What ‘SNL’ got wrong in its Spicer satire

Sean Spicer and actress Melissa Mccarthy as “Spicey”. Image: http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.3345475.1500661053!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/article_750/trump.jpg

By: Dean Obeidallah

(CNN) – Thanks to “Saturday Night Live,’ we have two versions of Sean Spicer. There’s the sympathetic one who Melissa McCarthy plays hilariously on the late-night show. And then there’s the Spicer who has defended many of Donald Trump’s outrageous claims with false statements and outright lies.

The problem is that the “SNL” version made Spicer far more endearing than he actually is. And this gives us a sense of the power of political comedy. Comedy can be used to make us laugh while reminding us of a politician’s transgressions. But the risk is that comedy can make a flawed political figure seem sympathetic and even help us overlook his misconduct.

Just look at the reactions when Spicer announced his resignation as press secretary on Friday. Democratic Rep. Pramila Jaypal tweeted, “Huge blow for “SNL.” Farewell, Sean Spicer.” Journalist and CNN contributor April Ryan, who had battled with Spicer in the past tweeted, “It is over no more Melissa McCarthy!” While actor Zach Braff wrote on Twitter “actual footage of Sean Spicer” and shared a clip of McCarthy looking forlorn on the streets of New York.

Don’t get me wrong — I had a similar reaction to the news of his resignation. But if McCarthy and “SNL” had not depicted Spicer in the fashion they had, do you think we would’ve seen such a strong reaction?

Instead, many of us would have responded the way The New York Times “eulogized” Spicer on Saturday — as the person who began by lying on day one as the White House spokesperson and only continued from there.

As a reminder, Spicer lied to us at his very first press conference after Trump was sworn in, defending Trump’s baseless claims about the size of the inauguration crowd. Spicer emphatically declared, “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period.” But, as the fact checkers at the Washington Post put it, “This is an appalling performance by the new press secretary,” as he made “a series of false and misleading claims in service of a relatively minor issue.” They concluded Spicer’s statements that day earned him the maximum four Pinocchios but added, “we wish we could give five.”

And we can’t forget Spicer defending Trump’s fact free claims of mass voter fraud by making up sources to help Trump cope with losing the popular vote. At the January 25 press conference, Spicer claimed that a 2008 Pew poll “showed 14% of people who voted were noncitizens.” However, the nonpartisan Politifact dubbed that statement false since the Pew poll “makes no mention of noncitizens voting or registering to vote.

And the list goes on of Spicer’s outlandish statements in defense of Trump — from his remark that Adolf Hitler “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons” in an effort to gin up support for Trump’s bombing of Syria to false statements about the role Paul Manafort played in the campaign in an effort to help distance Trump from his former campaign manager.

But, for many, McCarthy’s wildly popular depiction of “Spicey” as a likable bumbling character has come to define the former press secretary. In fact, the last time we saw McCarthy as Spicer on “SNL” in May makes this very point. While “Spicey” was defending a Trump lie, one reporter asked isn’t there a chance Trump is lying to you, to which McCarthy sympathetically responded, “he wouldn’t do that, he’s my friend.”

“Spicey” then headed off to confront Trump, played by Alec Baldwin, demanding to know if Trump ever lied to him. Baldwin replied, “Only since you started working here.” Through comedy, “SNL” had erased Spicer’s moral culpability for lying to us by making it all Trump’s fault.

In contrast and thankfully, however, “SNL” has been careful not to forgive Trump’s transgressions. In fact, in that same “SNL” sketch, Baldwin tells McCarthy to “kiss me.” “Spicey” responded, “I can’t — I have a wife and took vows.” “SNL” then reminded us of Trump’s vile comments on the Access Hollywood bus when Baldwin tells McCarthy, “I’m famous — it’s okay.”

In the time of Trump, comedy is playing a critical role in serving as both a cathartic release and source of empowerment for those who oppose Trump. But comedy shows must be aware that there’s a fine line between causing us to laugh at a political figure’s misconduct and minimizing them through comedy that makes him undeservedly likable.

Given the stakes, hopefully comedians will continue to use their skills to remind us of Trump’s misconduct and not turn him into an orange haired version of “Spicey.”

Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is the host of SiriusXM’s radio’s daily program “The Dean Obeidallah Show” and a columnist for The Daily Beast. Follow him @deanofcomedy. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his. For more on humor, watch CNN’s “The History of Comedy” Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT.



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Donald Trump’s Addled and Ominous Interview with the Times

The big “get” of President Trump’s interview with the New York Times was confirmation of a story that’s been going around Washington for months. Photograph by Mark Peterson / Redux

It is often said, and with ample reason, that much of what Donald Trump says isn’t worth a jot. As Tony Schwartz, Trump’s ghostwriter, noted last year, “lying is second nature to him.” When he isn’t telling outright whoppers, he exaggerates things outrageously, and his utterances often bear little resemblance from one day to the next. On Tuesday, he said that Republicans should let Obamacare crash and burn. On Wednesday, he said that he wanted to see it replaced.

But, whereas Trump’s statements often fail to withstand inspection when examined individually, analyzing a group of them together can sometimes provide valuable insights into his mind-set, which, at this time, appears to be even more addled than usual. The interview that Trump gave on Wednesday to three reporters from the Times offers us that opportunity.

A partial transcript of the interview, which the Times posted online, shows him eager to impress his interlocutors despite the fact that they work for a publication he has many times described as “failing” and “fake news.” He boasted about the response he received to the speech he recently gave in Poland, and how much the French President, Emmanuel Macron, likes him. (“He’s a great guy. Smart. Strong. Loves holding my hand.”)

At one point, Trump even played the role of amateur historian, pointing out how the armies of Napoleon and Hitler came to grief in the Russian winter, and adding that Napoleon “didn’t go to Russia that night because he had extracurricular activities, and they froze to death.”

That claim might be dubbed “fake history,” but it wouldn’t do to dwell on it because the interview also covered many more consequential subjects, including the Russia investigation and the now infamous meeting that his son, Donald Trump, Jr., arranged at Trump Tower last June. The overwhelming impression from the transcript is of a President who considers himself above the law, and who believes himself to be, through no fault of his own, besieged by internal and external enemies, particularly in the Justice Department and the F.B.I. As he put it at one point, “I have headaches, that’s what I have, I have headaches.”

As usual, Trump reserved some of his vitriol for James Comey, the man he fired as F.B.I. director. He repeated his unfounded claim that Comey leaked classified information, and accused him of lying to Congress. He also claimed that Comey had been looking for “leverage” when he warned Trump in January about an opposition-research dossier that contained salacious allegations about the President. (How would this be leverage? It is unwise to follow Trump’s logic too closely.)

The big news “get” in the interview was confirmation of a story that’s been going around Washington for months: Trump blames many of his woes on one of his own key lieutenants, Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General, who recused himself from overseeing the Russia investigation.

