Monday, November 30, 2009

Financial Reform and the Non-Profit Community Safety Society Anti-Bank

In previous posts (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) I have identified and discussed how our current system of lending/borrowing is having significant negative effects on inflation, family values, heath care costs, family farms, and housing costs and which contributes to nearly every social problem today. In this post I will discuss the solution. We need a new system for lending and borrowing involving a sort of co-op anti-banking institution. Evidence that supports the need for such a co-op financial institution is found in the many co-op farms, grocery stores, insurance, and utilities popping up all over this nation. In our current system, nearly all profits go to the lender, while the individual borrower accepts all the risk. In a co-op financial, risk would be spread evenly across a community, as well as profits. The Community Safety Society would borrow ideas from Savings and Loans, Credit Unions, as well as Amish and Sharia Law Banking. Here is how it would work.

Current System
In our current system banks borrow our own tax dollars from the FED at prime (currently 0%), then according to fractional reserve banking they lend 10$ for every 1$ borrowed. I should have been a banker. When banks lend to us they need to make a profit, but they not only lend our own money back to us at a higher interest rate, they contractually bind us to an amortization schedule (instead of the balloon payment) that collects 95% interest for 20 years on a 30-year home loan. Their justification for such an obscene profit margin is the illusion of risk. Look at all the bank failures throughout history. But because of fractional reserve lending, and the bank creating money magically out of thin air, that means if people default on their loans, banks repo and sell their home and earn a nice profit. What kills banks is the practice of leveraging their fractional reserve dollars by trading them for stocks and derivatives. When the Stock and Derivative markets tank, the banks have lost their small fractional reserves and cannot lend or pay creditors. and then they go bankrupt. Our current system of indentured servitude and continual bank failures is designed this way on purpose. If home ownership is the American Dream, the home mortgage is the American Nightmare.

So, how should credit work that is immune to fluctuating markets? This system is partly based on Sharia Law Banking, Amish Banking, and Credit Unions. But as I do not entirely know exactly how all these work, I do know that both the Bible and the Qur'an have strict rules or prohibit the collection of usury or interest. This is not an anti-capitalist or free-market system. This is not a communist or socialist system. This is just a credit system that is non-profit, but profit-driven for its members, and is more fair and more immune to the instability of the markets. The name of our co-op anti-bank will be called a Community Safety Society (CSS).

Appreciating Assets
First, the Community Safety Society will only deal with loans and credit on assets that have the potential to increase in value or appreciate and not on assets which will depreciate. That is, our anti-bank will invest in homes, home improvement, real estate, and business ventures. The CSS will not provide credit for automobiles and other depreciating consumer commodities.

2 Ne. 9: 51 Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy.

When a member of the CSS seeks to purchase a home, the CSS member will negotiate with the bank to prove his credit worthiness and apply for the bank to purchase the CSS member's property of choice. Instead of lending money to the individual which is in turn used to purchase the property, the bank will purchase the property outright. Instead of charging interest up front on an amortized loan, CSS will charge a modest transaction fee to cover administrative costs. The CSS member may be required to come up with capital as a down payment on the home purchase. This money would be paid to CSS in partial repayment of the property. If 10% were paid by the CSS member, then the CSS member would become a 10% owner of the property, and CSS would have 90% ownership. As monthly payments were made, the CSS member would increase his ownership and equity in the property right from the start until the property was entirely paid for and the CSS became a 100% owner.

