socialism with the US the sole capitalistic country. China will remain socialist with a controlled economy. Their will be an emerging middle class in China, but it will not be acceptable to embrace openly western ideals. Because of the US's aging population it too will hedge toward socialism.
9) Socialism, like it did in the twentieth century symbiotically with nationalism, with be the source of world war and market conflict
(read food for oil scandal scenarios).
10) Wars will be fought over nature resources, and mainly over water.
11) Americans will lived in walled communities similar to as in merging third to second world countries now like Brazil where there is a vast difference between the rich and the poor.
12) Outsourcing and insourcing by US companies will only work for the next few years to cover manpower deficiencies. Currently, the US is not producing enough technologically capable manpower to sustain its economy. See Rand Corporation and www.census.gov. Because of the deficiencies, companies will become completely disenfranchised with the liberal-leaning, social activist American educational system. Look for companies/corporations to start opening company schools/universities to offset manpower deficiencies.
13) Look for the re-emergence of the "Pullman Car Co." type towns of the early 2oth century where the company provides living arrangements, shopping, and recreation activities for its globally, mobile employees. Retention of employees will be "key" to their survival. US companies will embrace General Electrics and Walmarts management practices.
14) Their will be an emergence of "neo-cottage" industries in the US. "Monster Garage" types will make specialty everthing. Place order over the internet, someone in an automated garage, builds exactly to your specifications, the order is recieved over night perferably by UPS or FEDEX.
15) DHL will become a world player in overnight delivery only because they are owned by the Germany government...socialism at work again...nofree market constraint on their growth. Other government sponsored companies like Airbus will arise to compete with successful free market companies, mainly from the US.
16) Socialist-Democracy Europe and Capitalist-Democracy US will still be at odds with each other.
17) Russia in 2025 still a foundering democracy.
18) Look for a major, if not world war, to occur and starting in Africa over resources about 2010 or 2012. Too much untapped natural resources their for it not to be utilized.
19) Similar to agriculture, less than 1% of the US workforce will work in manufacturing. Those it manufacturing will be highly paid. Much of the US manufacturing sector will be heavily subsidized by the US Government.
20) Replacement body parts by neo-cloning, socially, religiously, acceptable cloning techniques.
21) In 2025 in the US, the average male life span will be 87.
22) Big Brother is not only watching he is monitoring. The average american will be photograghed 100 per day for security reasons. Cameras everywhere. The UK challenges the US in individual citizen gun ownership.
23) Bio-metrics and bio-scanning will be main means to ensure security.
24) US leaves NATO but stays allied to the UK. US re-aligns militarily with firm trading partners and the UK.
25) Major news networks die away. News via blogber consortiums over worldwide web 3 (www3) emerge as main information sources.
26) Detroit embraces hybrid petroleum/oil/fuel cell/ hydrogen cell automobiles with ave. MPG of 75.
27) Afghanistan becomes stable, Iraq fights major war with Iran, again. Israel and and the Palestinians still fighting.
28) Tajikistan and other former Russian occupied countries flourish from new found oil wealth and other commercial ventures.
29) European Space Agency overtakes NASA in number of space exploration
ventures.
30) World population growth levels at 9 billion.
31) American suburbs stretch for up to 100 miles away from the urban center. Commutes to work from outer suburbs takes 30 minutes (with stops).
32) Labor unions virtually disappear in the US. Only teachers unions and government unions remain.
33) In 2025, Social Security will still be under funded.
34) In 2025, America still leads in military capability. American
shock troops and "military shock technology" can be anywhere in the world
35) In 2025, Taiwan rejoins China.
36) In 2025, North Korea rejoins South Korea as a democracy.
37) In 2025, Cuba becomes America’s new Caribbean vacation destination.
38) All your business transactions since the early 2000's will have
been monitored, recorded, forecasted, and developed for direct marketing, production, sell, and shipment to the individual customer. Walmart will morph in the US into a direct sell, direct merchandising and shipment same day merchandise provider. Traditional Walmart stores will remain in third world and emerging world countires where infrastructure is not conducive to direct sell, direct shipment same day merchandise providing.
39) You will be overly ethical in your business practices as EVERYONE will
know when you are not by computation records.
40) Computers as we know it will not exist, all encompassing computational technology will. You will not type as you will use voice recognition to interact with your computer. Your computer will keep track of you via GPS and your cell phone. Cell phones will interface through your computer with voice over internet protocol (VOIP). EVERYTHING will be routed through your computer. Computation technology, will overtake the American household. New houses will have seamless individual room climate control, lighting control, and automated eating and bathing facilities/equipment.