TRUMP: So Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself. I then have—which, frankly, I think is very unfair to the president. How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, “Thanks, Jeff, but I can’t, you know, I’m not going to take you.”

Although Trump doesn’t say it straight out, this transcript makes it clear that he thinks that Sessions, despite all the questions he was facing about his own contacts with the Russian Ambassador, should have refused to recuse himself from the investigation and protected the White House as the Russia investigation proceeded. Instead, Sessions failed him, with consequences that Trump immediately went on to detail.

TRUMP: It’s extremely unfair, and that’s a mild word, to the president. So he recuses himself. I then end up with a second man, who’s a deputy.

HABERMAN: Rosenstein.

TRUMP: Who is he? And Jeff hardly knew. He’s from Baltimore.

Actually, Rod Rosenstein, the deputy Attorney General, grew up in Pennsylvania. He did serve for twelve years as the U.S. Attorney for a district encompassing Baltimore, a city that Trump views as a Democratic swamp. And it was Rosenstein, with Sessions recused, who appointed Robert Mueller as a special counsel to investigate the alleged ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia. Trump also considers this appointment to have been unnecessary. “I have done nothing wrong,” he said. “A special counsel should never have been appointed in this case.”

Of course, Rosenstein also did Trump a favor earlier on in his Administration: he submitted a letter to Sessions saying that James Comey should be replaced as F.B.I. director because of his mishandling of the agency’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. In the interview, Trump concedes as much, saying, “O.K., he gives me a letter about Comey . . . and it certainly didn’t hurt to have the letter.”

But in Trump’s mind it is clear that that incident was ancient history, and Rosenstein is now part of a cabal of Washington insiders—officials, prosecutors, and investigators—who are out to get him, regardless of his innocence. In addition to Rosenstein, these insiders include Mueller, whom he accused of having undisclosed conflicts of interest, and Andrew McCabe, the deputy director of the F.B.I., whose wife, Jill, ran as a Democrat for a seat in the Virginia state Senate in 2015.

To Trump, who views everything through a lens of self-interest, there are no matters of legitimate public interest at stake in the Russia story; no public-spirited officials trying to fulfill their duty to the public; no duty on his part to respect the need for distance between the White House and the Justice Department when it comes to matters having to do with the President. It is all just a political racket, and he is the one getting screwed.

In truth, of course, Trump has himself to blame for Mueller’s appointment. By going ahead and firing Comey, Trump prompted Comey to leak incriminating details about their meetings. And that left Rosenstein little choice but to set up an investigation that was independent of the Justice Department.

Practically everybody in Washington agrees that Trump made a monumental error in firing Comey. But when one of the Timesreporters raised this possibility, Trump, characteristically, refused to admit it, saying, merely, “I think I did a great thing for the American people.”

Another problem with Trump’s narrative is that significant new information keeps emerging about links between Russia and his campaign, including the now infamous sitdown that Trump, Jr., had with a Russian lawyer. When the Times reporters pressed him on this, Trump restated his position: it was a routine meeting, and he wasn’t told about it at the time. But he also made a new point—new to me, anyway—arguing that, by last June, when the meeting took place, he didn’t even need any more dirt to hurl at Clinton: he already had plenty.

“There wasn’t much I could say about Hillary Clinton that was worse than what I was already saying,” he said. “I was talking about, she deleted and bleached, which nobody does because of the cost . . . 33,000 emails. I talked about the back of the plane, I talked about the uranium deal, I talked about the speech that Russia gave Clinton — $500,000 while she was secretary of state . . . honestly, Peter, I mean, unless somebody said that she shot somebody in the back, there wasn’t much I could add to my repertoire.”

You have to give points for creativity, I suppose. Like many con men, Trump never lacks a defense. But what he said in the interview was directly contradicted by his own words on July 27, 2016, just weeks after the Trump Tower meeting, when he publicly urged the Kremlin to hack Clinton’s e-mail, saying, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the thirty thousand e-mails that are missing.”

It is a pity the Times reporters didn’t present this quote to Trump. No doubt, he would have come up with another bogus explanation. He always does. At some point, though, as the Russia investigation gets ever closer to him, he will almost certainly have to answer questions under oath, and there is no knowing how he might react. At the end of the interview, one of the reporters asked Trump if he would fire Mueller if his investigation “went outside of certain parameters.” Trump’s answer was instructive: “ I can’t answer that question because I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

El fracaso de Trump en la reforma sanitaria destapa sus problemas de liderazgo

El republicano sigue siendo un presidente de excepción, apoyado por un núcleo duro, pero rechazado por el resto.

Donald Trump en su reunión con senadores republicanos tras el fracaso de la reforma sanitaria. REUTERS

Donald Trump sigue solo. Tras seis meses en el poder y una agenda en agitación permanente, el multimillonario neoyorquino no ha sido capaz de romper con la maldición de su mandato. Continúa siendo un presidente de excepción, apoyado por un núcleo duro de votantes, pero rechazado por el resto. Una fractura, cristalizada en su bajísima valoración en las encuestas, que el fracaso en la aprobación reforma sanitaria ha dejado en evidencia. Ni siquiera en el proyecto más emblemático y anhelado de la derecha ha logrado unir a su propio partido.

La división republicana ha dejado el liderazgo de Trump por los suelos. El legado de Barack Obama ha mostrado mucha más resistencia de la que se suponía y ha permitido que las carencias del multimillonario afloren. Las encuestas lo han señalado desde el primer día. Su valoración es la más débil de un presidente a esta altura del mandato, y su vertiginosa gestión solo polariza más. Pero esta limitación no implica que haya perdido el apoyo de sus bases. Los sondeos, como indica a este periódico el profesor Larry Sabato, director del Centro para la Política de la Universidad de Virginia, se elaboran sobre población general pero a efectos electorales solo importan los votantes registrados, y ahí Trump permanece incólume. Sin otros aliados, pero fuerte.

Con este bagaje, Trump ha entrado en el laberinto. Fracasado su plan de liquidar el Obamacare y aprobar al mismo tiempo un proyecto propio, está tratando de hallar una nueva salida: votar la eliminación del actual sistema y dejar para una discusión posterior su alternativa. El plan es de alto riesgo. Tres republicanos moderados ya han alertado de que no piensan dar ese paso y que sumaran sus votos a los demócratas. Dada la exigua mayoría republicana en el Senado (52 escaños frente a 48), es casi imposible que la iniciativa prospere.

Pero Trump no ha tirado la toalla. Ha pedido al líder de la mayoría republicana en el Senado, Mitch McConnell, que someta a votación el fin del Obamacare la semana que viene, y paralelamente él mismo ha convocado una serie de reuniones con los senadores, la primera este miércoles, con el objetivo de recuperar terreno perdido y taponar una fuga irreversible en su presidencia. “La inacción no es solución. Tengo una pluma en la mano lista para firmar. No deberíamos dejar la ciudad hasta tener un plan y sacarlo adelante”, les dijo.

