Category Archives for "Uncategorized"

One in Four Americans Have Been Victims of Healthcare Data Breach

26 percent of Americans have had their medical info stolen, and get this — half the victims had to pay an average of $2,500 in out-of-pocket costs per incident!

What a crock…

One in four Americans (26%) have had their medical information stolen, and these breaches can be quite costly, according to recent research from Accenture. Half the victims had to pay an average of $2,500 in out-of-pocket costs per incident.

The Accenture 2017 Healthcare Cybersecurity and Digital Trust Research, which surveyed 2,000 U.S. consumers, found that hospitals accounted for 36% of these breaches. Urgent care clinics (22%), pharmacies (22%), physician’s offices (21%) and health insurers (21%) rounded out the list.

Among those who experienced a breach, 50% were victims of medical identity theft. Information taken in the breaches included social security numbers (31%), contact information (31%) or medical data (31%). This stolen information was most often used to purchase items (37%) or used for fraudulent activities, such as billing for care (37%) or filling prescriptions (26%). Unlike credit card identity theft, where a card issuer has a legal responsibility to cover losses above $50, medical identity theft victims do not have an automatic right to recover losses.

Source: One in Four Americans Have Been Victims of Healthcare Data Breach

This Time, It’s Different

Economic GrowthHave you ever heard those words before? No, me either :D

One of my "must read" newsletters is written by John Mauldin and it's called – appropriately – John Mauldin's Weekly E-Letter. I get it each week in my inbox; I suggest you do the same.

I will caution you, however, that it may scare the pants off of you! Lately (the last few years), his commentary has been rather harsh. But, hey, look at the economy!

All that said, I encourage you to read this week's letter. One astonishing number came out this week: GDP growth of 5.7 percent! Yay, roll out the marching band and dancing monkeys, the recession is over!

But wait.

The Statistical Recovery Has Arrived

Before we get into the main discussion point, let me briefly comment on today's GDP numbers, which came in at an amazingly strong 5.7% growth rate. While that is stronger than I thought it would be (I said 4-5%), there are reasons to be cautious before we sound the "all clear" bell.

First, over 60% (3.7%) of the growth came from inventory rebuilding, as opposed to just 0.7% in the third quarter. If you examine the numbers, you find that inventories had dropped below sales, so a buildup was needed. Increasing inventories add to GDP, while, counterintuitively, sales from inventory decrease GDP. Businesses are just adjusting to the New Normal level of sales. I expect further inventory build-up in the next two quarters, although not at this level, and then we level off the latter half of the year.

Did you catch that? If not for the build up of inventory, our economy grew by only 2 percent. And we know these things ALWAYS revise DOWN.

Read the rest of the letter here. I think you'll learn a lot; I always do.

University of Chicago Economists on the Slow Economic Recovery

Gary S. Becker, Steven J. Davis, and Kevin M. Murphy: Uncertainty and the Slow Recovery – WSJ.com

These facts suggest that it was a serious economic mistake to press for a hasty, major transformation of the U.S. economy on the heels of the worst financial crisis in decades. A more effective approach would have been to concentrate first on fighting the recession and laying solid foundations for growth. They should have put plans to re-engineer the economy on the backburner, and kept them there until the economy emerged fully from the recession and returned to robust growth. By failing to adopt a measured approach to economic policy, Congress and the president may be slowing the economic recovery, and thereby prolonging the distress from the recession.

I couldn’t agree more! Read the whole story. It’s another case of the government trying to set an agenda before it determines the best course of action. I’m getting really tired of this!

Need a Job? 10 Companies Hiring for the Holidays

Here’s a link to a list of 10 companies that are hiring for the holiday season. Most of it’s retail…but that’s not a bad thing. Everybody needs to know how to sell. YOU especially need to know how to sell yourself and you need to know how to interact with customers.

For at the end of the day, business is selling and all of selling’s associated components.

Plus, if you’re currently looking for work, it’s not a bad idea to fill in that resume. Hiring managers and HR folks get turned off pretty quickly by unemployment gaps. A seasonal job addresses this concern.

10 Companies Hiring for the Holidays : The Work Buzz

Was Keynes a Conservative?

Interesting how the terms “conservative” and “liberal” have changed over time. It seems that the folks calling themselves conservatives nowadays usurped the term and now it means pro-life, gun-toting, pro-capital punishment, while liberal means limp wristed pro-choice, nanny staters.

To me, liberals want change for the better (whether that occurs or not in practice is another story) while conservatives just want status quo. What do you think?

Here’s a modern-day analysis of Keynes’ policy prescription. What are your thoughts?

Keynes’ efforts were motivated by a strong desire to maintain the liberal capitalist order. Honest conservatives have always understood this. In 1945, economist David McCord Wright noted that a conservative political candidate could easily run a campaign “largely on quotations from The General Theory.”

Keynes Was Really A Conservative – Forbes.com

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