Well there are just a few predictions.....what do you think....?

Saturday, January 08, 2005

If you want to know the future ask a technologist...

The head of business development at Yaskawa Electric in Japan, Seiichi Yaskawa, heavily involved with technological developments within the company, in 1901 made a series of predictions for the future . Below are his predictions for the then coming 100 years. They were published in a Japanese newspaper as follows:

1. Worldwide wireless telephone
2. Worldwide, color photo instant transfer
3. Extinct wide animals
4. Green Sahara
5. Rise of China, Japan and Africa
6. Round the world trip in 7 days; global travel for everyone
7. Warships in the air
8. Extermination of flies and fleas
9. Air conditioners
10. Cultivation by electricity of tropical plants in Greenland
11. Advanced voice transmitters, love talk over 10 miles
12. Picture telephone
13. Shopping by picture telephone
14. Electricity as fuel
15. Bullet train 2.5 hours between Tokyo and Kobe
16. Rubber tire trains in the air and under the ground
17. Worldwide railroad network
18. Natural disaster control
19. Everybody taller than 6 feet
20. Electric needle treatment without pain or medicine
21. Automobiles without horse
22. Animal language literacy
23. Advanced education
24. Countrywide electricity distribution

Wouldn't you say that he did well with his predictions? The moral to this story and these predictions? If you're curious as to what the future has in store for humanity.....ask a technologist.....

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Technology and Work in the Future

The Future at Work — Trends and Implications
Abstract
Trends in workforce size and composition and in the pace of technological change and economic globalization will have implications for the future of work. Employees will work in more decentralized, specialized firms; slower labor growth will encourage employers to recruit groups with relatively low labor force participation; greater emphasis will be placed on retraining and lifelong learning; and future productivity growth will support higher wages and may affect the wage distribution. Given this, some policies may need to be reexamined.

What does the future hold for work in the 21st century? In a new study for the U.S. Department of Labor, RAND researchers Lynn Karoly and Constantijn Panis seek to answer this question. In particular, they examine how three major trends that will shape the future at work in this century — shifting demographic patterns, the pace of technological change, and the path of economic globalization — will evolve over the next 10-15 years. Then, they consider the implications of these trends for key aspects of the future workforce and workplace, including the size, composition, and skills of the workforce; the nature of work and workplace arrangements; and worker compensation. Their assessment of these underlying structural forces is based on relevant data and research and is intended to help all stakeholders — workers, employers, educators, and policymakers — make informed decisions.

Shifting Demographic Patterns
Given population trends and trends in labor force participation rates, the U.S. workforce will continue to increase in size but at a considerably slower rate than in the past. During the 1970s, the workforce grew 2.6 percent annually, declining to 1.1 percent growth in the 1990s. Between 2000 and 2010, the annual growth rate is projected to equal that of the 1990s, but it is projected to slow in the next decade to just 0.4 percent and in the following decade to only 0.3 percent.

In terms of workforce composition, the trend is for a shift toward a more balanced distribution by age, sex, and race/ethnicity. The U.S. population and workforce have been growing older as the baby-boom generation ages; put another way, the workforce has become more evenly distributed across age groups. Also, steadily increasing female labor force participation rates, combined with declining male rates, have brought the labor force closer to gender balance. Finally, the inflow of immigrants has been largely responsible for a continuing increase in the racial and ethnic diversity of the workforce, with Hispanics and Asians being the fastest-growing such groups in the workforce.