Underwriting, Repayment and Foreclosure
1. Loan worthiness will be assessed based on set criteria including: quality and redeem-ability of the asset, collateral, credit history, reputation, and capacity or ability to pay.
2. Repayment will be in monthly payments until the CSS member becomes achieves 100% ownership and the loan amount is repaid.
3. The joint-ownership agreement and contract may contain a time period by which the CSS member must assume full ownership of the property or asset.
4. There is no penalty for extra payments. The CSS member can achieve full ownership at any time.
5. If the home is sold before the CSS member has become full owner and the home is sold for a profit, those profits are divided between the anti-bank and the CSS member according to their percent ownership. Property and business value could be assessed annually and the repayment adjusted accordingly.
6. If the home looses value and is sold at a lose, then the CSS member and the bank share that lose according to each parties percent ownership. I currently prefer this arrangement over putting all the liability on the CSS member who could instead decide to not only default on the loan but also declare bankruptcy instead of take the full responsibility of the lost value of the home. However, I could change my mind.
7. If the CSS member is unable to make payments on the home, the home owner may be bought out by the bank. Every missed payment would detract from the CSS member's equity and ownership of the property until all equity and ownership was forfeited. Having immediate equity in the property would provide an insurance for the CSS member during periods of unemployment. If the CSS member could no longer make payments on the property and had divested himself of all ownership and equity, then the CSS anti-bank could then repossess the property, resell it, and retain any profits.
8. The CSS anti-bank may or may not operate on fractional reserves. Liquidity must be available to make purchases of assets and to satisfy savings withdrawals. If the anti-bank were allowed to lend based on fractional reserves, the bank would be liberated from the risks of CSS members defaulting on their mortgage arrangements. The CSS anti-bank must be able to buyout the home owners who default on their contract. Upon resale of the home, any lost resale value in the home would be factored into the buyout.
9. Reputation of the CSS member would be an important consideration in the decision to enter into any joint-contractual agreements. CSS would attempt to be fair, equitable, and non-discriminatory but as a private co-op-like business, the bank would need to be discriminating based on values and risk determined by its members and governing boards. Amish banking is a great example of using reputation as part of the underwriting process.
10. The greatest threat to CSS would be corruption and rejecting founding principles while being seduced to behave more like a traditional bank. CSS anti-bank could provide debit-cards and checking account services, provide travelers checks, money exchange, and may give loans against home equity for home improvement. Giving loans for cars or other assets that depreciate in value would not be permitted. CSS does not give loans, it purchases assets.
11. CSS would not exchange currency for derivatives. They may exchange currency for municipal bonds from the community. CSS would only invest in stock and stock options when investing in local business who they are in contractual joint-ownership. This would insulate the bank from market volatility outside the community.
12. CSS may apply for non-profit status. Dividends and profits paid to CSS investors and part-owners would be taxable, but CSS itself would reinvest any and all profits into the community.
13. CSS will undergo independent third-party auditing and accounting.

Savings and Dividends
CSS Members who open savings accounts with the CSS co-op anti-bank will exchange their currency for part ownership in the CSS. Currency would be exchanged for securities like a stock. When the CSS makes a profit on its investments, those profits will be shared as dividends with all its members according to thier percent ownership in CSS.

Run of the Anti-Bank
In the event of a run on the bank, and members making significant withdrawals of their savings and divesting themselves of part-ownership in the bank, much of the CSS capital will be locked up in property, business assets, and business stocks. CSS could make arrangements to sell these assets to their part-owners at a discount to raise the necessary capital. KSS members who are part-owners of a property or business could buyout the CSS anti-bank using currency obtained through a traditional banking loan.

CSS leadership and government will be administered by an executive board with board members elected by the general membership. The governing executive board will appoint a president. The executive board and any hired support staff will receive appropriate hourly compensation for their positions. The level of compensation will be determined by the executive board.

Other Ideas
This concept of the Community Safety Society is by no means a finished product. I only recently started thinking about it. This is a work in progress that I hope will solve a critical problem in our country and in the world. This kind of co-op system is working in other communities right now. Co-op Farming, insurance, and even grocery stores are strong evidence for the need for financial reform. Co-op banking would replace the need for co-ops in all these individual areas as all businesses would essentially be co-ops already through the co-op CSS anti-bank.

Community-Based Farming, Community-Supported Agriculture, and Crop Sharing spreads the risks associate with farming to the whole community and not just onto the farmer. Farmers are paid upfront by community members to farm. If there is a bumper crop, the individual community members receive weekly deliveries of fresh produce. If a heavy rain causes tomatoes to split, then the community gets split tomatoes. If there is a crop failure, the community loses out on fresh produce, but the farm remains in business to try again next year. The farmer can sell excess produce to grocery stores and farmers markets.

Co-op Grocery Stores are making loyal customers part-owners in the business and paying out dividends.

