Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Ripple Effect


There are so many things to blog about with Obama & Co., but so little time to cover all of them. Where is a blogger supposed to go from one post to the next?

Well, for this post I'll just swipe an idea from my intelligent non-blogging friend Erin Bouck. Today she mentioned how surprised she is that nobody is talking about the effect Obamacare will have on investment once it achieves its obvious, ultimate goal of forcing insurance companies out of business.

For those who don't know, insurers do not simply take dollars in from their customers' premium payments and dole out a portion of those dollars in claims. What they do is invest a significant portion of those dollars in all kinds of vehicles (bonds, stocks, mutual funds, real estate, etc.) because the return they get boosts their earnings and reserves, which solidifies them financially and enables them to pay claims when claims come due. Thus, insurance companies are "institutional investors" and certainly constitute one of America's largest classes of institutional investors, if not the largest.

If insurance companies vanish, all that money they invest will vanish as well, and that will hurt millions upon millions of people.

The stock prices of companies and mutual funds that have been receiving insurer investment dollars would drop, which would harm shareholders -- including God knows how many people whose 401(k)'s invest in the same funds that insurers invest in. Most of those people, who may well be a majority of Americans, don't even know they have been benefiting from insurer investment pumping up the value of their own investments.

For those companies that have been receiving revenue from insurer investment, the loss of that revenue would drive down their bottom lines and put some of their employees' jobs in jeopardy.

Whole sectors of the economy could see their fortunes sag after losing a source of investment that has been so large and dependable over the years.

And all this is to say nothing of the hardship that would be visited on the employees of the actual insurance companies that are put out of business (who will all lose their jobs) or of the hardship that would be visited on the shareholders of those insurance companies (who will see their net worth shrink when companies in which they invested go under).

What we have here is a recipe for wide-ranging economic harm that nobody is talking about. And the fact that nobody is talking about it makes it much more likely to happen.

But I am against ending the year on a negative note, so I will say this: Even though the odds are long, Obamacare can still be stopped by citizen activism, and even if it does gets passed we can still throw the Marxist basta -- I'm sorry, Democrats and RINO's -- out of office come November, then focus our energies on getting the next Congress to repeal it.

In the coming year I will be writing more about our government's malfeasance and whatever else stirs my passions. But first I will be taking a short break, because on New Year's Day we'll be at the Outback Bowl watching my Auburn Tigers battle the Northwestern Wildcats, and then we'll be vacationing in the Blue Ridge Mountains until January 9th. If you care to know about our adventures up there, I plan to update my travel blog as our trip unfolds. Until next time, auf Wiedersehen!

1 comment:

Nickie Goomba said...

You have to keep writing! There will be many important battles against Socialism in 2010. We need your voice.

Greetings from Nevada City!