Friday, February 15, 2019

Jordan Cove Pipeline: Political Malpractice

The Pembina people are throwing around money to promote the LNG pipeline.

It is too late, and they are selling the wrong thing.

What is their PR firm thinking?

Happy, community-spirited employees
Southern Oregon is inundated by television and internet pop-up ads promoting the Jordan Cove LNG project.  

They are spreading money to media, in community grants, in political contributions. They are aren't being subtle. 

The project consists of an export terminal at the Port of Coos Bay and a pipeline through forested areas of Klamath, Jackson, Douglas and Coos Counties to transport the gas from a major pipeline near Malin Oregon to the Port of Coos Bay, Oregon. The gas will be liquified and exported to Asia. The Port of Coos Bay is the deep water port closest to Asia. 

Safe and clean work.
The ads have a theme. We are good guys. We get photos of nice looking workers, men and women in hard hats, people smiling, people with clipboards and computers, nice photos of green vegetation, and a voice-over telling us that Pembina is a great neighbor and this is great for Southern Oregon and the South Coast.

Lovey cliches. It is an example of feel good political advertising.  

It is worthless mush.

They are trying to get people to like a natural gas company, and then trust it. 

Get real.

Like us. Trust us. Does anybody like Exxon or Chevron or Shell? Does anybody have warm feelings of sentimental affection for Kinder Morgan? (Kinder Morgan is a natural gas pipeline company based in Houston.)  I would guess no.

We use and therefore value the products they sell, not the companies, as companies.  We are happy to see an open gas station if we need fuel, and we value the fact that we cook our food and heat our homes with natural gas, but those companies are big, impersonal businesses. They are businesses, headquartered far away, run by managers for the benefit of stockholders, ideally in compliance with the law and good business principles. 

Help the "South Coast."   Head's up to Pembina: people around most of Southern Oregon don't care very much about the "south coast", i.e. Coos Bay. We wish them no harm. There is no ill will. It is simply that jobs or lower taxes in Coos Bay, a three-plus hour drive away, and with only indirect economic benefit and very indirect transportation links, is not a motivator for people on the pipeline route. People along the pipeline route don't get Coos County news, don't know their sports teams or elected officials, and don't feel very connected. No elected official along the pipeline route gets any political credit for saying he or she is thinking of what is best for Coos Bay.

What they should have said, and still could if they wake up to reality.

Huge tax benefit. The port facility is a multi-billion operation, with few but highly paid people, a perfect new industry. Why perfect? Because the company will pay $40 million a year in property taxes to Coos County alone, but have minimal need for new schools or other services. It is tax income with minimal service expense. 

Cut property tax bill
Plus the counties through which the pipeline goes will get "free" tax money, too, about $5 million a year, just for having an underground pipeline.That works out to $100/year for a family of 4, for a pipeline that goes through remote parts of the county. That is money people would otherwise pay in taxes. If the county chooses to hire an inspector or two to monitor the pipeline, just tell Pembina we expect them to pay their salaries and benefits. They would happily do so.

Landowners well taken care of. Of course, the very few people whose property gets passed under will be very generously compensated, so of course they are complaining loudly, because that is what people do when they want to be sure they get a great price for the eminent domain easement. They complain, they get compensated. It is exactly the process that brings everybody the electricity, natural gas, cable, and other utilities people enjoy. Nothing new here.

Pipelines bring us gas right now
Pipelines are everywhere now, and they work just fine.  Southern Oregon is already crisscrossed with natural gas pipelines under the streets. A major transmission line is under Foothills Road, and then up Hillcrest, in an area of some of the most expensive homes in the region. No big deal. Pipelines are essentially invisible, buried safely underground right now, and their presence was noticeable only when a traffic was disturbed for a few days when a major transmission line was expanded better to service an area of new homes. Then the public forgets they are there. Pipelines are same-old, same-old.

Natural gas is great and the pipeline means we have more of it. Natural gas is ideal for heating and cooking. It is inexpensive and clean compared to the alternatives. Most of the people protesting the natural gas pipeline use natural gas personally, gas which got transported to them, and they don't complain. People like natural gas, and this brings more of it to the area. Indeed, this would be a backup supply route, in case the local utility needs to expand capacity to the area in the future, or to serve new industry.

What images should Pembina have used?

