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Worker "burnout" good or bad for economy?
TRACY BYRNES: If we lived in Utopia, everyone would skip to work and share cookies during coffee break, but it's not Utopia right now. What we are seeing is that even though people are in jobs they can't stand, myself not included, you are going to work anyway because you know you've got to pay the bills. You know you've got to keep your household going. You're not quitting on yourself and your family. I think that is part of the American drive that is keeping this economy going right now.
JOHN LAYFIELD: No it's not good for business if that many Americans are feeling stressed out. We're in bad economic times. We have the lowest labor participation rate in over 30 years and 47 million Americans are in poverty right now and so there are some bad economic times out there, but the fact that Americans show up and go to work; it's what Americans have done. It's what the "Great Generation" did in World War II. It's what our soldiers have done. I've been over to the Middle East eight different times to see what a great job our soldiers are doing. This is what America does. Times are tough; Americans are stressed; there aren't jobs being created; we have structurally high unemployment and America's not used to that, but what America does is show up to work, put their nose down, their hindquarters up, and start plowing ahead.
SALLY KOHN: I agree with everyone else. Obviously, part of what makes Americans hardworking and what makes us great is that we do keep working in spite of all obstacles, but of course we're exhausted and stressed out. People have been working longer and longer hours and productivity has gone up, but wages have been stagnant for over 30 years in this country while profits have risen. I mean we have designed our economy to bleed working people for as much as we possibly can and they're not getting the benefits of it. Of course they're exhausted and stressed out.
JONATHAN HOENIG: The American workers are stressed out. You know what's a little more stressful? Not having a job. I think that's much more stressful to Tracy's point and stress is a normal part of life. It's a normal part of work certainly, and we deal with it by knowing that we're capable, as the panel pointed out, of overcoming it. What the study spoke to was a feeling of hopelessness; a feeling that there's nothing you can do to succeed; nothing you can do to achieve. I've got to tell you I think that comes from the culture that says, as Sally alluded to, that the whole game is rigged, the one percent controls everything, and you need government to live your life and make your decisions for you. That kills your self esteem and it kills your motivation to achieve.
WAYNE ROGERS: This is so much voodoo psycho-babble I think. Everybody's stressed. I'm stressed. You're stressed. Everybody gets stressed. Some guy who's down on the assembly line and how about the guy up at the top who's working overtime and killing himself trying to make the numbers work. He's stressed. The guy who's trading stocks like Jonathan is stressed. If the markets are going up he's happy. If the market's going down he's really stressed. So everybody's stressed. Big deal; you've got to live with it pal.
Doctors to temporarily get paid more to accept more Medicaid patients
JONATHAN HOENIG: This is pure cronyism Cheryl. The president goes around with his bag of goodies, his bag of handouts; cheap loans for students, he's got Solyndra for the "Greens" and of course this extra payment for Medicaid patients. I mean, paying some doctors more to treat some patients more for two years in a total arbitrary and confusing plan, instead of actually addressing the entitlement problem in this country, the President is only exacerbating the problem and getting votes in the process.
WAYNE ROGERS: Jonathan tagged it right; confusing is the word. They are saying that the details are yet to be worked out. The administration has not given the final rules yet and they haven't even published the rates for Medicare for 2013. In other words, here is a bill that's over two thousand pages long, they put it together with glue, nobody read it, nobody understands it, and they've dumped this whole thing on the bureaucracy and said here, you boys go and determine how we're going to do this. So nobody knows what they're going to do because the Federal Government never knows what it's going to do.
SALLY KOHN: Let's throw some facts in this conspiracy mongering. The reason that we're doing this, the reason we have Medicaid in the first place, is because poor people do not have insurance otherwise and they will either go to the emergency room, get exceptionally expensive care that we will then all bear the cost of, or go to doctors and right now, not enough doctors are treating patients with Medicaid because those reimbursement rates are low compared to Medicare. So this brings up those reimbursement rates. Having people go to doctors instead of to emergency rooms seems like a good idea to me.
TRACY BYRNES: Maybe we should have thought of that when we wrote the document to begin with and we didn't because Nancy Pelosi announced to everyone that now that we signed the thing, we've got to go read it, because no one knows what's in it and to Wayne's point, everyday we're going to hear more and more of we've got to fix this or that wasn't right and we need a band-aid; give some cash out to somebody else and keep them happy until we figure out what to do next.
JOHN LAYFIELD: What Tracy, Wayne and Jonathan are saying is exactly right. They're not sure what they're going to do with this ObamaCare. What Sally said is correct economically. Is it better to actually pay for their insurance, or pay for the rising cost of health care because they go to an emergency room, but what we did with ObamaCare is we didn't reform anything. All we did was stick 30 to 50 million more people on an insurance roll without doing anything with the problems that health care has and now they're talking about doing something with it now. That's what's causing these problems to get much worse. That's why we're facing a shortfall of about 10 thousand doctors over the next few years because they don't want to deal with this.
Cost of public college soaring more than private colleges
TRACY BYRNES: We're sending all this federal money to our public school system and yet tuition keeps going up. You've got more kids applying to the public universities because they can't afford the private, because the government screwed that up too by giving free money out to kids. As a result, these kids are getting hit six ways till Tuesday. It is a syllabus for disaster for educating our kids.
WAYNE ROGERS: Things have changed too. This fellow for example at Michigan State University is the head of hospitality services there, Vennie Gore and he says that the students don't like the old-style dorms where they had to share bathrooms. Well tough. I mean, getting an education is a privilege; it's a responsibility. It's not something that's just given to you and you can't just abuse it. So the fact that they have to build new dorms and do all of that, a lot of that is rubbish. Put it where it belongs. Put it in the classroom. Put it with the teachers and put it with the students where it will have an effect in the end so that you see it in grades.
SALLY KOHN: It's sort of interesting because we're not (giving money to these universities) because the federal money goes mostly to research grants and things like that it doesn't actually help with operating costs that much, but the reality is that states, which mostly fund state universities, have cut their spending on universities, state universities, public universities, by 17 percent, while enrollment has gone up by 12 percent. Meanwhile, public universities are still five thousand or more dollars cheaper per year than private. This is a mountain out of a molehill.
JONATHAN HOENIG: It's going to serve them in private universities. It's going to serve them when government gets out of the business of being a principal, or a dean, or a school-marm. I mean honestly Cheryl, look at the difference between a stamp right? Government monopoly, regulations, subsidy; all that does is increase prices as it has with the stamp. The reason the iphone has gone down is because it doesn't have that monopoly, that subsidy, that regulation. We need private enterprise in education, not more government spending, which is of course the left's only option.
JOHN LAYFIELD: We're seeing kids come out with degrees they can't use; liberal arts and political science degrees that they might as well not even go to college if they get that stuff. We're facing a shortfall of tech engineers of 20 million according to Bill Gates over the next 10 years and we are not doing anything to try to cover that shortfall. Sally's right. The problem with these public colleges is that the states are having to cut spending and it's the priorities of these governments that are cutting spending there, but keeping their social entitlements in place. They've got to reform these to have money to give something to education, because that is our future.
What do I need to know?
TRACY BYRNES: Unions' post-election plan could keep U.S. debt soaring.
JOHN LAYFIELD: Drive up profits with Wayne's favorite automaker Ford (F).
WAYNE ROGERS: Watch your cash grow with Cash America (CSH).
JONATHAN HOENIG: Get extra income from this floating fund (PFLT).