Healthcare Strategy: Ignore Government Diet Advice

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Yesterday, I established an end: great health care that ordinary people can afford.

You remember I talked about John Braddock’s explanation of strategy: choose the end and work backward. Then forword.

And Braddock’s first step after choosing an end: what comes immediately before. That’s where we are today.

A few weeks back, I wrote several posts about diet (here and here). I warned you that the government and doctors and, especially, dieticians have been poising us for years. The government’s recommended diet leads to expensive diseases: type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, obesity, hip and knee damage, and many forms of cancer.

Some people think that deadly diet advice is on purpose. Big medicine and big government benefit when a lot of people suffer from terrible diseases. That’s hard to dispute. Imagine if the incidence of all those diseases I just listed dropped in half. How many people would be thrown out of work?

Other people think the government and big medicine are just misguided. And afraid. I know people who know that eating egg white omelets and lots of sugars and starches will kill them. But they do it anyway because of the social stigma of eating food that actually keeps you healthy. It’s possible, then, that the government and doctors are just afraid of telling you the truth. That’s understandable.

But cowardly leaders is no excuse for us. We believe in personal responsibility. And we want to live long, healthy lives free from expensive diseases like diabetes and cancer.

While eating a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet won’t guarantee freedom from bad diseases, eating the opposite diet will almost guarantee an expensive and life-limiting diagnosis for you some day.

So what do we find just before that end state? We find a lot of people eating right, which causes a huge drop in bad diagnoses. (Did you know you can reverse type 2 diabetes (video below) and arrest the progression of Parkinson’s Disease with a low-carb, high-fat diet and fasting?)

Eating right a strategy. And it’s completely in your control. Watch.

Healthcare Strategy Beats Hyperventilating

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Paul Ryan unveiled a health care bill two weeks ago. Ryan’s favorite lobbyists wrote it. They wrote it in secret. They dumped it on the House GOP caucus.

A lot of my friends on the right went hermatile. “Shoved down our throats!” “Obamacare two-point-oh!” “Obamacare Lite!” “Tyranny!” “Entitlements!” “Worse than Obamacare!” The most frequently used key on the keyboards of tea partiers was the exclamation point!

It’s easy to get spun up over the way Speaker Ryan handled the bill. He violated several of his own promises. He acted a lot like Nancy Pelosi.

No one should be surprised by Ryan’s behavior, though. Paul Ryan works for big corporations. He does their bidding.

Or maybe he’s a master strategist.

I want you to keep in mind two important things about replacing Obamacare:

  1. Strategy
  2. Tactics

Most of the hyperventilation from the right this week was unstrategic and anti-tactical. This post will fix that. If you follow it.

Strategy

You can’t be strategic if you don’t know what strategy is. Most people have no idea from strategy. The people who say “strategy”  a lot in business meetings understand it the least. So let’s begin with the simplest, most brilliant explanation of strategy every written.

John Braddock was a research fellow at Washington University. He worked with Murray Wiedenbaum. Then he quit academia and became a CIA agent. He wrote a great about thinking like a spy: The Spy’s Guide to Thinking. If you haven’t read it yet, you’re lucky to survive. If you go up against someone who has read it, they’ll eat your lunch.

[The Spy’s Guide to Thinking is the #1 Best-Seller on Kindle Singles]

Braddock is working on his second book: The Spy’s Guide to Strategy. He’s released some excerpts from strategy book, and one of those excerpts provides the best definition of strategy ever.

If you’re a strategist, you start at the end.

You think about where you want to be. What will be there. Who will be there.

You start at the end.

Then, you think backward.

Braddock shows us how most people think: forward.

Then he shows us how strategists think: beginning at the end.

If you’re a strategist, the first step is choosing the end. You make the end certain. Which makes the now flexible.

If you’re a strategist, you think about the end first.

Then, you think about the rest.

If you’re a strategist, you think like this:

Finally, he tells us exactly why we need to think about healthcare reform like strategists.

Here’s one thing about thinking like a strategist: You’re never hopeless.

Never

You should read those excerpts again right now. Then read them again. Look at those graphics. Those are world-class visualizations. They’re genius. You’ve probably never seen a better example of genius visualization. You want to memorize that entire excerpt. You also want to bookmark Braddock’s website. The first thousand people who read The Spy’s Guide to Strategy will probably rule the world.

Health Care Strategy

Let’s take Braddock’s advise. Let’s choose the end we want.

The end is not “repeal and replace.” That’s a slogan, not a strategy. “Repeal and replace” makes us feel good. It’s intentionally vague. It gives people a lot of latitude in implementation. Almost anything can be called a repeal. And literally anything can be a replacement.