Read more about work in the future at: http://www.rand.org/publications/RB/RB5070/

Rand Corporation

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Humanity and technology....

The use of technology and advanced technology is the most integral of components to "being" human. Since the dawn of mankind, and that first original thought of "I am" that all other thoughts have been "borrowed" from and expanded upon, humans have used some type of technology or technique to maintain their existence. Humans can no more "separate" themselves from their technology and use of it than, say, birds can seperate themselves from their feathers and still fly........

Was the "Unabomber" Right?

We all heard about the Unabomber and the "Unabomber's Manifesto" a few years ago (~1998), and how the Unabomber insidiously killed several people, and mostly university type folks; but did the media ever really get around to telling the public what was in the manifesto? Why didn't the media really go into what "ol' ted" had to say about society and how technology has shaped certain components of our society? Could it be "ol' ted" mighta had a few valid points in his lunatic ramblings? Afterall, Ted Kaczynski (http://www.time.com/time/reports/unabomber/index.html) was one of America's "best and brightest" before he "flipped out" and started "whacking" people.

Here's some highlights from the manifesto....

-Man is not living in natural capacities. The strains upon him in society are due to the stresses placed upon him by technology.
-Technophiles (technology users, technology proponents) are counter to the “Leftists” (Socialists, Human Rights, Animal Rights, Feminists, Gay Activists, etc.). They cause the "Leftists" feelings of inferiority (being left-out or experiencing undue domination of the weaker, technologically unsophisticated or “oppressed” Leftists).
-Technology causes over-socialization (ex. children think and act as society demands) due to being left out of the industrialization of society ( ex. Industrial Revolution caused narrowing of our freedoms, greater urbanization, greater agricultural capacities).
-The Industrial-Technological Society cannot be reformed and will continually restrict our freedoms (this is why he wanted to destroy those technology folks in positions of power).
-The constructs of Technology are more powerful than the aspirations for freedom. It causes compromises by the weaker (Leftists) to the more powerful.
-Laws, institutions, ethics codes cannot protect people from the incursions caused by technology.
-The “Technophiles” are hopelessly naïve in their understanding of social problems as they are unaware or ignorant of the changes that technology usage causes.


For a full reading of the manifesto:

http://www.thecourier.com/manifest.htm

http://www.newshare.com/Newshare/Common/News/manifesto.html

So what do you think? Was 'ol ted' a complete wacko or does he have a few good points here?

Let me know what you think.........




Monday, December 27, 2004

If the World were 100 people....(2000 AD)

Something to ponder.....

If the world consisted of only 100 people in the year 2000...

•70 would be non-white
•67 would be poor
•60 would be Asian
•55 would have an annual income of < $600
- US poverty level at < ~$12,000 annual income
•50 would live in sub-standard housing
•50 would be without safe drinking water
•50 would be Christian
–33 would be Muslim
•50 never talked on a phone
•47 would be illiterate
•35 would be malnourished
•6 would be Americans
–these 6 Americans would own 43% of everything
•2 would start college
•1 would graduate college
•0 would own a computer

