Good business

The president is trying to introduce some reforms into the banking and financial operations of our markets. He apparently wants these businesses to be good businesses, to be more “transparent” in some of their transactions. But some of the executives seem to be somewhat reluctant to support the full extent of his proposed reforms. It is reasonable to expect business executives to refrain from trying to sell merchandise that is dangerous without clearly noting its dangers. It is reasonable to pass laws against fraud in business transactions and to prosecute accused offenders. But there is a reasonable difference between what is fraud and what is just a “shady deal”.

A good business?

There is a difference between what is a deadly or dangerous side effect to some product and what is just a possible side effect for some users. There may be a difference between the advertised claims of a product and its actual benefits, but these differences are commonly overlooked unless the real effects of using the product are severely dangerous. Many used cars are sold “as is” with no guarantees or warranties. Perhaps high risk mortgages should be sold the same way. But then the banks and financial business that hold them might have a hard time in selling them, and they may lose a lot of money when the lenders default.

No one wants to loose money in any business transaction, but most business transactions involve some risks.  So the reform issue seeks to minimize some of these risks. How much “transparency” is really appropriate in any good business? Is honesty really the best policy? What if all of the risks involved in the use of some product are not clearly stated in the “fine print”, is that grounds for “fraud”? Let’s talk about this.

Good education

There is a lot of attention and talk these days about education and the financial crisis that many governmental and private educational agencies are facing as they seek to provide students with a good education. The task of educating children, youth, and adults with the intellectual understandings and personal skills that will enable each of them to find a place in the large social and commercial organizations of people in our world takes a lot of time and money. And there doesn’t seem to be a basic core of agreements in regard to what these individuals need to learn at various stages of their lives, who is responsible to provide the necessary lessons at those stages, and who is going to pay the costs of the process.

Although there is some basic agreement that everyone needs to learn to read and to write and to be able to do basic mathematical calculations, disagreements begin to appear in the process when various people and agencies begin to consider what languages students must learn to read and to write and what standards of learning performance are to be applied to even some of these basic lessons. And these disagreements don’t even begin to touch or resolve those matters that have to do with the educational procedures for learning about science, history, culture (including art and music), athletics, and sex.

What is good education?

Some efforts have been made among educators and politicians and parents to address this challenge of reaching agreement on the basic goal of education, which are seen in slogans like “no child left behind”. But such slogans don’t often really define what is meant by “behind”, who is going to make sure that no students are “left” there, and who is going to pay the cost of the necessary process. And the president and congress are making changes in how students can get grants and loans for college expenses and how these will have to be met.

So we have local school districts, state legislatures, national representatives, public and private boards of various schools intensely discussing these matters and scrambling around trying to find enough money to carry on with the appropriate educational processes for students. In many cases, some of these districts and boards and agencies are laying off teachers and cutting back on classes in order to balance their educational budgets. And some of these cuts are being made without much thought being given to some of the basic needs of the students that they seek to teach. And some parents decide to teach their children some of the basic lessons in “home” schools or private schools while they continue to pay taxes for the funding of public schools.

I’ll just briefly mention a few of these “needs” that I’m not sure should be met by any public or private school teacher or be secured by non-personal funds. I don’t think that school personnel and school operations should be paid from public funds to feed students and transport them to school facilities. These services and their expenses should be completely provided by the parents of dependent students or the students themselves. And education in a person’s basic sexual nature and activity should certainly not be provided by any public or private teachers outside of one’s home. This process of education and training should be done by parents, but some of them are probably going to need a lot of help in getting the “lessons” right.

So I think that there is a lot more careful thought that needs to be given to this matter of providing students with “a good education”. What do you think? Who is responsible to teach children the basic personal understandings and skills that they need to have in order to find a place in society? And where can students get the appropriate educational training that will qualify them for jobs in the world-wide commercial marketplace? Let’s talk about this.

Good night’s sleep

I think that most of us would agree that a good night’s sleep is a blessing. When we can awake refreshed and ready for another day, that is a good feeling. Although daily sleep and rest is a natural function of one’s body, a lot of people apparently have some trouble completing this function. Michael Jackson apparently died because of a dose of drugs or medicine that he regularly took to get to sleep each night. That is really sad to die because he couldn’t get a good night’s sleep. I don’t know what kept him awake a night, but some common causes of insomnia are worry, depression, other psychological problems, physical pain or other factors of discomfort, erratic hours or other life-style factors, sleep apnea, and reactions from drugs. The “right” mattress might help, but I think that the “right” mental mood might be more helpful to enable a person to get a good night’s sleep. What do you think? Let’s talk about this.

Good news

I don’t think that there is much good news, that is reports of events that have a positive benefit upon our citizens or at least some of them, in our news media. The last big “hero”, at least in my recollection, was the pilot, Chesley B. Sullenberger, who safely landed his plane in the Hudson river in New York after its engines had been disabled by some birds on January 15, 2009. Brian Williams has a regular report on NBC Nightly News entitled “Making a Difference” that reports events that in some way provide some positive benefits to others. There may be other such reports on other media channels, but I still think that such reports are few in comparison to all of the bad news, that is reports of events that have a negative or harmful effect upon our citizens, or at least some of them, in our news media. For a brief list of some common experiences that may be considered to be good see good news When was the last time that you heard or read some good news? What was it? How many people did it affect? Let’s talk about this.

Good Health Care

Good health care is not a personal right. It is a parent’s responsibility. Parents everywhere have the initial and basic responsibility to care for the infant(s) to which they give birth. If they have insurance to help with the costs of this initial care, that is fine, but it is not the responsibility of any government or other relative or neighbor or religious group or friend to provide the funds for this ongoing responsibility or service any more than it is the responsibility of any of these entities to provide the funds to anyone for the purchase and operation of a phone.

