J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 05-11-2018


Compassionate Capitalism – by Sanjiv Mehta at the #India2022Exchange

The Ethics of Health Care Reform: Issues in Emergency

This paper describes the basic provisions of the PPACA of 2010 and addresses important ethical issues of health care reform, including the moral foundations of reform, the American College of Emergency Physicians Code of Ethics as a guiding document, and health care reform’s likely effects on cost containment, public health, access to care, ED crowding, and end of life issues. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a federal statute signed into law along with its amendment, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, by President Obama in March 2010.[i] It is designed to take effect in stages over the next 8 years and includes reforms such as prohibiting insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, expanding Medicaid eligibility, subsidizing insurance premiums, and providing incentives for businesses to provide health care benefits. To understand the moral dimensions of the health care reform debate, it is useful to begin by examining the fundamental goals of our health care system. Evaluation of health care reform practices according to this Code of Ethics will provide guidance to ensure the ethical delivery of emergency medical care. An accountable care organization is defined in the PPACA as an organization of health care providers that agrees to be accountable for the quality, cost, and overall care of Medicare patients for whom they provide the bulk of primary care services. 

Xvi] ACOs have been suggested as a strategy to deliver integrated health care by promoting evidence-based medicine, reporting data about quality and cost of care, and coordinating health care. Finding the balance between provision of value in health care and cost containment remains a fundamental ethical challenge for health care reform. ACEP’s policy on Medical Screening of Emergency Department Patients states that ACEP strongly opposes deferral of care for patients presenting to the ED. Furthermore, ACEP believes that deferring care for patients presenting to the ED reflects a void in the health care system. Further bolstering an expanded scope of care argument is the fact that racial and ethnic disparities may be increased by expanded health insurance coverage by the PPACA. 

Those who have difficulties in obtaining PCP care are often from disadvantaged backgrounds, and in Massachusetts health reform did exacerbate this health care disparity. This reform will invest in community health centers and pay for primary care, to give patients options to receive non-urgent care and follow-up care in settings more appropriate than the ED. Unfortunately, PPACA does not address the underlying issues that influence ED crowding. Lxx] Health care reform provisions, including the possible future adoption by law or regulation of funding for advance care planning consultations, demonstrating the value of expert symptom management in parallel with standard therapies and improving pain management, would enhance ethical care by promoting patient autonomy and well-being, avoiding harm, and matching resources with patients’ goals for medical therapy. Ethical issues of health care reform include moral foundations, cost containment, public health, access to care, ED crowding, and end-of-life issues. 

Keywords: [“care”,”Health”,”Patient”]
Source: https://www.acep.org/Content.aspx?id=80871

The American Conservative

A few years ago I began a book about cruelty to animals and about factory farming in particular, problems that had been in the back of my mind for a long while. Industrial livestock farming is among a whole range of animal-welfare concerns that extends from canned trophy-hunting to whaling to product testing on animals to all sorts of more obscure enterprises like the exotic-animal trade and the factory farming of bears in China for bile believed to hold medicinal and aphrodisiac powers. Surveying the various uses to which animals are put, some might be defensible, others abusive and unwarranted, and it’s the job of any conservative who attends to the subject to figure out which are which. A certain moral relativism runs through the arguments of those hostile or indifferent to animal welfare-as if animals can be of value only for our sake, as utility or preference decrees. If one animal’s pain-say, that of one’s pet-is real and deserving of sympathy, then the pain of essentially identical animals is also meaningful, no matter what conventional distinctions we have made to narrow the scope of our sympathy. 

Often applying felony-level penalties to protect certain domestic animals, these state and federal statutes declare that even though your animal may elsewhere in the law be defined as your property, there are certain things you may not do to that creature, and if you are found harming or neglecting the animal, you will answer for your conduct in a court of justice. Our pets are accorded certain protections from cruelty, while the nameless creatures in our factory farms are hardly treated like animals at all. If conservatives do nothing else about any other animal issue, we should attend at least to the factory farms, where the suffering is immense and we are all asked to be complicit. If we are going to have our meats and other animal products, there are natural costs to obtaining them, defined by the duties of animal husbandry and of veterinary ethics. Factory farming came about when resourceful men figured out ways of getting around those natural costs, applying new technologies to raise animals in conditions that would otherwise kill them by deprivation and disease. 

Actually, all of factory farming proceeds by a massive denial of reality-the reality that pigs and other animals are not just production units to be endlessly exploited but living creatures with natures and needs. Factory farming is a predatory enterprise, absorbing profit and externalizing costs, unnaturally propped up by political influence and government subsidies much as factory-farmed animals are unnaturally sustained by hormones and antibiotics. 

