Bill Bonner

Zombies Take Over US Health Care!

“Obama assures his place in history,” says the editorial in today’s Financial Times.

Poor fellow. He’ll be remembered as the guy who let the zombies loose on the US health care industry. It wasn’t a very good industry even before passage of the reform bill. Not because of the doctors and nurses; they’re as competent as other professions. But they’re forced to work under appalling conditions – with lawyers, lobbyists and regulators on their backs!

This new reform measure just increases the weight. Now, there’ll be more parasites than ever. Health care is about to turn into a zombie industry…run by brain-dead bureaucrats and kept alive by infusions of blood from the taxpayer.

“Obama should veto the bill,” says an American friend. “He should go on TV and tell people that he wants real reform of the health care business…not a 1,000 page document full of bribes and boondoggles. That would really assure him a place in history.”

But that’s not going to happen. Instead, the president will sign the bill, smile in triumph, and the health care sector will come under US government control. One by one, step by step, deficit by deficit…the feds take over the economy.

Banks…mortgage finance…insurance…automobiles…passenger trains…and now health care.

Stock market investors seem to like zombies. The Dow rose 43 points. Gold fell to under $1,100.

What’s wrong with investors? What do they think? Maybe each investor looks around and judges his fellow investors fools. He figures the fools will think health care ‘reform’ is a good thing. So he figures they’ll buy stocks. Anticipating a rise, he buys too.

Or, maybe he figures that the health care act will be such a disaster it will turn voters against the democrats… And maybe the republicans will come back into office… Who knows what he is thinking… Or if he is thinking at all…

“US starts to fall in line with other nations,” is a headline in today’s Financial Times.

That is certainly true. The zombies are taking over everywhere. The US held out against them longer then most nations. But now it too is letting government employees run the health care business.

George Wallace once compared the Democrats to the Republicans: “There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between them,” he said. Now, there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the world’s feds. Whether they speak French or Polish or English they’re all taking more and more control of their respective economies. And almost all are going broke.

The latest figures from the IMF tell us that debt in the G7 nations will exceed 100% of GDP by 2014. Yes, they’re all shuffling along together…towards bankruptcy.

Taking over vital industries helps move them down the road. It turns the industries from sources of tax revenue into expense items. The US has spent $177 billion since it decided to take over Fannie Mae’s mortgage finance business, for example.

And how many billions has the US spent since it took over the nation’s passenger rail system in ’71? We couldn’t find a figure…but it must be around $50 billion.

Amtrak was sold to the public in ’71 as an investment opportunity. With a monopoly on rail traffic between America’s most populous cities…throughout the biggest economic boom in history…you’d think Amtrak couldn’t help but make money. It was supposed to turn a profit in 1974. It didn’t. Nor did it make a profit in 1975…or 1976…or 1977…1978…1979…1980…etc… All the way up to today. It never made a profit. It just lowered service levels and kept chugging along. And now the feds are still pumping more than $2 billion per year into the zombie railroad.

All Aboard!


Bill Bonner
for The Daily Reckoning

Bill Bonner

Since founding Agora Inc. in 1979, Bill Bonner has found success in numerous industries. His unique writing style, philanthropic undertakings and preservationist activities have been recognized by some of America's most respected authorities. With his friend and colleague Addison Wiggin, he co-founded The Daily Reckoning in 1999, and together they co-wrote the New York Times best-selling books Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt. His other works include Mobs, Messiahs and Markets (with Lila Rajiva), Dice Have No Memory, and most recently, Hormegeddon: How Too Much of a Good Thing Leads to Disaster. His most recent project is The Bill Bonner Letter.

  • jason

    Weeeelllll…..let’s think about the government “takeover” of banks, automobiles, mortgage finance, insurance. The whole finance industry is a parasite class, and it went to the other parasite class (government), put on its sad face and held out its hand for the tax money. Then they convinced the government that they were “too big to fail,” and they got their handouts. The government didn’t “takeover” anything; once again, the idle rich asserted their privelege and were rewarded.

  • Harry

    Woooo-Hooo You a ly-ah Misssah Bonner!

