The defining characteristic of a zombified system is the way it hands out its rewards. In an honest economy, people do their best. They work hard. They take their chances. Some prevail because they are productive. Others are just lucky. The chips fall where they may.
But as the system is taken over by zombies, the chips fall where they are told to fall. Rather than to honest and efficient producers, the rewards go to those who curry favors.
Elizabeth Fowler knows how it works. She labored at the left hand of senator Max Baucus, drafting the collection of crimes and punishments that came to be known as ‘Obamacare.’ Senator Baucus admitted that he had better things to do than actually read it. But he didn’t have to. His chief health policy counsel, the aforementioned Madam Fowler, knew what was in it. As a former top lobbyist for Wellpoint, America’s largest health insurance provider, she had made sure the chips went where she wanted.
“If you drew an organization chart of major players in the Senate health care negotiations,” wrote Politico at the time, “Fowler would be chief operating officer.”
Fowler had already been through the revolving door more than once or twice. She worked for Baucus before joining Wellpoint…and after. When she came back to Baucus she replaced Michelle Easton, another Wellpoint lobbyist, who helped guide the senator on health policy while Ms. Fowler was on the Wellpoint payroll.
Then, after the legislation was passed, the White House turned to the clever lobbyist to implement it. After all, the sugar spot in the legislation was the provision requiring people to buy products from companies such as Wellpoint, whether they wanted to or not. As America’s new Special Assistant to the President for Healthcare and Economic Policy at the National Economic Council, her job was to make sure Wellpoint got a good return on its investment.
And then, in December 2012, whoosh…she went back through the revolving door. Type in “Elizabeth Fowler” and “revolving door” and you will get the whole story. The ‘architect of Obamacare,’ say the papers, left the White House to go to the honeypot at Johnson & Johnson.
What will she do there? Will she test the adult diapers? Will she take out the trash or write advertising jingoes? No, she is up to her old tricks, in a ‘senior position’ at their ‘government affairs and policy group.’
You go girl!
(This is not the first time this sort of special privilege has been granted in the USA. The ethanol industry got it coming and going. Tax credits subsidized farmers for growing corn and then federal mandates required fuel companies to buy it. )
Wellpoint was not the only winner in the health care sector last year. The New York Times reports:
WASHINGTON — Just two weeks after pleading guilty in a major federal fraud case, Amgen, the world’s largest biotechnology firm, scored a largely unnoticed coup on Capitol Hill: Lawmakers inserted a paragraph into the “fiscal cliff” bill that did not mention the company by name but strongly favored one of its drugs.
The special favor was buried in Section 632. It involved a kidney dialysis drug — Sensipar — that was spared from cost-cutting restrictions for an additional two years. This was the fruit of efforts by 74 Amgen lobbyists. It is expected to cost the Medicare system up to $500 million.
That’s how a zombie system works. Congressional staff members slip favors to private sector companies. Then, the companies return the favors, giving staff members cushy jobs. One of the chief Amgen lobbyists, for example, had been an employee of Senator Max Baucus, head of the Senate Finance Committee. Jeff Forbes was the senator’s chief of staff. Amgen has given the politicians $5 million since 2007, with $68,000 to Baucus.
But poor Elekta AB. The Swedish maker of radiation tools got stabbed in the back by the same last-minute legislation. That’s the way zombieism works too; the rewards go to people who are best able to pervert the political process. Elekta was at a disadvantage. A foreign company, it couldn’t give money to the politicians. Varian, its competitor, could. Plus, Varian put 18 lobbyists on the case and managed to get Elekta’s payments cut in half.
More to come…
for The Daily Reckoning
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.
das is eine swinish propaganda…
What a corrupt system we have.
in hk fist start with chrlatrinity to open door for
g…y c chow
c…a as a l…r of w…d e…y
More to come… I should hope so.
There are two things you never want to see being made: Hot dogs and Laws.
This was supposed to be the most “transparent” administration ever. Right.
The day after tomorrow, if a zombie king mimicking human king, stands aloft the Red Square or the Tian An Men Square or the Medicine Square proclaiming their supremacy, it would be too late to regret then. Checkmating using zombies among the superpowers would only present disastrous outcome to everyone, big or small. An early ban on the use zombies
in all human conflict would benefit world citizens.
To locate the hideout of the zombies is extremely difficult, rendering rectification job
even harder. Zombies stealthy attribute presents radar evasive effect. It was rumoured
that high altitude pilot sometime met strange encounters, their radar screen could not
capture the zombie. The next thing they found out was zombies sitting next to them in the
absence of the co-pilot. Or, zombies may sneak in through the exhaust pipe into the cockpit
without their knowledge. Or, their missile targeted on a zombie failed to explode. Untold stories.
In western democracy, votes that decide power. What happens to the
ordinaries, the grass-root, the commoners. And, almost 100% are
literate, intelectuals who are not naive enough to simply cast their
votes. No one vote for a curruptive one, certainly. What has given
rise to the corrupted system.??? As world power, it is packed with
power that would incidentally influence or dictate life style of citizens
of other nations especially the weaker countries. For heaven sake,
the basic voters, please vote conscientiously. It would not only
affect your very own nation but also other nationalities as well.
but it traverses the entire
When zombies bloat, the disastrous effect does not limit to your
Stephen Petranek explains how the blood pressure medication, Verapamil, could be used to do big things for sufferers of Type 1 diabetes. Click here to see why some are calling this a sign of hope...
I consider this trade a mean-reversion play. We're not hanging around if it doesn't work out--and I certainly don't think these stocks will regain the momentum they had during last year's monster run. This is a short-term trade, OK? But a little disbelief rally can hand us some quick double-digit gains.
Bubbles in land, mortgages, art, gold… tablets. Who knew? An astute lifelong student of financial and economic history, for one. What’s next? Marc Faber takes a stab at an answer below…
Fact: More Americans than ever before are choosing to give up their citizenship. If you’ve been finding America’s tax laws inconvenient or even oppressive, however, read on. Peter Schiff outlines options for avoiding government intrusion in your life… without giving up your citizenship...
Like everything in life, there are winners and losers -- money production is no exception. In fact, thanks to the opening the money spigot, Guido Hülsmann of the Mises Institute explains we're ultimately looking at worsening income inequality. Read on...