The Motives Behind the Lack of fitness in Our Healthcare Part 1 by Barbara Cerda


The OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) has empirically argued that those countries where women are attaining an equal voice in legislature are leading the charge in creating a higher quality of life and healthcare reformation.

As the strongest economy on the globe, the United States is falling far behind in the war for better wellbeing. Could this failure be partially due to the United States Congress, which is comprised of 19% women out of the 535 membership?

The United States has a life expectancy gap in relation to other OECD countries. Yet we consistently tout the wellness of our current healthcare system. While it fails to address the needs and cut public funding, for the most underserved…women and children.

Amongst many in leadership, there’s a dismissal in how women can play a significant role in how healthcare providers tailor wellbeing. That path to gender fluid legislature is arduous and complicated, pebbled by male centric sovereign politics. We find ourselves part of a third world economic dysfunction when we elect few women in our legislative bodies. Alleviating this societal injury is necessary to bringing about true healthcare parity.

One country has taken great strides toward gender equality in its government, Finland.

This nation boasts a healthy 38% of female presence in its parliament and leads the world in healthcare reform. It is by far more empathetic to the needs of women and children.

Elected in 2000, Tarja Halonen was Finland’s first elected woman to the office of president. Serving in office for two terms, her legacy was to achieve a successful balanced economy.  An important part of this responsible fiscal reconstruction was the reformation of their health care system.

Envisioning a robust, value driven and cost effective medical system, President Halonen embraced the principals outlined in a Harvard business thesis, “Redefining Health Care: Creating Value-Based Competition on Results”. The Harvard team of Michael Porter and Elizabeth Olmsted Teisberg authors the study. The book illustrates how most purveyors of private healthcare have failed to deliver a system of value-based care.

Normal economic ideology dictates that aggressive competition in private sector business results in a lowering of prices and an increase in the value of that service. Private and governmental run healthcare agencies in the U.S. are the costliest in the world and supply the poorest quality in its deliverance of care. Finland‘s success in providing gender parity in a valued based healthcare system, is attributed to a strong percentage of women in parliament; a healthy 38 percent.

In 2007, the United States spent $7,290 per capita for an inadequate healthcare system. This number is a staggering two and a half times the average of OECD countries. The OECD places an average of per capita healthcare expenditures at $2,984. The CIA World Factbook has ranked the Unites States 41 in infant mortality rates and 46th for total life expectancy.

This rate of infant mortality defines a healthcare system that fails to provide adequate means of preventive medicine. Poor prenatal care results in low birth weights and bleak infant survivability. What does this say about the future of our economy the future of our country?


Economic change

An argument for smart financial and economic regulation

I offered this piece to Surface Earth on Saturday, July 21, 2012. The solutions then are the solutions now. Most important it is not whether we change our policies and reconstruct our economic protocols…it is how. So far…as we enter the era of President Elect Donald Trump’s nascent administration, indicators are that those who looked to him for relief and change will be disappointed.

In those still moments of reflection we all enjoy imaging the quintessential living space that brings a smile to our lips; for many of us its hot summer nights sitting on a foot tapping porch. The night air is still with only the remnants of warm aromas of home cooking lingering in the air. In our memories are the small towns where the air rang with the rhythmic pats on foot tapping porches. To music accompanied by the harmonic twanging cords of “Salty Dog”. Soft breezes disturb the still heat that contain the smells of honey suckle. This conjures up long forgotten recollections of small towns called Mayberry that contained a Sheriff named Andy Taylor.

The fictional Mayberry R.F.D symbolizes a way of life where the simplicities of common sense economics companioned our daily lives, adding an elusive assurance that all was right.

It was the era of the 1950’s and 1960’s where Andy Griffith helped millions of us to understand that the simplicity of that life was vital and real. It was where a single dirt road led to the house of miserly Ben Weaver the fictional town’s only real estate baron and department store owner. Even Mayberry’s troublemaker Ernest T. Bass held a vital function in maintaining the delicate small rural town economic balance, in the selling and marketing of his moonshine.

When joining the savings club you got a new toaster for your trouble. The banker was your neighbor, realtor, and insurance agent, never your money broker or high finance investment advisor. The passing of Andy Griffith last week was emblematic of the death of a simpler monetary system. Andy Griffith was part of that down home Christian value system. The strong brilliant thread wove tight the fabric that cloaked our dreams. It was during this time that University of Chicago Economic Professor, Nobel Prize winner and Washington policy advisor Milton Freidman was teaching the concepts of the evils of creeping socialism.

