Telework, entrepreneurship and “Socialized Medicine”

In my experience, as well as that of most of my friends, one of the most powerful reasons for working for a large organization is its health care plan. Big organizations, both public and private, usually have health insurance with coverage and prices that are unattainable by individuals. This is also one of the primary reasons why budding entrepreneurs decide not to take the entrepreneurial leap and go it alone. Quality health care is a powerful safety net. Yet, according to the Center for American Progress: “The share of private-sector workers with a pension dropped from 50.3% in 2000 to 43.2% in 2006, and the share of people with employer-provided health insurance dropped from 64.2% to 59.7%.” So that bastion of support seems to be eroding.

But what if quality health care were available to everyone, regardless of their employer? Then the fear of disaster if you became ill between job changes would vanish because you’d still be covered. The dread of physical and/or financial ruin would evaporate. How could this be possible in the good old US?

Both leading Democratic candidates for President are proposing some form of government-regulated health insurance that would cover most Americans. The Republicans shriek in horror at this idea and scorn it with the label “Socialized Medicine”, something apparently almost as bad as HIV in their minds. As Jacob S. Hacker says in the Washington Post of March 23rd: “Never mind that nobody is proposing to turn doctors into public employees and hospitals into government institutions — the literal meaning of socialized medicine.” What’s being proposed is portable health insurance; insurance you have regardless of your means of income, that goes where you go. The government’s role is to regulate the quality of care and to seriously reduce the inflation rate of such care (Hacker’s article goes into more detail).

The connection between portable health care, telework, and entrepreneurship is obvious, to me, at least. Continue reading Telework, entrepreneurship and “Socialized Medicine”

Peaking out?

The world is finally beginning to perceive that oil might just be more dear in the future. Today comes another news note pointing to the concept that we may have reached the peak of global oil production. The news is that discovery of new oil reserves in the Gulf of Mexico has hit the lowest level in a decade. Specifically, according to the energy consultancy Wood MacKenzie as quoted in today’s Financial Times and elsewhere, the 2007 new reserves were less than half of those found in 2006. Continue reading Peaking out?