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|Posted on November 5, 2013 at 7:26 AM||comments ()|
It appears the Obamacare rollout has had teething problems, especially with the website interfacing.
Perhaps they should have stuck with their initial design, just to guage peoples interest without putting them off by asking comprehensive personal details. It's like me asking you for your personal details before allowing you to read my blog.
Good news comes from Professor Gruber's analysis of the figures that would need or benefit from Obamacare, and provided provisions have been pencilled in for the expenditure, the launch should be quite successful, after the rationale is accepted by Joe Public.
It seems that about 14 percent of the U.S. population would need Obamacare, the other 86 percent are adequately catered for.
Of the 14 percent, Obamacare seeks to enlist the young working people, who don't have any kind of health care provision. Once these people start to sign up in numbers, I presume the premium costs would start to come down. It has to be attractive for people to sign up, not a cumbersome figure that people would be unwilling to pay and indeed may not see the immediate necessity to pay if they are currently in good health. Everything being equal, most people would expect to continue to enjoy good health, and it seems a foolish waste of money to buy an insurance policy for health to most young people. However, good health carries no guarantees into the future, and it is against this that people need to have cover, seeing how people's lives are sometimes marred by ill-health and their careers written off. It is against this realistic look that young people need to consider taking up a policy to safeguard their future.
(In Britain it is straightforward enough. Everyone is levied what is termed National Insurance, which is a fixed percentrage of one's income, and universally everyone gets medical cover under the National Health Service. Some out of personal preference for quicker or better service decide to take out additional policies with private health insurance companies. Side by side, the NHS and organisations such as the not-for-profit BUPA and Simply Health serve the population very well, in practical terms.)
If lot more people show an interest in what Obamacare offers, presumably the insurance premiums would start to come down and encourage more and more people to sign on, so it would actually deliver what would become affordable health care.
As the issue is debated and considered, I guess it will gather acceptance, if not straight away then over a number of years. Good health brings great benefits in enjoyment of life and work, creating a happy atmosphere and bringing prosperity to all, a welcome place.
|Posted on September 19, 2013 at 5:56 PM||comments ()|
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke made a cordial testimony yesterday, a month now before he is due to step down from office. Essentially, he restated that the quantitative easing measures need to remain in place until the economic Recovery picks up further steam, but such measures have greatly benefitted the economic pickup and that the economy is strengthening thanks to such measures.
There is nothing but appreciation for Ben Bernanke's handling of the Federal Reserve policies, and I admire this Statesman greatly. His unique style has helped keep just that degree of suspense that is discretion, while at the same time sharing as much information as has been necessary to bolster stability. The world stock markets got a boost after his testimony yesterday.
It remains to be seen how the Obama administration will fix the debt ceiling issue, which Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has indicated may fall due in October. Will it be bi-partisan co-operation by the Republicans and the Democrats as before? When everything is going so well, it is to be expected that they will push through the required votes to help Recovery stay on course, as would be both prudent and necessary.
Whoever is selected to be the next Fed Chairman, essentially the pro-growth policies are expected to stay in place.
I have a hunch that the Dow Jones Industrial Index will either shoot for 17000 by the end of the year, or head up for 16000. What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. I sense it will be possible.
|Posted on September 13, 2013 at 10:04 AM||comments ()|
It is good news in Europe, with purchasing managers indexes up and house prices up in United Kingdom. The unemployment rate edging downwards to 7.7 percent from 7.8 previously does not cause concern about the interest rate in the near term. The Bank of England's benchmark rate can remain at the record low 0.5 percent for the foreseeable future, perhaps another three years, until unemployment falls to 7 percent, which is the peg Governor Mark Carney has indicated.
But suppose, just suppose, employment in Britain were to pick up, perhaps using the German model of creating jobs? There, according to Euronews, the unemployment has fallen to 5.5 percent, mainly helped by creating what are called Mini Jobs. These are jobs taken by newcomers and students, perhaps earning a few hundred Euros a month for a part time job, or a Mini Job. There is no contract, no holiday pay, let alone anything towards a pension. It has no minimum wage. The rate is fixed between the employer and employee, and lasts as long as there is work, without any guarantee.
