Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Entitlement Mentality ~ Obama's Aunt Edition

Malkin: Obama’s Aunt Update: ‘The System Took Advantage of Me’


"If I come as an immigrant, you have the obligation to make me a citizen."

"I didn't take any advantage of the system. The system took advantage of me."

Onyango came to the U.S. from Kenya in 2000 and was denied asylum by an immigration judge in 2004.

She stayed in the country illegally, living in Boston public housing, where she remains to this day. She also currently receives $700 per month in disability benefits.

She was granted asylum earlier this year by the same judge who said she could be in danger if she returned to her homeland because of her relationship with the president.

"It's a great country," she said of the U.S. "It's nice to live here. You can do whatever you want when you live here."

"To me, America's dream became America's worst nightmare,"

It's a great country! Hell to the yeah it is compared to Kenya. In Kenya the per capita GDP is $1,000 a year. In America she lives in Boston Public Housing and gets an additional disability check for $700 a month. The disability total is $8,400 a year. The free rent total has to be at least that much subsidy in a big city like Boston. The average rent for a one bedroom in Boston is $1,000. $12,000 in rent and $8,400 in disablity checks is $20,400 per year. The cost of living in Boston is 240% the national average. I bet she gets $400+ per month in foodstamps. That should take us up to $25,000 a year.

But it doesn't end there. She also gets free medical care and somebody paid for her lawyer too. And sending her to trial multiple times had to cost a pretty penny, those resources are not free.

"She was paralyzed for more than three months because of an autoimmune disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome and had to learn to walk again".

Wonder how much three months in the hospital costs? I bet she racked up over $100,000 in hospital bills.

I would estimate that we have already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on her in the form of one subsidy or another. Housing, Government Checks, Food Stamps, Health Care and Legal services add up. And I doubt she has ever paid a penny in federal taxes.

The worst part is she isn't even gracious about it. We have some sort of duty to her to giver her all this stuff. She doesn't thank the taxpayer for her "American Nightmare". Talk about the entitlement mentality.

It is enough to make me vomit.


Update: The costs in the United States related to Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) have been estimated as $110,000 for direct health care

This rental estimate for Boston Housing indicates 1 bedrooms rent in a range between $1,200 & $1,600 per month ($14,400 - $19,200 a year)

And it looks like I was a bit high on the food stamps. She probably gets something in a range of $150 - $200 a month. Who knows what other social services (both public and private) she also takes advantage of.

~ Sphere: Related Content

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Drug Pipeline and the FDA

No RefillsBy Megan McArdle

Over time, critics say, high-profile disasters like Fen-Phen and Vioxx, which killed or seriously harmed some of the people who took them, have encouraged ever-more-stringent review. The number of clinical trials required to support a new-drug application has more than doubled since 1980, while the number of patients needed in each trial has almost tripled. As a result of these and many other factors, the clinical-trial stage now costs more than four times as much, even after adjusting for inflation.


This means that clinical trials have unwanted side effects. Because of their astronomical expense, one drug with a huge market is more commercially desirable than 25 drugs that each treat a less common disease, because only one set of trials is necessary. If you’re targeting a disease that affects relatively few people, one of two things will happen: the drug will be very expensive, or the drug will be shelved because it’s unlikely to earn back its R&D investment.

Tougher safety and efficacy standards may also be keeping good drugs out of the public’s hands. Most people agree that today’s FDA would not have approved aspirin; even penicillin, the miracle drug that helped dramatically extend the human lifespan when introduced in the early 1940s, is questionable. Allergic reactions to penicillin kill a higher percentage of its takers than Vioxx ever did, while the gastrointestinal bleeding produced by aspirin means it probably would have flunked while still in animal testing.

Interesting stuff. We are killing ourselves with regulation.

Here is Milton Friedman on the FDA:

TAKE IT TO THE LIMITS: Milton Friedman on Libertarianism


ROBINSON The Food and Drug Administration which regulates everything from the drugs that pharmaceutical companies may put on the market to the ingredients in items we purchase off the grocery store shelves. Let me give you an example- Thalidomide [FRIEDMAN Everybody's favorite example...] Well I may be leading with my chin on this one but I'm going to lead with it anyway. 50's and 60's it is marketed in Europe as a drug to help women get through the nausea that they sometimes experience during pregnancy. The Food and Drug Administration said it had been inadequately tested in the United States and forbade it to be marketed in this country with the result that thousands of children were born with horrible birth defects in Europe to mothers who had used Thalidomide but that didn't happen to American children, because the FDA had intervened and kept that drug off the market. Thank god for the FDA, right?

FRIEDMAN Wrong [ROBINSON Alright, why?] this is a case in which they did save lives, this was a good case, but suppose they are equally slow in adopting a drug which turns out to be very good and beneficial. How would you ever see the lives that are lost because of that? You're an FDA official, you have a question of whether to approve or disapprove a new drug. If you approve it and it turns out to be a bad drug like Thalidomide, you're in the soup, your name is going to be on every front page [ROBINSON cost me my job, I get hauled up to Congress to testify..] right. On the other hand if you disapprove it, but it turns out to be good, well then later on you approve it four or five years later, nobody's going to complain about the fact that you didn't approve it earlier except those greedy pharmaceutical companies that want make profits at the expense of the public, as everybody will say. So the result is that the pressure on the FDA is always to be late in approving. And there's enormous evidence that they have caused more deaths by late approvals than they have saved by early approval.

ROBINSON So your view is abolish the FDA..

FRIEDMAN Absolutely [ROBINSON And what comes up in its place?] what comes up? It's in the self-interest of pharmaceutical companies not to have these bad things. Do you think the manufacturer of Thalidomide made a profit out of Thalidomide or lost? [ROBINSON I see, ok.] And you have to have..people should be responsible for harm that they do. It should've been possible...[ROBINSON So tort law takes care of a lot of this.] Absolutely, absolutely..
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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bankrupt California Paying Lifeguards $150k a Year In Retirement

A Tsunami Approaches: The Beginning of the Great Deconstruction
by Robert J. Cristiano 09/05/2010, New Geography

By 2010, the general public received a series of shocks. The first shock was the jobless recovery of the Great Recession that cost 8 million jobs. Most of the job losses occurred in the private sector yet the majority of the $800 billion Stimulus Bill went to “save and create” public sector employment. The second shock was learning that civil servants earned twice that of private workers. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Federal workers received average pay and benefits of $123,049 while private workers made $61,051 in total compensation. The third shock was revelation of incredible retirement plans doled out by politicians since 1999. In 2002, California passed SB 183 that allowed police and safety workers to retire after 30 years on the job with 3% of salary for each year of service, or 90% of their last year’s pay. During the Great Recession, fireman began retiring with $150,000 pensions at age 52 despite a life expectancy approaching 80. In Orange County CA, lifeguards, deemed safety workers, retired with $147,000 annual pensions. The Orange County sheriff, recently convicted of witness tampering, will receive $215,000 annually while in jail. Bob Citron, the Treasurer of Orange County who pushed the county into bankruptcy in the 1990s, receives a pension of $150,000 per year. A tsunami of anger and resentment is building.

New Geography is a great site with lots of interesting material on the front page and in the archives. Highly recommmended. Read the whole thing here.

I wish I was a retired lifeguard making $150,000 a year. When California goes before the judge and asks for a federal bailout we are going to have to all pay for that lifeguard's lavish retirement.

I will do whatever I can to fight bailing them out for that type of spending. When you read the numbers it blows your mind. Sphere: Related Content