    I’m Harry and 100 pts per day every day after health care saved us $2 trillion per year = DJIA at 36,000 by December 14, 2010.

    No denying it!!! I’m Harry and trillions of debt by sovereign states is REALLY awesome!


  • Harry

    Woooo-Hooo You a ly-ah Misssah Bonner!

    I’m Harry and 100 pts per day every day after health care saved us $2 trillion per year = DJIA at 36,000 by December 14, 2010.

    No denying it!!! I’m Harry and trillions of debt run up by sovereign states is REALLY awesome!


  • Robert Halverson

    “Health care is about to turn into a zombie industry…run by brain-dead bureaucrats and kept alive by infusions of blood from the taxpayer.”

    I usually think “bureaucrats” means low level government clerks and managers. The only part of our system that works efficiently is Medicare and Medicaid. The parts run by brain dead bureaucrats. If Obama’s Serf Care was a government take over it would be real reform. But its not. It’s main feature is that it forces Americans to tithe to private unregulated monopolies, meaning the health insurance companies. I read you all the time Bill and recommend you to others. But when it comes to politics you sound like a knee jerk Republican.

  • Silver Bully

    “I’m Harry and 100 pts per day every day after health care saved us $2 trillion per year = DJIA at 36,000 by December 14, 2010.”

    Thanks Harry, I needed that laugh today.

  • Lucien Wagner

    I totally agree with Robert Halverson. I like your libertarian wise cracks, but your comments on health care reform sound too Beckish and Rushish. I read your column for good taste and humor, so keep it that way, please.

  • Tichatschek

    Salve Bil Bonner,
    My respect to you for the great work.
    I will continue checking out the impressions you get around the globe.

  • Scott

    There is no difference between big business and government. They work together. After we’ve gone through hell the same people will be giving us the new system. The only real war in this world is the few vs. the many.

  • Mike

    Everybody knows that Amtrak loses money. Rail travel is subsidized to the tune of $2 billion per year as you state.

    What people do not talk about here is that we’re spending something like 40 times that per year on highways.

    Pumping all that money into highways naturally makes rail travel less attractive.

    Its kind of a non-sequitor to your whole point…

  • Laszlo Xalieri

    I have to say, Mr. Bonner, that your argument that the rally on Wall Street led by health industry investors as soon as the market opened was driven by insane people is a bit … weak. All you’re saying is that they know more than you do, and that kicked the stuffing out of everything else you had to say today. Your AMTRAK case is also weak, because the decline of the passenger train has nothing to do with government oversight. Demand has dropped because airline tickets became increasingly available and (relatively) affordable and Eisenhower’s Interstate highway system made getting there yourself in your car faster and more convenient. And, even counting gas prices, cheaper.

    And your cases are also irrelevant. There’s no “public option”, so there’s no bureaucrat running anything. There’s just a mandate that everyone who can at all possibly afford it has to buy insurance from some private company. Same old-same old, with private insurers interfering in the delivery of what your doctor ordered. THAT’S why stocks jumped, because smart investors know that these insurers stand to make more money now that 30,000,000 more people have to start paying these overinflated premiums to some private company.

    Mr. Bonner, this entire article is rubbish, and I know you’re better than this. Please try harder.

  • JMR Alan Greenspan

    “I’m Harry and trillions of debt run up by sovereign states is REALLY awesome!”

    hahahahahahahahahahahahah…i love this guy, he’s so dumb he makes me look smart!!


    Robert H, wrote….

    “The only part of our system that works efficiently is Medicare and Medicaid.”


  • Moon Girl

    People are not aging very well in our society. This is the real crux of the problem. Why do they not age well? What is it about our life style and system that causes us to spend about 50% of our allotment of health care expenses just to keep us alive for the last 6 months of our lives? (Watch food commercials and look at what makes up a “Zinger”, Pop Tart, Hostess Cupcake or any of the other 6 thousand packaged products in a 7/11 and you will know. First we had to fight off Trans Fatty Acids, now it is High Fructose Corn Syrup and all of the other 3000 registered food additives This is the main reason we age so miserably and why health care costs are out-of-sight).

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