Sources:
US Bureau of Statistics and UN Statistics

Monday, December 20, 2004

Recent Past Elections, Job Loss, and Technology

In reflecting upon the the past recent election, much was written by the liberal leaning media, read Lou Hobbs and Paul Begala on CNN, if not others, concerning outsourcing and the loss of jobs in the United States, and even though unemployment continually hovers UNDER the 30 year historical average of 6%. THE ISSUE for the liberal media and John Kerry in all reality, should have been the displacement of jobs by automation and what to do about it. According to Alan Greenspan, the book Workforce 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Baker for Business Week 8/26/2002, and a myriad of others, by 2010 there will be virtually no need for low tech, low skill jobs in the US. The US will actually suffer from NOT HAVING A SUFFICIENTLY technologically savvy workforce! Go figure.....! You would think some liberal, spinning head, pundit type would read stuff like that when formulating a political plan for a presidential election, right? I guess "Utopia world" is better than "reality world" for the liberal media and Democrats? But concerning technology, and especially automation displacing workers and doing tasks that cause the need for fewer workers, my view is....GREAT...especially with the outsourcing and in-sourcing that is taking place and is a natural market phenomenon. That’s what technology is supposed to do, free up people to do other things and to do those other things that are needed, and it will continue to do it unless we needless interfere.... Consider that technology and automation is helping to cause the paradigm shift in our society from an industrial based economy to information/services based economy. This phenomenon MUST happen and we MUST embrace it for the US to stay on top economically. History has shown this over and over again with transitions from the agricultural revolution to the 1st industrial revolution to the 2nd industrial revolution and now with the transition to the information revolution. If we don’t embrace the shift we will tumble as a world/economic power and suffer a lower standard of living. We’ll be a “has been” society as so many others now are (it would be easy to pick on France here, but I won't do that). Our ability to provide information, and in essence control it by being in the lead of this paradigm shift, promotes democracy, free markets, and free markets to sell our wares to, thereby benefitting all of us in the US. As a matter of fact considering the elections, it would have been counter productive for the US economy, and the needed, essential paradigm shift, if Kerry would have gotten elected. His self-espoused policies would have rewarded inefficient business practices, stifled free market and free market reform, raised taxes on companies, and mostly the small business owners who account for the largest segment of our economy and generally pump their tax break money back into their businesses, and would have been impacted the greatest, caused more of our companies to flee off shores to evade taxes and government regulation, caused entrepreneurs to be less likely to attempt opening businesses, and promoted a “Buy American” attitude that would have caused the US economy to revert back to the “malaise” economy of the ‘70’s with high unemployment rates and high inflation rates. Besides it’s not like the displacement of workers and the lowering of wages hasn’t happened before in the US. Actually it has happened several times throughout history. For example, I could mention the Luddites (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luddite) here but let's skip that and consider the US and the turn of the 20th century (not so long time ago, eh?). America experienced a similar situation to what is going on now. Skilled and mostly non-skilled European labor, in mass exodus, came to the US. Labor wages dropped drastically in the US while European countries actually found a slight increase in wages and increase in the standard of living, especially with technical skilled workers, and with the loss of their unskilled “dead weight” populace to the US. With this phenomenon, and the introduction of automated technology to agriculture causing the movement of agricultural workers to the manufacturing base, fed our industrial expansion. One would think (similar to contemporary thought about job loss) that this paradigm shift and displacement of farm workers by technology would have had a negative impacted farming and farm jobs, and caused a collapse of our economy and famine. However, it did the opposite and propelled our economy into its present day, world leading, resilient form. Our manufacturing industry grew and became unrivaled (our manufacturing base supplied nearly all of the allied war effort), and farming became more productive with less people in it. In 1903, 1 US farmer fed 10 people, now as of 2003, 1 farmer feeds 129 people. Less people in farming, but those in it are HIGHLY productive…..Remember Hank Ford and Sloan for GM and the 2nd industrial revolution? Even with the depression, socialist policies worldwide, and socialism/fascism causing war, we came out on top. Concerning Democrat policy wonks and what our society can do to earn a living, first of all, they need to realize that we are in a global economy…and quit whining about. American workers, in general, of all levels need to realize that they MUST continually update their skills to accommodate changes in technology and the workplace. Secondly, our populace must start going into the much needed occupational areas identified by the government like medicine/healthcare (retirement of baby boomers and a worldwide gerontocracy requiring services, needing nurses and therapists and not necessarily doctors), heating ventilation and A/C (HVAC)(an extra 20,000 workers a year is required for the next several years but the field can’t get people to go into the field to make the $40,000-$60,000 salaries, go figure?), industrial maintenance (to run the automated factories), residential and commerical construction, science and technology fields (to promote innovation and emerging value added, “neo-cottage industries” like seen on “Monster Garage” ), teaching (and hopefully break down teaching unions so market forces can come into play to improve secondary education and raise wages substantially to appropriate levels), and information technologies (computers, satellite/satellite communication, etc.) that our economy needs to stay vibrate, with people buying stuff and paying taxes (and hopefully then we pay less taxes with these additional workers and with these additional workers paying taxes the way it is supposed to work). Finally, displaced workers can take advantage of the plethora of government programs designed to re-educate them when they become displaced. Many of these programs are under-used. To make a long story short, the recent past election demonstrated that the liberal media and the Democrats have no clue as so what is going on in the economy and the American worforce. Their misunderstanding of automation, technology, and resource allocation only helps to perpetuate their candidates political demise.........

