Will Work For Food?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Idiocy Overseas

I've been so steeped in US health care reform madness. Who would have thought we would end up with a mandate for individuals to purchase insurance, w. noncompliance punishable by a hefty fine, with no public option or any other mechanism for ensuring that at least some policies will be priced low enough for people to afford? It's an insurance exec's wet dream, IMHO, and I cannot believe our citizens aren't screaming for campaign finance reform NOW in the face of what I frankly consider to be corruption, putting lobbyist $$$ ahead of the 45,000 per year who are slain by our health insurance "system."

So I'd almost forgotten that other countries are out there, facing the Great Recession as well, and making really stupid decisions in the face of it. IMHO one example of blatant incompetence in an economic sense is being perpetrated by none other than the UK. We kind of look up to them, don't we? It's the accent or something. But they are busy tossing some of their world-renowned science, and much of their past investment in such, out the door rather than restructure some of their government funding. Talk about inertia. Their astronomy program appears to be particularly hard-hit. Interesting way to close 2009, the International Year of Astronomy.

It's almost as if, somehow, democracy has ceased to function. Perhaps having The People Rule when The People are too tired from being exploited by their multinational employers to learn anything about what their own government is really doing is something our revered forefathers did not foresee.

For more info on the UK happening:

Twitter: #stfc

1 comment:

  1. Update: At http://www.stfc.ac.uk/PMC/PRel/STFC/CouncilNews161209.aspx the announcement from the UK's Science & Technology Facilities Council re the new budget cuts can be found. Quote from the STFC chairman: "“This is a major reorganisation of our programme to focus on the top priority items making use of the international subscriptions which, while costly, allow UK scientists critically important access to the world class facilities provided by these international consortia."

    The word on the ground, however, is that the science being cast aside in favor of remaining part of the international groups is in many cases extremely cost-effective. One wonders if the British taxpayer really wants to see the all-UK programs, some of which are relatively inexpensive, given lower priority than "costly" memberships in consortia where the UK is giving their funds over to an international body.

    Another quote from the same source: “Taxpayers can be confident that their significant investment in research will deliver the highest quality, and most inspiring and beneficial, science and technology into the future,”

    That's not what is appearing in the blogs of the scientists who have first-hand knowledge of the cost/benefit ratio regarding the programs which produce actual, well you know, science.

    Guess they have spin in the UK as well.


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An undergrad economics degree was all I could afford. Alas and alack, it did not guarantee me regular meals.

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