This seems a smart way of creating jobs, and enabling people earn something. It is an idea that could be copied in other countries, labour laws permitting.
It seems a good way forward to beat the dole ques, and get peoples morale up. This could eventually help balance the national books.
|Posted on August 6, 2013 at 10:08 AM||comments ()|
Recently I wrote about the Mormon church, about their production of a spiritual musical called Truth shall prevail, being staged at the Chorley, Preston temple in Lancashire. My blog had over 1600 reads, mainly from Hongzhou in China. Thank you, dear readers.
At the moment the most alarming news is from Zimbabwe, where President Mugabe has been re-elected, amidst complaints that the election has been rigged. His comeback has been with the announcements of implementing policies of nationalisation of mining and natural resources companies. Mr Mugabe obviously does not believe in free-market economics, nor does the devout Catholic believe in forgiveness, which he and inter-alia his nation received after he took over the white peoples' farms and handed them out to his cronies and their clans. A nation that was once the bread basket of Africa has reduced itself to a state of constant shortages of food in the supermarkets, due to neglect of a farming sector that has lost its efficiency; and loss of credibility overseas which have hampered imports. Just like Zimbabwe produced the Billion Dollar notes and failed to appreciate that their currency cannot have the status of a world reserve currency, so now President Mugabe... but wait, this devout Catholic and clever student and man of the world will surely not fail to realize that nationalising assets belonging to international companies will lose international goodwill towards his nation. And while it may be very profitable in the short term, in the long term it would be like taking a slow poison.
I pray President Mugabe's good sense will prevail and he will not decide on such a brutal policy. I hope this man who likes to be portrayed on his country's postage stamps in the manner of a sovereign, follows policies which will leave his country a legacy where they can trade and interact with the rest of the world as a free market economy, for years to come. Let there not be a time when the nation once again degenerates into a period of stupor and complacency, like recently when so many years were lost due to loss of goodwill abroad and lack of scientific know-how in the country.
The kind gift of globalisation has been the awareness of the spirit that only with co-operation and fairness in dealings can all the nations prosper, by developing their natural resources and exchanging them with others on a fair basis. To punish the intermediaries of such development, the international companies who operate within the boundaries and jurisdiction of every nation, would not be a welcome gesture.
Mr Mugabe's pronouncements have caused market jitters in the short term. Hopefully he will heed the wise counsel of his Ministers and allow the development of his nation's enterprises continue with international know-how, expertise and capital.
I have many friends from Zimbabwe at the church, and I wish them and their President well. I hope Mr Mugabe reads my words, and heeds the advise I offer.
|Posted on July 30, 2013 at 8:08 AM||comments ()|
There seem to be mixed signals about the economy.
The OPEC countries exported oil worth $1.27 Trillion last year, so that much wealth has been created for their economies and the nations who trade with them. What is baffling is the high Oil price, which in my calculation is far too high to sustain Recovery. Couple that with an observation made by Prince Al-waleed bin Talaal that in view of increasing shale gas production, especially in the U.S., the world is less reliant on oil from OPEC, meaning declining demand in years to come. Most OPEC nations' infrastructure development projects would stay on line were the price per barrel no less than $85, that was according to Sheikh Al-Naimi and Sheikh Al-Badari as well as the Algerian oil minister about a year ago.
The housing numbers from the U.S. on the Case-Schiller map have not been as robust as was expected; indeed, housing starts have been the slowest for 18 years. While reduced inventory is holding up prices, there needs to be much more construction activity.
In the meantime, Lakshman Achuthan of the Economic Cycles Research Institute, who looks at the leading indicators, suggests he has seen figures to indicate a slow-down, which would probably show up in the real economy in another four-five months time. Corrective measures by government and big corporations in creating jobs and a resurgence of confidence could help to avert that scenario.
All humans like to eat and drink well, dress well, live in comfortable housing, have good transport, have good entertainment, read books, listen to music, watch movies, play in the park, go on holidays, and so on, and people always have aspirations that the economy - in the combined efforts of all to innovate, develop, utilize and monetize all that God has put on earth - will help them with improving standards of living. That is what everyone wants.
Good news from the U.S. is that they are creating about 150,000 or more jobs each month, and today sees the announcement by Amazon of the creation of 5,000 jobs at their HQ.