La Casa Blanca es consciente de que sin una mayoría estable en el Senado no sólo la reforma sanitaria, sino su plan fiscal y los presupuestos del año próximo corren peligro. Ante este espectro, Trump, el antisistema que venía a drenar el pantano, ha empezado a buscar su apoyo. No será tarea fácil.

Los republicanos tienen la mayoría en las dos Cámaras, pero forman un universo fractal que hizo de la obstrucción un arma mortal contra Obama y cuyo aguijón sigue vivo. Irredentos, centrados en sus intereses de circunscripción y ultrasensibles a las elecciones de 2018 (renovación total en la Cámara de Representantes y un tercio en el Senado), usan su poder hasta la extenuación y no perdonan los deslices. Trump lo ha sentido en carne propia.

El líder que se presentaba como el gran hacedor de pactos ha cometido en la tramitación de la reforma sanitaria graves errores de estrategia. El primero se vio en marzo cuando intentó forzar la votación de una primera versión en la Cámara de Representantes sin tener mayoría asegurada. In extremis tuvo que retirarla y volver a negociar a puerta cerrada.

El bochorno se ha repetido ahora. En esta segunda fase, obligó al líder de la mayoría republicana en el Senado, Mitch McConell a imponer un doble juego:eliminar el Obamacare y aprobar un proyecto alternativo al mismo tiempo. McConnell y otros senadores le advirtieron de la complejidad de la jugada. Demasiado ambiciosa para lograrla de una sola tacada. Trump insistió. Y la fractura volvió a emerger.

Para los moderados, el plan presentado era excesivamente duro en sus recortes a los más desfavorecidos y hacía prever un colapso en la cifra de asegurados de clase trabajadora (unos 15 millones menos en dos años). Y para los radicales, la ley dejaba escapar con vida el Obamacare. El descontento era evidente. Y Trump no supo manejarlo.

El mismo lunes el presidente cenó con un nutrido grupo de senadores y dedicó la mayor parte de la reunión a recordar sus viajes. “No habló más que de Francia y del Día de la Bastilla”, señaló con sorna un senador republicano. Poco después, la rebelión tomó cuerpo y con la oposición de solo cuatro legisladores la ley se hundió.


Donald Trump ha jugado contra las encuestas en la reforma sanitaria. La última elaborada por The Washington Post-ABC y publicada este domingo pasado ya revelaba la falta de confianza en su proyecto. Aunque es cierto que el Obamacare no gusta del todo (sólo el 37% lo apoya con fuerza), aún gusta menos el proyecto alternativo auspiciado por la Casa Blanca (sólo 17% lo apoya con fuerza). Un resultado que se repite incluso entre los trabajadores blancos sin estudios superiores, el sector de voto duro de Trump.

A este factor se suma la propia polaridad del presidente. Excepto en el área económica, donde el 43% aprueba su gestión frente 41% que la rechaza, en el resto de baremos el mandatario suspende. Así el 58% es contrario a su gestión presidencial (36% a favor) y el 55% considera que no ha logrado avances significativos, frente al 38% que sí.


En pleno debate interno, el Partido Republicano sufrió un nuevo jarro de agua fría. La Oficina Presupuestaria del Congreso, un organismo independiente, pronosticó este miércoles que derogar partes de la ley sanitaria actual sin sustituirlas por una alternativa dispararía el número de personas sin seguro médico en EE UU: 17 millones más en 2018 y 32 millones en 2026. Es una cifra muy superior a los 22 millones de personas más sin seguro en nueve años que había calculado el organismo ante la primera propuesta de reforma republicana.

Ante la incapacidad de sumar los votos republicanos necesarios para avanzar con su propia reforma, Donald Trump ha instado a los senadores a derogar primero Obamacare y luego votar por una propuesta que lo sustituya. Pero esa estrategia parece contar con aún menos apoyos entre los legisladores, lo que posiblemente se acentuará con el pronóstico de la Oficina Presupuestaria.

En: elpais

Entendiendo el Sistema de Salud en los Estados Unidos

Imagen: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/V1D5CzpQDJg/maxresdefault.jpg

¿Se ha preguntado sobre qué trata el debate sobre el Seguro de Salud en los Estados Unidos? o ¿por qué un seguro de accidentes o por enfermedad funciona de la manera en que lo hace? El sistema de salud de los Estados Unidos puede ser difícil de entender, y la palabra “sistema” en sí puede ser engañosa ya que diferentes áreas de ella están dirigidas por cientos de organizaciones individuales, incluyendo el gobierno y las organizaciones con y sin fines de lucro.

Historia del Servicio de Salud en los Estados Unidos

La atención médica era de difícil acceso en los primeros días de Las Colonias ya que pocos médicos británicos entrenados habían llegado a Norteamérica. Sin embargo, a mediados del siglo XVIII, Nueva Orleans, Filadelfia y Nueva York fundaron los primeros grandes hospitales, en ese contexto las primeras escuelas de medicina también abrieron sus puertas. El primer hospital, el Royal Hospital de Nueva Orleans, era demasiado caro para una gran parte de los residentes del área, por lo que se decidió construir un segundo hospital, The Charity Hospital, que atendería a la población con fines caritativos. A lo largo de la historia de los Estados Unidos y aún hoy, muchos hospitales están dirigidos por organizaciones religiosas, las que tradicionalmente se han inclinado por atender las dolencias y enfermedades de los más pobres.

Durante la Guerra Civil en los Estados Unidos, el Gobierno Federal y los Estados individuales comenzaron a construir hospitales en cada Estado para la atención de los soldados enfermos o que caían heridos. El gobierno también inició las primeras disposiciones sobre salud pública relacionadas con el servicio de agua potable, saneamiento y control de la tuberculosis, las cuales comenzaron a tener efectos significativos a principios del siglo XX. Desde entonces, la atención de la salud en los Estados Unidos se convirtió en un gigantesco sistema dirigido por múltiples grupos.

En 1965, el Presidente Lyndon B. Johnson promulgó los sistemas Medicare y Medicaid, que aseguraban a los jubilados y a las personas cuyos ingresos se encontraban bajo la línea de pobreza. Esto significó la creación de un gran sistema de salud federal que cubre a millones de estadounidenses. Sin embargo, resultaba difícil expandir estos programas para cubrir a más personas, porque se trataba de un tema muy polémico y que la mayoría de los políticos no querían abordar.

El Debate sobre la Atención de Salud en los Estados Unidos

El debate sobre si el gobierno debía proporcionar financiamiento a los servicios de salud y cuánto debería proporcionarse, es de larga data. La primera legislación, propuesta por la activista Dorthea Dix, fue el Proyecto de Ley de 1854 para el beneficio de indigentes con problemas mentales. A pesar de haber sido aprobada en ambas cámaras del Congreso, el proyecto de ley fue vetado por el presidente Franklin Pierce, quien argumentó que el bienestar social no debía descansar en manos del gobierno federal.

