I have not watched a single Olympics opening ceremony so I was told about the one in London. It was said to be a tribute to all things British: the Queen, James Bond, pop music, and the national health system. Apparently they left out the bad cuisine. But a tribute to the national health system? USA Today reported that the ceremony was mostly fun “But the dancing sick-kids salute to the National Health Service, complete with a Mary Poppins air raid and a giant Franken-baby? Much less fun, and more than a bit bizarre. "I don't know if that's cute or creepy," said NBC's Matt Lauer proclaimed about the baby, as if "cute" were actually an option.” What brought this to mind was when I was watching Sportscenter this morning and there was a GE commercial about how GE donated incubators to a hospital in London (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAtHF6dQfDU). This has ironies on many counts. The first question is if national health care is so great then why couldn’t they buy their own incubators. Second, are they saying that premature babies are more at risk under national health care than in the US? Third, was this a warning to the US about Obamacare? Fourth, isn’t GE the darling of the Obama administration with its chairman Jeffrey Immelt a famous friend of Obama? Isn’t Immelt the chair of Obama’s mostly symbolic Council of Jobs and Competitiveness despite exporting 25,000 jobs oversees, its X-ray unit to China and building airliners in China that will compete with Boeing? Also, itsn’t GE the poster child on tax avoidance (GE paid no corporate taxes last year)? Now here is this commercial on donating incubators that stabs Obamacare in the back. By the way, who will donate incubators to the US once we get Obamacare?
Harold A. Black is professor emeritus in the Department of Finance, University of Tennessee, Knoxville having retired after 24 years of service. He has served on the faculties of American University, Howard University, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. His government service includes the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and as a Board Member of the National Credit Union Administration. He also has served on the boards of directors Home Savings of America and its parent company, H. F. Ahmanson & Co., Irwindale, California prior to its merger with Washington Mutual Savings Bank, on the board of New Century Financial Corporation, Irvine, California, then the nation’s largest real estate investment trust and as director and later chairman of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He writes an occasional article for the Knoxville News-Sentinel at http://www.knoxnews.com/staff/dr-harold-black/. His web page is haroldablackphd.com