Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My take on a couple PBS shows

Watched Frontline last night about Health care around the world and how countries solved the problems of providing care for everyone. Taiwan was interesting because they said they looked at all the other country and didn't use any of them but started fresh and took the best parts of all the countries. You can see a doctor any time you want including a specialist type doctor. Everyone own a policy that cost the same for every on. The state picks up policies for the poor people. Canada has somewhat the same type health care system but like UK where richer people tend to opt out. In Taiwan you can't opt out. All have a single payer system and doctors or hospitals get paid as soon as the bills are sent in. Over all they are spending half the money and getting twice the quantity.
After that I watch a video about some media students growing a acre of corn and finding what all goes into growing corn in Iowa. They grew a genetically modified corn that can stand the herbicide. They have many varieties some made by Monsanto or there's called Liberty. They got a tank of Ammonium Nitrate gas and injected it into the soil as they turned it. Since they did this as a coop which many of the farmers are in they used a large tractor to do this. They seeded the acre with seeds and took about 15 minutes to do an acre. When the first corn came in they were checking it and decided to taste the corn, "Tasted like chalk," they said and spit it out. Since this was special corn that needed to be processed first you can't eat it. They were growing corn to make corn products. The other farmers gave there few words about the fact how cheap the corn is and that you can't do anything like eat it but sell it for the bottom line. They looked into the products like cattle feed that was made out of the corn materials. There's was one other product that seems to get into everything we eat and is used to sweeten processed foods, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup. It goes into soda mainly. They interviewed a guy that said he was 300 pound and when he stopped drinking soda he lost all that weight. It was to late to reverse the diabetes. They looked into some hospital settings about diabetes. Then it was the look into the subsidies the farmers get. Seems that the farmers can't make any money by just growing corn without any federal subsidies. If they stopped the subsidies the farmers would stop growing corn because they wouldn't grow anything to loose money. I don't know when this was shot but from what they were saying, there is so much of this product that there's a surplus on the market which is making me wonder why the prices are going up.

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