Blackberrry Bold A Bust

BlackberryI used to be a huge blackberry fan. Love the keyboard, the screen, how easy it is to use but in the past few years the blackberry has become a huge disappointment. I received my first one at NBC10 in 2004. It was great, the battery ran for days, it never dropped out, the signal with AT&T worked fine. My international blackberry that I took to the 2004 Oympics in Athens never failed me. But fast forward to my return to Chicago in 2007, when I had to give my old blackberry back to NBC and purchase a new one and that’s when it all began to go downhill. The 8800 lasted less than two years. The battery never lasted more than a day. The signal was often weak, and finally the charger point broke and left with me with no choice but to buy another one. So I bought the Bold. Three months later, my bold went bust. It kept shutting itself off, the battery lasted half a day, the signal was lousy. Of course being a longtime customer of AT&T I expected to get a new one. Well to my suprise I could trade it in and get what they call a refurbished one. Basically a used model recycled. No suprise again that 7 months later the second Bold is breaking down. Plus AT&T’s 3G signal is terrible. Yes I can go trade it in for yet another Bold. Plenty of people have stood in line at the loop store and some are on their 6th Bold in a year. But what’s the point?

Plus the service people don’t seem to care that you’ve shelled out hundreds of dollars each time you buy one of these toys .

So I have been weighing the I-phone option which so many rave about except for it’s battery life.

But it certainly doesn’t have the blackberry feel, that easy to use keyboard and screen. I think they make these gadgets today to die in less than two years so we keep spending our hard earned money. Makes you wonder what we ever did before them.

Healthcare Reform

HealthcareI’m often asked what I think of the new Healthcare Reform Bill. A bIll that will cost  940 billion dollars over the next ten years. I think it is a noble and necessary mission to provide healthcare for all Americans and to not deny coverage to people with preexisting conditions. But we all need to be prepared this is going to be a heavy burden on the American Taxpayer. A burden during an economic downturn where people are losing  their homes and struggling to find jobs with a national unemployment rate just under 10 percent. My concern is this giant spending bill will create even more taxes than outlined. Like a national sales tax. Starting in 2012, the Medicare payroll Tax will be expanded to include unearned income. That will be a 3.8 percent tax on investment income for families making more than 250,000 dollars per year, 200,000 for individuals.

Employers with more than 50 workers will be forced to provide health insurance or pay a fine of 2000 dollars per worker . That may cause some companies already struggling to downsize. And what does this say about he role government now plays. I have talked to many Doctors who certainly feel something needs to be done to solve the healthcare crisis in this country. But Doctors already receive small reimbursements for medicare. Specialists receive nothing. Adding 32 million more Americans into  the system will constrict practices, and time with patients will get even shorter.  I do like President Obama’s Prevention push. If we all take better care of ourselves we can drive down this mounting cost.

But other programs still need to be restructured to eliminate waste . I support the drive to change our lifestyles, but when the government singles out what it sees as health threats, like a ten percent tax hike for tanning salons, or a soda tax, that makes me wonder again what does this mean about the future role of our government in a capitalist system. There are pro’s and cons to this bill. Reform is necessary but it certainly comes with a hefty price.