If our end is “repeal and replace,” we should all support Ryan’s bill 100 percent. It’s better than nothing, and saying you’re for “repeal and replace” is another way of saying “I’m for anything.”

I’m not sure anyone on the right has actually defined our end. So I will.

Our end is the best health care system in the world that ordinary people can afford. We believe that the free market is the best tool for achieving that end. We are open to considering other means (other than free markets), but we’re like doctors. We must see evidence some other method works better than free markets. People who’ve looked hard haven’t found any yet. So we’ll stick with free markets for now.

That’s our end: the world’s best health care system that ordinary Americans can afford. When you think about it, that’s not too much to ask for, is it?

 What Comes Immediately Before That?

Before we get the world’s best healthcare system at prices we can afford is 60 votes in the Senate and a majority in the House. The Republicans have 52 votes. Let’s assume all 52 will vote for some bill. That’s eight votes short.

Braddock also asks “who will be there?” Paul Ryan will be there. Paul Ryan is the Speaker of the House, and nothing gets a vote in the House without Paul Ryan’s permission. Nothing. He literally owns the House. And big medicine owns Paul Ryan.

That means the bill has to appeal to eight Democrat Senators and one bought-and-paid-for Speaker of the House. And that’s the reality you need to deal with.

In Braddock’s first book, he lays out a formula: DADA.

Data –> Analysis –> Decision –> Action

Everybody wants action. But action, as Braddock points out, is expensive. Action eliminates options. If we want the best healthcare system in the world at prices ordinary Americans can afford, we better have great data, excellent analysis, and great decisions first.

[The Spy’s Guide to Thinking is the #1 Best-Seller on Kindle Singles. I do not ]

Some of the data is the reality I pointed out above: 8 Democrat Senators and a bought-and-paid-for Speaker of the House.

Now for the analysis.

Analysis

At least eight Democrat Senators will do what their big medicine handlers tell them to do. So will Speaker Ryan. Those big medicine executives, like all executives, prefer the devil they know. And the devil they know best is the devil some call “the administrative state.”

Free market reforms in medicine and insurance will disrupt that administrative state. Big league. That panics those candy-ass corporate MBAs. Spooks them, I tell you.

I’ve written before that most executives would rather know for sure they’re going out of business than be surprised by a $20 billion profit. They spook easily, and they wouldn’t recognize leadership if Patton slapped them in the face.

If you want free market reforms, you better persuade big medicine execs that free markets will provide predictable growth and substantial cost savings in the near term. If those execs come to believe the free market can be predictable and cheaper, they’ll instruct eight Democrat Senators and their Speaker to vote for the bills that deliver it.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. We’ve introduced another “who.” Big medicine execs. They represent new data. We need to feed that new data back into the analysis loop.

Big Medicine Execs

Imagine that you’re a big corporate executive. Your company is in medicine. Pharma, hosptials, insurance, devices, whatever. You have a big office. And huge income. You get paid based on your company’s current stock price. Your pay and prestige have nothing to do with the quality of your company or the quality of your products. You can sell poison to kids and be treated like a hero in the business world. You can go bankrupt nineteen times in a year and get a trillion-dollar bonus. Just so your stock price stays inflated. You can cook the books, evade prosecution, and replace all your American workers with foreigners and be hailed as a Great American if your stock price goes up. In other words, there is no honor among execs.

You get paid based on your company’s current stock price. Pretend you’re a CEO. About 80 percent of your CEO pay comes bonuses and incentives mostly tied to stock performance, according to Salary.com. Your pay and prestige have nothing to do with the quality of your company or the quality of your products. You can sell poison to kids and be treated like a hero in the business world. You can go bankrupt nineteen times in a year and get a trillion-dollar bonus. Look at Wall Street after the crash. Just don’t let your stock price falter. You can cook the books, evade prosecution, and replace all your American workers with foreigners and be hailed as The Great American Leader if your stock price goes up. In other words, there is no honor among execs.

There’s no point in appealing to a business executive’s honor. They’ve been trained since childhood that the measure of a man is his total compensation relative to his peers in business. These execs have compensation plans based on stock price, and that’s the only thing they care about. That compensation is more important than anything, including their families, including their country. You can’t shame them into doing the right thing. There’s no class on shame at Harvard Business School.

Big business runs on imaginary predictability, and everyone in business knows it. Before becoming a famous cartoonist, Dilbert’s Scott Adams worked in that business-modeling world. Here’s how he describes his old job:

By the way, my educational background is in economics and business. And for years, my corporate jobs involved making complex financial projections about budgets. In other words, I was perpetuating financial fraud within the company, by order of my boss. He told me to pretend my financial projections were real, and I did. But they were not real. My predictions were in line with whatever my boss told me they would be. I “tuned” my assumptions until I got my boss’s answer.

