Maximum Economic Freedom

Maximum Economic Freedom

2021 Gathering, Part Thirty-Two

We are talking about maximum freedom. During the Civil War the North represented maximum freedom as far as the slavery issue was concerned. And the maximum freedom for the slaves was to give them their freedom and help them to do their best to make it on their own, and, you know, for different periods of time, they were doing really good until we stepped in to help them.

When the government steps in to help them, then all of a sudden, they have a lot more problems than before the government help. Same thing with medical care. In 1958, I this accident with my hand. I was in the hospital for a month the first time and my hospital bill was $8.00 a day. And by today’s money, that’s less than $100 a day.

At the time of my accident my sister and I were dependent on my mom and ourselves for we had no money from insurance, the government or child support. The best money we could make in the summer was picking fruit and the rest of the year my Mom worked close to minimum wage.

Yet we paid off the entire month’s stay in the hospital plus the doctors bill, something that would be impossible today even with government help

And I helped for we were in the very worst circumstances. It was right after my dad left. My dad took off to Central America to find his fortune of gold. And we never saw him for two years, and my mom just divorced him. And we had no child support, no nothing. Then I had my accident and that accident happened at the worst possible time for my poor mom. I felt really bad that I put her under such a financial obligation.

But we paid it all off. So we had universal health care. We had universal health care to the degree that you could be in a hospital for a month, get it all paid off and not owe anybody anything. We had universal health care that even a fruit picker could pay off a hospital bill for $8 a day as well  as our doctors. Later I had five other surgeries and that cost quite a bit of money. And my resourceful mom got a private charity to pay for the whole thing, no government involved at all.

And so this charity was actually looking for some way to spend their money, and paid off five operations, three of them by a skilled specialist that had a good reputation, and so we got that paid off. No government assistance at all. It was like we had universal health care. Now, if you pay 20%, if you have a good insurance, but you’ll wind up paying lot more, even with good insurance, than we had to pay back in 1958. That’s kind of sad.

We threw away something beautiful. We had universal health care that even a fruit picker could pay off after a devastating accident. We had that and we threw it away, and we don’t believe it can be retrieved. I tell people about this, and their eyes just glaze over. They think, “well, you know, we got CAT scans and stuff today that we’ve got to pay for, you know.” But yeah, Phil?

Phillip: I talked to a guy on an airplane one time. He was a repair person for the heart monitors. The machines that monitor your heart, the oxygen, and all that. He said that they’re running on windows or DOS, the old DOS operating system, old hardware. He said the machines cost . . . this was about eight years ago . . . he said the machines cost about $35 to make, but they sell them to the hospitals at over $200,000 because the government subsidizes the hospital.

And so the government will take money collected from the citizens and help the hospitals buy these expensive machines because everybody needs these things. But the $35 machine marked up to over $200,000

JJ: Boy that’s crazy.

Phillip: And then the hospital, even though they got the machines through government subsidies, they turn around and rent it essentially to the patients at the value as if they’re making up that 200,000.

JJ: Right, right, right.

Phillip: So you’re paying them your $50 to $100 a day per machine for a $35 machine because of government subsidies.

JJ: Yeah, that’s amazing. And people just don’t realize. And it wasn’t until the Medicare program came in, that the costs of hospitals and doctors and medicine skyrocketed, but before that everything was reasonable. As a matter of fact, back when I was young and when I was in the hospital system . . . I spent about three months all together in the hospital with those operations I had, and I met a number of people, who came and went, and they were just in for observation because it was cheap.

It was cheap to stay in the hospital overnight. So if the doctor wasn’t sure what was wrong with you, he’d say “let’s put you in over a couple of days. We’ll just keep an eye on you and see if see how you’re doing.”

But they don’t do that today because nobody can afford it. But back then it was so cheap. People without insurance went to the hospital over a couple of days just to be observed by the doctor, and then they let them out after they run some tests and stuff. But they can’t do that today because it costs way too much and the insurance won’t pay for it. Now, instead of $8 a day or $100, by today’s money, it’s three or four or five thousand dollas a day.