En 1910, cuando muchos países europeos aprobaban legislación para estatizar la atención médica para sus ciudadanos, el presidente Theodore Roosevelt trató de promover el mismo tipo de legislación en los EE.UU. Sin embargo, fue derrotado en el intento por los políticos de ambos partidos políticos. Los principales argumentos del debate en la actualidad siguen basándose en ideas similares en ese tiempo.

Los que apoyan la idea de la atención universal de la salud en los Estados Unidos afirman que sólo el Gobierno Federal puede garantizar que todos los ciudadanos estén cubiertos. Asimismo, el dinero que el gobierno federal gasta ahora para cubrir la atención de emergencia para aquellos sin seguro es tan alto que sería más eficiente si ellos pudieran tener un sistema formal que cubra a todos. Un sistema unificado tendría una mayor capacidad de negociación para concertar con compañías farmacéuticas, hospitales y proveedores de equipos permitiéndoles reducir los costos de la atención.

Sin embargo, en los Estados Unidos existe una larga historia de recelo por parte del poder federal. Los EE.UU. fueron diseñados originalmente con un gobierno federal débil y  gobiernos estatales fuertes como una garantía de protección  contra la tiranía. Aunque ese equilibrio ha cambiado dramáticamente a través de los años, aún muchos estadounidenses prefieren limitar el poder del gobierno federal. Estos argumentan que si el gobierno administra el servicio  de salud, este sería más burocrático y tendría que tomar decisiones sin participación  de los pacientes. Sienten que su cuidado sería más regulado y menos individualizado. También temen que un sistema de salud grande implique un alto costo y contribuya a impuestos significativamente más altos.

Sistema Estadounidense de Aseguramiento en Salud

Aunque hay varios tipos de cobertura y los Estados a menudo tienen sus propias regulaciones sobre seguro de salud, hay algunos aspectos del sistema que son similares en todo EE.UU. Hospitales, clínicas, consultorios médicos y otras instalaciones de atención de salud son propiedad de una gran variedad de entidades públicas y privadas. Los proveedores de seguros de salud (health insurance providers) son generalmente empresas separadas de aquellas y tratan con una amplia gama proveedores de atención médica (healt care providers).

Los pacientes pagan cuotas de seguro de salud mensuales para asegurarse de que estarán cubiertos cuando tengan que ir al médico, clínica u hospital. Los proveedores de seguros cubren a miles de pacientes, por lo que son capaces de negociar con los proveedores de atención médica por precios reducidos y  el pago por los servicios. El seguro de Medicare o Medicaid funciona de la misma manera, pero a mayor escala. Dado que necesitan ser capaces de negociar, los proveedores de seguros generalmente tienen una red de médicos con los que tienen acuerdos y los pacientes están cubiertos por visitas a los médicos dentro de esa red, pero puede que no esten cubiertos o totalmente cubiertos, por visitas a doctores que están fuera de esa red. Los proveedores de seguros por lo general cubren los servicios que los médicos consideran necesarios, pero a menudo no cubren los servicios que se consideran “electivos”. Las compañías de seguros tienen como objetivo mantener sus costos bajos mientras siguen cubriendo los cuidados de salud necesarios.

La Ley de Cuidado de Salud Asequible (Afordable Care Act, A.C.A. u “Obamacare”)

La Ley de Protección al Paciente y Asistencia Asequible (PPACA), comúnmente conocida como “Obamacare”, fue una ley aprobada en el año 2010. Como las compañías de seguros son sociedades privadas con fines de lucro, muchos estadounidenses quedaron sin seguro porque no podían pagarlo, no querían el seguro, o porque fueron rechazados debido a condiciones preexistentes. El gobierno de Obama trató de abordar varios de estos temas con la Ley de Protección al Paciente y Asistencia Asequible (ACA). Estas son algunas de las principales disposiciones de la Ley:

  • No se permite a los aseguradores rechazar la cobertura debido a condiciones preexistentes.
  • Se establecieron patrones mínimos para las pólizas de seguro de salud.
  • La elegibilidad para Medicaid se expandió.
  • Medicare se sometió a reformas orientadas a una mayor eficiencia.
  • Las personas sin seguro proporcionado por el empleador están obligadas a comprar un seguro de salud.
  • Los Health Exchange (o Health Insurance Marketplace) se crearon para ofrecer a los consumidores una forma eficaz de encontrar un seguro de salud adecuado y proporcionar subsidios a quienes lo necesitan.

Bajo la Ley de Protección al Paciente y Asistencia Asequible (ACA), 11 millones más de estadounidenses están asegurados en comparación con periodos anteriores. Sin embargo, esta legislación fue criticada por los republicanos a pesar de que fue aprobada por ambas cámaras del Congreso. Los intentos repetidos por detener la legislación a través de los tribunales han fracasado en su mayoría, aunque ha habido algunas resoluciones parcialmente en su favor. Es muy probable que el debate sobre la atención sanitaria continúe como ha ocurrido durante los últimos cien años.

Texto traducido de Elizabeth Cummings en: Understanding the US Health Care System

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Estos son los 18 distritos de Lima y Callao que perdonarán deudas a sus vecinos

Cámara de Comercio de Lima se mostró en contra de este tipo de condonaciones de deudas por tributos municipales

Imagen tomada de: http://www.limacomovamos.org/cm/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Reportes-Distritales.png

Son 18 los distritos de Lima y Callao que hasta el 31 de julio condonarán las multas e intereses moratorios por tributos municipales que no fueron pagados a tiempo.

Así lo informó la Cámara de Comercio de Lima (CCL), en comunicado sobre las ordenanzas dispuestas por cada municipio. Esto son Villa El Salvador, La Victoria, Chaclacayo, Barranco, Ate, San Borja, Pueblo Libre, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, Cieneguilla y Surquillo.

Otros distritos que condonarán sus deudas son Ancón, Carabayllo, Callao, Villa María del Triunfo, San Juan de Lurigancho, Lurigancho-Chosica y El Rímac.

La CCL se mostró en contra de estas medidas dispuestas por los municipios porque constituyen “un premio a los morosos”. Víctor Zavala, gerente del CCL indicó que municipios deberían “moderar el monto de los arbitrios, a fin de evitar que los contribuyentes incurran en morosidad”.

Esta es la lista de municipios que condonarán deudas y sus respectivas fechas de vencimiento.

