Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Health Care Reform Summit

As was expected, the Health Care Reform Summit was a flop. The reforms are needed as was discussed in an earlier post on this subject. However, a televised debate like this Summit is not the right forum to reach agreement as it only forces the participants to stick to their own positions as they impress their base.

It looks like that the Summit’s purpose was to convince the public that Obama did try to get a bipartisan agreement and since it did not happen, he can move on by bypassing the filibuster. This will set a bad precedent. Obama and the Democrats should understand that public is not dumb and that these short cuts will come back and haunt them when the Republicans take control of the Congress and the White House which may happen as soon as 2012.

It is time to take a deep breadth on Health Care Reform and focus on the economy and job creation.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

In Pursuit of Happiness

A recent article in New York Times discusses that the young adults seem to become more spiritual however are not necessarily following the organized religions. Young people are turned off by the organized religions as most of them have become corrupt over the period of time. The baby boomers rebelled against religious Puritanism and Generation X carried on this further becoming agnostic and atheist. However, that did not result happiness either. No wonder, the pendulum seems to be swinging back towards spirituality among the young adults belonging to Generation Y or the Millennial. This generation is more open to new ideas and will be less orthodox in its views. It is a warning to the organized religions. The choice for them is either to become more open, tolerant and willing to change or decay.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Health Care Reforms in America

America is spending 17.3% of its GDP on health care and still does not have universal health care. There is no question that America needs Health Care Reform. However meaningful health care reforms are not possible without addressing controlling the spiraling health care costs. This requires

1. Tort reforms to limit the liabilities of medical profession

2. Immigration reforms to collect taxes from illegals as they do use related

3. Efficiency i.e. single payer system vs. current system.

The approach taken by Obama and Democrats thus far does not address cost issues as Trial Lawyers are one of the biggest donors to the Democratic Party and the Democrats have no guts to stand up to the unions. On the other hand, the Republicans must realize that the current system has not worked and should look at a single payer system with supplemental benefits being provided by the private sector.

Further Obama's mistake of giving health care reform number one priority during a deep recession has caused loss of public support for health care reforms making it difficult to pass any related bill. What Obama and Democrats need to focus first on is economy and job creation. The health care reform should be handled later in a bipartisan manner.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dealing with Taliban

It will be surprising if Pakistan Military and specially its secret service ISI do not know the whereabouts Taliban supreme leader, Mullah Omar or Al Qaeda’s Bin Laden and al-Zawahari. Taliban are after all were the created by ISI after Soviet’s exit from Afghanistan in late eighties. The capture of Mullah Baradar is not that significant. It is likely that it was done by ISI to win US confidence and to get more US aid. Taliban is a very puritan and conservative Wahabi type sect and agreement they will reach would be for short term advantage to serve their interest. Don’t expect long term solutions dealing with them.

The key to success in dealing with Taliban is to have dialogue with Afghanistan’s large Pashtun population and to facilitate their active participation in the political process. However, their leaders need US protection and security from Taliban attacks to move ahead with a political solution.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Energy conservation, renewable energy and mass transit are great ideas and should be pursued aggressively. However carbon based energy sources can not be eliminated in the short run. There need to be a long term plan to bring in clean technology. The oil exporting countries can high five each other for now, however in due course of time they will be running out of oil. The strategy should be for clean and renewable energy sources to increasingly supplement as oil gets depleted.

China needs to invest on environment any way as it is already one of the biggest polluters in the world.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Dealing with China

A recent article in New York Times complains that the US has only limited leverage on China. It is true and it is happening because the West and the US are incapable of playing hard ball. It is time for American and Western leaders to realize that China only understands and respects power play. Thus America’s weapon sale to Taiwan was a move in the right direction and despite all the whining by China, its message is understood by the Chinese dictators.

America and the West must also force China to float its currency at the market rate. It is ridiculous that despite a $2 trillion dollars of foreign currency reserve, Chinese currency is still allowed to be pegged to US dollar at an artificially low rate determined by China. There will a lot of support for this action in the world as by keeping its currency artificially low, China is hurting the economies of many other countries. If China refuses to do so, there should be a world wide boycott of products made in China.

Don’t worry about China overplaying its. China knows that militarily it is not as strong as America right now. Unless America and West wake up now, in another ten year their hands will be a lot weaker in confronting a militarily equally strong China. The time to tame this Dragon is now.
It is ridiculous that despite a $2 trillion dollars of foreign currency reserve, Chinese currency is still allowed to be pegged to US dollar at an artificially low rate determined by China. America and the West should stand up and force China to float it’s currency at the market rate and if China refuses to do so, there should be a world wide boycott of products made in China.