Keywords: [“animal”,”farm”,”factory”]
Source: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/fear-factories

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 02-01-2018

Jobo Pooks: Capitalism isn’t a dirty word

Given the current climate in the UK regarding the corrupt establishment that operates under the name of capitalism, we have an ever increasing faction that sit on the hard left and push the ideology of a non-capitalist country and world. In the non-capitalist society that the radical left seek, we would all work cooperatively and all have the same, no matter how hard we worked or how much skill we offered up to that cooperative. In effect, communism – what else would it be? What would make one work hard in that kind of set-up? Why would one go the extra mile or take risks over and above anyone else for the same reward? It would soon end up a stagnant pond with nothing growing in it – a nation of bored robots with no drive to do better or improve. There is joy in challenge as we overcome obstacles and receive the rewards that we are entitled to for those struggles, but if we gather up that which we worked harder than others for, we are corrupt in not sharing the excess amongst those who do not share our ability to enter into the challenges through reasons of a natural inequality. This corruption is what gives capitalism a bad name because many people don’t see that the corruption and the greed and hoarding is not because of the capitalism itself, it’s through the abuse of it and it’s ultimately the abusers who are at fault. Capitalism is just another word for free enterprise. There are many good people in UK paying fair wages and giving good conditions to those they employ. Do you see how real capitalism – free enterprise, if used properly can enrich society? Socio-Capitalism could help to encourage drive and progress through reward, whilst also eliminating hunger, fear, war, suffering and feelings of inequality and inadequacy. In my nation, an independent republic run by and for the people that would embrace real capitalism, I would abolish the monarchy and strip it of it’s wealth – wealth attained via ancestral murder and theft. People are not stupid, as the current dictatorship seem to believe, and can make informed decisions. Sound like a utopia? It wouldn’t be and would take hard work and struggle to reach, but I believe it to be worth working and struggling for. The current mentality of the masses is one of selfish brainwashed apathetic self serving robots who can’t see that the Westminster system is and always has been corrupt and that voting is futile in a system where prime ministers are chosen by the elite machine – not elected by the people.

Keywords: [“people”,”work”,”hard”]
Source: http://realjobopooks.blogspot.com/2018/01/capitalism-isnt-dirty-word.html

Compassion for Farm Animals

Compassion for Farm Animals seeks to educate consumers about the cruelty that is both legal and commonplace in modern industrial agriculture. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, so-called factory farms – as distinct from the traditional small diversified family operations – directly or indirectly account for almost all of the animal products consumed each year. Social and technological change over the last century have created a Hobson’s Choice for farmers, forcing them to choose between the welfare of their animals and the welfare of their families. “Some of the things that make capitalism a good economic system – technology, specialization, low-cost production, and competition – are the very things that push farmers to adopt practices that oppress animals,” wrote Hope College professor Steven McMullen in the Journal of Animal Ethics. “In a competitive market, profit margins are extremely small, and so farmers either have to adopt the low-cost production methods or go out of business.” Given its systemic roots, the surest way to end the suffering of farm animals is to eliminate demand for those “Products” raised through inhumane technologies. “Their lives are filled with pain, confusion, and loneliness,” wrote Gene Baur, who co-founded the nation’s first sanctuary for farm animals. Saving farm animals from intense suffering is not an ideological issue. Mathew Scully, a speechwriter for President George W. Bush, called industrial farming “a serious moral problem, a truly rotten business for good reason passed over in polite conversation.” The conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote that “Our great-grandchildren will find it difficult to believe that we actually raised, herded, and slaughtered [animals] on an industrial scale – for the eating.” And the former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart and wife Tracey recently turned a New Jersey farm into a sanctuary for rescued farm animals. Extending compassion to farm animals gives us the chance to be a part of something great, something historic, something far larger than ourselves. As the Greek historian Plutarch once wrote, “For the sake of a little flesh, we deprive the animals of the sun, of the light, of the duration of life to which they are entitled by birth and being.” Compassion for Farm Animals is about giving them back their sun, their light, and the quality of life that all creatures deserve.

Keywords: [“animal”,”Farm”,”wrote”]
Source: http://www.compassionforfarmanimals.org

JR Test Site News for 01-18-2018

A New Democratic Enlightenment?

