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The word “profit” comes from the Latin, to make progress. 

Profit is the difference between the price something sells for and the cost of bringing to market whatever is sold, be it a product or service. 

Within the healthcare debate, we’re told profit is bad, it is a dirty word, it must be eliminated from our healthcare system so that we can deliver quality healthcare to all Americans.

The problem is one of semantics; any business endeavor, whether it is classifed as “for-profit” or “non-profit,” must generate enough revenue to meet its financial obligations like operating expenses and salaries. 

In the for-profit business model, revenues that exceed the cost of doing business are “profits”, whereas the same excess in the non-profit sector is termed “surplus”. 

No matter what you call it, it’s the same thing, more money in than money going out. 

The damning of profit however is an extremely effective way to terminate any discussion of alternatives or options to the current system we have because no one from within the healthcare system is going to step up and say “but profits are good” or anything related to money.

It’s manipulation pure and simple – carefully crafted and designed, then repeatedly executed well, by those who wish to keep the focus on establishing a single-payer universal healthcare system in the United States.

How can anyone have a meaningful discussion of the state of our healthcare system if you don’t talk money?

There is indeed much discussion on the demand side of the equation, that is the cost to those who need healthcare and virtually no discussion about the supply side of the equation, the costs to those delivering healthcare.

We absolutely must open the discussion up, take it beyond its cost to patients, and look at all sides if we are going to fix the areas in our healthcare system that need fixing and address the issues that are important to us all – the quality of our healthcare, how and where to better manage costs, and how to reach out to and provide affordable coverage to those uninsured among us.

Share your thoughts on this matter in the comments!

From the Heritage Foundation, Two Americas: One Rich, One Poor? Understanding Income Inequality in the United States

Class warfare has always been a mainstay of liberal politics. Politicians frequently depict the United States as a nation starkly divided between the rich and poor. For example, vice presidential candidate John Edwards decries “two Americas…one privileged, the other burdened…one America that does the work, another that reaps the reward. One America that pays the taxes, another America that gets the tax breaks.”

Obama is no exception – his rhetoric is rich with intent to foster continuation of the  class warfare (envy) in the United States to promote entitlement mentality and dependence on the government; aka socialism.

The “rich” are defined by Obama as those households earning $250,000 or more each year.

We’re told the “rich” don’t pay enough in taxes, they exploit others for their personal gain, and they benefit off the sweat of the lower income earners.

We hear a lot about how Obama will address the needs to “hard working Americans” and provide tax relief to “hard working Americans”; that “hard working Americans” deserve a dignified retirement, incentives to save more money, tax breaks and, the big one, redistribution of the wealth in the country – take from the “rich” to give to the “hard working Americans” who deserve more.

As if the “rich” doesn’t include ANY hard working Americans.

So, I’m going to say it – the rich not only work as hard, or harder for their wealth…but they also work smarter – they work the money they have.

That’s the real rub between those who have and those who don’t.

Simple fact of life:  it isn’t what you earn, it’s what you spend that matters at the end of the day.  If you spend your money on things that are not necessary you will be poor even if you have a high income.

What irks me lately is the government seems intent on destroying the very people who drive our economy – yes, I’m talking small business owners. 

I’m one of them. 

My husband and I own our business and employ 14 people, all whom have families, all whom we feel a great responsibility toward, pay well and provide top-notch benefits to.  Like many other small business employers, we’re being taxed to death!

Last year, I kid you not, even with our deductions, we still paid 50% of our income in taxes – to the federal government, the state, social security, medicare, AMT penalty; I’m not even including sales tax or property tax. 

Now Obama wants more?  Are you kidding me?

How much more can the government take?  How much more can they regulate us?  How long until they drive small business owners completely out of business?

The government seems to think it’s fair to take our hard earned money and re-distribute it to others less fortunate?  Good grief, I can do that by choosing my charities, I don’t need to government to do that for me!