1. A picture of a tax bill from the county, with a corner of it being cut with a scissors.

2. A picture of a happy man and woman cooking over a natural gas range.

3. A picture of bare industrial land in White City, observing that the natural gas pipeline could enable major new industries to locate in the area, paying high property taxes and supplying high paying new jobs, because the facility in Coos Bay is just the start. 

The alternative
4. A picture of Foothills Road and Hillcrest Road, with the caption saying that underground pipelines here are supplying homes, businesses, and the local hospital with safe, clean energy, all safely underground. 

5. A picture of a Chinese coal fired electric generating facility, spewing black smoke, saying that cleaner natural gas will replace this climate-damaging polluter. 

[A final note: It sounds like I support the pipeline. Do I?  Not now.

My feeling is that the opposition to it is hypocritical, since, in fact, people here are using natural gas right now, delivered by pipeline, and the net result of the pipeline would likely be lower pollution and CO2 worldwide. Natural gas is better than coal.

However, I have no real faith in Pembina to do the project well. If they are so tone deaf to the potential benefits of their project, sold it so ineffectively, and so bad at project planning that even Republican officeholders getting major campaign money from them feel duty-bound to oppose the project, then poor planning and incompetence must be built into the Pembina corporate culture. I don't want incompetent people handling a project this big. Come back to me when you have fixed your company.]

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Trump Goofed

There were rival rallies in El Paso. Trump turned it into a Goliath vs. David duel. 

Trump: Beto has a "tiny little line."

Trump is Goliath. Mistake.

Trump treats politics as a professional wrestling smackdown of archetypes. He has his role. He is the bad boy bully who fights dirty, but he is a "regular guy," on America's side, me-first and vulgar and proudly politically incorrect, but loyal to his base. 

It works for him. 

He is shameless in name-calling and humiliating his opponents. His supporters love him for it. He is full-throated and unabashed in disliking his enemies. His base agrees. They, too, dislike Obama, Hillary, Democrats generally, and especially the Democratic aspirants to his presidency. It doesn't hurt Trump politically to seem sexist or racist or ungentlemanly or "unpresidential" when he calls Warren "Pocahontas." Read unmoderated comments and listen to AM talk radio. Trump's people love it. 

Beto archetype: David
But Trump goofed in El Paso. There were rival rallies and Trump took a dangerous approach to it. He teased Beto, positioning him as a little boy, trivial, young, a dismissible nothing. 

O'Rourke, Trump said, "is a young man with very little going for him, except he's got a good first name."

Trump's error was making an issue of the size of the rallies and then doing schoolyard nyah-nyah taunting. 

Trump swaggered and mocked: "I understand our competitor has a line, too, but it's a tiny little line. We have, let's say, 35,000 people tonight, he has 200 people, 300 people--not too good. That may be the end of his presidential bid."

Trump defined a role for Beto O'Rourke: David.

The existence of a head to head contest made a different situation than those where Trump makes his typical dismissive swipes and name calling, as with with Low-Energy Jeb, Lyin' Ted, Pocahontas, and the others. In those matchups, Trump positioned himself as the big shot swatting away an unworthy imposter. 

In this case, though, Beto was already calling Trump's bluff. To establish dominance and be entitled to the taunting Trump was dishing out, Trump had to prove up. People would be looking. However, in the pre-match press conference he was clearly exaggerating, looking weak, a guy whistling past the graveyard. 

It was game on, but Trump was talking trash.  And, in fact Beto O'Rourke's crowd was shaping up to be a big one, and it turned out to be comparable in size.
We know the story 

Americans come prepared with a ready-made mental formula for understanding a matchup between the older big guy--the well-armed presumed victor--versus the younger, slender good looking guy: David and Goliath. It clicks into well-worn expectations: Goliath has a fatal weakness he is trying to hide with bravado, and David has a special power we have not yet discovered. And people like David.

Trump elevated O'Rourke. 

Until now, only Sanders had a clearly established rival archetype mindset to contrast with Trump. Sanders was the outsider truth-teller, the gruff incorruptible old man of socialist principle in rumpled suits--a contrast to the worldly con man Trump. Sanders is the more credible populist.
Sanders arechetype: Jeremiad 

Now there is a second established archetype alternative, the fearless David, untested but with mysterious potential. O'Rourke as David simultaneously gives Americans a way to understand Trump: Goliath, the bad guy who is more vulnerable than he looks.

Bad for Trump, but it could have been worse. Beto O'Rourke missed an opportunity. 

Had O"Rourke's been able to create a crowd clearly  larger than Trump's, then David would have proven that he wasn't just a contender; he had the stuff to conquer Goliath. Goliath Trump would have been humiliated, talking a big game but getting beat by the young kid. Democrats are desperate for Trump to be bested, and it would have put rocket fuel into the O'Rourke campaign. He can beat Trump, see!

It didn't happen. It was a draw. Trump dodged a bullet, or in this case a stone.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

CBD Gold Rush Warning

Mark Wisnovsky

Ghost Towns Happen.  

A CBD Gold Rush is underway in Southern Oregon. It may come to grief.

"There are lots of people telling folks to plant, plant, plant. These are people who want growers to flood the market. They are buyers of CBD, not growers. Growing is easy. Selling is extraordinarily difficult. If you don't have connections in the marketplace for selling, don't bother growing."
         Mark Wisnovsky, Southern Oregon winemaker and CBD entrepreneur

Mark Wisnovsky knows his way around the business of creating farm products for sale. The family vineyard, Valley View Winery, is the pioneer commercial winery in Southern Oregon. Wisnovsky operates the serious business of growing grapes, processing them into wine, then selling that wine into the local and international marketplace. Wisnovsky is an early adopter. He planted hemp for production of CBD, to be sold as medicine. 

Display at the Cannabis Expo in Southern Oregon
Reminder: CBD is a non-psychoactive portion of a cannabis plant. It is regulated by the  Department of Agriculture of the state and federal governments. It is a legal farm crop, like wheat and grapes.

The CBD marketplace is red hot. Farmers are getting offers to buy or lease their land for CBD production. Growers of traditional get-you-high cannabis are transitioning to CBD and expanding their acreage. It might be the beginning of something sustainable, but the market for CBD is new and volatile. There is not yet an orderly market of buyers and sellers. 

Enormous new quantities of CBD are being grown. Prices might collapse--or not. One won't know until the crop is grown and growers have $3,000-5,000 an acre in sunk costs.

The market for CBD laden flower buds is made by people who extract the CBD for re-sale. Presumably the end user market is world wide and gigantic. CBD is showing up as an additive to cosmetics, foods, over the counter medicines, pet food, vitamins, water, and more. Barneys in New York and Beverly Hills now sells a variety of CBD products. Investment websites have headlines "Top CBD Stocks to buy today!" Cannabis stocks trade on the New York Stock Exchange. 

Possibly everything grown can be sold, and at a profit. Or not.
CBD cigarettes at Expo

CBD is a "challenging marketplace." Wisnovsky says, with "irresponsible" people who "want overproduction, and are looking out for their own interests, not the growers' interests. The extractors want the product as cheap as possible, so of course they want everyone to grow."

And growers of CBD are easy to victimize. "There are unethical people who want to sell you poor quality seeds. You can have tens of thousands of dollars into a crop and be growing something you cannot sell." Seeds are sold as "feminized," i.e. bud-growing female plants. (Male plants are worse than worthless because they cause female plants to grow seeds.) Feminization might not prove true. 

Worse, the seeds are sold as having ultra-low THC level genetics, which is what makes the flowers legal as medicine. That, too, might not prove true. Fields are tested late in the season and certified as CBD compliant, i.e. no meaningful THC. A field that tests too high is a total loss.

Even perfect, high quality CBD flower may sit in a warehouse, unsellable. "From this point forward, if you don't have a contract with a buyer and a down payment in hand, then don't bother growing. I would say the same thing for grapes, but people don't get a down payment for grapes."

CBD in legal transition. Wisnovsky has been a long-time active member--indeed board member--of the Medford-Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, but he expresses disappointment on the reluctance of old guard local business and political leaders to protect this industry from one other hazard: seizure of the product by rogue jurisdictions. 

"Idaho has positioned itself to be one of the most backward states in the country when it comes to CBD. They have been seizing CBD produced in a legal hemp state to another legal hemp state. Shouldn't this be part of interstate commerce of a product now federally legal?"

Display at Expo. Get in on the quick money.
Wisnovsky says this is precisely the kind of new industry that would profit from forward-looking business and political leadership, using political muscle to look out for local interests. "Where is the Chamber of Commerce on this? Where are our political and business leaders? If Idaho said they didn't want products with gluten being sold in their state, and they seized shipments of wheat going from eastern Oregon to Colorado to be made into breakfast cereal, wouldn't our leaders rise up to complain? Of course they would."

Booms happen. Busts happen. Enthusiasm for the internet brought technology stocks to sky-high prices in 1999, and another 20% higher in two months of 2000. Then those stocks fell 85%. Housing prices and mortgage loans were a sure thing in 2006 and 2007, then disintegrated in 2008-2010. 

CBD is giving off price signals that encourage people to grow CBD in quantity, and acreage is expanding rapidly in Southern Oregon. It may work out great. Or not.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Cannabis Trade Show 2019

Cannabis is big business.

The Jackson County Exposition Park documented something so clearly that even people stuck in the hippy 1960's mindset about cannabis are forced to wake up and smell the caffeine.  

$250,000 tractor and tiller setup 
Cannabis is a real industry. 

Real vendors. Real equipment. Real banking needs. And a real effect on the labor and real estate markets.

Southern Oregon is an unusually good place to grow cannabis. It has the sunshine, the soil, the zoning, the land, the legal infrastructure, and the expertise of a community of people who have been growing it for years and know how to create the superior product demanded by end users.

Owners of rural land tell me that people are offering them big, life-changing money to lease their land for production of hemp for CBD.  Landowners are told that land that might currently produce $500 per year worth of grass hay can be used to produce $50,000 worth of CBD.

Farmers, orchardists, and business people who hire seasonal laborers tell me that they cannot get people to work for them for traditional wages. The good workers quit to work the cannabis industry, where margins are high and workers well paid. 

Trade Show scene
Medical and recreational cannabis for get-you-high cannabis with THC is still here, but it is talked about as boutique. It involved small plots and counting out individual plants to accommodate specific individual medical marijuana cardholders. 

Today's gold rush is in CBD. CBD is grown like corn or wheat, in ten, twenty, and hundred acre fields, then is sold to brokers or direct to extractor processors, then processed into medicines. 

It doesn't get one high. It is an agricultural crop, and we know how to grow it here.

The Cannabis Expo revealed an industry that has the needs of any complex industry. A photo overview:

Big tractors and specialized planting equipment.  The equipment here will cost over $250,000. On sticky clay soils there is a brief window in late spring when the soil is dry enough to work up, but not yet rock hard. A farmer needs big equipment to get a big job done in the window.

Soil conditioners and amendments. The plants need loose, soil, with the right acidity, and then the right ability to absorb nutrients. Growers are not attempting to grow big plants; they are growing big, dense flowers, so the soil needs a cycle of nitrogen for initial growth, then phosphorus and calcium for buds. There is science to it, and vendors display data showing that doing it scientifically pays off. That requires soil amendments.

Specialized equipment and service companies for processing cannabis from field to sellable condition. This involves drying the product and trimming it. HVAC vendors create dry rooms. Companies have created machines for doing preliminary and final trimming of crops. Other vendors do turn-key drying, trimming, and packaging.

Specialized banking and merchant services. The industry is transitioning from a cash business to a normalized one with computerized payroll, bank deposits, and merchant services of taking credit and debit cards.

Superior genetics. Venders display samples of different branded varieties with different characteristics valued in the end market. There is the fundamental distinction between plants with high THC (psycho-active) versus plants with high CBD and minimal THC, and then there are fine branded distinctions within each market segment.

Coming tomorrow:

A perspective by winemaker and cannabis grower Mark Wisnovsky on the state of the cannabis industry in southern Oregon. He says the business is huge and that the old guard business community is missing the opportunity to support a local industry.  

Mark Wisnovsky
But he warns that in the current market atmosphere, price signals are likely leading to over-production and future shakeout.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Diversity in Southern Oregon. The politics of celebration.

There were Chinese people living and working in Jacksonville, Oregon. They were part of the gold rush community.

White folks chased them off.

Now Southern Oregon celebrates the Lunar New Year.  It is a political statement using the body language of their presence.  

We are here. We belong. We are Americans.

The Southern Oregon Chinese Cultural Association has been putting on a parade in Jacksonville at the time of the Lunar New Year every year for twelve years. They have finished the cycle, with the Year of the Pig.  

A thousand people stood in the snow to watch the 40 minute parade.

SOCCA is already planning next year.

Asians in Southern Oregon. Growing up in Medford I saw almost no people of Asian ethnicity. Two families were visible, and both ran Chinese restaurants, Kim's and The Far East. In a graduating class of 750 at Medford High School there was one person of Asian heritage in my class.  

As a third grader in 1959 I participated in Oregon's celebration of the Oregon Centennial. The men had beard growing contests. People carried fake handguns in parades.  

We learned about the pioneers, who came here in covered wagons, and were greeted warmly by the Indians. Welcome. Come take our land.

We learned and sang the official State Song: Oregon was "The Land of Heroes."

   "Land of the empire builders
    Land of the golden west.
    Conquered and held by free men
    Fairest and the best."

Medallions circulated.  We saw pioneers, not beavers. The beaver dammed up creeks and complicated the free flow of water and in 1959 they were widely considered a pest species. The medallions celebrated the pioneers, white family men, here on wagon trains. The children in my classroom thought of themselves as the descendants of pioneers.

A sturdy free white man stood atop the Oregon state capital, and he was covered in gold leaf, a source of pride and wonder. 

The Indians here welcomed us, we learned. After all, we came in peace. We came to conquer and hold the land conquering nature, not Indians, and we held it by cutting down trees and creating farm land. 

After all, the pioneer atop the Oregon Capitol held an axe, not a rifle.

The image of the Indian appears to be signaling to stop, but that isn't what schoolchildren learned. We learned that we came in peace to populate the fertile land, normal people, white people, Christians,  fairest and the best, people who named their cities Portland and Salem and Albany and Springfield, and Medford.  

We brought civilization, we white folks. 

In 1882 the US passed its first immigration act, the Chinese Exclusion Act. The white population of California was adamant that America stop the influx of "Mongolians." 

It was renewed in 1892, and in 1902 it was made permanent, the only example of immigration law that specifically listed an ethnicity to exclude. It was repealed in 1943, as we fought the Japanese. The Chinese were our allies in the war. I suspect school children today may not realize that.

The Exclusion Act barred laborers of all kinds, including miners and railroad construction workers. A few people who could prove their occupation as professional people or merchants were allowed entry. If those people left the country to visit China they risked being refused re-entry. They needed to maintain ongoing certification of their professional or merchant status to stay, and many were deported. 

People of Chinese heritage here in Oregon mostly clustered in the "Chinatown" community in Portland; in southern Oregon they fled. There are no known multi-general descendants of the Chinese miners and merchants who lived here in the Gold Rush era.

The politics of parade. Today the focus of the Southern Oregon Chinese Cultural Association is celebration. The parade takes place sun, rain, or snow. It shows off bits of traditional Chinese culture: lion dancers, dragons. drumming, music, art, fancy clothes, all alongside local residents in white pioneer dress, Model A cars, bagpipes, school children, scout troops, and patriotic displays.  

Debra Lee, SOCCA President
Diversity. The Lunar New Year celebration is a political statement because it is non-political. It is wordless, but it communicates pride and presence:

We are here. 

We are Americans. 

We have been here a long time and we belong. 

America includes people like us. 

We do cool things.

We are making America great, again and still.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Greg Walden leads charge, opposing "Government takeover of Health Care"

The Opposition to Medicare-for-All is setting up the frame.  Focus on what you risk losing, not what you gain.  


 "We know that this plan would take away private health insurance from more than 150 million Americans, end Medicare as we know it, and rack up more than $32 trillion in costs, not to mention delays in accessing health services."               

          Greg Walden, Ranking Republican, Energy and Commerce Committee

Yesterday this blog wrote about loss remorse. People don't want to lose what they have, even if what they have isn't all that good. That is the focus of Greg Walden's attack on Medicare-for-All. Loss.

Ralph, from southern Oregon, wrote me, "You are full of shit, Peter, on this one." Ralph said the current health insurance system was far from popular.
Ralph explains: "Only full time large corporation employees who are not contracted “servants", and public employees, love their health plans. Small business health plans offer  huge deductibles and large out of pocket expenses. Large corporation employees, working part time, get nothing." 

