Business & Economy
Uninsurance, Healthcare Reform, and Economic Myths PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Dr. Kenneth Smith, M.D.   
Monday, 29 October 2012 14:21

By author/contributor G. Keith Smith, M.D.

The myth that lack of health insurance is a cause of 18,000 deaths per year, along with nearly a million bankruptcies, has been promulgated yet again in The New York Times by economist Paul Krugman.

One of his outrageous fact-free claims is that uninsured people avoid the emergency rooms for fear of large bills, and so they die. But if the poor are avoiding the emergency rooms, how can health care for the poor in the emergency rooms be bankrupting hospitals? This claim is also false. Otherwise, why is there a building crane in front of every big city emergency room I’ve ever seen?

“So there’s no real question that lack of insurance is responsible for thousands, and probably tens of thousands, of excess deaths of Americans each year,” writes Krugman. But the Institute of Medicine’s estimate that lack of insurance leads to 18,000 excess deaths each year is almost certainly incorrect. Richard Kronick’s recent study debunks this idea completely. He concludes: “It is not possible to draw firm causal inferences from the results of observational analyses, but there is little evidence to suggest that extending insurance coverage to all adults would have a large effect on the number of deaths in the United States.”

Krugman asserts that expansion of Medicaid, on which ObamaCare depends for its claim of increasing coverage, saves lives. This has been proven false by Professor June O’Neill, former director of the Congressional Budget Office. Patients might as well wear their Medicaid card around their neck rather than keeping it in their wallet. It is like a scarlet letter that precludes entrance into most physicians’ offices. This card gives many, just like our Canadian brethren to the north, only a right to hope for care.

Many physicians are also curtailing their exposure to Medicare patients because of payment and regulatory hassles, threats of stiff penalties (including jail time for miscoded claims), and government price controls mandating artificially low payments.

“Coverage” doesn’t mean care. It can instead be a barrier to access to care. Think about it. If you have “insurance” coverage (whatever that means) and your insurance company decides that they don’t want to pay for a bone marrow transplant, or they set the payment for one so low that no one will do it (one and the same thing), you are not going to get a bone marrow transplant. Period. If the IPAB (Independent Payment Advisory Board) decides that the payment to a physician for an open heart surgery is less than anyone is willing to do it for, guess how many open heart surgeries will be done? Folks like Krugman, not the market, will be in charge of deciding what these types of procedures are worth. Even more government involvement in health care is what he is advocating.

Of the 1.5 million individual bankruptcies declared every year, 62% involve medical bills. Less well known is that 78% of those filing for medical bill reasons had insurance. These folks have “coverage.” Is this the security Mr. Krugman would bring to us all?

Concerning bankruptcy, keep in mind that Krugman is the poster child for Keynesian economics, the economic thought that holds that an individual or a government can borrow its way to prosperity. This economic theory has prevailed in this country for a long time, primarily because big-government advocates love to spend the wealth belonging to future wage earners, as the future voter’s wrath represents no threat to them. Krugman, as a mouthpiece for this insanity, which will bankrupt both federal and state governments, bears a lot of responsibility. The central bank and deficit spending have no greater advocate than he.

Krugman’s economic myths can cause real mortality. But neither he nor The New York Times can be sued for economic malpractice.


Website Advice for Businesses PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 29 October 2012 14:03
Duct Tape My Software And Hope For The Best?
By: Joe Thomas

The clients are different, but the question is always basically the same. Can you redesign my website? 

It doesn't matter how the question is phrased, every time it's asked, I give the same response:

There is no such thing as a Re Design. It's true; a redesign of a website is simply a repackaging. It's taking the same content and putting it in a new dress. Or taking the same software or function and adding some make-up. Now seriously, why would you want to do that?

There can only be a handful of reasons to even entertain the thought of it:

1. The current site doesn't work. It's broken, kaput!
2. The current site is no longer effectively selling your product or service.
3. It's outdated and ugly.
4. You just woke up and decided to change everything for the sake of changing things.
5. Somebody told you it was a good idea.

Here's a breakdown of those reasons, and whether or not a redesign is the solution.

1. If the current site is broken: Well if it's broke, you've got to fix it. And if it needs to be fixed, why use duct tape and glue? Building it correctly from the ground up is a smarter use of your money, and will most likely cost you the same thing - or less. And you can build it with the latest technology, optimized for search, easier updating and better functionality

2. If the site is no longer effectively selling your product or service: Why repackage something that doesn't sell? A good developer will tell you why it's not selling - he just needs to look at the data. Let him show you why it's a lame duck, then have him give you the alternatives.

3. If it's outdated and ugly: Well this is pretty self-explanatory but I will say this: I've seen a lot of "ugly" sites sell a lot of product; don't base your decision on ugly - that's a matter of opinion. I've told many people with ugly sites NOT to touch them. Hey, if they sell, who cares what they look like, right? Outdated is a different story. You can't compete with today's sites using outdated technology. Just ask MySpace

4. If you just woke up and decided to change everything: Go shoe shopping. Buy a new hat. But realize when you call a web developer, you're not going to be happy with anything he does. You'll be wasting your money and driving some poor developer nutso for nothing.