 Municipalidad Beneficio tributario Plazo de vencimiento
 Villa El Salvador  Beneficios para el pago de deudas tributarias y administrativas  31/07/2017
La Victoria  Facilidades para el pago de deudas tributarias 2017 y años anteriores  31/07/2017
Chaclacayo  Condonación de intereses y multas por deudas tributarias vencidas.  31/07/2017
Barranco  Condonación del 100% de intereses moratorios y 100% de multas  05/08/2017
 Ate  Beneficio de condonación de deudas tributarias 31/07/2017
San Borja  Beneficios para el pago de multas administrativas  30/09/2017
Pueblo Libre  Condonación de intereses y multas  31/07/2017
Santa Rosa  Beneficios por pago del predial y arbitrios  31/07/2017
San Miguel  Beneficios por pago de deudas tributarias y no tributarias  19/07/2017
Cieneguilla  Condonación de deudas tributarias y no tributarias  31/07/2017
 Surquillo  Incentivos por regularización tributaria  31/07/2017
 Ancón  Descuentos por pago de tributos y multas  31/07/2017
Carabayllo   Programa de incentivos y beneficios tributarios  31/07/2017
 Callao Beneficios por pago del predial, arbitrios y alcabala  31/07/2017
 Villa María del Triunfo  Beneficio de regularización tributaria  31/07/2017
 San Juan  de Lurigancho  Beneficio de regularización de deudas tributarias y no tributarias  31/07/2017
 Lurigancho-Chosica  Regularización de obligaciones sustanciales y formales  26/07/2017
 Rímac  Beneficios por pago del predial y arbitrios  31/07/2017

En: elcomercio

How bosses are (literally) like dictators

Americans think they live in a democracy. But their workplaces are small tyrannies.

Some Amazon warehouse workers have complained about being pushed beyond their abilities by their bosses. Boston Globe / Getty

Updated by  Jul 17, 2017, 8:20am EDT

Consider some facts about how American employers control their workers. Amazon prohibits employees from exchanging casual remarks while on duty, calling this “time theft.” Apple inspects the personal belongings of its retail workers, some of whom lose up to a half-hour of unpaid time every day as they wait in line to be searched. Tyson prevents its poultry workers from using the bathroom. Some have been forced to urinate on themselves while their supervisors mock them.

About half of US employees have been subject to suspicionless drug screening by their employers. Millions are pressured by their employers to support particular political causes or candidates. Soon employers will be empowered to withhold contraception coveragefrom their employees’ health insurance. They already have the right to penalize workers for failure to exercise and diet, by charging them higher health insurance premiums.

How should we understand these sweeping powers that employers have to regulate their employees’ lives, both on and off duty? Most people don’t use the term in this context, but wherever some have the authority to issue orders to others, backed by sanctions, in some domain of life, that authority is a government

We usually assume that “government” refers to state authorities. Yet the state is only one kind of government. Every organization needs some way to govern itself — to designate who has authority to make decisions concerning its affairs, what their powers are, and what consequences they may mete out to those beneath them in the organizational chart who fail to do their part in carrying out the organization’s decisions.

Managers in private firms can impose, for almost any reason, sanctions including job loss, demotion, pay cuts, worse hours, worse conditions, and harassment. The top managers of firms are therefore the heads of little governments, who rule their workers while they are at work — and often even when they are off duty.

Every government has a constitution, which determines whether it is a democracy, a dictatorship, or something else. In a democracy like the United States, the government is “public.” This means it is properly the business of the governed: transparent to them and servant to their interests. They have a voice and the power to hold rulers accountable.

Not every government is public in this way. When King Louis XIV of France said, “L’etat, c’est moi,” he meant that his government was his business alone, something he kept private from those he governed. They weren’t entitled to know how he operated it, had no standing to insist he take their interests into account in his decisions, and no right to hold him accountable for his actions.

Over time, national governments have become “public,” but in the US workplace governments remain resolutely “private”

Like Louis XIV’s government, the typical American workplace is kept private from those it governs. Managers often conceal decisions of vital interest to their workers. Often, they don’t even give advance notice of firm closures and layoffs. They are free to sacrifice workers’ dignity in dominating and humiliating their subordinates. Most employer harassment of workers is perfectly legal, as long as bosses mete it out on an equal-opportunity basis. (Walmart and Amazon managers are notorious for berating and belittling their workers.) And workers have virtually no power to hold their bosses accountable for such abuses: They can’t fire their bosses, and can’t sue them for mistreatment except in a very narrow range of cases, mostly having to do with discrimination.

Why are workers subject to private government? The state has set the default terms of the constitution of workplace government through its employment laws. The most important source of employers’ power is the default rule of employment at will. Unless the parties have otherwise agreed, employers are free to fire workers for almost any or no reason. This amounts to an effective grant of power to employers to rule the lives of their employees in almost any respect — not just on the job but off duty as well. And they have exercised that power.

Scotts, the lawn care company, fired an employee for smoking off duty. After Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) notified Lakeland Bank that an employee had complained he wasn’t holding town hall meetings, the bank intimidated her into resigning. San Diego Christian College fired a teacher for having premarital sex — and hired her fiancé to fill her post. Bosses are dictators, and workers are their subjects.

American public discourse doesn’t give us helpful ways to talk about the dictatorial rule of employers. Instead, we talk as if workers aren’t ruled by their bosses. We are told that unregulated markets make us free, and that the only threat to our liberties is the state. We are told that in the market, all transactions are voluntary. We are told that since workers freely enter and exit the labor contract, they are perfectly free under it. We prize our skepticism about “government,” without extending our critique to workplace dictatorship.

The earliest champions of free markets envisioned a world of self-employment

Why do we talk like this? The answer takes us back to free market ideas developed before the Industrial Revolution. In 17th- and 18th-century Britain, big merchants got the state to grant them monopolies over trade in particular goods, forcing small craftsmen to submit to their regulations. A handful of aristocratic families enjoyed a monopoly on land, due to primogeniture and entail, which barred the breakup and sale of any part of large estates. Farmers could rent their land only on short-term leases, which forced them to bow and scrape before their landlords, in a condition of subordination not much different from servants, who lived in their masters’ households and had to obey their rules.

The problem was that the state had rigged the rules of the market in favor of the rich. Confronted with this economic situation, many people argued that free markets would promote equality and workers’ interests by enabling them to go into business for themselves and thereby escapesubordination to the owners of capital.

No wonder some of the early advocates of free markets in 17th-century England were called “Levellers.” These radicals, who emerged during the English civil war, wanted to abolish the monopolies held by the big merchants and aristocrats. They saw the prospects of greater equality that might come from opening up to ordinary workers opportunities for manufacture, trade, and farming one’s own land.

Marchers in Burford, England, celebrate the “levellers,” who sought to overthrow monopolies in the 17th century. Tim Graham / Getty

In the 18th century, Adam Smith was the greatest advocate for the view that replacing monopolies, primogeniture, entail, and involuntary servitude with free markets would enable laborers to work on their own behalf. His key assumption was that incentives were more powerful than economies of scale. When workers get to keep all of the fruits of their labor, as they do when self-employed, they will work much harder and more efficiently than if they are employed by a master, who takes a cut of what they produce. Indolent aristocratic landowners can’t compete with yeoman farmers without laws preventing land sales. Free markets in land, labor, and commerce will therefore lead to the triumph of the most efficient producer, the self-employed worker, and the demise of the idle, stupid, rent-seeking rentier.

