Saturday, February 11, 2012


My favorite Capitalist Pal, trader Phillip Lewis, has a remarkable section in yesterday's post that is worth quoting in full.  Are European leaders going to force Greece to go the way of Russia under Yelstin, in which public health falls off the cliff?  It's another omen of a new dark age.  The deep psychological question is why elites are ok pushing things this way.  As Davis points out, they can't save themselves either.

****  Davis follows:
Let's shift gears for a moment and discuss how the Greek crisis CAN KILL YOU! That's right, even as we speak those "necessary" austerity measures that cut back medical care in Greece and caused a crisis in their pharmacies, making medicine unavailable to millions has already spawned a pneumonia-causing superbug that most existing antibiotics can't stop. According to Bloomberg:

The culprit is spreading through health centers already weighed down by a shortage of nurses. The hospital-acquired germ killed as many as half of people with blood cancers infected at Laiko General Hospital, a 500-bed facility in central Athens.
"We're not used to seeing people die of an untreatable infection," said John Rex, vice president for clinical infection at London-based AstraZeneca, which is developing a new generation of antibiotics. "That's like something in a novel of 200 years ago."
"We know what to do, but if you don't have the personnel, you can't do it," Daikos said in an interview in his office, deep in a side wing of the sprawling hospital. "If you don't have enough nurses, how can I assign a dedicated nurse to carriers?"
Welcome to the Republican dream of independent health care without government aid. I'm sure my conservative readers aren't worried even though Greece remains a major tourist hub and many of them are flying on planes that may have been in Greece the day before but what happens when this is the news out of Detroit or Miami? Will you still not care? What happens when depriving the poor of adequate healthcare means your maid shows up for work with a very nasty-sounding cough or you see you waiter wipe his nose - will you care then?
Just like crime, which is relatively under control these days, the top 10% tend to forget how bad things can get when you let that social safety net collapse. For good or bad, we are one big global family now and what happens in one country absolutely affects another and Greece is just a preview of what will happen under the crushing austerity programs that are being demanded by the ECB, the IMF and the GOP.
We are just a 10% cut in Social Security away from creating millions of more underwater mortgages as food costs, energy costs and local taxes are impacting the ability of senior citizens to continue paying their mortgages with fixed incomes. Out of 4.5M homes in Florida with outstanding mortgage loans, 2M (44%) are already underwater.
"People have no safety net. They get ill, a spouse dies, they lose their jobs and they have no support. All of these things can lead to foreclosure," said Carolina Lombardi, a senior lawyer with Legal Service of Greater Miami. "We are seeing all kinds of people, middle earners who are now on food stamps."
David Chandler Hicks, of Alliance Legal Group, which operates all over the state, has many clients who are 65 or older but who have been forced to come out of retirement because "they are about to go broke."

No comments: