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Buying A Job — Why Now?
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Buying A Job

We have two members of the plutocracy attempting to buy elected positions in Florida.

Rick Scott is running against Bill McCollum for the Republican nomination for governor of Florida, and Jeff Greene is running against Kendrick Meek for the Democratic nomination for US Senator. Scott is a multi-millionaire while Greene is a billionaire. It is almost impossible to avoid the output from their self-financed campaigns.

Scott made his money the old-fashioned way, from Medicare and Medicaide as the CEO of HCA [formerly Hospital Corporation of America]. Despite record fines for his corporation’s billing practices, HCA made enough money to reward Scott with tens of millions of dollars in compensation.

While one of the secrets of HCA’s huge profits was cutting costs by eliminating jobs, Scott keeps saying he is going to cut taxes and the jobs will magically appear, i.e. another supply-side true-believer with nary a clue as to how the economy works. Of course he opposes the Federal government, not realizing that the stimulus is about to end and Florida is in dire financial straits, making tax cuts irrelevant as no one has any money for taxes anyway.

I know more about what Greene was up to because I was in California when he made his stake in the 1980s during the over-heated real estate market by flipping properties. He bought distressed properties, did some rehab, and re-sold them. He says that he has a proven record of job creation, but hiring day-labors to do some rehab work isn’t creating permanent jobs.

Greene left when the bubble deflated and made the big money with credit default swaps. One of the few big winners in the global financial melt-down thinks that he has the skills to create jobs, after destroying tens of thousands of jobs with his Wall Street gambling.

There’s no telling what the people of Florida will do, but these guys are part of the problem with our economy, not the solution.

At this point in time, the Democrat Alex Sink looks good for the position of governor, and Charlie Crist is running ahead in the Senate race. These guys are doing a lot of damage to their primary opponents, and that isn’t good for the chances of their supposed parties in November.


1 cookie jill { 07.24.10 at 10:19 pm }

Buying a job. That’s what Meg Whitman is trying to do out here in Kahliforneehyah.

2 Bryan { 07.24.10 at 10:29 pm }

Mike Bloomberg really started the latest cycle, but the Rockefellers did it for years.

I have to say that the Rockefellers did it from a sense of noblesse oblige, like the Roosevelts , while the modern group thinks that they deserve power.

It occurs to me that the modern group also tends to be the nouveau riche who are almost always tacky people. 😉

3 cookie jill { 07.25.10 at 2:19 pm }

Here in Santa Barbara we have long had “noblese oblige” keeping our city interesting…The Fleischmann’s (of yeast fame) were particularly generous.
Now the uberwealthy just want to keep to themselves and not have to deal with the hoi polloi. Ty Warner (of beanie babie fame) threw money at the SB Natural History Museum to get his name on the Sea Center…but won’t give a cent more. And, of course, he doesn’t want to even come into town to deal with real folks. Oprah used the Montecito YMCA parking lot for her guests at one her parties because she didn’t want people messing up here landscaping….of course she never ASKED the Y if she could…

I’ll agree with you on the nouveau riche. TACKY and I’ll throw in “classless”, too.

4 Bryan { 07.25.10 at 4:36 pm }

They understand about privilege, but not about the accompanying obligation.

5 Badtux { 07.26.10 at 10:35 am }

A bit more on HCA — a relative was a nursing supervisor at one of their hospitals. She noted a disturbing pattern of uninsured patients being transferred from their ER to the nearest public hospital (35 miles away) dying in transit. A check of medical records found that they should have never been transferred because they were not medically stable. Note that it is illegal to discharge patients from your ER for transport to another hospital if they are not medically stable. But also note that “medically stable” is a medical term, if you can get a doctor to sign off that a patient is “medically stable”, then it’s hard to prove any general misdeed. The hospital was sued by the families of patients who died in transit for medical malpractice, and generally settled out of court for a five-figure sum of money in exchange for sealing the record, but it was hard to prove that the hospital itself was involved.

Well, until one day she went in to talk to the ER head, and he wasn’t there… but a pile of papers was on his desk. She idly looked at them and realized she was looking at a smoking gun — a memo from HCA headquarters demanding that they transfer more uninsured ER patients to the public hospital, which noted that the lawsuit settlements for the percentage that died in transit were cheaper than admitting and treating the patients would have been. I.e., patient dumping wasn’t an accident. It was being actively demanded by corporate headquarters.

She took this to regulators, of course — nurses aren’t in the business of killing patients in order to increase profits, after all. She was illegally fired after regulators leaked her name to HCA, of course — the regulators went to the same schools as HCA administrators, of *course* they were more concerned about HCA’s profits than about, well, whether HCA complied with the law that outlaws patient dumping. The relative shrugged, and went to work for the public hospital where HCA was dumping their patients. At least there she wasn’t actively involved in killing patients.

HCA: Just say no to murderers.

– Badtux the Healthcare Penguin

6 Bryan { 07.26.10 at 2:22 pm }

My Mother has told her doctors that she would rather die in her living room than be taken to the local HCA hospital.

The hospital has minimum staffing, 12-hour shifts, and a turn-over rate better than 50% [according to doctors on staff].

Mental patients ordered to psychiatric care by the court are allowed to just walk away. HCA won the bid for the contract to hold the patients, but has provided inadequate security to deal with them. One of those patients died in a shoot out with police after walking away from the hospital, the very situation that his family hoped to avoid by committing him. The patient killed a sheriff’s deputy, the first death of an on-duty officer in the County’s history, and the patient was the first suspect to die during an arrest in 12 years. [2008].