Saturday, March 24, 2012

A New Job for Lawmakers: Reports that Facebook Condemns Companies That Demand User Logins

Imagine if you will 50 or 100 years ago that an employer would have dared to ask a prospective employee to bring in all of his private correspondence for employer review. But that is exactly what is going on today as companies are demanding prospective employee private user logins for social networking sites in order to see who their friends are and what they are corresponding about.

That is a clear violation of the rights of privacy not only of the prospective employees but it also infringes on the expected rights of privacy of their friends. Only law enforcement agencies -- for legal cause -- should be able to demand such information. has the story at Facebook Condemns Companies That Demand User Logins.

Essentially, this a legislative problem, easily solved.

Nations and States should pass clear laws protecting the right to privacy of user accounts and should enforce such laws with draconian penalties against offenders. Since the LawPundit is against jail or prison penalties in principle -- except for truly dangerous crimes -- the legal sanctions should be applied via stiff fines against corporations as also against responsible officers or employees involved in such privacy rights violations.

Such fines have to be so massive enough to DETER the behavior effectively.
Whatever is necessary. Forfeiture of annual profits, doubling or tripling tax liabilities, impoundment of private or corporate annual earnings and similar measures seem worth considering. You stop privacy rights violation by making it exceedingly expensive to disobey the applicable laws.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Health Care Costs in Europe Substantially Below Medically-Related Prices in the United States

For various personal reasons, I have recently been confronted with researching health care costs in America and have been absolutely APPALLED at the exorbitantly high prices in the USA in comparison to Germany, where I am domiciled.

Not only that, but Americans get LESSER quality health care in the United States in spite of those doubly higher prices.

What goes on?

With a hat tip to CaryGEE, I found an article by Ezra Klein at the Washington Post Wonkblog asking and explaining

Why an MRI costs $1,080 in America and $280 in France.

As Ezra Klein writes:
"In 2009, Americans spent $7,960 per person on health care. Our neighbors in Canada spent $4,808. The Germans spent $4,218. The French, $3,978."

And yet, Americans are getting LESS for their money. Health care in the USA is not nearly up to the quality standard that we have here in Germany, at half the price.

Klein notes:
"On Friday, the International Federation of Health Plans — a global insurance trade association that includes more than 100 insurers in 25 countries — released more direct evidence. It surveyed its members on the prices paid for 23 medical services and products in different countries, asking after everything from a routine doctor’s visit to a dose of Lipitor to coronary bypass surgery. And in 22 of 23 cases, Americans are paying higher prices than residents of other developed countries. Usually, we’re paying quite a bit more."
Are pharmaceutical and health care companies in America immensely profitable? More profitable than elsewhere. Yes. Do they invest a lot more in America? No.

It is a business, for private profit, at the expense of YOUR health.

Many citizens are going around foolishly trying to repeal the Obama Health Care law, whereas the real PROBLEM lies elsewhere. As Klein writes:
"The 2010 health-reform law does little to directly address prices....

“There is so much inefficiency in our system, that there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit we can deal with before we get into regulating people’s prices.” says Len Nichols, director of the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics at George Mason University. “Maybe, after we’ve cut waste for 10 years, we’ll be ready to have a discussion over prices.”"
10 Years?

You know, America became a great country because it was historically more efficient than other countries and did away with many obstacles that hampered progress.

Today, it is exactly the opposite. Inertia is a mark made in America.

10 years is a long time to correct gross failings in the system.

And for all of you out there who have to find an affordable nursing home for your loved ones or yourself when the time comes -- good luck.

Remember, that in your choices of the people you elect as your lawmakers and representatives, you contributed to the faulty system you have -- and which you too will have to face, soon, down the road.

IP Reform Process Continues Apace in the United Kingdom Despite Concerns of Rights Holders

The process of liberalizing copyright laws in the United Kingdom continues apace in spite of criticism from vested interests.

Pinsent Masons has the story at in Government stands by IP reform growth estimates despite rights holder concerns.

As in the United States, there is increasing recognition in the United Kingdom that intellectual property laws must be updated and adapted to the modern era, not only to catalyze the information industry, but also to keep vested interests from clogging up the machinery of progress.

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