Yet, the price of gas at that time was 39.9 cents a gallon. And now it’s about ten times that much. Whereas a hospital bill is . . . let’s see, it’s about 350 times that much or something like that, it’s crazy. And if the price of gas went up, like the hospital bill went up, we’d be paying several hundred dollars a gallon. That’s what it would figure.

Yet, who’s the one that gets all the blame for prices going up? Big Hospital or Big Oil? They all go after Big Oil. If Big Oil’s price goes up a little bit, they have a big investigation as to where the problem is. But Big Hospital’s prices go up . . . no investigation at all because it’s the government that is causing the price to go up, which is pretty sad.


So when we talk about oil, they, you know, and this this goes to the problem in corporation, they don’t take all costs into account. We have cheap oil because the government subsidizes wars all over the world to get it. And if we paid full price for what it really cost, including the damage to clean up pollution and the damage that comes from people breathing that stuff, it would be way, way, way more expensive than it is.

JJ: Well, one thing about Trump, he got us independent, so we didn’t have to go fight wars for cheap oil. But now that’s through the window. Now we’re trying to get Saudi Arabia to produce more oil so we can import it, which is kind of sad.

Michael: Well, back to the point of freedom. Everybody wants freedom, but they don’t ask about at who’s expense it comes from. So slavery was one issue. You know, we stole this coming over from the Indians. It was cheap. I mean, you know, that’s a whole other thing. I like with Martin Luther King said, though, nobody’s free until everybody’s free.

JJ: Yeah.

Michael: And so whether that’s what we did to the Native Americans, what we did to the black Africans, what we do to other countries when we go in, invade them put a puppet government . . . basically steal their resources. We talk about freedom. We do not live our values.

JJ: Yeah, well, I wouldn’t say we steal have resources if we buy them and they agree to them, that’s not really stealing.

Joshua: I think it was interesting what you guys were saying earlier connects to this about the true teachers – teaches you how to do a thing but doesn’t create dependency. This whole thing is about helping people, but it’s about creating dependency. The government subsidizes this, subsidizes that. But it’s not you know, it’s not a charity that gives it to you, and then you go to your thing. It’s, you know, owning more government subsidies. They keep coming in.

And D.K. mentions Otto von Bismarck, and I didn’t really know much about him.

I still don’t know a ton about him, but that he was an avatar of cosmic evil. And he mentions in the same breath of Lincoln being . . .

JJ: An avatar on the other side.

Joshua: Yeah. And somebody mentioned to me that Bismarck instituted the first modern welfare state, and that really got me thinking about that, because it’s like a twisting . . . cosmic

evil supposedly comes from the cosmic astral plane, so it’s like, and that’s, you know, a lower reflection of love or something like that. But it’s a twisting of it because it’s like, well, we want to help people, right? And how do we help people? Well, we’re going to take this money from them and spend it as we see fit.

But like you’re saying, it violates the principle of freedom.

JJ: Right. Right. And this it this is the problem with freedom is that people have different ideas as to what will bring the maximum freedom. And Michael has a little bit different idea than maybe you or somebody else and that’s fine. But the question is, where is the balance? Where is a balance, where the maximum freedom is?

And according to some scriptures, this is what the war and heaven was fought over was the principle of freedom, which is one side wanted free agency for all, and the other side, the story goes, didn’t trust the people with free agency. They thought that people needed to be controlled or else they would screw up so badly that they would not be able to be saved.

So in order to save everybody, one side thought we need tight controls. The other side thought we need maximum freedom, and the story goes that God says we will go with the maximum freedom. And Christ supported the idea of maximum freedom and Lucifer or Satan was against that. And he rebelled with one-third of the hosts of Heaven.

And the story goes that this war of free agency continues upon the earth right now. And we see this continuing, and whether the story is true or not, it is true that the battle for free agency continues right now. And it’s fought very fiercely. It’s fought between those that want to control everything and those that want maximum individual freedom for all.

And it’s interesting to watch this play out. Those who won on the control side are like North Korea, Venezuela, China, to a large degree . . . China has more freedom than they used to or Mao, but it’s still pretty tightly controlled. And then, of course, Cuba and the old Soviet Russia that was really tight controlled.