Saving and Loan Failure
There were several factors which led to the S&L crisis in the 1980's. First, there was a dip in the housing marking and in housing prices. A slow housing market means less home mortgages and their associated fees. Second, interest rates were at an all time high which made borrowing money from the FED very expensive. The US government passed an unfair law limiting the amount of interest an S&L could offer on its accounts. This cut into the profit margin of the S&L's who had guaranteed obligations to pay generous interest on member CD's. Many investors took their money out of S&L's to invest elsewhere at a higher rate. S&L's began speculating in world markets and investing in risky foreign companies and ventures. S&L's suffered from internal corruption and lack of external oversight and regulation such as independent accounting and auditing. The Tax-Reform Act of 1986 ended the practice of tax-sheltering money in real estate. Deregulation allowed S&L's to behave more like banks and take bigger risks and they over extended themselves competing for investors. S&L's were exploited by a practice known as linked financing by deposit brokers. In this scam, deposit brokers promise banks new investors if they also lend to these same borrowers who were given money to invest and apply for a loan. These sham lenders/borrowers then turn around and give the borrowed money to the broker who then declares bankruptcy and defaults on the loan.

Noetic Science, Consciousness, and Coherence

(The following is just for fun)

I am listening to CoasttoCoastAM talking about physical coherence and human consciousness. I don't like when Art Bell, George Noory, and Ian Pundit tell ghost stories because it creates fear, global dissidence, or as LDS would say "spreads a bad spirit," but I enjoy when they speak on fun topics like what the mainstream would call "pseudo-science" or "meta-science." Tonight's subject is addressing how individual and global human consciousness can affect the physical world. According to the guests on the show, there way be scientific instruments that are able to measure these effects for the first time. However, if CoasttoCoastAM believes in what is called
Noetic Science, they shouldn't have shows dedicated to telling ghost stories, UFOs, and spreading rumors, lies, and fear.

Dan Brown's latest thriller "the Lost Symbol" also discussed ideas and correlations of the emerging field of
Noetic Science and presumed hidden knowledge of ancient civilizations preserved today in societies such as Freemasonry and in the Bible. Noetic Science is a new and emerging "meta-science" that claims that it can scientifically measure the direct effects of collective and individual human consciousness on the physical world. Like the CoasttoCoastAM show, One of Dan Brown's main characters claims they can scientifically measure the effects of prayer and meditation. Dan Brown played with the idea that ancient civilizations understood this science and this knowledge is preserved in the symbolism and ritual of Freemasonry and in the Bible: "Order from Chaos".

So, how are scientists supposedly measuring the effect of collective human consciousness or what is called "coherence" vs. "incoherence" or "dissonance?" It turns out that some researchers at Princeton and the
Global Consciousness Project maintain a world-wide network of random number generators known as he EGG experiment. What they claim is that when there is a global incident like 911 or Princess Diana's death, because of global news, this creates a situation where there are hundreds of millions and even billions of people in the world who are experiencing a shared emotion of love or fear and maybe even a shared consciousness. And what this Princeton group claims is that during events like 911, they observed an effect of this shared global consciousness in their worldwide series of random number generators. The Princeton group claims that during global incidents that they are observing an increase in order and coherence among their worldwide network of random number generators or "Order from Chaos".

Richard C. Hoglan who is a common guest on CoasttoCoastAM also says that he was able to measure the effect of how ancient temples and pyramids were designed to focus these effects. Hoglan claims that he was able to use a Buliva watch and a tuning fork and measure a change in the frequency in the tuning fork as he walked up and down Maya pyramids in MesoAmerica. Hoglan claimed that something about the pyramids at Tiqual was affecting the mass and angular momentum of the tuning fork. However, Richard C. Hoglan needs to remember that large structures like Egyptian Pyramids collect and concentrate large static charges on their surfaces. If you take a metal hoop to the top of the pyramid at Giza the dissipation of electrical charge is so great that you can observe St. Elmo's Fire or plasma at the top as the charge is dissipated. It could be that this static charge gradient is the source of Dr. Hoglan's torsion-field effect.

I wonder if you could measure the same effect using a tuning fork which is usually used to calibrate a radar speed detector. However you would need an independent way to calibrate a radar speed detector and then have a continually resonating tuning fork and measure the changes in readings of the radar speed detector. Could measurements be observed in other high-precision instrumentation like laser gyroscopes and interferometry?

Another guest on CoasttoCoastAM, Greg Braydon, claims that on 911 there was a spike measured by the GOES weather satellites measurement of the global dipole moment of the Earth. The claim is that somehow the worldwide response to 911 caused a brief increase in the global magnetic field dipole moment of the Earth.

The guests on CoasttoCoastAM are of the opinion that the 2012 Maya Calender may be pointing to a convergence window of events such as a galactic alignment of the sun in the plane of the galaxy, a 26,000-year and 5,000-year progression of the equinoxes, and a possible record solar minimum or maximum, and a earth magnetic pole reversal which may cause all kinds of unknown affects. They are not speaking of the end of the Earth, but a new consciousness driven by changes in the world. Richard C. Hoglan and Greg Braydon are claiming that changes in the world will cause a change in human consciousness and at the same time that the united global consciousness and coherence could causes physical changes. Richard C. Hoglan calls this medium the torsion field effect, Shumman radio-frequency resonance, and the crystal heart.

One caller made an interesting point that there seemed to be a negative yet powerful amplifying force associated with the Maya doing human sacrifice and pulling the heart out at the top of a pyramid at a certain time. Maya believed that this kind of sacrifice changed the physical world around them in observable ways.

While I am repeating some of this, let me be clear that I don't believe most of it. I do not think anything will happen in 2012 just like I did not believe anything would happen in 2000. The Bible says that after the opening of the 7th Seal which likely refers to the year 2000, John in Revelation says that there would be silence for half-an-hour before there would be the sounding of the 7 Trumpets and the pouring out of the 7 cups of wrath. If 1000 years is 1 day to God, then half-an-hour would be 21 years not 12 years. And then after the sounding of the trumpets the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is sometime after that; at least 3 1/2 more years until Armageddon and the restoration of the Jewish Temple which must occur before Christ's Second Advent.

But being a religious and spiritual person, I believe in the power of prayer and meditation and it is fascinating to think about scientific experiments which possibly could measure an effect of coherent human consciousness. I don't know if all this is true, but the Princeton group claims that their EGG experiment is showing results. Being LDS, I also believe that temples and prayer circles can magnify the power and effect of prayer. Whether the effect of a temple or a prayer circle can be measured using a watch and tuning fork, I don't know. I agree with the guests that temples and pyramids can amplify miracles.

One idea that I was interested in also, was something Ian Pundit and Greg Braydon said about the human response to calamity. Ian was saying about how humans respond to fear and adversity. The Bible says that "perfect love casteth out fear." Accordingly, stress brings out the best or worst in people. Adversity shows people what they are made of. As the Bible says God has raised some up to honor and others to dishonor and that the Saints would come out of the tribulation with their clothes washed white in the blood of Christ. This is related to the fight or flight response. When people face adversity, they engage that adversity with faith, hope and love while others react, regress, and withdraw with fear and anger.

The show seemed to have a good conclusion that said that human consciousness could help things or make things worse. Human consciousness and hope could have the power to reverse and repair the world. However, there is a danger here. I disagree that human consciousness is the power here. Faith in Jesus Christ is the true power, and the real power of temples and Christian prayer circles is not the ritual and building itself, but that these rituals, ordinances and sacred spaces focus our collective faith in Christ which is the only true source of love and power to change hearts and save the world.

Dean Radin who is a Senior Scientist at the Global Oneness Project spoke about some interesting points. First he said that neuroscientists have found that a person's view of self and their worldview determines the quality of their morality. College students read over data on brain function with the following materialistic spin/opinion given by Nobel Laureate Francis Crick who said "We are nothing but a pack of neurons." Other students just read the factual data without the materialistic spin. Then both groups of students were given a test on the material with a promise of a monetary reward for a perfect score on the test and a way to cheat. The results of the study were that college students who had read "We are nothing but a pack of neurons" cheated much more than those students not exposed to this spin. This suggests what we already know, that when we are taught a Nietzsche/nihilist philosophy that there is an end of consciousness at death, or a Darwin/evolutionist view that we are all evolved from "pondscum", or we are taught an Evangelical doctrine that men are created beings no better than "dungbeetles" then we are more likely to eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die. Dean Radin uses this data to justify continued research into Noetic Science because he claims that if we all realize that man is part of a large interconnected mind, and that our individual actions have effects on the system, then maybe our society will behave more ethically. LDS understand that all mankind are spirtual offspring of God the Father and are spiritually begotten and not made. Knowing this helps LDS exhibit a generally higher moral behavior.

