Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Price Makers vs Price Takers.... Part 2

In a normal economic system, the one who pays cash gets the best deal. Been to the doctor recently? They may offer a cash discount of 25%. This is a ripoff. One indication of how sick the healthcare system in this country is that those who pay cash pay the highest rates. 'Not-for-profit' hospitals and clinics prostitute themselves for the Medicare dollar and receive only $0.25 for all their trouble. In addition, facilities that get the Medicare quarter have to admit anyone, without regard to ability to pay. Does anyone believe that insurance companies are going to pay this subsidy? Those that are forced to pay cash pay the subsidy. Not-for-profit hospitals claim millions of dollars of 'charity care'. They're not-for-profit. The charity care comes from those who pay cash. These hospitals will force you to liquidate your home equity and declare bankruptcy before you get a dime of so-called charity care. At the hospital where I work at, the laboratory collects less than 40% of what is billed and even after that $3 million/year is allocated for admin expenses and utilities; there is still a profit! If everyone paid cash the lab would generate a 20% return even after cutting its prices 60%.

Healthcare is one of the factors that is turning all of us into Price-Takers. We are being forced into accepting the 'posted price' for an increasing array of goods and services. Because health insurance is only affordable through an employer, we are being turned into slaves becoming price-takers for our labor. The middle class is being deluded into thinking that a college degree is the ticket to success but that parchment actually increases the odds that one becomes a price-taker. How is this possible when all the statistics show that the average college degree holder earns 80% more than a high school graduate? Time, debt and the form of earnings are the three primary reasons that a college degree is not as financially rewarding as it appears to be. I am not cutting down on college; its the last place that most of us guys can get pussy like a rock star.

Time - it takes time to get a degree. This time can be used doing yard work in upper income neighborhoods for $20/hour cash. Additional benefits include getting in good shape and getting a lot of action from housewives while the kids are at school.

Debt - Student loan debt, more if grad/professional school is undertaken. Credit cards - those tables with the 'free' coffee mugs are everywhere. This debt must be repaid, cannot be discharged by bankruptcy and, most importantly, subtract from the funds needed for beer and women.

Form of Earnings - The government gets the first crack at our pay and we are double taxed on the 15.3% that goes to Social Insecurity and Mediscare. Did I make a typo? You say only pay 7.65%? You pay the other 7.65% (employer share) in the form of higher prices for the goods and services that you purchase. Then come the income taxes. You may be able to deduct some of this if you committed yourself to life of debt bondage.

Do you think that the 18y/o yard worker pays any of these taxes? He is too busy getting laid to worry about the paperwork. If any of you women are still reading this blog; congratulations. I saved the best for last. You can do yardwork too, for $30+/hour. You just have to do it in a bikini on BBQ weekends.

Tomorrow, back to the bikes.


ItsTJoint said...

Shit, I've got $30. If Evangeline Lilly isn't busy, she can do my chores for an hour...

pdxbiker said...

It sure beats babysitting