Smith and his contemporaries looked across the Atlantic and saw that America appeared to be realizing these hopes — although only for white men. The great majority of the free population in the Revolutionary period was self-employed, as either a yeoman farmer or an independent artisan or merchant.

In the United States, Thomas Paine was the great promoter of this vision. Indeed, his views on political economy sound as if they could have been ripped out of the GOP Freedom Caucus playbook. Paine argued that individuals can solve nearly all of their problems on their own, without state meddling. A good government does nothing more than secure individuals in “peace and safety” in the free pursuit of their occupations, with the lowest possible tax burden. Taxation is theft. People living off government pay are social parasites. Government is the chief cause of poverty. Paine was a lifelong advocate of commerce, free trade, and free markets. He called for hard money and fiscal responsibility.

Paine was the hero of labor radicals for decades after his death in 1809, because they shared his hope that free markets would yield an economy almost entirely composed of small proprietors. An economy of small proprietors offers a plausible model of a free society of equals: each individual personally independent, none taking orders from anyone else, everyone middle class.

Abraham Lincoln built on the vision of Smith and Paine, which helped to shape the two key planks of the Republican Party platform: opposition to the extension of slavery in the territories, and the Homestead Act. Slavery, after all, enabled masters to accumulate vast tracts of land, squeezing out small farmers and forcing them into wage labor. Prohibiting the extension of slavery into the territories and giving away small plots of land to anyone who would work it would realize a society of equals in which no one is ever consigned to wage labor for life. Lincoln, who helped create the political party that now defends the interests of business, never wavered from the proposition that true free labor meant freedom from wage labor.

The Industrial Revolution, however — well underway by Lincoln’s time — ultimately dashed the hopes of joining free markets with independent labor in a society of equals. Smith’s prediction — that economies of scale would be less important than the incentive effects of enabling workers to reap all the fruits of their labor — was defeated by industrial technologies that required massive accumulations of capital. The US, with its access to territories seized from Native Americans, was able to stave off the bankruptcy of self-employed farmers and other small proprietors for far longer than Europe. But industrialization, population growth, the closure of the frontier, and railroad monopolies doomed the sole proprietorship to the margins of the economy, even in North America.

The Industrial Revolution gave employers new powers over workers, but economists failed to adjust their vocabulary — or their analyses

The Smith-Paine-Lincoln libertarian vision was rendered largely irrelevant by industrialization, which created a new model of wage labor, with large companies taking the place of large landowners. Yet strangely, many people persist in using Smith’s and Paine’s rhetoric to describe the world we live in today. We are told that our choice is between free markets and state control — but most adults live their working lives under a third thing entirely: private government. A vision of what egalitarians hoped market society would deliver before the Industrial Revolution — a world without private workplace government, with producers interacting only through markets and the state — has been blindly carried over to the modern economy by libertarians and their pro-business fellow travelers.

There is a condition called hemiagnosia, whose sufferers cannot perceive one half of their bodies. A large class of libertarian-leaning thinkers and politicians, with considerable public following, resemble patients with this condition: They cannot perceive half of the economy — the half that takes place beyond the market, after the employment contract is accepted, where workers are subject to private, arbitrary, unaccountable government.

What can we do about this? Americans are used to complaining about how government regulation restricts our freedom. So we should recognize that such complaints apply, with at least as much force, to private governments of the workplace. For while the punishments employers can impose for disobedience aren’t as severe as those available to the state, the scope of employers’ authority over workers is more sweeping and exacting, its power more arbitrary and unaccountable. Therefore, it is high time we considered remedies for reining in the private government of the workplace similar to those we have long insisted should apply to the state.

Three types of remedy are of special importance. First, recall a key demand the United States made of communist dictatorships during the Cold War: Let dissenters leave. Although workers are formally free to leave their workplace dictatorships, they often pay a steep price. Nearly one-fifth of American workers labor under noncompete clauses. This means they can’t work in the same industry if they quit or are fired.

And it’s not just engineers and other “knowledge economy” workers who are restricted in this way: Even some minimum wage workers are forced to sign noncompetes. Workers who must leave their human capital behind are not truly free to quit. Every state should follow California’s example and ban noncompete clauses from work contracts.

We should clarify the rights that workers possess, and then defend them

Second, consider that if the state imposed surveillance and regulations on us in anything like the way that private employers do, we would rightly protest that our constitutional rights were being violated. American workers have few such rights against their bosses, and the rights they have are very weakly enforced. We should strengthen the constitutional rights that workers have against their employers, and rigorously enforce the ones the law already purports to recognize.

A Manchester clothes mill, 1909. This is not the world Adam Smith envisioned when he championed free markets. Topical Press Agency / Getty

Among the most important of these rights are to freedom of speech and association. This means employers shouldn’t be able to regulate workers’ off-duty speech and association, or informal non-harassing talk during breaks or on duty, if it does not unduly interfere with job performance. Nor should they be able to prevent workers from supporting the candidate of their choice.

Third, we should make the government of the workplace more public (in the sense that political scientists use the term). Workers need a real voice in how they are governed — not just the right to complain without getting fired, but an organized way to insist that their interests have weight in decisions about how work is organized.

One way to do this would be to strengthen the rights of labor unions to organize. Labor unions are a vital tool for checking abusive and exploitative employers. However, due to lax enforcement of laws protecting the right to organize and discuss workplace complaints, many workers are fired for these activities. And many workers shy away from unionization, because they prefer a collaborative to an adversarial relationship to their employer.

Yet even when employers are decent, workers could still use a voice. In many of the rich states of Europe, they already have one, even if they don’t belong to a union. It’s called “co-determination” — a system of joint workplace governance by workers and managers, which automatically applies to firms with more than a few dozen employees. Under co-determination, workers elect representatives to a works council, which participates in decision-making concerning hours, layoffs, plant closures, workplace conditions, and processes. Workers in publicly traded firms also elect some members of the board of directors of the firm.

Against these proposals, libertarian and neoliberal economists theorize that workers somehow suffer from provisions that would secure their dignity, autonomy, and voice at work. That’s because the efficiency of firms would, in theory, drop — along with profits, and therefore wages — if managers did not have maximum control of their workforce. These thinkers insist that employers already compensate workers for any “oppressive” conditions that may exist by offering higher wages. Workers are therefore free to make the trade-off between wages and workplace freedom when they seek a job.

This theory supposes, unrealistically, that entry-level workers already know how well they will be treated when they apply for jobs at different workplaces, and that low-paid workers have ready access to decent working conditions in the first place. It’s telling that the same workers who suffer the worst working conditions also suffer from massive wage theft. One study estimates that employers failed to pay $50 billion in legally mandated wages in one year. Two-thirds of workers in low-wage industries suffered wage theft, costing them nearly 15 percent of their total earnings. This is three times the amount of all other thefts in the United States.