I suggest a lower Oil price would help Recovery regain its sure steps, for a worldwide economic Recovery. I pray for that.
|Posted on July 27, 2013 at 6:51 AM||comments ()|
I have high regard for the yoga techniques taught by Swami Ramdev, who's shivir in Hainault over 5 years ago I had the great joy of attending. In fact, it was Baba Ramdev's first visit to Europe at that time, and since then he has made countless journeys to Europe and America, Africa and many places.
He has always received a warm and great welcome everywhere he has visited, for his name has spread as the man who brings the magic of yoga techniques for improving health. His partner in the Patanjali Yogpeeth foundation, Acharya Balkrishan-ji, is one of the best in the field of research in the field of Ayurveda, and he has discovered and created many formulations which he has generously brought to the world, for bringing improvement in health.
Their greatest reward is the adulation they are shown by people, and their products are receiving wide-ranging note and approval, as they help people control or even cure diabetes, cholesterol, obesity, third-stage cancer and various ailments, like hair loss, impotence, urinary problems, the list is extensive. Of course, a degree of faith is required to try out the techniques and herbal remedies.
The shop, called Divine Supplements, is located at 855 High Road, Goodmayes, IG3 8TG. This is near the corner with Barley Lane. Tesco with ample parking is nearby.
They are normally open only on Wednesdays and Saturdays, between 10.30 and 4 pm.
Telephone no : 0208 590 7900.
Mr Wilson is a gifted masseur, and he generously offers a first free massage for people over 70 years of age. For everybody else, it is a reasonable amount, and worth every penny. Mr Wilson is very good with relieving Frozen Shoulder, and he helped me with trapped energy in the chest. I definitely recommend this gentleman for a curative massage.
I wish you good health.
|Posted on July 21, 2013 at 12:36 PM||comments ()|
The Chapter 9 Bankruptcy of Detroit last Friday is a stark reminder of what happens to an economy when trust breaks down between communities and disrupts the social fabric, leading to decline and decay and a sad breakdown of an economy.
I understand from cursory reading of books on Detroit that the 1967 riots sparked off a distrust between the communities, and may have been the turning point for the breakdown of the economy which has now resulted to this sad, sad decline.
No two children of the same family will be totally understanding or obedient to their parent(s), but if family members work in harmony and common objectives, they tend to be more successful. That rule of harmony holds true for organisations as well as for communities, there is no reason why it should not hold true for cities or even nations, hence last week I referred to Cario and Oakland but of course I should also have mentioned Miami.
Just imagine Detroit in the 1950s, which now appears to have been its heyday, full of harmony and enterprise, inspiring dreams, the American dream, contributing to its status as a city of great reputation worldwide, with its ballrooms, museums, theatres, skyscrapers....The industry and enterprise was there to give a livelihood to the 465,000 residents there, who soon grew to over a million and to nearly two million towards the peak. The infrastructure was added to as it served the citizens and visitors, and the town grew to a city.
The decline has seen people leave, mainly white people leaving the city to suburbs, leaving a ghetto at its core, the deserted buildings falling apart, now ready for demolition or refurbishment.
The population has fallen, leaving the municipality with an income of about $1 billion a year, when it probably needs at least a billion-and-a-half just to service the interest on the bonds.
A solution may be repopulation, with some company and a group of New Economy companies able to generate a lot of jobs and sustain the livelihoods of the citizens. Obviously there is a lot of talent and raw energy, that can be purposefully employed and will create wealth and sustain the people and regenerate the city. All that is now needed is for a few men and women of vision to locate their wealth generating companies there, and give a boost to the regeneration of the housing and public buildings.
The talent is there, you cannot stand and see a great city die. Hopefully, the government can make a special provision for a funding programme to regenerate this great iconic city with its beautiful landmarks.
As harmony exists between people, so will Recovery and Prosperity bloom in their midst. Today, I pray for restoration of faith in Detroit.
|Posted on June 27, 2013 at 2:38 PM||comments ()|
It seems the government is supposed to be doing something about curbing the big APR moneylenders, precisely what remains to be seen.