High Medical Costs Because of Technology?

Advances in medical technology have increased the costs of healthcare, and the American consumer has unknowingly footed the bill for these advances. Yeah, yeah, yeah...and those mean nasty and evil insurance corporations and HMO's are culpable having driven up costs to maintain excessive profits, so the argument goes....and by insisting doctors use latest technology, high cost medical devices to save peoples lives....yeah right. But I say good for the insurance companies and the high tech medical devices folks! We live in America, a capitalist, free market democracy. If you can sell the Brooklyn Bridge to someone for $10 and they are stupid enough to buy it....let 'em buy it! Americans need to wake up and stop buying the high medical cost "Brooklyn Bridge". Don't get me wrong here though. I am concerned that many Americans must suffer and do without, but if American healthcare consumers would wise up and demand market forces to drive down costs, we'd have a better healthcare system. Hmmmmm, there has got to be a reason, why say for instance, Walmart and, say American manufacturing has been so successful as of late. Could it be because Walmart has driven down costs by buying in bulk and developing advanced logistics systems to pass on savings to their customer, and American manufacturers have cut their dead weight, low skill, labor force, automating, and therefore, increasing productivity to unprecedented levels to become competitive on the world stage? Naaayyyy......reform and free-market forces can't work with our medical system right?

Currently, the United States of America's overall healthcare now ranks 55th in the world even though we are tops in research and medical advances. And it is going to get worse. Boomers are going to retire soon and further tax an already strained medicare and the healthcare system. With their retirement healthcare costs are expected to hit 10% of our GDP by 2020 and that'll be about $1 trillion in today's terms (Rand Corporation, 2004).

I DO NOT, however, agree that a national healthcare system or healthcare rationing, as it will ultimately become, is the answer. It is a non-solution answer to the problem. We already have a national healthcare system....it's called the emergency room where no one is refused treatment and it is already financed by medicare. But this too is part of the problem. The general public all too frequently visits the emergency room rather than going to their GP. Going to an outpatient GP is far less expensive than a visit to the emergency room. Furthermore, the real answer to the healthcare crisis reform is the answer and on manifold scale. The medical industry and health insurance industry need to embrace lean and agile, administrative and service improvement provisons and practices similarly to those embraced by American manufacturers post '70's and '80's to become more of better competitive with the Japanese. Americans in general need to eat less or eat better (we're fat). Obesity has put an added burden (obesity related to increases in heart attacks, cancer, and diabetes) on our healthcare system. American taxpayers need to to stop subsidizing the rest of the world's pharmaceuticals. Our FDA does most if not all the R&D and safety testing for the many drugs we produce and for worldwide consumption. We let other countries benefit, buying in bulk, negating the efforts of our companies and the US tax payer, through the FDA's rigorous and lengthy (read big $$$ here) testing of drugs for safety. I read an article in the Wall Street Journal that mentioned how India or the country of India circumvented US patent laws to reproduce a popular US drug, in essence, nullifying all the time, $, effort the US producer put into making the drug and getting it to market. We also need to understand that the largest medical costs come from those one time catastophic medical emergencies most often experienced later on in life. If we, as the consumer, were better at preventative medicine (like making regular visits by men over 40 to there physician) we could cut down on these later in life experienced costs. We also need to pool our collective insurance sources like socialized medicine countries do. I personnally recently experienced this issue, and saving thousands of dollars on our insurance. Recently changing jobs I took exactly the same insurance as I did with my old employer. The difference is, and saving me thousands of $, my new employer has more people paying in thereby offsetting overall cost and lowering my rates. With more employees at my new employment, even with exactly the same, yet pooled insurance. And yes... we need to reform medical insurance, liability, and promote the "policing of their own" by the medical community. Analysis by the medical industry and insurance industry shows that a small minority of crummy doctors causes the majority of the high $$ lawsuits. Lawyers win but everybody else loses all around. Just look at how high dollar lawsuits have caused physicians to flee their pracices in states like Mississippi where medical insurance has become punitive. On this topic, many have spoken in favor of the nationalized approach to healthcare that many socialized democracies have embraced like Great Britain, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and France. Nationalized healthcare has its positives and its negatives. It is very good at providing basic and preventative care. But if it is acute, long term care for catastropic illness...forget about it. Not too long ago a "social" Canadian politician was severely criticized for coming to the U.S. for healthcare to treat his acute, long term care for catastropic illness. If he would have waited on the Canadian governments list for surgery/treatment, he probably would have died, so he came to the US for healthcare. Certain socialized nations do have better healthcare and some socialized scandinavian countries like Denmark, Norway, and Sweden get better healthcare results per dollar spent. But they pool costs so lower overall health costs. And lets not forget how heavily these socialzed countries are taxed. Their tax rates are far higher than ours and their GDP's are bogged down by these social entitlement costs. They also buy pharmeceuticals in bulk, for the their country, and thereby lower drug costs. i find it grand that the American FDA (read the American taxpayer) verifies drug safety for the rest of the world and they get the lower cost benefit!