If employers have such contempt for their employees that they steal their wages, how likely is it that they are making it up to them with better working conditions?

It’s also easy to theorize that workers are better off under employer dictatorship, because managers supposedly know best to govern the workplace efficiently. But if efficiency means that workers are forced to pee in their pants, why shouldn’t they have a say in whether such “efficiency” is worthwhile? The long history of American workers’ struggles to get the right to use the bathroom at work — something long enjoyed by our European counterparts — says enough about economists’ stunted notion of efficiency.

Meanwhile, our false rhetoric of workers’ “choice” continues to obscure the ways the state is handing ever more power to workplace dictators. The Trump administration’s Labor Department is working to roll back the Obama administration’s expansion of overtime pay. It is giving a free pass to federal contractors who have violated workplace safety and federal wage and hours laws. It has canceled the paycheck transparency rule, making it harder for women to know when they are being paid less for the same work as men.

Private government is arbitrary, unaccountable government. That’s what most Americans are subject to at work. The history of democracy is the history of turning governance from a private matter into a public one. It has been about making government public — answerable to the interests of citizens and not just the interests of their rulers. It’s time to apply the lessons we have learned from this history to the private government of the workplace. Workers deserve a voice not just on Capitol Hill but in Amazon warehouses, Silicon Valley technology companies, and meat-processing plants as well.

Elizabeth Anderson is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and John Dewey Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy and Women’s studies at the University of Michigan. She is the author of Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don’t Talk About It) (Princeton University Press, 2017).

In: vox

Billions in student loan debt may be wiped away over missing paperwork: report

Image: http://thehill.com/sites/default/files/styles/thumb_small_article/public/blogs/student_loans.jpg?itok=JtWh_q9W

Billions of dollars in private student loan debt may reportedly be erased because of missing legal documents that have left creditors unable to prove who owns the loans.

The New York Times reported Monday that the missing paperwork could result in tens of thousands of delinquent borrowers having their private student loan debt cleared. The loans in question total at least $5 billion.

Private student loans are a $108 billion market, and lenders often pursue delinquent borrowers in court.

National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts, one of the country’s largest owners of private student loans, is locked in a prolonged legal battle with borrowers who have fallen behind on their loan repayments.

But at issue is the group’s ability to show paperwork proving that it owns the loans in question.

The loans held by National Collegiate were made by banks to student borrowers more than a decade ago, according to the Times. But as the loans were bundled together and sold to investors, documents proving who owned the loans disappeared.

Donald Uderitz, the founder of the private equity group that is the beneficial owner of National Collegiate’s trusts, said he wants the group to end its lawsuits against delinquent borrowers, unless it can prove that it owns the loans.

“It’s fraud to try to collect on loans that you don’t own,” Uderitz told the Times. “We want no part of that. If it’s a loan we’re owed fairly, we want to collect. We need answers on this.”

Already, judges across the country have tossed out dozens of collections lawsuits because of missing documentation, essentially erasing borrowers’ debts, according to the Times.

In: thehill

España: El FMI pide que las pensiones solo suban el 0,25% para repartir el ajuste entre generaciones

El Fondo defiende que se mantengan las reformas de la Seguridad Social y que la rebaja fiscal anunciada se compense con otras medidas

Madrid 18 JUL 2017 – 16:42 CEST

El Fondo Monetario Internacional ha publicado este martes su análisis anual de la economía española, el llamado Artículo IV. Y entre sus recomendaciones pide que se mantengan como están las últimas reformas de las pensiones. El FMI argumenta que hay que dejar que las pensiones solo suban un 0,25% anual para que el sistema sea sostenible y el esfuerzo de ajuste se reparta “entre generaciones”. Para aumentarlas más del 0,25%, “debería compensarse con un paquete amplio de medidas, porque de lo contrario el impacto recaerá en las generaciones futuras”, ha resaltado durante la rueda de prensa la economista jefe de la misión, Andrea Schaechter.

La semana pasada, la Autoridad Fiscal alertó de que las pensiones solo se actualizarán un 0,25% anual al menos hasta 2022. Y en estos momentos todos los partidos salvo el PP se plantean acabar con el actual sistema de revalorización y volver a ligar las prestaciones a la evolución de la inflación. En definitiva, las reformas aplicadas a la Seguridad Social están siendo cuestionadas. Justo en medio de este debate, el Fondo dedica una parte de su análisis a las pensiones. Y concluye que las reformas aprobadas no deben modificarse. “España adoptó en 2011 y 2013 un paquete muy completo de reformas para responder a las presiones que el envejecimiento de la población ejerce sobre el gasto en pensiones. Las reformas aseguraron la estabilidad financiera del sistema”, afirma el informe de la institución sita en Washington.

Es más, el FMI explica que habrá “aumentos anuales de todas las pensiones en términos nominales”. Es decir, con los repuntes del 0,25% y los mayores sueldos de hoy, los pensionistas del futuro recibirán unas prestaciones cada vez más altas. Sin embargo, el organismo reconoce que a pesar de eso la pensiones perderán poder adquisitivo, ya que las reformas aprobadas harán que las prestaciones crezcan menos que lo que crecerá la economía. En la actualidad, la pensión media viene a ser un 80% del salario medio. En unos treinta años, el FMI admite que la relación entre la pensión media y el salario medio caerá, será más baja y, por lo tanto, las prestaciones tendrán una menor capacidad de compra. Si bien el Fondo apunta que los jubilados españoles “todavía tendrán una relación entre pensión y salario bastante más alta que la media de la UE”. O lo que es lo mismo, la generosidad del sistema será mayor que en el resto de países.

Pero para lograr esa sostenibilidad, el FMI señala que “es esencial que las reformas sean implementadas al completo y deberían evitarse cambios puntuales como por ejemplo del sistema de indexación”. Es decir, el Fondo deja muy claro que no debería cambiarse la actual fórmula de revalorización de las pensiones, pensada para asegurar la sostenibilidad financiera del sistema al ligar la actualización de las prestaciones a la salud de las cuentas de la Seguridad Social. “Este esquema fue ideado para dejar claro que había un desfase entre los gastos y los ingresos y que los políticos tomasen medidas para equilibrar las cuentas. Entre otras cosas, permite que el Gobierno busque más ingresos para que el deterioro no sea tan fuerte”, explica un alto cargo de la Administración.

Y el Fondo abunda en esa línea: “Si los cambios son considerados necesarios para asegurar una transición suave a una pensión financieramente sostenible y socialmente aceptable, el peso del ajuste debería ser repartido entre todos y entre generaciones”. En realidad, el Fondo indica que el ajuste será mayor para las futuras generaciones y que, por lo tanto, debería tenerse cuidado con la forma en que se reparten los esfuerzos: “Si se elevan las pensiones actuales, los pensionistas futuros tendrán que correr con esa carga, por eso hay que tener mucha precaución respecto a lo que se hace en este asunto”, ha declarado Andrea Schaechter, informa Iñigo de Barrón.

