A couple of years ago I wrote about the coming 50 year depression. I was laughed at of course, but with the real possibility of European nations going broke and a right wing nationalism growing between the cracks, massive upheavals of social contracts are sure to follow. Maybe even war. Similar to the mindset before WWI and WWII, the prospects of economic relocation of millions of people globally is suddenly “risk on.”
This means that things are going to get dicey. Governments all over the world already cannot afford adequate health care for their citizens. Even European countries, which have been bastions of socialized medicine, are feeling the pinch and moving toward drastic changes.
In the U.S. we are feeling the heat as well. Government will soon shift as much Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid costs as possible to the individual just as governments are beginning to do in Europe. Employer based health care benefits will shortly be a thing of the past, simply because corporations cannot compete globally with a costly health care albatross around their necks.
Health care - once a badge of honor for industrialized nations - is now becoming so big it must fail. The costs are becoming prohibitive in relation to other necessities.
The model of Asian health care will become the norm – a model that effectively takes all the profit out of health care that hospitals, medical supply firms, doctors and insurance companies now extract from the poor and middle classes. This means that doctors, hospitals, insurance companies and medical suppliers must either rein in costs or go out of business.
As far as us common folk go, if governments cannot afford to provide health care due to rising costs, how can poor and middle class individuals afford to take these cost burdens on their backs? They can’t, at least the vast majority of people can’t. Wealthy individuals have enough disposable income to pay exorbitant insurance rates but most Americans, when it comes down to either paying the light bill or a health insurance payment, will opt for the electricity. Their wages have not gone up for thirty years, considerering inflation, while all other costs have skyrocketed. Only loose credit, which is no longer viable, kept their heads above water.
This shift of the health care cost burden from government (all citizens pooled together) and employers to you and me (individuals) will have serious consequences for people as well as the health care industry – both will have to make extreme adjustments downward regarding expectations and profits.
At a time of slowing economic growth and slowing employment opportunities, as well as the elimination of safety nets and a general shift in psychology from an appetite for consumption to one of austerity, priorities are becoming limited.
Many college graduates are faced not only with dwindling job opportunities but heavy college debt levels. The burden of college loans plus living expenses doesn’t leave much room for expensive health insurance premiums. If their employer opts out of providing health insurance, which is the way things are trending, an insurance payment is far down the priority list of young folks trying to make basic ends meet.
Seniors are not getting relief either and are actually going backwards. Minimal cost of living increases for social security coupled with increased health insurance payments and out of pocket expenses leave the people on fixed incomes in an impossible situation.
The government does not include the common items that seniors buy when calculating the cost of living ratio, and therefore there is a disconnect between a senior’s cost of living and their fixed income. This adds stress to an already stressful situation (aging).
The landscape will change dramatically even over the near future. Up to now, there has been a slow, almost imperceptible dwindling of expectations as jobs have shrunk, homes have lost value and nest eggs and retirement funds have diminished. The belief that this is but a temporary downturn is the only thing that is sustaining our hope for the future.
We seem to wake up slowly, followed by that epiphany that things have truly changed and they are not going to get better – only worse. This is the Ah-hah moment when the truth becomes obvious and the hype and spin is laid to rest. This is the moment when things happen, such as a financial collapse so severe that money becomes worthless and all the financial institutions and Wall Street become irrelevant.
This is the moment when people hit the streets and anarchy is certain.
This has already begun all over the world in varying degrees and can be seen if one is keen to read between the lines. Even here in America a determined right wing is stomping out the last vestiges of financial control and social safety nets.
It’s only a matter of time before history repeats itself. Economic deprivation of the masses has begun, and there is no stopping it. The entire power system, similar to the American health care system, has become so entrenched and so big that it has no choice but to fail. And it will fail as surely and as massively as it has grown.
E. Raymond Rock (anagarika eddie) is a meditation teacher at the DhammaRocksprings Theravada Buddhist Meditation Retreat Center: dhammarocksprings.org and author of “A Year to Enlightenment: http://www.amazon.com/Year-Enlightenment-Steps-Enriching-Living/dp/1564148912 His 33 years of meditation experience has taken him across four continents including two stopovers in Thailand where he practiced in the remote northeast forests as an ordained Theravada Buddhist monk.
He lived at Wat Pah Nanachat under Ajahn Chah, at Wat Pah Baan Taad under Ajahn Maha Boowa, and at Wat Pah Daan Wi Weg under Ajahn Tui. He had been a postulant at Shasta Abbey, a Zen Buddhist monastery in northern California under Roshi Kennett; and a Theravada Buddhist anagarika at both Amaravati Monastery in the UK and Bodhinyanarama Monastery in New Zealand, both under Ajahn Sumedho. The author has meditated with the Korean Master Sueng Sahn Sunim; with Bhante Gunaratana at the Bhavana Society in West Virginia; and with the Tibetan Master Trungpa Rinpoche in Boulder, Colorado. He has also practiced at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, and the Zen Center in San Francisco.
» left by david from magnolia, texas (1 year 159 days ago.)
Haha! The wealthy aren't going to have anywhere to run. They figured they'd just take their money and run when the $%&*@$%& hit the fan here, but alas they'll feel the sharp edge of the blade no matter where they go. The only option that will be left for them is for the wealthiest of the wealthy to hide in their overstocked nuclear (nucular for G.W. Bush and his equally knowledgeable herd, and to think these imbeciles will be the ones to emerge into the ashes, humanity at that point will have a combined IQ of less than about 85, almost makes me feel relieved I'll perish in a flash of light) impenetrable bunkers and atomically thin out the masses. Then where are they going to spend their money? Maybe if we're lucky after the near extinction of humanity a voracious alien life form will appear to eat them as they peer from their resource depleted retreats and consume them as they squirm and beg for their derelict lives. Then and only then, if at all, will they ponder the error of their actions. Finally the dirty, mentally diseased, narcissists, will have reaped what they have sewn. Just a thought, hehe!Respond to this comment
» left by e (1 year 157 days ago.)
Hey David, Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas! Because of the nature of greed, I see a bad ending - hope I'm wrong and irrational exhuberance, unbridalded enthusiasm, and superflous credit saves the day again, but I don't think so. Batten down the hatches and gird your loins :)
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