Ernest T’s moonshine business was an example of unfettered capitalism. The government agents stalking him in the hills and woods of North Carolina was an early sign of encroaching government imposed socialism, the strangling hold of government regulation on “hooch”. Mayberry was a simplification of the economists’ model and illustration detailed by Adam Smith in his “Invisible Hand “. This concept framed much of what Mr. Friedman embraced. Let commerce reign free of regulations. The markets will dictate what quality is and what shapes the viability of a business. Mayberry was an economic model that demonstrated those concepts.

In Mayberry R.F.D. the veneers of safety, sound mortgage practices and foot-tapping porch homes holding their market value, reinforced our beliefs of future comfort.

Bank savings accounts and nest eggs would be there for generations. Decades later Savings and Loan Banks, unable to compete with the growing number of financial firms offering non-banking services and products were almost put out of business. The markets demonstrated that their viability in a changing global financial environment was not possible. Account holders heard threats of untold losses. Nevertheless, government intervention saved many nest eggs. Then came deregulation and multinational banks grew in unbelievable power.

A decade after the deregulation of banking, investment banker James “Jamie” Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan and non-resident of Main Street, admitted that through dishonesty his firm was suffering a loss of an estimated $4 billion. Then UK based Barclays, known for its clusters of banking businesses revealed cheating in mortgage indexes or LIBOR speculations. Globally dominant in both corporate and investment banking services they contain the largest group of wealth managers. Most recent disaster du jour is HSBC. It dominated business news when their monetary laundering and terrorists’ ties came to glaring light. Huge monetary exposures in the mismanagement of investment funds scandal or mortgage banking cheats have undermined the confidence of the populace in multinational or universal banks. Many politicians parrot the economic phrases of Economist Milton Freidman who spent a lifetime evaluating the reasons why banking should not be government regulated. In the event of another financial meltdown – much of the world’s wealth would be loss.

The regulation or deregulation of our financial institutions is not the only cause and effect of global economic stress.

Blame many of our economic woes on global structural unemployment. It swells liquidity artificially through social benefits like unemployment payments while not addressing the need for full employment. Nevertheless, the late Mr. Friedman shared that any intervention by any government-authorized regulator would merely strangle free enterprise. For example, he cites that when government regulatory artificially sets minimum wage for workers it hampers growth in the private sector. In allowing the job creators to set their own rate of pay, global employers like McDonalds would find it easier to hire more workers at lower hourly wages. Mr. Friedman offers that this is a means to economic stability. It is debated that as long as businesses flourishes under this aegis the society benefits. The realities that are missing are the facts of the burdens on societies in having too many marginalized and under trained laborers. This concept endangers the laborer by marginalizing through inadequate training and encouraging stagnation to upward mobility. This brings to stunning clarity today’s labor market suffering too few well-trained wage earners.

While non-regulated corporations are cultivating over paid executives and feeding a multiplying and greedy stockholder. Multinational corporations thrive.

Yet fiscal uncertainly, vis-à-vis congressional brinkmanship continues to plague projections to healthy outcomes in economic recoveries. A superficial review of Mr. Freidman’s arbitrary observations remains in question. Rather it would be better to cite that the central banks of the world must act as guardians of economies during periods where greed or mismanagement of wealth has created a downturn in economies. If in fact the world held to the views of Adam Smith and Milton Freidman, wild global market fluctuations attributed to Ben Bernanke’s chat events before congress would be non-existent. Yet even Mr. Bernanke must remind the world that he like all global economic regulators, must act within dual mandates.

The dual mandate for the non-governmental agency Federal Reserve System and its FOMC or Federal Open Market Committee is the same as all global economic regulators. In 1977, Congress amended The Federal Reserve Act. Its monetary policy objectives of the Federal Reserve were,

“The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Open Market Committee shall maintain long run growth of the monetary and credit aggregates commensurate with the economy’s long run potential to increase production, so as to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices and moderate long-term interest rates.”

The science of economics is not a static concept meant to be biblically applied to humanity. Economics is generic and organic. Our system of capitalisms has created the perfect examples of the social contract. We may weave Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand into the mix of what constitutes our complicated economic system. Nonetheless, it must be argued that our current systems enjoying the benefits of a deregulated commerce, has also fabricated an intricate network of needs for socialization and government intervention.

