I take notes at local government meetings because my memory is near-nonexistent, and I’ve ruined in short order every handheld electronic device I’ve ever owned. I zone out when people are rehashing what was in the staff reports or when somebody is pontificating, stringing words and phrases from the synergy lexicon together with connecting words for proper syntax. Even so, the notes are so copious, I mark the really good and bad stuff to help me find it. This is what got marked last night:
I keep forgetting to ask, how will Walmart fund its pay increases? If it raises prices on food, what impact will that have on food stamp needs across the country?
Progressives are now divided between environmentalists and New Urbanists. One common tater wrote to the Mountain Xpress charging mixed-use, high-density, infill near transit lines:
pits moneyed economic interests against the ordinary people.
Reporteth the Mountaineer:
Haywood Community College is responsible for injecting at least $92.8 million into Haywood County during the 2012-13 fiscal year, through the combined impact of operations, construction and the spending habits of their students, visitors and alumni. The economic impact is equal to approximately 6.0 percent of the total Gross Regional Product of Haywood County and is equivalent to creating 2,474 jobs.
First off, it is good I don’t go to HCC; my spending habits would skew the analysis. (My bank, the same one that freezes the credit card in the middle of the Mojave and when I score front and center seats with Ticket Master, is now trying to sell me life insurance.) Secondly, I would be interested in seeing these economic analyses performed for all businesses and agencies working out of or importing into the community to see how many jobs we can total.
It does not, however, showcase the overall impact that an institution has across the region, state or nation. In other words, those who graduate from HCC and find work outside of the Haywood County will not be reflected on this report.
OK. To be fair, let’s do it for the whole world. If we think globally, we won’t have to levy taxes to pay companies to land in our little gerrymandered piece of the map.
It is difficult to live meaningfully or beautifully when an hour a day is spent fighting passwords, etc. But maybe I could free up other peoples’ time for graceful living if I just print them all here. Hey, go ahead and clone me. I can’t get any worse.
Reporteth the Hendersonville Lightning:
The Flat Rock Village Council has authorized an expenditure of up to $66,000 as 20 percent match for a potential [federal] grant of $330,000 for trails, bridges, boardwalks and culverts at the park.
The local daily has a piece on the IRS’ challenges answering phones.
The problems come after a couple of years in which the IRS has been besieged with concerns from Congress about the agency’s handling of tea party and similar groups — but not so much with worries about its ability to answer the telephone.
In other words, Congress should not worry about whether the agency is abusing power and oppressing certain groups. It should instead throw money at the agency like mad.
Several articles have been published recently about weird healthcare expenses. For example, one tells about a study that concluded Certificates of Need drive up the costs of healthcare. I am not impressed. Logic teaches monopolies can only exist with government help (assuming government upholds its responsibility to fight fraud and abuse). Regulation necessarily reduces efficiencies, and inefficiencies drive up costs. CONs were reportedly begun because folks thought costs are proportional to supply (Cliquez pour le Wiki.), and they create walls for lateral entry into the medical field. The study only shows people have not felt enough pressure to work around the negative effects of the regulation.
Another article tells how Carolinas HealthCare is suing patients for unpaid hospital bills. The logic is, if the people didn’t have enough money to pay their bills, they can pay legal fees, too. Most of those owing are believed to be indigent. Yours truly recalls the uninsured trip to the hospital once upon a time for internal bleeding. An ambulance ride across the street for a premier hospital bed cost 3x$400, an $860 procedure was billed twice, a pill I refused cost $86, etc., etc., etc. After three half-days off work driving from office to office to find out where to go to challenge the bill, I gave up. Anybody who knows me knows I look and act like your scariest nightmare; and the person who drove me to the hospital, unbeknownst to me at the time, has a reputation for making stuff up to make people look bad. That could be why I got the revolving-door, dual-diagnosis bedside manner and the addition of “schizophrenic” and “C-section” to my medical records. (I don’t know what I did with the baby! Honest!) The point is, I have first-hand anecdotal experience corroborating claims that hospitals jack up prices on the uninsured because we don’t have a big staff of whistle-blowers reviewing our bills.
Then, we have Governor Pat postponing a decision on Medicaid expansion. I am opposed to expansion, as I don’t believe the money will go toward helping people. I think it will go toward giving insurance companies lots of money for supporting power-hungry politicians and formidable bureaucracies with numerous opportunities for meaningless employment.
The federal government has changed the way it grades nursing homes. It’s all about quality, and we not only know what that means, we know how to measure it fairly – or not fairly – oh, yes it is fairly.
The ratings were designed to help the public understand nursing home quality assessments, according to CMS.
The top 10 percent of nursing homes in each state — those with the lowest deficiency score — get a five-star rating, according to CMS.
The middle 70 percent get a rating of two, three or four stars, and the bottom 20 percent receive a one-star rating.
I suspect they did not want us to think them racist for insinuating orange had a more heightened quality than blue.