Then Dean Radin suggests some very interesting ideas. He says that science is able to differentiate the brain from the mind. And says, the consciousness of the mind can already have affects on the physical world through our brain. So, if our mind can bring order to the chaotic system of the brain, then why could it not affect other systems. Then he wondered about the Internet. The Internet has become nearly as complicated and interconnected as the human brain. At some point could the Internet become senescent, self-aware, or conscious? What mind would be in control. Would the Internet become controlled or biased by a single global mind, or even the spirit of the Earth "Gaya" herself. Radin suggests the Internet may become a way in which the mind of man and the mind of the Earth could communicate and interact with one another instead of through weather and natural disaster. As our mind can control our brain, maybe a global consciousness could control the internet. LDS scripture tells us that the Earth will become sanctified and eventually become likened to a "sea of glass mingled with fire" were man will look into the Earth which will become a great Urim and Thummin and reaveal all things related to a lesser kingdom.

D&C 130:9 This earth, in its sanctified and immortal state, will be made like unto crystal and will be a Urim and Thummim to the inhabitants who dwell thereon, whereby all things pertaining to an inferior kingdom, or all kingdoms of a lower order, will be manifest to those who dwell on it; and this earth will be Christ’s.

1. If adversity drives people to the extremes of fear vs. love respectively then wouldn't these forces be equal and opposite? If equal and opposite forces, how could the effect of those forces be measured? Unless the initial response to 911 was immediate horror, and then people split into groups expressing fear vs. faith and hope and love. However, light and dark are not equal and opposite. Darkness is only the absence of light. Love casteth out fear.
2. Therefore, would an increase in charitable giving after a catastrophe be measurable on a goodwill/chaos/coherence meter?
3. If Christ is not in the equation, then the science is false. But LDS do not throw out the baby with the bathwater. All truth has temporal and spiritual realities. Therefore, could there be a physical, quantifiable, and measurable aspect to the LDS temple and Christian prayer circle?
4. Could Noetic Science be a corrupt philosophy behind an emerging one world government? Which part of this philosophy is true and which part is the lie?

5. An experiement to test this hypothesis: The Super Bowl is usually played on a neutral field. Therefore, during the next Super Bowl, take 50 RNGs to each of the respective cities of both ciites, and 50 around the Super Bowl statium itself and then 50 more in Tokyo or other large city where the people are not not American Football fans as a negative control and see what happens with each touchdown or fumble and win or lose.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Health Care, Finance Reform, and Family Values

I was watching Gov. Mike Leavitt on PBS field questions about health care reform. He did a fine job fielding questions and defending conservative values that bigger government is not the answer to our health care problems. Yes, our country is an unfinished pyramid, but the all-seeing eye at the top is God, not the government. That said, I think many miss the real reasons why health care costs are so high.

Financial Reform
The real problem with cost in America are financial and our system of borrowing and lending. It truly is a system of bondage. As I understand the banking system, banks can borrow tax money from the FED at prime which is nearly free and currently at 0% is free. Then they turn around and lend that money back to us for home loans at a higher interest rate of 5-6%. But what is not discussed is that in addition to the profit margin built into the higher interest rate, the banks also bind the borrower to an unfair amortization schedule that collects 95% interest for 20 years on a 30-year loan assuming minimum payments. On the other hand, when an American family saves money, they earn only 5% interest which doesn't accrue significant interest until after 20 year. This creates the classes in America. There are the working middle and lower classes which pay the interest and a fortunate few who have broken through the interest barrier and earn the interest and are free from paying it. This system also creates inflation as the only way to gain significant equity (if making minimum payments) is for the value of the house to go up.

Sub-Prime Loans
Banks would have us believe that sub-prime borrowers who defaulted on their loans are the cause for the housing bubble bursting. This is a terrible half-truth. What most people don't know is that the banking system operates on a system of fractional reserve lending. That means that for every 1$ they borrow from the FED or elsewhere, they can lend 10$ or more. That means that if a person defaults on their loan and the bank repos. and resells their house for 40c/1$, the bank still made 30c plus all the interest already paid. Also, people don't understand that rich people who were "upside down" defaulted on their second homes and vacation homes as much as the sub-prime lenders did. While this shouldn't have hurt the banks, this did hurt AIG who was the major underwriter for mortgage insurance on all those sub-prime loans that didn't collect an initial down payment. AIG couldn't or wouldn't pay the banks all the default mortgage claims.

