New Health Insurance Option for Freelancers in NJ

This is potentially good news: “Freelancers CO-OP given green light from N.J.”

Looks like the Freelancers CO-OP of New Jersey is sponsored by, but independent of, the Freelancers Union (which doesn’t currently offer insurance in Jersey).

From the Freelancers Union website:

CO-OP background:

  • CO-OP stands for Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan.
  • Thanks to $340 million in low-interest and no-interest loans from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Freelancers Union will sponsor CO-OPs in New York, New Jersey, and Oregon beginning in January 2014.
  • CO-OPs are private, nonprofit health insurers whose plans are designed to offer quality, affordable, consumer-friendly health plans in every state.
  • The government has set aside a total of $3.8 billion for CO-OPs in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as the Health Care Reform bill).
  • CO-OPs will be open to all comers, including independent workers typically shut out of the traditional healthcare market. Americans making less than 400% of the federal poverty level will be eligible to receive financial support from the government to pay for their CO-OP health plan.

How CO-OPs will work:

  1. CO-OPs will level the playing field for individuals and small groups who are ignored in the current health insurance market, which is largely geared toward large companies. CO-OPs offer more, better, and less expensive health insurance options to consumers.
  2. Nonprofit insurance plans in different states will enter the market and compete with private insurers. This state-level market is called the Exchange, and it’s designed to make it easier for consumers to shop for and understand insurance plans.
  3. The CO-OPs expect to start enrolling people in the in Fall of 2013 and begin offering coverage in January 2014.

I’ve not been following the minutiae of Obamacare implementation well enough to know if this something to be optimistic about, but it sounds good on the surface. The bigger picture, less so. The state marketplaces appear to be experiencing moderate to severe bungling getting launched (except for maybe Oregon, who even budgeted for hipster troubadours?). This is an issue where I’m really more concerned as a consumer than as a citizen. Once the public option was off the table (never mind the fact that “health care reform” is discussed separately from the farm bill), it was clear we’d be getting screwed. I don’t have the bandwidth to ponder whether the screwing is more or less severe than what we’d have without Obamacare. Certainly it bought already privileged kids like myself a couple years of cushion by being able to stay on our parents insurance till our 26th. But my time is just about up …

See also:

ASHLEY/AMBER screening in Williamsburg this Sunday, 7/14

This may be the last time Ashley/Amber screens at an actual movie theater! And in Williamsburg no less — maximum convenience for all you yuppie scum who can still afford to live there (jk I love you pls give me $$ for next movie thnx). Still easy, and $5 beer special, for all you broke proles who live on lesser stops off G & L trains (jk u r yuppie scum too).

Cinema Club Vol. XVIII

CINEMA CLUB PRESENTS

Volume XVIII:
Short Films

Sunday
July 14th

Indie Screen
289 Kent Ave @ S. 2nd st
Doors – 4 PM
Show – 5 PM

$5 tickets
(cash only)
+
$2 Raffle Tickets
–Winner gets 2 FREE tickets to any film at Indie Screen —

Featuring films by:

David Bly
Addison Mehr
Rebecca Rojer
Geroni J
Max Sherwood

HAPPY HOUR 4-5PM
$5 Draft Beers

CINEMA CLUB
cinemaclub.us
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NYTimes notices Warren Mosler

Just noticed that the video I shot of the Modern Money Network’s MMT v. Austrian School debate was linked to in the New York Times. Unfortunately, the article it accompanies, a profile of Warren Mosler, is a bit of a hatchet piece, though no worse than you’d expect from such an outlet. And they published it on July 4, not exactly a day folks are eager to watch a two hour debate on macroeconomics.

Unless you are sympathetic to Austrian economics, I recommend Warren Mosler’s seminar with Stephanie Kelton over the debate for a (less painful) introduction to MMT:

Another good place to start is Mosler’s 7 Deadly Innocent Frauds and Wray’s MMT Primer. As for the supposedly non-existent academic literature on MMT, here is a incomplete but long list.

[Update 5:40pm: edited “CIA” out of the title because I totally missed the context that the CIA in this article refers to a private group (albeit one which directly funded government programs) called the “Committee for Immigrants in America.” The Central Intelligence Agency didn’t exist until the Truman administration. While that CIA has had its tentacles/money behind many a propaganda campaign, some more surprising than others, this cannot be claimed among them. Many thanks to the gentle reader that pointed this out to me!]