Just a look at some of the moneylenders' shop windows suggests some things that may as well be included in any future legislation.
One shop says 'You can borrow upto £1,000'. It does not give any rate of interest or any such indication.
Another, which used to display a rate of 2487%, does not display that rate any more. But it urges borrowers to only borrow what they can afford to repay.
A positive step would be for them to display the rate, and give a table of figures, giving say repayments for every £50 and £100 per month, so the borrowers are clear what it is going to cost.
I also note the Department of Work and Pensions is no longer offering Emergency Loans. This may make the people in need turn to the loan sharks and suchlike....Something the government should be helping people avoid, that would be a people-friendly government, that serves the people.
The government could do well to teach basic budgeting and good housekeeping to people who are unemployed or ill, to help them prevent borrowing money which they could seldom afford to repay.
As for the people trying to live on a food allowance of £3 a day, that is £21 a week, and can buy a variety of good food, maybe walking to the supermarket twice a week and picking up fresh. Bit of exercise as well. And if you save £28 every four weeks, well, you'll be the richer every year.
As the saying goes, pennies make pounds. And the need won't arise to borrow from the sharks.
|Posted on June 19, 2013 at 4:06 PM||comments ()|
The Federal Reserve Chairman spoke about triggers and thresholds, but did not mention the punch bowl. Regardless, the speech was abundantly clear for those who listened intently, although the Dow heading downwards indicates the markets were not cheered although the picture is quite optimistic.
But then again, market participants tend to be greedy, and expect huge gains overnight if not instantly. I expect the market will pick up after the retail investors and mutual funds have digested and acted on the news.
There is the sign of stability in the economy going forwards. Interest rate at a quarter percent is at a record low, and unlikely to be cut further. So the low interest rate is going to hold into 2014.
If the unemployment rate were to go down towards 6.5 percent from the current 7.6 percent, then that would be the threshold (but not a trigger) for considering increase of the interest rate. So rates wouldn't be going up any time soon, although in the last few weeks some companies in unfounded anticipation have put up their interest rates. Depending on market dynamics, those are likely to be corrected (downwards) in due course.
Monetary policy will continue to support Recovery, stated Mr Bernanke. 200,000 jobs per month have been created on average over the last six months. This has improved the housing market, and is feeding optimism into household spending.
The economy continues to improve at a modest pace, and the policy is geared to return to maximum employment in the context of price stability.
Regarding the QE, through purchase of mortgage backed securities, these would be reduced in measured steps, beginning of 2014. This is the intention but would be reviewed in context of how the economy actually delivers. The brakes are not being applied yet (so should cheer people up for the foreseeable future).
(c) Durudarshan Dadlani, 19th June 2013.
|Posted on June 14, 2013 at 12:11 PM||comments ()|
It was over two years ago that I saw a TV programme about Mr Maponya, a South African businessman, nay, Statesman, who wants to build a city. He has a vision, to put buildings and necessary infrastructure in the townships where you see huts at the moment. This has a positive feel of aiding growth there.
How are they going to pay for it? How are they going to monetise it, I hear people ask.
That is precisely where the growth will be, as people move upwards. But they have to be helped with investment into such a project. It would do the economy a huge power of good.
At the moment of course there is no social security system in South Africa, and consequently people know that the option is to work (as compared to grow your own or something else). So if work is created to service the economy, which would expand with development and embourgeoisement of the people, able to utilise the developing new technology and also serving the people with provision of necessary jobs, factories, medical facilities, schools, and so on....Just like America was over a hundred years ago, most parts of Africa are today, ready for development and industrialisation. The magic item missing is the finance.
Often, I gather, there are shortages of power in South Africa, as the power is transmitted from Mozambique. There must be potential to develop power in other methods, and utilise solar power, geothermal, hydroelectric, and so on. Just it seems they need someone to finance such projects, and get the construction thereof under way.
The great respect people have for Mr. Mandela, I hope can also be shown to the worthy Mr Maponya,
whose dream city would do, I believe, the whole country and continent of Africa a huge power of good.
Dreamers and believers, people who have faith and know that such things as I speak of are possible, will
know that this would be a worthwhile project, and it will have the blessings of creating a necessary prosperity for the people in this part of the world.