Mortgage Backed Securities
If a borrower defaults on a loan, has their house repossessed and resold at 40c/1$, shouldn't that still result in a profit for the bank because of fractional reserve lending? If this is so, why did some banks fail? The reason some banks failed was because they were fooled into "leveraging" their assets by trading their sparse fractional reserve dollars and trading them for speculative and volatile mortgaged backed security derivatives. These toxic assets which were given AAA ratings tanked when the housing bubble burst. Because of "mark-to-market" policies by the SEC since ENRON, derivatives are assigned their current value in todays market and not the value you think they will fetch in the future when you plan to sell them. Greenspan thought derivatives would stabilize the markets, but because of their potential for abuse we have seen wide fluctuations in gas prices, the current bank failure, and the ENRON accounting scandal as a direct result. Banks failed because when they lost their fractional reserves, they could not lend and could not pay. Consequently, some small banks were allowed to fail, other banks were bought out, and others "too big to fail" were given TARP.

Negative Effects on Family Values
As I said above, the only way for a family paying minimum payments on a home loan to accrue significant equity is for the value of the home to increase. This is the pressure that has driven the price of homes up and up. This same lending system has also pressured fathers to work more hours, multiple jobs, and for moms to also enter the labor force to meet the rising cost of living. The bubble burst and there was a correction in the market because even with both mom and dad working, the wages have not kept pace with the cost of living. But there are other more serious consequences. With the increase in "productivity" and dad working multiple jobs, and mom also in the work place at the same time (I am not against women in the work place), there is no one home to meet the critical emotional needs of the family. There is no nurturing going on. There is no one home to transmit critical life skills and preventive health to the rising generation. Consequently, when you have unmet emotional needs, that leads to addictive behavior, mental illness, delinquency, teen pregnancy and illegitimacy, gang activity, and poverty. And all of this results in rising health care needs and costs.

Preventive Medicine
Jesus Christ said, "The whole hath no need of a physician, but them that are sick." Other than vaccines which doctors don't need to do at all, Doctors do not do preventative medicine despite what we say. True primary prevention is what you learn from Mom and Dad, at school and at church. It is Mom and Dad that are supposed to teach basic principles of health, diet, nutrition, exercise, stress management, care of a newborn, first aid, etc, etc. If you have to hear this from your doctor, you are likely hearing it too late. Why, because what doctor's do is not primary prevention. What Doctors call "secondary prevention" is screening for the presence of absence of disease. If disease is present, we will institute disease management which has a cost, but in return will grant you longer life. This trade off of cost for life is called the QALY. Nothing a Doctor does saves money, it only costs money and results in longer life. But whether you die in 6 months or 6 years, the cost of dying is expensive but the same. It's a sunk cost. Even if a doctor saves you from dying of cancer, all we really did is save you to die from something else expensive. I worry about ideas of government agencies coming into the home to teach parents the state version of preventive medicine and life skills. Would such an agency have the power to remove children from a home if the parents were not teaching the mandated state doctrine of preventative care?

Dis-incentive System

The government runs the VA system and Medicare so it thinks it can run an insurance program that competes against private insurance. However the VA system and the Canadian system are propped up by the US private system. When people can't get what they need at the VA or in Canada, they go to the US private system. There is also very little incentive in the VA system to work hard and be productive. Consequently, doctors act like they are unionized and don't stay late or do that extra surgery. The consequence is more inefficiencies and longer wait times. The Fort Hood shooter was not kept on staff because of political correctness, but because they needed a doctor. He filled a spot. The US government had a lot of money invested in him. There are lots of great but many bad doctors that hide out in the VA system because they are needed and fill as call schedule. The US needs to decide if it wants to out-source doctors. Because, if you dis-incentivize the system, people will not do it. It's too tough and our brightest people will choose another career path.