In closing, profit incentitive has brought about many of the advances in medical technology and pharmeceuticals we now enjoy. To bring down costs we need to embrace market induced and market driven reforms to lower costs ( the Walmart effect), so all can benefit. Going to a socialized healthcare system will further lessen our existing healthcare system.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Iraq, Imperialism and Oil

The war in Iraq is about imperialism and oil. Much, if not most, of the world’s problems today, and especially those in the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia, have been caused by the imperialism of “Old Europe” and especially countries like Britain, France, and Germany (a lot of the problems in Africa now are because of France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, and Denmark’s past colonialism…but we will save that issue for another time) (you know France and Germany along with Russia that vetoed the US in the UN to protect THEIR oil income…isn’t socialism “grand” as it is tied to nationalism and the exploitation of others natural resources?). Britain, after World War 1 and with the fall of Germany and Germany’s ally the Ottoman Turks (who controlled much of the Middle East and mostly peacefully for centuries) and then again Britain after WW2 in trying to re-establish their empire, caused many of the problems in the region. Britain set-up politically favorable, mostly despotic, crony governments like the House of Saud in Saudi Arabia and King Faisal in Iraq to maintain imperial hegemony and to get at the Middle East’s oil. King Faisal fell because he was an outsider and not popularly supported (wrong ethnicity). With Faisal’s falling eventually the Ba’athists (read the benevolent Saddam Hussein) came to power. The US in the ‘50’s through auspices of the British, post WW2, set up Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi...and look what eventually happened there, a despotic theocracy in Iran (http://www.islamonline.net/english/In_Depth/Iraq_Aftermath/2004/01/article_03.shtml).Only the House of Saud remains and they remain because of their courting of both western countries for oil profit commerce and their courting of the religious inclinations of the poor, non-Saudi royal and wealthy family member, Saudi citizen. And as I mentioned above, with the emerging UN Oil-for-Food scandal, it appears “economic imperialism” still exists via the duplicity of the “Old European” countries of Germany, France, and Russia. It is a shame that over the past several decades the oil wealth of Middle East was not transferred properly toward economic development, rather it ended up in the hands of the ruling despots in the region...and many we (the U.S.) do business with. Why else would the GDP of the combined 21 nations of the Middle East, with their vast oil reserves and oil wealth over the decades, and comparatively to the development of Japan and S. Korea during the same time frame, NOW STILL only ranks up there in GDP with “the super economic powerhouse” of Spain (UN Global Economic Data via WorldLink Television) ? The oil wealth is going to the oil sheiks and emirates and not the common man in the area......