Economic Zombies Shuffle Toward Bankruptcy

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

The Daily Reckoning