Nothing has changed since Adams left the corporate world. Believe me.

That’s why hyperventilation about Obamacare 2.0 does no good. The most important lobbying group in the country doesn’t care. They just want stability. They want to know that they can continue to rely on their erroneous and fraudulent economic models and projects. They know their projections are bullshit. But the corporate world has spent decades erecting a facade around their fraudulent modeling techniques. They will fight like dogs to prevent those facades from coming down. Because, if the facades fall, we’ll see that they’re all naked.

So my analysis: stop shouting “no” to Ryan’s bill. Look ahead to our end, the world’s best health care system that ordinary Americans can afford. Then reason backward. What will be there? Who will be there? What happens just before that? And before that? And again until we get all the way back to now?

Once we get back to now we will know our next step. And by working backward, we can see only one future: the future we chose.

To be continued. Don’t jump to conclusions. 

Reagan Gives Trump’s Budget TWO THUMBS UP!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

President Donald Trump delivered his budget and a message for Congress.

Since I’m lazy, I’ll quote Time magazine.

First, the President’s message to Congress:

“I urge the members of Congress to remember that last November the American people’s message was loud and clear. The mandate for change, expressed by the American people, was not my mandate; it was our mandate.”

Then, the analysis:

The President’s meaning was unmistakable: the public wants deep cuts in both spending and taxes, and any legislator who tries to keep the ax from falling risks putting his own neck under an ax at the polls. But the warning did not prevent opponents in and out of Congress, some of whom had initially seemed stunned into silence by the vigor of Trump’s budget blitz, from recovering their voices. Though Trump still seems likely to win a great deal of what he wants, it will only be after a fight in which some of his specific proposals could be substantially reshaped.

Actually, I played a trick on you. I replaced Reagan with Trump. Time’s article is about Ronald Reagan’s first budget, submitted 36 years ago, almost to the day. The quote was Reagan’s, too.

For those pesky NeverTrumpers, Trump’s budget was another nail in their reputations’ coffins. In his first budget, Trump goes further than Reagan ever did. Though Reagan campaigned on ending the National Endowment for the Arts and Corporation for Public Broadcasting, he never pursued those ends. Reagan’s promise to close the Department of Education never happened. His campaign criticism of the EPA led to only minor reforms.

But Trump takes his promises even more seriously than the Gipper. Think about these highlights:

  • DEFENSE: $52 billion increase.
  • HOMELAND SECURITY: $1.5 billion for The Wall.
  • FOREIGN AID: 28% cut.
  • EPA: 31% cut.
  • HEALTHCARE: Repeal and replace Obamacare with something that works and keeps costs down.
  • TRANSPORTATION: Air traffic control privatized, budgets cut.
  • AGRICULTURE: 21% cut.
  • LABOR DEPARTMENT: 20% cut.
  • CRIMINAL IRS: $239 million cut.
  • COMMERCE DEPARTMENT: 16% cut.
  • SHUT DOWN AND ELIMINATED:  Public Broadcasting Corporation, the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Chemical Safety Board, the United States Institute of Peace, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for National Community Service and the African Development Foundation.

That, my friends, is the most conservative budget in American history. The last vestiges of NeverTrump can slink back under the mossy rocks from which they slithered.

Ronald Reagan, were he still alive, would stand up and applaud this budget. He would thank Donald Trump for picking up where he left off.

It feels good to be on this team, doesn’t it?

We are WINNING AGAIN!!!

 

Trump, The Jobs President

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You can actually FEEL America getting GREAT again!

ADP payroll report shows President Trump made a big down payment on his promise to be the greatest jobs president ever. 

The economy added nearly 300,000 new jobs last month. Economists expected a rise of 190,000. It was the biggest jump in jobs in 6 years.

The jobs were the good kind of jobs Trump talks about: manufacturing, mining. Jobs with grit. Not a lot of waitresses and bartenders.

According to CNBC:

Companies added jobs at a blistering pace in February, with a notable shift away from the service-sector positions that have dominated hiring for years, according to a report Wednesday.

. . .

In addition to the construction and manufacturing positions, mining and natural resources also contributed 8,000 to the total. Trump has promised to restore mining jobs as well.

The year is off to a sizzling start for job creation, according to the ADP counts. January added 261,000 positions, a number that was revised upward from the originally reported 246,000.

“Confidence is playing a large role,” Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, told CNBC. “Businesses are anticipating a lot of good stuff — tax cuts, less regulation. They are hiring more aggressively.”

When people have to choose between one of many great jobs or many great, fulfilling careers, a lot of the trivial issues will disappear. But for today, let’s just say “Thank you, President Trump.”

Many Times Trump’s Crazy Statements Turned Out to Be Right

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Almost every time Donald Trump says something crazy, something so outlandish and wrong, he later turns out to be right.