5. If somebody told you to redesign your website: Odds are, that person is a web designer - NOT a web developer, and trust me, there is a huge difference between the two. A web designer is going to give you exactly what you ask for - the colors, the content, the buttons, the pictures - the exact website you tell him to build. A web developer is going to tell you honestly if and why you're wrong about all of those things. A developer is going to tell you that your bio is great, but it doesn't sell you. Or that your photos make you look like an alien life form. A developer is going to tell you how and why to build it this way. And let's be honest - if you knew the exact site you needed to have with the colors, content, buttons and pictures, you wouldn't need to hire someone would you?

If I want to build a house, I'm going to call a guy who builds houses, not a guy who paints them.

So, when is it time to redesign? If your site isn't selling, it's possible that tweaking the content, navigational tools or other elements will help. But before you decide a paint job is the answer, consult a web developer, who can provide an objective opinion based on quantifiable data.

When is it time to build anew? If your site is broken or outdated, it may be time to tear it down to the studs and start fresh, using all the new wisdom and whirligigs that have become available just in the past five years or so.

In either case, I suggest staying away from the duct tape.

About Joe Thomas

Joe Thomas is the founder and owner of Left Brain Digital (, a web development company. He’s an award-winning web designer/developer with more than 18 years of experience in print and web design and development. Thomas' work became a major influence in graphic and web design in the "Y2K" era of the Internet's dot-com explosion.

Office Tips for Small Businesses PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 29 October 2012 13:24

Consider Buying Your Office Space, Expert Advises Small Businesses

The ‘5 Cs’ Lenders Look for When Considering Applicants

It’s not a question of if, but when most business owners should think about owning commercial property, says financial expert and small-business advocate, Chris Hurn.

Owning your workplace is a path toward long-term wealth – one that doesn’t rely on constantly bringing in new income, says Hurn, author of “The Entrepreneur’s Secret to Creating Wealth: How the Smartest Business Owners Build Their Fortunes,” (

“Once they’ve established their business, usually after about three to six years of operation, they should look into property ownership – owning their store, office, or other workspace,” says Hurn, who has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek and other financial publications and TV news shows.

“The smartest way to do that is through the SBA 504 – a little-known loan program administered by the Small Business Administration. It offers long-term financing at below-market fixed rates, which businesses generally can’t get through banks.”

Whether or not business owners qualify for the SBA 504, they will benefit by knowing the “five Cs” lenders look at when considering loans, Hurn says.

• Collateral: Lenders – usually banks – will want to know that the property in question is worth the loan. The property to be purchased is the lender’s collateral, so it must have the potential to cover the loan if for some reason owners can’t. Lenders will consider the age of a property and other factors, including whatever equipment may be involved.

• Cash flow (or capacity): The lender will look to see how much cash the business generates along with the amount of existing and proposed debt. In other words, they’ll want to know the cash available to service the total debt. A lender will also consider current rental payments, plus noncash expenses such as depreciation, amortization and interest costs.

• Credit analysis: This reveals the business owner’s history of making good on debts and other obligations. The higher the credit scores, the better. Lenders generally shy away from credit scores lower than 650, however, they will often listen to credible explanations on lower scores.

• Character: Numerous late payments, for example, suggest that owners do not manage debts responsibly, which will likely be indicated in a credit score. Factors that determine character judgment are largely subjective. An applicant can supply evidence in his or her favor.

• Conditions: What are the conditions in the industry and the economy? The better those conditions, the more likely lenders are to give applicants a plus in this bracket. Conditions are often out of a borrower’s control, which makes a positive showing of the other four factors that much more important.

About Chris Hurn

Chris Hurn is CEO and co-founder of Mercantile Capital Corp. based in Orlando, Fla. MCC has earned numerous accolades and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek magazine, Forbes and SmartMoney, among others. Hurn has been a frequent guest on Fox Business News and PBS. He graduated from Loyola University Chicago with two magna cum laude bachelor’s degrees and earned his master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute (formerly at the Wharton School of Business).  He is also the CEO, chairman and co-founder of an upscale men’s barbershop franchise called Kennedy’s All-American Barber Club.

Horse racing in other states "surviving" because of racinos. PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Illinois Revenue and Jobs Alliance   
Monday, 29 October 2012 13:19
The state’s Commission on Government Forecasting & Accountability (COGFA) recently issued an update on the Illinois gaming industry. The COGFA report states that revenue generated by slot machines at race tracks would make horse racing more competitive with neighboring states, and would help sustain the industry in Illinois.

From page 64 of the report:

"...having this other source of revenue would give Illinois horse tracks a
secondary source of income needed to offer competitive purses, which should help
sustain horse racing in Illinois. Without this additional source of revenue, the horse
racing industry will likely see its dramatic declines continue. And without the
ability to compete with other states, many fear that the pressure on some Illinois
horse tracks to close for good may become insurmountable."

For the full report: Click here

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