El FMI argumenta que lo mejor sería aplicar “un paquete de medidas que incentive trabajar durante más tiempo y fomente el ahorro complementario”. De hecho, Schaechter ha prescrito que la edad de jubilación se vincule de forma automática a la esperanza de vida como se ha hecho en otros países. “Por el bien de los pensionistas de hoy y de mañana, es esencial la transparencia total sobre cómo se consigue la sostenibilidad financiera del sistema de pensiones y las implicaciones que ello tiene para los ingresos de jubilación”, sostiene el organismo que dirige Christine Lagarde. Schaechter ha señalado que los trabajadores tienen que ser conscientes de que su futura pensión no va a ser igual que las de ahora y ha pedido que se informe de lo que pueda cobrar un ciudadano cuando se vaya a jubilar.

Respecto a las rebajas de impuestos pactadas entre el Gobierno y Ciudadanos, el FMI comenta que habría que buscar otras medidas para compensarlas. La elevada deuda deja “poco espacio para que la política fiscal pueda responder a shocks” y “se correría el riesgo de dejar algunos segmentos de la población atrás”, subraya. Además, las “dinámicas de población” implican que “en el medio plazo el gasto relacionado con la edad aumentará significativamente”. De ahí que el Fondo anime a España a reconstruir su colchón financiero bajando la deuda más rápido de lo que lo hace. Una vez más, la institución recomienda subir al 21% el tipo reducido del IVA que se aplica a la hostelería y que está fijado en el 10%. También aboga por la puesta en marcha de más impuestos medioambientales.


El FMI alaba el crecimiento más sano de la economía española y mejora las previsiones de España hasta el 3,1% para este año y el entorno del 2,5% para 2018. “La competitividad por costes ha apoyado la fuerte creación de empleo”, destaca el Fondo. Preguntada por los salarios, Schaechter ha esgrimido que estos deben subir con la competitividad. “España ha mejorado, pero aún está por debajo de la media europea”, ha insistido la jefa de la misión.

El organismo también llama la atención sobre la alta temporalidad y el elevado número de empleados que trabajan a tiempo parcial de forma involuntaria. “Será importante mantener la competitividad de la economía, lo que requiere condiciones de trabajo flexibles en línea con las necesidades de cada sector, y atajar el persistente problema de la dualidad del mercado laboral [entre indefinidos y temporales]”, rezan las conclusiones. A las que Andrea Schaechter ha añadido: “Es un problema porque los empresarios no invierten en formación de los trabajadores, y estos sin cualificación lo tienen más difícil para ser más competitivos y ganar mejores sueldos. Se debería suavizar la indemnización por despido, y el contrato único es la vía”.

En: elpais

Trump’s peculiar analysis of the GOP health-care bill’s defeat suggests he’s clueless

 July 18 at 2:29 PM

President Trump either has no idea about what just happened in the health-care debate, or he’s really good at pretending.

Trump was asked a few questions about the just-imploded Senate GOP health-care bill on Tuesday afternoon at the White House, and his answers at once suggested he didn’t really grasp the strategy at all and he hadn’t paid much attention to the senators he needed to persuade. He even suggested that only four GOP senators would have opposed it — which is highly doubtful in the first place — and called that “a pretty impressive vote.”

Below are his answers, with our annotations in yellow.

On whether he is disappointed:

I’m disappointed — very disappointed. I don’t know, but I’m certainly disappointed. For seven years, I’ve been hearing “repeal and replace” from Congress. I’ve been hearing it loud and strong, and when we finally get a chance to repeal and replace, they don’t take advantage of it. So that’s disappointing. So I would say I’m disappointed in what took place, and it will go on. And we’re going to win on taxes, we’re going to win on infrastructure and lots of other things that we’re doing. We’ve won and are winning the war on the border. We are very much decimating ISIS — you can see that, you can see that better than anybody see it, the soldiers that are here today. We’ve had a lot of victories but haven’t had a victory on health care. We are disappointed. I am very disappointed because, again, even as a civilian for seven years on health care, I’ve been hearing about repeal and replace, and Obamacare is a total disaster. Some states had over a 200 percent increase, 200 percent increase in their premiums, and their deductibles are through the roof. It’s an absolute disaster. And you’ll also agree that I’ve been saying for a very long time “Let Obamacare fail, and then everybody is going to have to come together and fix it.” And come up with a new plan and a plan that is really good for the people with much lower premiums, much lower costs, much better protection. I’ve been saying that — Mike, I know you’ll agree — let Obamacare fail, and it will be a lot easier. And I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll let Obamacare fail. We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. We’ll let Obamacare fail, and then the Democrats are going to come to us, and they are going to say, “How do we fix it, how do we fix it?” or “How do we come up with a new plan?” We’ll see what happens, but I am disappointed, because for so many years, I’ve been hearing “repeal and replace.” I’m sitting in the Oval Office, right next door, pen in hand, waiting to sign something and I’ll be waiting. And, eventually, we’re going to get something done, and it’s gonna be very good. But Obamacare is a big failure. It has to be changed. We have to go to a plan that works. We have to go to a much less expensive plan in terms of premiums. Something will happen, and it will be good. It may not be as quick as we had hoped, but it is going to happen.

On Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) announcing their opposition Monday night:

They had their own reasons. I was very surprised when the two folks came out last night, because we thought they were in fairly good shape, but they did. You know, everybody has their own reason. If you really think about it, you look at it, we have 52 people, we have no Democrat support, which is really something that should be said. You should have Democrats voting for a great plan for a lot of people. We had no Democrat support. You had 52 people, you had 4 nos. No we might have had another one someone in there. But the vote would have been if you look at it, 48-4. That’s a pretty impressive vote by any standard, and yet you have a vote of 48-4 or something like that and you need more.That’s pretty tough. So the way I look at it is in ’18, we’re going to have to get some more people elected. We have to go out and get more people elected that are Republicans. And we have to probably pull in those few people who voted against it. They’ll have to explain to you why they did, and I’m sure they’ll have very fine reasons. But we have to get more Republicans because if we get it passed in the House, we would have gotten it very much — you know you can’t use his head as a stand, we don’t want that to happen. You’re messing with the wrong guy here — I think we’re doing very well actually in ’18. I would be not surprised if something is done long before that. In any case, because the margin is so small, the majority margin is so small, we’re going to have to go out and get more Republicans elected in ’18. I’ll be working very hard for that to happen. It would be nice to get Democrat support, but really they are obstructionists. They have no ideas. They have no thought process. All they want to do is obstruct government and obstruct period. In this case, think of it, so many good things we didn’t get one vote and their plan has failed. And, by the way, Obamacare isn’t failing. It’s failed. Done.

On whether he blames Mitch McConnell:


Aaron Blake is senior political reporter for The Fix. Follow @aaronblake

In: washingtonpost

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