I know his critics can’t read my blog. (Literally, they can’t. They have a psychological problem that prevents their brains from processing information that’s inconsistent with their beliefs.) But for those of you who want to be right with the truth instead of just right with your own opinion, this will be a great post to forward to your friends. I’ll make it easy with clickable Twitter boxes like this one.

I googled “Trump was right.” I got a lot of links back. I was embarrassed to realize I had forgotten most of these cases. Maybe you remember these now. Before you decide Trump’s crazy wiretap story is, well, crazy, you will want to recall all the other times Trump’s crazy assertions were true.

  • Recently, Trump talked about all the migrant-caused violence in Sweden. The media and Swedish politicians said he was crazy. But he turned out to be right. In fact, we’ve since learned that Swedish politicians routinely cover up rape, murder, and mayhem that’s perpetrated by migrants. So Trump probably knew from intelligence reports that there was more crime in Sweden than Sweden admits. But Trump was right about terrorism in Sweden.
  • Trump calls CNN and New York Times and Washington Post “fake news.” The pundits roar. But courts and journalism watchdogs agree with Trump. As The Black Sphere pointed out, a court recently fined CNN for pushing fake news that hurt someone. Washington Post claimed Russia had hacked our electric grid, which was a total lie. And New York Times published a story that the government wiretapped Trump’s aides, then another story that the government didn’t wiretap Trump’s aides. Trump was right about CNN and others being fake news.
  • When Trump said it was too early to tell who was behind a string of threats against Jewish centers, the Anti-Defamation League, and others attacked Trump, some accusing Trump supporters of the threats. But the arrest of far-left St. Louis journalist Juan Thompson, a Bernie supporter, proved Trump was right to withhold judgment until all the facts were in.
  • Trump said the Yemen raid by Navy SEALs was a success. John McCain and the media said it was a failure. Then we blew up a bunch of terrorists in Yemen using intel gained in that raid. Trump was right about Yemen.
  • General Motors flatly denied Trump’s allegation that GM was moving Chevy Cruze production to Mexico. The media jumped in on GM’s side. But on January 19, CNN Money admitted Trump was right. GM was laying off 1,200 Americans because of its move to Mexico. GM lied, Trump was right.
  • Remember when Trump said he would save thos Carrier jobs in Indiana? Everyone said he was nuts. He saved most of them, didn’t he?
  • Trump called himself a conservative person. Professional conservatives howled and called him a charlatan. Yet, so far, Trump has been the most conservative president since Calvin Coolidge. (Sorry, Mr. Reagan.) And he’s just getting started!
  • Trump said he’d appoint a conservative to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Pundits and professional conservatives said he’d pick a liberal. Cruz said he’d pick Merrick Garland. But Trump picked Neil Gorsuch, a favorite of Ted Cruz.
  • Last year, Buzzfeed found 7 crazy pop culture predictions Trump was right about. Turns out Trump is pretty good at predicting who will stay married and who will get divorced.
  • Trump was lambasted (still is) for saying a lot of drugs come into America from Mexico. But even HuffPo admits Trump was right.
  • The media and Mexican groups attacked Trump’s “crazy” assertion that 80 percent of young women crossing Mexico from Central America to reach the US were raped along the way. Turns out Trump was right and the Mexican activists were wrong.
  • Nobody believed Trump when he said he could win the Republican nomination as late as April 2016. I was in DC in April hanging out with political friends. They all expected the GOP to find some way to dump Trump and appoint Cruz or Rubio as the nominee. Trump wrapped up the nomination less than a month later.
  • None of the major media, major pollsters (save for Rasmussen), political pundits, or Hollywood celebs gave Trump a snowball’s chance in hell at winning on November 8. But Trump divested all of his stock holdings in June of 2016 because “I felt very much that we’d be winning.” As the Dallas News put it: “Trump was right, we were wrong.” Showtime calls the election the biggest political upset of all time. And until November 9th, so many people called Trump’s confidence a sign of craziness.

(Read how Trump completed the Tea Party)

Look, there are probably another 100 cases where Trump said or tweeted something “crazy” that turned out to be right. You’re probably thinking of several that I missed. But I’m tired of writing. Almost every time Trump says something outlandish, he’s right and everyone else is wrong. I’m used to it. You might want to just start nodding your head at everything Trump says. He’s usually right. And always right about the important stuff.

Before you decide that Trump’s wiretap tweets were crazy, think about this list. And think about Scott Adams’s point: presidents have access to more information than anyone alive. It’s possible that Trump knows something about those wiretaps that you and the New York Times editorial board do not.

If history is any guide, expect to see this headline in a few days: “Trump Proven Right On Wiretaps.”