Hacker Newsnew | comments | show | ask | jobs | submitlogin

Most "stuff" like : clothing, food, appliances, cars (i.e. most "stuff") got cheaper, but healthcare and housing went through the roof and more than offset the things that got cheaper.

The unfortunate thing is that healthcare and shelter are necessities ("needs") and not nice-to-have things ("wants").

Even more unfortunate is that health care in US is usually tied to the place of employment. Losing one's job could mean loosing health care and losing the place to live. When before it could have been not being able to afford good food, clothes, TVs, a car.

Consequently the 2 largest reasons for bankruptcies are : health care bills and mortgage payments, usually as a result of losing a job. (Of course, jobs are often "lost suddenly" no long after a "cancer" diagnosis).

An employer can excert quite a bit of control over an employee if they know the employee has a mortgage to pay, and all of his familiy is on that employer's insurance. An employee couldn't be "squeezed" as much if they didn't have a large mortgage and could walk out and his family could retain the insurance. This has been postulated is also the reason why per employee productivity has been going up since the 70s -- people simply have been putting in more hours and doing more work because they are afraid of losing their jobs.

(I don't have any data to back this up at the moment, downvote if you like).




If health care circa 2010 (including things like MRIs and Viagra) is a "need", then every single person in 1960 did not have their needs met.

Also, if you have evidence that health care bills cause many bankruptcies, I'd be curious to see it. All I'm aware of is Elizabeth Warren's utterly flawed studies, unfortunately widely and uncritically cited in the media (she considers Michael Vick's bankruptcy to be caused by medical bills).

"(Of course, jobs are often "lost suddenly" no long after a "cancer" diagnosis)."

Losing your job != losing your insurance - look up COBRA. If you have no savings it might, but having no savings is a choice.

"This has been postulated is also the reason why per employee productivity has been going up since the 70s -- people simply have been putting in more hours and doing more work because they are afraid of losing their jobs."

On average, people do not put in more hours.

http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2000/07/art3full.pdf

I don't have any data to back this up at the moment

Google is your friend.

-----




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Y Combinator | Apply | Contact

Search: