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  • Sam Tran 1:31 pm on April 3, 2016 Permalink |  

    I want to expand just a little further on the PPACA. There has been so much controversy surrounding “obamacare” but what most fail to look at is the big picture. In my many years working at the Health Department, I’ve worn many hats. One of them being a CAC, Certified Application Counselor for the marketplace, and I still hold my certificate. The PPACA in the grand scheme of things is designed to save costs on healthcare. The mindset of those that think “forcing someone to pay for health insurance, when they can’t afford it or don’t need or making them pay fines…blah, blah, blah.” Haven’t read that far into it. First, for those that truly cannot afford it, and don’t qualify for the Medicaid expansion, fall into a small group of people that are exempt from those tax penalties, you can find a brief description here. http://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2013/09/who-is-exempt-from-obamacares-mandate.html
    Second, savings in the long run. For those of us that payed for health insurance prior to the PPACA, we would continue to see a very large rise in premiums simply because people don’t have insurance. Those that are uninsured access the Emergency Department for primary care because they cannot afford to be seen in or establish a medical home. Most won’t pay that medical bill because the Emergency Department is unaffordable that cost has to be offset somewhere. Typically by the time someone seeks care their chronic illness is so out of control that the cost to care for it is astronomical and an emergency room physician cannot treat a chronic illness, they can only treat the chief complaint, so these chronic illnesses get further out of control. Health insurance companies rely on the premiums of the healthy to take care of the sick. I do agree that the cost of health care in the United States is astronomical, however, healthcare delivery is better than that of say Canada….

  • Sam Tran 2:18 pm on March 31, 2016 Permalink |  

    I am reading The Secret History of the American Empire. The author, John Perkins has a blog that I recently found. With quite a bit of interesting topics about our economy.

    Does the Next President Matter?

    While surfing his site I found this interesting article about taking action to fixing our economy. Within the post there is a couple of links to additional posts that are very good as well. Discussing our elected officials and how WE the people can make a change.

  • Sam Tran 5:27 pm on March 13, 2016 Permalink |  

    In the last 20 years people in poverty has nearly halved. It’s no doubt the cost of living is so much more than it was 20 years ago, while income as stayed relatively the same. I imagine this has a lot to do with the amount of people living in poverty.

    Comparing the cost of living between 1975 and 2015: You are being lied and fooled when it comes to inflation data and the cost of living.

  • Sam Tran 5:17 pm on March 13, 2016 Permalink |  

    Yes I believe the poor can be trusted. Most of the time you’ll find that these families are using the resources available, such as food assistance to better their quality of life. I think if they had direct payments replacing government assistance programs, this would allow them to better themselves without the strict rules and restrictions of government funded assistance. Alaska has a guaranteed income program, called Permanent Fund Dividend, while this isn’t necessarily directed to the poor people of Alaska it certainly helps families in need. You can read about it here

  • Sam Tran 4:50 pm on March 13, 2016 Permalink |  

    While reading the Traps Facing The Bottom Billion, I read the part about you disagreeing with air-freighted food, I asked why and decided to do a little research. Thankfully I do buy local, and generally only purchase what is in season, I do most of my grocery shopping at local farmers and meat markets and know that even my meat is being purchased from my local farmer. I hunt and fish for a good portion of my food as well. It’s rare that I buy fruits or veggies because I grow most of my own at home at can or freeze them, however, there is still a lot of fruits that I cannot grow the tropical ones anyways. But didn’t realize the negative impact air-freighted food could have. It’s not to say that I always know where my food comes from but will defiantly be more thoughtful when doing my shopping.
    There is quite a few food documentaries on Netflix that discuss how and where our food comes from that will make you think twice while shopping. Food Inc. and Forks Over Knives are a couple good ones.


  • Sam Tran 4:15 pm on March 13, 2016 Permalink |  

    The definition if absolute poverty in The Bottom Billion really struck me. I work in a small rural poor county, where poverty is very high. I actually have clients that are living in some of these situations. Not that medical services, education, sanitary water and other things aren’t available to them but that they lack the resources to get to those services. Most of my clients are without transportation, if they have medicaid, their insurance will transport them to their doctors appointment, however, they live several miles from the nearest grocery store so getting groceries for some is near impossible. While financial aid is available for education, again they cannot access because of lack of transportation. I work in a county that is very large but very rural without a public transit system. According to google maps Montcalm County is 708 square miles, with a population of only 63,105 as of 2013, that is 50,867 less people than in the entire city of Lansing. Since it is so rural, and poor, community resources are harder to come by than in larger communities.

  • Sam Tran 4:26 pm on March 7, 2016 Permalink |  

    The way I understand it, I am supposed to post my book selection here. I have chose to read, The Secret History of the American Empire: The Truth About Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and How to Change the World…

  • Sam Tran 1:05 am on February 22, 2016 Permalink |  

    While reading “Culture, Markets and Economic Systems” I was taken back by the piece on diversity, mostly because I’ve never thought of the impact that cultural diversity has on an economy. I am trained annually on cultural diversity, mainly to help us understand the cultures we are working with, however, the disagreements between different cultures makes it hard for me to do my job, I’ve never really put much thought into those differences in culture and the affect it could have on an economy.

  • Sam Tran 3:16 pm on February 21, 2016 Permalink |  

    While reading “The New Second World” I followed the link about the 1973 oil crisis, which I found interesting. It also raised the question about the price of oil currently and what the impact is on the economies selling the oil. While it’s great that I’m paying less than 2 dollars a gallon for gas it seems that it is having and affect on the economy. I still wonder when they are going to go back up. I found this interesting read in my search. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/business/energy-environment/oil-prices.html

  • Sam Tran 5:29 pm on February 15, 2016 Permalink |  

    Found this article while reading through MSN, I found it interesting, that their failing economy has an effect around the world. If it has an effect around the world, should I really be boycotting china made products?

    • Eli Zumberg 8:53 pm on February 17, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Probably not China is probably just getting close to the point where it’ll finish industrializing. after which it will start going over to a service economy, at which point we’ll just start getting everything from either Indonesia or developing countries in Africa. The big problem is finding a sustainable way to make all of our goods affordable. my answers tend to be more Keynesian, because I think we’ll someday run out of counties filled with people willing to be exploited.

    • Branden Garbin 10:14 pm on February 18, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I wouldn’t say boycott there products because allot of the products are American in design but just manufactured in china. Interesting article though. Another reason i believe they are a failing economy is there initiative to plump up there GDP by building infrastructure such as housing that will remain vacant. Chinese ghost cities have been in the news allot and i believe it is a major component for there failure as an industrialized economy. Continually building infrastructure shows growth on paper but the realism of the situation is they are going in debt to maintain there so called rapid growth status.

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