The counterweight, the Americanization movement, was born in 1907 with the establishment of the North American Civic League for Immigrants, headed by conservative businessmen. Aligned groups. such as the New England Industrial Committee, were created as NACLI promoted its program.

The success of the Lawrence strike, which garnered national outrage due to police beatings of women who had volunteered to transport and harbor children of strikers, increased the urgency of countering the union threat. The message was that chambers of commerce, as “conservators of the ‘best interests’ of their communities” needed to educate (as in domesticate) adult alien workers. This Americanization movement had business backers in every sizable city with an immigrant population doing outreach to business organizations, church leaders, and other community groups. In 1914, NACLI decided to extend its program nation-wide, and changed its name to the Committee for Citizens in America. The CIA paid and provided staff to the Department of Education [correction: Federal Bureau of Education] to sponsor Americanization programs (private interests’ ability operate directly through the Federal government ended in 1919).

The outbreak of World War I was a Godsend to the Americanization movement. The war stoked nationalist sentiment and with it, suspicion of obvious aliens as at best “un American” and at worst, subversive. President Wilson spoke at a highly staged “patriotic” event for 5000 recently naturalized citizens in spring 1915. This event was so successful that the movement leaders succeeded in forming local Americanization committees all over the US. Quoting Carey:

The CIA also produced a brilliant propaganda strategy to involve every American in an annual ritual of national identification. This ritual would embed the cultural intolerance of the Americanization movement with an identification that was formally and officially sanctified. The CIA thereby launched its campaign for the fourth of July 1915 to be made a national Americanization Day, a day for a ‘great nationalistic expression of unity and faith in America’.

Carey describes and quotes a pamphlet promoting the event written by one of the executive committee members:

….the ultimate success of the policy would depend on how effectively the ‘average American citizen’ could be induced to bring the influence of his conservative views to bear on the immigrant….’such a citizen is the natural foe of the IWW and of the destructive forces that seek to direct unwisely the expressions of the immigrant in his new country and upon him rest the hope and defense of the country’s ideals and institutions.’ Here we have a blatant industrial and partisan view fused with an intolerance of the immigrant and values of national security, in a submission that would cement these interests and intolerances within the paraphernalia of the annual ritual of what would become Independence Day.

Summer Rerun: Why Don’t Americans Take More Vacations? Blame It on Independence Day « naked capitalism.

MASSIVE ATTACK v ADAM CURTIS

So excited for this:

MASSIVE ATTACK V ADAM CURTIS
STARTING IN TWO WEEKS TIME IN MANCHESTER, THEN GERMANY, NEW YORK

The show is a collaboration between myself and Robert del Naja of Massive Attack.

What links us is not just cutting stuff up – but an interest in trying to change the way people see power and politics in the modern world. To say to them – have you thought of looking at it like this?

We’ve used film, music, stories and ideas to try and do this – to build a new kind of experience. The best way we can describe it is “a Gilm” – a new way of integrating a gig with a film that has a powerful overall narrative and emotional individual stories.

The show will be a bit of a total experience. You will be surrounded by all kinds of images and sounds. But it is also about ideas. It tells a story about how a new system of power has risen up in the modern world to manage and control us. A rigid and static system that has found in those images and sounds a way of enveloping us in a thin two-dimensional version of the past.

A fake, but enchanting world which we all live in today – but which has also become a new kind of prison that prevents us moving forward into the future.

Along with Massive Attack the show will star two great singers.

The amazing Liz Fraser

And the wonderful Horace Andy

And some of the music will be surprising – from early Barbra Streisand to Siberian punk from the 1980s.

Here’s a two-dimensional trailer that will give you an idea of what the show is about – and the stories it tells.

MAvAC: guest singers Elizabeth Fraser and Horace Andy announced, plus a trailer from Adam Curtis.

Chris Seefer: “Detecting, Investigating and Documenting Fraud”

Video I shot in 2011 of a lecture by Chris Seefer, an attorney at Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP — the law firm responsible for collecting the “mountain of evidence” of a massive ratings agencies scandal, as documented in Matt Taibbi’s brutal article The Last Mystery of the Financial Crisis.

via Chris Seefer: “Detecting, Investigating and Documenting Fraud” – YouTube.

Rebecca R. Rojer