Any insurance benefits that are available to help with the costs of health care must come from companies or agencies that collect premiums from their customers who want this financial service. And they are only able to pay individual customers and their health care providers for the specific costs of health care procedures if they can maintain an excessive level of premiums over expenses, if they can make a profit from their business. They have to be able to attract a “pool” of healthy customers who will have a minimum amount of costs for health care during a reasonable time frame so that they can afford to pay the costs for their customers when they become sick or otherwise injured. These principles of business are true for any company or agency that is engaged in providing financial services for health care irregardless of the name of the company or the government program that provides the financial plan, which is the insurance policy. They are true whether the policies are secured voluntarily or through compulsory taxes or fees.

Once an infant is born, his or her body is no longer “new”. It is like a “new” car that immediately becomes “used” once it is driven off of the dealer’s lot or taken out of the display room. Then it is the responsibility of the owner or parents to maintain the car or the health of their child. The dealer may provide a warranty to cover some possible costly repairs to the “new” car, but these would only be effective for a limited period of time and they would basically only cover parts of the car that were not subject to a lot of poor maintenance or abusive driving habits, and the price of such warranties is included in the price of the car. Warranties for used cars are usually very expensive and very limited if they can be purchased at all. Health care is a legitimate cost of living for adults and their dependents even for those who are unemployed.

So insurance companies or agencies that agree to cover the costs of health care on the “used” bodies of their customers must be wise managers of their financial assets if they are going to maintain a necessary level of profits in their business. That means that they must recognize and take into account the personal factors, such as age and gender and health habits, of their customers. It is foolish to expect good business managers to ignore these factors by trying to force them to issue insurance plans without regard to the “pre-existing” health conditions of their customers. That is like forcing a car dealer to issue a service warranty on a used car irregardless of whether or not it was caught in a flood, involved in a crash, or just poorly maintained for years. Such an effort by congress to force insurance companies to ignore “pre-existing” risks, such as high blood pressure and smoking and health histories, is nonsense or poor business.

Good Health Care is not our government’s responsibility

Our congressional representatives and the president should not be engaged in this current effort to reform health care, particularly the business practices of insurance companies who are seeking to provide individuals with some funds for the costs of this service. And they should not be seeking to put caps on the level of fees that private professionals can charge their customers and patients for the health care services that they provide. Such fees and premiums are matters of the business market place. This reform is not a responsibility of our government.

The health care reform that needs to take place in our society should not be focused on the insurance business or the services of health care professionals, but it should be focused on getting adults to recognize their responsibilities to provide health care for the children that they produce and to practice habits of good health. Such reforms could go a long way toward enabling them to maintained their bodies for many decades of comfortable living, although “old age” is basically not a preventable disease.

A lot of good health care could be established by going back to a previous plan by many insurance companies who would issue health insurance policies that would only cover “major” medical expenses, such as those that might come from unexpected medical emergencies or accidents. All other costs for health care would be recognized as being outside of these policies and within the personal responsibilities of adults. These costs would be for such services as for eye glasses and regular dental cleaning or braces and flu shots and blood tests and physical therapy. The service of emergency health care for the unemployed and the persistently poor should be provided by more non-profit medical clinics in our communities, with these being operated by caring charitable foundations, churches or synagogues, or other such agencies. Doctors and other health care professionals could be encouraged to spend a few years of service at a less than normal wage in such clinics in the course of their careers. This would take some of the financial pressure off of the hospitals that are profit-seeking businesses.

Good health care is a basic need for every person, and some reforms in this service are necessary. Let’s talk about what makes for good health care.

Birds Feed

It is a good educational experience to watch the birds feed at the feeders in our yard. They seem to know what is good to eat and what isn’t. They won’t eat some seed that has apparently spoiled in the feeder. They discard the husks around other types of seeds, leaving them to clutter up our yard while they consume the good seeds. If I fail to fill the feeders, they don’t stay in the near-by tree waiting for me to feed them. But when I put fresh seeds in the feeders, they are there within minutes, and I don’t have to ring any bell.

Why don’t we humans have as much sense as these birds so that we would know the difference between what is good to eat and what isn’t good to eat? Too many of us seem determined to eat too much sugar or too much salt or too much fat or too many calories, and then we have to spend lots of money to try to correct the problems in our bodies that are created by these poor choices in what we eat.

How do birds feed?

What can we learn from watching the birds feed? Why do too many of us persist in eating what we don’t need to eat or what isn’t good for us? Whom are we willing to trust to keep our “feeders” filled with a daily supply of good food? Let’s talk about this.

Benefits of Erectile dysfunction

The condition of an erectile dysfunction in men may have some benefits if us men could see it as a physical reminder that there are other forms of intimate communication with one’s female spouse than sexual intercourse. Maybe there are benefits to erectile dysfunction. More “moments” for intimacy are probably missed by men in their relationships with their wives because they weren’t ready to listen to them than because they weren’t ready to engage in sex with them.

The unseen benefits of erectile dysfunction

Many wives would probably have bigger more frequent smiles on their faces if their husbands would only hear and respond to their appeals for their tender strong help and support in the midst of the messy kitchen or the cluttered living room rather than trying to get them to retreat to a peaceful spot outdoors where they could relax naked in “matching bathtubs” (if you get the “picture”). Drug companies could probably make millions of dollars more if they could make a pill that would make male eardrums more sensitive to female calls for tender loving help than the variety of pills that they now make to improve the flow of blood in the male’s erectile tissue.

E.D. may be the body’s way of telling men that it is time to give more attention to listening to their wives and responding to their needs with tender efforts of help and words of loving appreciation and encouragement than with the physical activity of sexual intercourse. Could there be any solid truth to the benefits of erectile dysfunction in men? What do you think? Let’s talk about this.