So then we have the United States and Europe. They’re not perfect, but they support freedom a lot more than some of the dictatorships. So we have this playing out and we even have it playing out within the free countries. We have people right now in our country who want to burn books again – that want to have books taken out of circulation. They want to take them out of circulation and actually burn them or destroy them.

So a lot of people are trying to prevent certain books they don’t like from being published. We have this war, and it’s really intensified over the past, oh, ten or twenty years. So the Lights are really going to have to take a stand on the principle of freedom. But the most important thing is understanding what it is because everybody thinks that they support maximum freedom.

For instance, we have a big fight over how much . . . whether or not we should have universal health care. So the idea if we have universal health care that gives people a lot more freedom because they don’t have to worry about medical bills. So that gives them a lot of freedom. But on the other hand, because of the waste in government, you will have a lot of people losing a lot of their financial resources to pay for all of that waste.

Like I told you earlier, look how much my medical bills were in 1958 before the government stepped in to help. Soon as they stepped in with Medicare . . . they gave a price for Medicare, and then it turned out the price was about ten times higher than they estimated. And it’s skyrocketed ever since. And the prices of medical care have gone completely through the roof.

And it’s worse than other countries with socialized medicine for some reason. But they they’ve tried to help us. They have good intentions. But if something costs 40 times as much as it’s supposed to cost, and it’s free – it’s free because other people are paying for it – how free is that? It’s not really free at all.

Back in 1958, where only a small percentage of a person’s income went for medical bills. There was a lot more medical freedom than there is today. And there was no need for government help. That’s why government assistance was so hard for them to implement because people really didn’t need it that much. They had to convince everybody that they needed it before they could implement it.

Yeah, Adam.

Adam: I was going to say, when the system gets that big and that bureaucratic too, then there’s no disincentive to diagnosis alternatives. There’s incentive to diagnose every condition with some sort of the latest drug, the latest technique. And so you have overdiagnosis of issues, and that creates a condition where we as a public absorb this and start thinking in terms of ill health rather than a healthy body and alternatives, and that curbs our freedoms to truly manage our health.

JJ: Yeah, you know, none of the alternative stuff is covered by any insurance, government or anything. That’s the only thing my wife and I put money in. So we don’t get any help with anything alternative, Artie and I don’t – the same with what you people too. And that’s where if we’re going to make a big investment, that preventative care would be a big thing.

Michael: So up until 1969, it was illegal for hospitals to make a profit. Most of them were nonprofit. Nixon and Kaiser Permanente teamed up in 1969, passed that HMO rule, and from that time on, little by little, hospitals have become profit-making organizations.

JJ: I think a lot of them are still nonprofit aren’t they. I know the ones in Boise are and their prices are still through the roof.

Michael: Less and less, less and less. So I mean they introduced a profit motive into that, and you can argue about the morality of that, but that really fits into your . . . well it’s the teaming up of government and corporations that’s really the problem. Corporations using government to the maximum to control people, make them take certain things, requiring certain things. But I think the corporations using government is much more the problem than just the government.

JJ: You know, when I wrote my book Fixing  America, I found out that at that time there were $60 billion worth in Medicare bills that was just outright fraud. It’s probably a lot more than that now. But anyway, Artie’s mom, we used her Medicare for Hospice and we thought, well, we might as well use this – it’s free. So we, we had this hospice person come in for over a month or so and they billed us an exorbitant amount of money for what was it? Over $3,000 for two visits or something like that for just a couple hours help. And I thought, oh, this has got to be where the fraud is, so let’s report this.

So we called up Medicare and we said we want to report some fraud. So they looked into it, and they said, no, this is standard, nothing to worry about. And we thought “what!” I mean, how could this be standard? She lied about how much she visited and gave an exorbitant bill for something that should have cost maybe 100 bucks. She charged over $3,000. That’s got to be fraud. But no, no, they said that was standard. No, no problem.

And I thought, “where’s the actual fraud? How bad is that?” If this isn’t fraud, where is the $60 billion, the 60 billion dollars of fraud must really be outrageous. But I thought that was funny. So we could see why there was so much waste. But it’s really kind of sad.

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