EBOLA

With the cumulative U.S. death toll seeming to have peaked at “one” — or “zero” if you count only cases contracted here . . . and with the Obama Administration being blamed 24/7 for this state of affairs . . . Kyle Franks writes:

“The Ebola patient who died in Texas was a poor black man without health insurance. Texs is one of the states that refused to expand Medicaid. Of course the hospital denies that Thomas Duncan was turned away for lack of insurance but that is not believable for me. (As you said, he had 103 temperature and intense abdominal pain).  Another argument for universal health care.”

OTHER THINGS TO BE FRIGHTENED OF:

Zealots and literalists (of any religion), ideologues and extremists (of any political bent), getting your arm caught between two rocks and having to cut it off, that plant that killed the guy in Alaska when the river became impassable for months on end and he couldn’t make it back for treatment, stories that seem to good to be true (unless they emanate from companies nominally headquartered in Gibraltar), and — it turns out — peanut butter getting stuck to the roof of your mouth.  (My own food fear is of accidentally swallowing an avocado pit because they’re so slippery.)  Did you know that there’s a word for that peanut butter fear?  Or at least a semi-fake word?  Arachibutyrophobia.  Or that you can eat avocado pits, which are high in vitamin C, if you cut them up first, or smash them?

Other items on the phobia list, which is long, include atychiphobia, the fear of failure, brontophobia, one of several terms for fear of thunder and lightning, chaetophobia, fear of hair, pogonophobia, fear, more specifically, of beards, peladophobia, fear of bald people (missing, ironically, a term for the far more common fear of going bald), pteronophobia, fear of being tickled with feathers, and the timely samhainophobia, fear of Halloween.  (In my own case, as I may have told you, Mrs. Oestreicher left the tail gate of the station-wagon down; and I, being the last one back in, rolled off onto the road as she accelerated, a five- or six-year-old ghost, lost forever to the backwoods of Westchester County, except that one of the other six-year-olds noticed and alerted Mrs. Oestreicher, who retrieved me.)  

And, and of course, consecotaleophobia and coulrophobia: the fears, respectively, of chopsticks and clowns.

One thing not to be afraid of is our current projected $460 billion deficit.  It sounds like a lot, but it represents just 2.7% of our National Debt (which quadruped under Ronald Reagan and the first George Bush; was tamed under Bill Clinton; was exploded by the second George Bush; and has now begun to moderate again under Barack Obama, as the deficit continues to fall).

If the economy were to grow at 4.5% a year for the next 100 years — half from inflation, half from real growth — while the Debt grew by 2.5%, the economy would have grown more than 80-fold and the Debt less than 12-fold.  It would thus be tiny relative to the economy as a whole, vaguely like a $120,000 mortgage on an $800,000 home.

Indeed, if the deficit remained constant at $460 billion a year as the economy averaged 4.5% grown (again: half real, half inflation), the results would be more dramatic still.  Our GDP would have grown to $1.4 quadrillion or so; our Debt, to a mere $63 trillion, or less than 5% of GDP.  Like a $25,000 mortgage on a $500,000 home.

As noted in Forbes, “The Capitalist Tool,” and previously linked, Barack Obama is arguably the best economic President in modern times.

Now get out there and vote – Democrat — so we can get the economy back running on all cylinders, as it would be if only we passed the American Jobs Act to revitalize our crumbling infrastructure; passed the Senate’s bipartisan immigration bill; and hiked the minimum wage.

 

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