For once upon a time the Social Democratic Workers’ Party of Austria was among the most powerful, dynamic and forward-thinking party machines of the modern world. The theme of our European Forum Alpbach symposium on politics is the New Enlightenment so here’s my opening conjecture: the language and ideal of social democracy has its roots in the 18th-century Enlightenment. My research on Thomas Paine and the eighteenth century tried to complicate matters by making the point that the Enlightenment also included champions of civil rights, social justice and democratic representation, rebels and radicals who were sharply aware of the miseries suffered by people ground down by modern institutions not of their own choosing. The social democratic critique of free market capitalism proved compelling for millions of people. There is no time for me to recall the great moments of high drama, conceptual strife and contradictions, dark sides and luscious ironies that form part of a recorded history that includes courageous struggles of the downtrodden to form co-operatives, friendly societies, free trade unions, and to spread literacy and win the struggle for the universal franchise through social democratic parties. Membership of social democratic parties has dipped dramatically. Social democratic parties were among the slowest to react to the upheavals effected by the digital, globally networked communications revolution that began during the 1960s. Social democratic parties have shown limited awareness of the emergence, since the 1940s, of monitory democracy. Operating within the boundaries of territorial states, social democratic parties and governments have consequently been weakened and victimised by what Albert Einstein dubbed ‘spooky action at a distance’: cross-border butterfly effects, arbitrage pressures and quantum tunnels, all of which have greatly complicated the politics of wealth and income redistribution;. The rise of the People’s Republic of China as an economic great power on the global power stage has had two ironic effects: it has weakened an important part of the social support base of social democracy and established a viable ‘socialist’ alternative to capitalism in social democratic form: one party state capitalism legitimated by locally-made forms of democratic rule; and. For more than half a generation, beginning with works such as Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring , green thinkers, scientists, journalists, politicians and social movement activists have been pointing out that the whole social democratic tradition is implicated deeply in the spoliation of our planet. Hence they call for a new politics with green qualities, a new democratic enlightenment that poses a fundamental challenge to both the style and substance of the old social democracy, or what remains of it. Especially striking is the new enlightenment’s call for the ‘de-commodification’ of the biosphere, in effect, the replacement of social democracy’s will to dominate nature and its innocent attachment to History with a more prudent sense of ‘deep time’ aware of the fragile complexity of the biosphere and its multiple rhythms. The new democratic enlightenment is opposed to the old social democratic metaphysics of economic progress, and the machismo of its favoured imagery of warrior male bodies gathered at the gates of pits, docks and factories, singing hymns to industrial growth, under smoke-stained skies. These social democrats aim to retrieve its most fruitful old ‘wish image’ to deal politically with the new problems of our time.

Keywords: [“social”,”democracy”,”New”]
Source: http://theconversation.com/a-new-democratic-enlightenment-66013

capitalism – An Outside Chance

While A Foodie’s Guide is lacking in recipes or menu ideas, it shines in helping us to understand the struggles of the men and women who work in the farms and packing plants. It explains why major capitalists have typically shown little interest in direct involvement in agriculture – preferring to make their money selling farm inputs, trading farm commodities, or turning farm products into the thousands of refined products that fill supermarket shelves. “Markets have been around a long time,” he writes, “But before the nineteenth century did not organize society as they do today.” He shows how capitalism in England arose concurrently with vigorous state intervention which drove people off their small farms and into the industrial labour pool. Even today, people go to great lengths to avoid having their lands swallowed up by capitalist agriculture – especially since this transition typically results in widespread consolidation of farms, leaving most former farmers to try to earn a living as landless labourers. Holt-Giménez offers a good primer in Marxist theory here, showing why it has always been difficult for capitalists to extract surplus value directly from the labour of farmers. In industrialized countries, the farm workers who pick fruit and vegetables or work in packing plants tend to be immigrants on temporary work permits. In the US a large majority of farms, including massive farms which raise monoculture crops using huge machinery, are run by individual families rather than corporations. An important recent development in this regard is contract farming, which Holt-Giménez refers to as “a modern version of sharecropping and tenant farming”. “Through a market-specification contract, the firm guarantees the producer a buyer, based on agreements regarding price and quality, and with a resource-providing contract the firm also provides production inputs. If the firm provides all the inputs and buys all of the product, it essentially controls the production process while the farmer basically provides land and labor.” Meanwhile farmers with purchase contracts in hand can go to the bank for operating loans, but they lose control over most decisions about production on their own land. Contract farming dominates the poultry industry in the US and the pork market is now rapidly undergoing “Chickenization”. “Because peasant-style farming usually takes place on smaller farms, the total output is less than capitalist or entrepreneurial farms. However, their total output per unit of land tends to be higher. This is why, as capitalist agriculture converts peasant-style farms to entrepreneurial and capitalist farms, there is often a drop in productivity.” Holt-Giménez writes “Farmers are nutrient-deficient because they don’t have enough land to grow a balanced diet. These are political, not technical problems.” Yes, access to land is a critical political issue – but can we be sure that the answers are only political, and not in part technical as well? After all, famines predated capitalism, and have occurred in widely varying economic contexts even in the past century. Facing these challenges, farming knowledge and techniques that used to work very well may require serious adaptation. With a good grasp of the way capitalism distorts food production, plus an understanding of the class struggles that permeate the global food business, foodies stand a chance of turning the food movement into an effective force for change.

Keywords: [“farm”,”food”,”land”]
Source: https://anoutsidechance.com/tag/capitalism