Tax credits – checks of $500-$1000 – going out to people who PAY NO TAXES?  How the hell is that fair?

Another increase in the minimum wage coming this year – to $7.25 an hour, with Obama promoting an increase to $9.50 an hour by 2011….who the hell is going to pay for that 26% pay raise (from the $7.25 an hour) and the social security and medicare match employers have to make?  I don’t get a 26% raise unless I WORK HARDER AND DO MORE TO EARN MORE!

Oh and the one I just love (note sarcasm), the 50% of matching contribution from the government into savings accounts by “hard working Americans” for the first $1000 placed in their accounts through payroll deductions!  We’re “rich” so we wouldn’t qualify, of course.  But tell me – why the hell the government is getting into the business of matching contributions now, anyway?  They’re going to use the taxes they take from me to again, give it to someone else – money I could have used toward my retirement. But they’re not just content with taking my money – they’re only happy when they totally exclude me from even participating in these programs simply because my balance sheet deems me “rich”!

Small business will be crippled by the programs and plans being outlined by the new administration. When this happens, who will be the employers of the future?  Cause it sure as hell isn’t going to be motivated young people – by then, they’ll be fully entrenched in the entitlement mentality and totally dependent on government handouts.

Ranking Ways and Means member Dave Camp (R-MI) asks Thomas Barthold, head of the Joint Committee on Taxation, how many jobs  will be created by the nearly $1Trillion “stimulus” package:

One reason I started this blog is because I’m concerned about the direction our country is headed.

While I’m a registered Republican, I can’t say that I identify with the Republicans of the last eight years. Nor can I say that Democrats are to be ignored on all things simply because they’re Democrats.

I tend to judge people on their actions, not their rhetoric. What do they really do when put to the test? As far as I’m concerned, both Democrats and Republicans are cut from the same cloth these days, two sides of the same coin, simply two different styles of rhetoric with little difference in action at the end of the day.

When I turned 18, I chose to register as a Republican.

Not for the ideology per se, but because in principle the party stood for independence, personal responsibility and the idea that if you work hard you’ll reap the rewards of your hard work. At the time I turned 18, I’d already, with the help of my father, managed my own business for three years, so I’d come to appreciate how true it was that if I worked hard, I could advance myself in life and reap the rewards of my hard work – not only did I manage a business, I graduated with honors and headed off to a top school for college with a comfortable bank account for my needs while advancing my education.

Now in my 40’s, I’ve not only worked hard, but have what many would call a comfortable life. My lifestyle wasn’t just given to me, I’ve earned it by making sacrifices along the way, saving, investing and paying attention.

My husband and I waited to buy our first house, waited until we could afford not only the mortgage payments, but the responsibility that comes with maintenance and upkeep of a home. Of course there were times we were quite tempted to jump in and buy when the housing market seemed limitless, ever increasing in value, with everyone, it seemed, worried if one didn’t buy “now” they’d be forever priced out of owning a home. Despite favorable “teaser” interest rates, we passed and waited; and the wait was worth it since we found the house of our dreams and can afford it. It wasn’t an easy decision to wait and pay rent, but for us it made financial sense, something it seems many Americans have lost sight of these last eight years.

Rather than take a long hard look at how the govenment, banks and consumers all contributed to the housing mess, we focus on the banks – let’s blame the banks and the bankers, it’s their fault. If only they’d had more regulation, more oversight, more rules, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in. It’s easy to do, but that doesn’t make it true.

How many people, now troubled financially by their increasing mortgage payments, actually did the math for the worst case scenario (interest rates rise to maximum cap on the loan) before signing on the dotted line for their ARM or interest-only loan?

I’d guess few to none. We did though and took a pass on the ARM offered because, in the worst case scenario our mortgage payment had the potential to double – yes double – within seven years of the loan start date. That was simply unacceptable, so we took the 30-year fixed even though it appeared to cost us $50 more a month for the payments from day one. I’d much rather pay $50 a month and know I can afford our mortgage for the long-term than try to guess where interest rates will be in the future. I remember the 80’s and I remember 18% interest for a mortgage!