When an economic construct no longer serves in maintaining the health of the system, it will present like boil to be expunged.

Even foot tapping porches have a place in today’s economy.

Posted by Barbara Cerda
This entry was posted on Saturday, July 21st, 2012 at 3:29 AM and is filed under AP-Business,

The Embraceable Unthinkable Economic Realignment of Wealth



We are economies of unthinkable times.

Global wealth is distributing and realigning itself.  Generations ago, we would think this an unthinkable Europe, an unthinkable United States, an unthinkable global economy. Our financial markets have morphed into macro economies that have become “impossibles”.  Never before has this event been written or told about. It bears repeating that unless our nations learn to think forward and learn the new rules, some economies will fail completely.  The paradigms shaping how we invest, how we use our monies is far different from where they were just a few decades ago.  We market our businesses globally. From Wall Street to in-home labor how countries manage wealth influences us all.

Who could have thought that the elite congress of the Eurozone would be seeking to borrow from China, a country that once ranked 99th in the world for income per capita?

Who would predict that Germany, led by her first female leader Angela Merkel, would be drawing up plans for the realignment of a new Europe?  Just one generation ago, Germany was a divided country, reuniting itself while seeking economic and political parity in the world.

Facing a looming fragmentation, the Eurozone is dependent upon rapidly reconstructed fiscal decisions that may be their only hope for restoration.  In my opinion, the new realities are that Eurozone countries have evolved to finance dependent sovereigns, a unity of welfare states. Without the power to inflate or grow out of debt, they are suffering the throes of failing solvencies in the absence of liquidity.  The global financial markets are now looking beyond Europe to China for  monetization.

The structural and fiscal global calamities that are tearing apart the fundamental economic survival of countries are creating teachable moments.

The relocations of accumulating wealth and human capita are shifting the paradigms of global power. China in efforts to realign its economy from manufacturing to services and a more robust domestic consumption, is attempting to boost export liquidity. There should be little doubt that this is a currency war era. Unless we move to change how we think about our businesses therefore how we invest for our future, the road in solvency maintenance will be long and rough; for some perhaps unattainable.

Institutional economists remain so mired in the old constructs of economics, that they are unable to recognize the ever-evolving fundamentals of the new norms; of how the world’s populace is changing its wants versus its abilities to fulfill.  We’re not paying attention to the fact that there is a fundamental neuroscience that is changing the way our brains are responding to how we manage business and personal wealth.

This absence of forward thinking amongst monetary regulators, policy makers and drivers of fiscal policies is causing global social upheavals that are signaling the need to recognize new norms.  This economic tsunami will carry in its wake societal transformations. The United States’ success in maintaining its global leadership will depend on how well we navigate this wave and how we include ourselves in the changing global environment. The TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) is not essential for now but is an imperative for the future.

Like any evolving organism there are paradigms that must be present in order to intelligently judge whether an economy will survive.

Has it the capability of growth?  When faced with financial indebtedness a country must have the ability and agility to grow out of its debt.  The engine must have a sound monetary policy to move.  Instituting too severe austerity measures will only stall the recovery process.

Can it grow strength in it federal institutions? Policy makers must understand that the creation of a fiscally strong country requires new thought processes.  Fiscal and monetary policies must be agile enough to grow into the new norm and trans-borders.  Government maturity has become the most important factor in foreign investing.

Has it created strong and agile banking institutions?  The biggest part of the EU collective crises is its lack of solvency, for a few member states.  This is a watershed moment that the United States’ has yet to face; yet many economists fear the likelihood is not far away.

Does the country have the ability to distinguish the difference between having liquidity and lacking solvency? The mechanisms for cryptocurrency or blockchain technologies must be set in place to bridge moments of insolvency or bank failures especially in m1 economies.

Will a country understand the importance of building firewalls to insure that in the short term technocrats will not sabotage growth?

Social advents like Occupy Wall Street has impacted how the financial markets think then behave. The outcome of how we trade, buy and sell our markets is no longer predictable when using the same old data interpretations.  The word “unlikelihood” has become the standard in calculating economic outcomes. This way of forecasting is rapidly becoming commonplace; and is penetrating deeper into our systems.

Though we struggle under a morass of mounting debt, the United States is not a cash poor country.  We do not lack the resources to participate successfully in global wealth realignment. French President Sarkozy stated in a recent address that Europe must be “refounded”.  The same holds true for the United States.

In my opinion, we need a national reawakening moment as well.