The biggest problem with the Medicare Drug benefit is the “doughnut hole” where after X amount of coverage, sick people have to pay a few thousand dollars of drug coverage themselves before the plan kicks in again. There are some plans that cover that hole for the most popular prescription drugs, but it seems that 13 states won’t be offering them next year, and those plans that do will be rising an average of 87% in price. No, no, the medicare drug benefit isn’t broken and wasn’t designed primarily to pump up drug profits. Why do you ask?
Yesterday the New York Times leaked a chart showing the military knows exactly what’s wrong with Iraq. Today Glenn Greenwald discusses how the Pentagon is investigating the leak with an eye to charging the leader. Remember boys and girls – the truth won’t set you free, no matter how much the public needs to know – but it may well get you locked up and waterboarded.
Mish wonders why the ISM Manufacturing report finding that construction is declining and manufacturing growth is slowing is somehow a surprise to so many people. Let me answer Mish – because most economists are paid for happy talk, not for analysis, and the worst thing you can do is not be wrong, but be wrong in a different way than the crowd is wrong. Roubini takes a swing at the ISM here as well. My take? Surprise? What surprise? The economy is in decline. 2007 will suck, and Bernanke will ease interest rates. The only question is how fast this face dive goes, and how aggressively and soon Bernanke slams his foot on the gas. And yes, Mish is right, slamming on the gas, with outsourcing increasing and housing declining, will send a huge flood of jobs off to China and other outsourcing and offshoring destinations.
Gazprom (Russia’s oil company) says it’s going to more than double oil prices for Georgia next year. That sound you hear, dear reader, is the sound of Georgia’s skull cracking under the Russian boot. And that sound from Washington, which spent the last decade and a half encouraging Georgia and other ex-Soviet republics to defy Moscow? Silence. Let this be a lesson to future American governments – don’t buy countries you can’t afford.
More Stories After the Jump
Britian’s information comissioner reports that Britain is no longer “becoming” a surveillance society, it has become one. This, by the way, is Blair’s real legacy – the steady attempt to erode Britain’s liberties, because government knows best. Personally I prefered the days when government screwed with economics and didn’t spend all day taping what I was doing, but I guess socialism was the bigger danger. Right?
This video of a Haliburton supply convoy getting ambushed will give you a little taste of what war is like – and how Haliburton treats its own employees.
David Maister discussing the difference between firms which have a culture of teamwork and strong behavioural expectations against those which motivate people with money and fear, comparing the first to the marines, and the others to mercenaries. This may seem like a business post, it isn’t, it’s a political post. Go read it.