So, while the banks promoted their loans and the government encouraged homeownership for everyone, few are taking a long hard look at the responsibility of the homeowner – and their lack of personal oversight of their financial situation.

What I’m getting at with this very long post is that I’m very much about personal responsibility. I’m not heartless when it comes to those less fortunate; in fact I do think we who are fortunate have a great responsibility to those around us – I don’t think it is a responsibility of the government necessarily, but of families and the community.

I come from a blue collar family, parents who worked hard to provide for us, buy a home, live the American dream; whom pushed us to do better, which me and my sister indeed accomplished – we both went to college and worked hard for where we are now, something my parents are infinitely proud of us doing.

It wasn’t by government mandate we received a college eduction, it was by my parents working hard and setting examples of personal responsibility, holding us accountable for our actions, expecting us to do well in school and to continue our education beyond high school.

These days it seems we hold a fear that if the government doesn’t take the lead no one will.

What I find most disturbing is our march toward socialism, under the use of terms like “progessive;” a term used to imply we’re doing a good thing, making progress, advancing our thinking and policies….progessive policies are socialist policies and few in the media are defining the terms in use for the average American!

Which is why I opened my blog by providing the various definitions of the word “change” – when the politicians speak of “change” we have no definition of their meaning, we’re left to interpret the meaning ourselves and wind up with a mish-mash of understanding across the population. If we want to understand just what they mean by change, we have to examine their stated agenda – tease it apart, look at the long-term goals, and then decide what their “change” means.

In looking at the agenda set forth on the White House website, it’s clear to me that “change” is moving toward a socialist structure for government. I hope that here, in my blog, I can articulate where I see these policies shifting and offer alternative options to consider. I’m no expert on government or politics, but I am my own expert on life – if we fail as Americans to avert the policy changes in the air, we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves when we find we’re living under a system never intended by our Founding Fathers.

My blog is neither Democrat or Republican, it’s American. While I’ve identified myself as a registered Republican, I am more a Libertarian these days. I won’t abandon my party though, for I do have hope that we can get the party back on track and move things back in the right direction. For that, I do have hope.

1959: Mike Wallace with Ayn Rand, Part 1

1959: Mike Wallace with Ayn Rand, Part 2

Hat tip to Tammy Bruce, whose book The Death of Right and Wrong: Exposing the Left’s Assault on Our Culture and Values is a good read!

The Delaware Libertarian provokes our thought processes:

You didn’t buy an overpriced house that you couldn’t afford with money you didn’t have. But since “we’re all united,” you’ll be paying for others’ who threw caution to the wind and signed contracts that they didn’t bother to understand (or even read).

[…]

You didn’t take out huge home equity loans for Disney vacations, expensive cars, and designer furniture. But since “we’re all united,” the money you’d be saving for a down payment for a home of your very own will be taxed away from you to pay for others’ vacations, cars, and furniture. You’ve got to help your fellow man, you know. We’re united.

[…]

You didn’t ask for, nor did you receive, risky loans on stupid assets from poorly managed banks. But since “we’re all in this together,” you’ll be paying higher taxes on massive increases in debt to ensure that the executives of the top banks get to stay in their penthouse suites and keep their prior years’ bonuses and payouts intact.

[…]

For so many of us, “unity” means little other than being good little citizens who sit down, shut up, pay up, and accept the “inspired micromanagement” of self-promoting politicians who have never had a real job in their lives.

[…]

We are to subsume our own dreams to pay for the foolishness of others. Our responsible conduct in the face of an insane consumption economy is a designation for punishment. The fruits of the excesses were not ours, nor will they ever be — but the pain is ours to share, the liabilities are ours to pay for, and the ill-gotten gains remain in the hands of those who took them in the first place.

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