Health Care Reforms
I agree with Gov/Sec Mike Leavitt that the debate is not whether we should or shouldn't cover the 50 million uninsured in America. The question is how do we do it. Do we throw up our hands and let the government handle it, or do we exercise our rights to self-government and look for other answers. There are many good ideas on the table.
1. Romney Care: subsidize the purchase of private health insurance.
2. Tort Reform: this helps both doctors and patients
3. Health Savings Accounts with Catastrophic Coverage: isn't this what health insurance should be?
4. Direct Patient/Doctor Billing: more efficient for patients to pay doctors directly and then be reimbursed by insurance.
5. Increased Interstate Competition: Let people go out of state to buy insurance.
6. Fee for Service: I disagree with Mike Leavitt that the government should only pay a set price for a diagnosis. If a person gets a pneumonia or other complication while in the hospital, the government is not paying. That sounds like the quality reform he is talking about. I am glad I work in the ER and am federally mandated to see everyone that comes in the door, because if I was a surgeon, I wouldn't dare do a surgery on 3/4 the people I see because their personal behavior, genetics, and the nature of the procedure have inherent risk of complications. And now in addition to having to treat the complication, the doctor would eat the cost of the complication. If a doctor is incompetent, they should loose their license, but complications happen. No one is out there making complications so doctors can bill more. Doctors would rather do another surgery then have to spend time dealing with a complication.
7. Pre-existing Conditions: I think this kind of policy is the kind of reform government can do. They can give insurance companies operating guidelines in which they must operate to protect the public from being taken advantage of.
8. Medicare: Why do healthy workers pay into insurance their whole life and them when they retire and it comes time for them to have the majority of healthcare costs, they get dumped and put on Medicare and become the responsibility of the US tax payer?

Facility Fee
If you want to make a big difference in health care, you need to make changes that really matter. If reducing the rising costs of health care is the goal, none of the above measures will make much of a difference. They are good suggestions. But they only represent a small percentage of the total health care costs. The real question is, where does all the money go? Well it doesn't go to the doctor. The doctor fee is only 15-20% of the total fee. After, pharmacy and insurance companies take their cut, the majority of costs go to what is called the facility fee. And those facility fee profits go to the bank, or corporate board comprised of the ultra rich who get wealthy upon the talents and labor of others based only upon the "illusion of risk." If you want health care costs to be reduced, you have to change how capital is raised, borrowed, and repaid. And this brings us back to banking and financial reform.

Financial Reform
Some people may not like this, but the model for lending/borrowing reform is the Sharia Law Islamic Banks. If you can get past the Muslim-extremist issues, the Islamic banking system is a great system. If we were to adopt this system in the US to a greater degree, it would be a great PR/political move for the West. So, what is so great about Sharia Banks? They don't collect interest, but they do make profits. I am still studying how they operate. But so, far if a person wanted to purchase a home or business, they would pay a fee to borrow the money from the bank. The bank would not lend the money directly but purchase the home or business for the individual. There would be joint ownership. The buyer could pay 10% down payment and start off as a 10% owner of the house or company. That person would then pay back the loan. With every payment, the leasee would own a greater percentage of the home or business and build immediate equity until the home is paid off.

There are interesting things that could be done to deal with profits and appreciation. There could be an arrangement that if the home or business appreciated in value during repayment, that a portion of those profits would go to the bank and the leasee according to the % ownership each had in the home or business. Individual investors in this new anti-banking institution would become part owners. When an individual opens up a savings account and deposits money, the bank would issue that individual stock. As the bank's investments and properties appreciate and earn profits, those profits would be divided among all the stock holders. A great name for the anti-bank would be the Kirtland Safety Society.

Pay Off the National Debt
The problem with being slaves to interest and indebtedness, is that the whole United States of America is a slave to the multi-national banks and foreign governments who own the bulk of our savings bonds. Right now, nearly a quarter of our yearly budget goes just to pay the interest on the national debt. That is just the interest on 10 trillion dollars. One idea that would solve our nation's debt problem and fix our banking system is to simply print 10 trillion dollars and pay off our debtors. To make sure that printing that much money doesn't devalue our currency, the US could end the practice of fractional reserve banking. The need for banks to borrow more money would offset the glut of extra dollars in the system. Then, our govenment would need to commit to balancing the budget and shun deficit spending and never again sell our savings bonds to foreign governments.