Why Are American Health Care Costs So High?

Great video, detailing quickly a VERY complex problem. It’s interesting that the US is supposed to be Land of the Free Markets, but what ends up most often than not is the people get screwed.

I’d say this also applies to telecoms too (something I know better, if you excuse the diversion, it does relate). The lack of regulation (ooh many Yanks HATE the R word) means people only have a few choices, from big companies like the Big Pharma and medical companies setting the price as a cartel, or inelastic demand as said in the video.

Sometimes you have to actually regulate the market to make it free and fair – and indeed better for business. This is what the likes of OffCom, government, EU, DTI and others did in the UK when a few suppliers like Vodafone ruled the market – the transferability of numbers, SIM cards, fair prices for roaming etc. all had to be ruled on and forced into place – but have lead to all manner of new secondary businesses and opportunities.

Big stagnant corporations are bad for people AND business. So in the Healthcare and Telecoms fields in the US I think need such ‘interference’ to make it a fair playing field…not sure why right-wingers were so horrified at Obama’s new and rather meagre reforms, because it would actually be better in the end for them too – lower taxes or premiums, better service, better healthcare for most means less social problems, everyone wins.

But of course, those right-wing politicians are in the pocket of the status quo – big Pharma, the big Telecoms corporates, big oil and tobacco, etc. They don’t want to regulate as it hurts their kickbacks, it hurts the bottom lines of their rich funders who want to keep screwing the people for all they can get. And then those people criticise other countries like Venezuela or in South America especially as being ‘corrupt’. Very odd.

Return to the Cloud: Clams Casino, Trill and the new D.A.I.S.Y. age

A few years ago I was all about what later got called ‘Cloud Rap’ – Main Attracktionz, Babe Rainbow, Odd Future – I saw it as the hip hop successor to witch house and an extension of IDM. I tuned out, partly because the lyrical content wasn’t there, and listening now to the more recent likes of A$AP Rocky, Lil B etc. I was correct. Dumb rap for dumb people…sadly that meant I missed Clams Casino, a producer who thankfully releases instrumentals so you can ignore the trill (True + Real = Dumb stupid gangsta) shit. If you listen to one of his most recent releases, the Pia Mia and Chance collaboration, hopefully it’s a sign that Clams is graduating from those who didn’t graduate, and onto something smarter.

I really rate Chance and Vic Mensa, and hope Clams works more with people who know that the four elements never included guns, bitches and bling. Of course hip hop is also about speaking YOUR truth, whatever it is – but I doubt most of these people live the life, especially the likes of Drake – they’d be dead in a week.

Anyway really loving the Clams sound, as Tom from Wild Beasts put it, there’s something feminine about this. Floating, beautiful…which makes it all the odd when some B-grade rapper spits hatred and dumbness over it…these tunes deserve far better. Even working with HAIM would be a step forward (they added vocals to A$AP’s LVL, one of the few redeeming features, and I’m not a big fan of HAIM…) or maybe he should work with De La Soul?

Always saddened as a hip hop fan that all this interest in psychedelics and Molly (MDMA), even the wooziness of purple drank and disorientation of chopping and screwing didn’t lead to some new DAISY age, a Third Summer of Hip Hop Love. Where intelligence or imagination can win out over hatred, tired gangsta tropes and commercial blaxploitation. I mean contrast this with the positivity of another great beatmaker, J. Dilla with the UMMAH/Native Tongues crew and De La Soul.

Thankfully De La have returned to that and released a great mixtape called Smell the DA.I.S.Y (DA Inner Soul of Yancy). It’s recommended, and really schools those cloud rap / trill rappers into where they should be going, rather than boring us with the same old dumb gangsta fantasy selling to 14 year old white middle class boys. Positivity, intelligence, still keeping it to their truth and real (NOT realness, don’t copy drag terms please!*) and not selling out their pride or integrity:

* I was at the Tate Britain last night, they had some street fashion event and they had a talk about ‘realness’ – nothing in the blurb mentioned where that phrase came from. Sad and desperate that a vogueing/drag term has been co-opted by urban fashion without spreading the love back. Boo. Go find your own terms, or respect the source. And no, like Madonna just watching Paris Is Burning once doesn’t give you the right…

A history test with dragons and bewbs

Honest Trailers do it again with Game Of Thrones. Warning: Season 1-3 spoilers, so if you’re still stuck north of the wall, hurry up, winter is coming! Also, you might want to watch the spoiler-less version. But it’s not as funny (since most of it is blurred or beeped out!). (via Andy Dunproofin)

Wombling Free (+ £99 handling charge)

This months ‘Good Work That Man (Or Woman)’ award goes to the wag who on April 1st changed the Kensal Rise Underground & Overground sign to add ‘Wombling Free’ to the end. (via various people, picture by Mark Mooney)

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