I know from experience that employer-sponsored health care has problems. It is a crushing cost for my former brokerage clients who ran small businesses. Employees who wanted to retire couldn't, lest they lose job-based insurance. Many people found private coverage utterly unaffordable. Employer-based health insurance doesn't address the growing gig economy of contract workers.

Yesterday's post reported a poll by the insurance industry saying that people liked the status quo. I believe the poll was actually measuring fear, not content with the status quo. People who have something to lose don't want to lose it. 
Poll: University of Michigan

This is especially so for people 50 to 64 years old. They have become expensive employees in their employers' risk pools.  People are in "job-lock," daring not to change jobs, worried that layoffs or mergers will end their employment, unable to take early retirement until the magic age of 65 when they become Medicare eligible. 

Everyone I know who is 65 or older gets Medicare and is pretty happy with it. Health care providers know what to do. You show them your card, they scan it, and from then on all billing takes place in the back offices of the provider, Medicare, and the supplemental insurance company you signed up with. 

Supporters of Medicare-for-All risk misunderstanding seniors. One could assume that people happy with the program want it extended to everyone. Not necessarily. Seniors, too, have fears. They fear that the current system that works for them will be ruined by overloading the system. No room in the lifeboat.

Greg Walden is appealing to that fear. Lose private health insurance, lose Medicare, high taxes, lousy service.

Walden elaborates:

"The American people need to fully understand how Medicare for All is not Medicare at all, but actually just government-run, single-payer health care. They need to know about the $32 trillion price tag for such a plan, and the tax increases necessary to pay for it. They need to know it ends employer sponsored health care, forcing the 158 million Americans who get their health care through their job or union into a one-size-fits-all government-run plan. If you like waiting in line at the DMV, wait until the government completely takes over health care."

There are ironies here. Walden says to fear that your Medicare will be taken away, and replaced--horror of horrors--by a dreaded government-run single-payer health care program--which is, of course, a description of Medicare. 

It is laughable, but politically viable. Medicare is now so integrated into the expectations of seniors it seems like a "given,"--like air--not a program. I saw no signs attacking Medicare or Social Security at the libertarian conference I attended last weekend.

Walden cites the cost of the Medicare-for-All program, but not the cost of the current system, with its patchwork of private plans, tax deductions, and insurance company transaction costs, plus the cost to providers with their own overhead of billing clerks to negotiate the current tangle. 

Here is the point to realize: Walden is not doing a comparison. He is attacking. He is not praising the status quo, he is telling people that changing it will risk loss. Say no. Bunker down.

Progressives need to show that the status quo is the threat, and expanded health care access is a safe choice. It will make it harder to make a bold step. People age 50 and older are the reliable voters, the health care issue is personal to them, and most of the voters have something to lose.

Progressives need to understand the political realities.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Loss Remorse

The story of three polls, and the peril for Democrats who think "Medicare for All" will be easy.

Yard Sign

People don't want to lose anything.

The pain of loss is greater than joy of gain. I learned this lesson as a financial advisor for thirty years. Psychologists have tested it in experiments, and I saw it in real life. In formal studies, psychologists observed that once someone has something in-hand, they want more money to part with it than they would have paid for it in the first place.  

I learned that a person whose portfolio in successive months went from $100,000 to $110,000 to $120,000 to $130,000, and then back to $120,000 did not experience this as the joy of having made 20% in 4 months. They experienced it as the anguish of having lost $10,000 in hard earned dollars. Remorse.

Pain of loss is more salient than the joy of gain. There wouldn't be country music without it. 

"Medicare for All" is a powerful and popular message because it is simple and understandable. It isn't fixing a patchwork of individual and group plans, means-tested subsidies, and the other complications of the current system. 

Reuters: Click
Poll #1: People like Medicare for All: Some 70% of Americans support Medicare for All; 85% of Democrats and 52% of Republicans. 

My Democratic friends cite this statistic and feel confident they have Trump on the run and that, finally, the program that eluded Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Clinton, and Obama is near at hand. Yet each president discovered that the people rebelled, and in the cases of Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama resulted in an election of a hostile Republican congressional majority.

Poll #2: There are huge problems in the current system, but most people are getting by. In a Gallup Poll 80% of Americans consider their current health care situation good and 69% consider their access to it good. The current system is complicated and flawed, but it works--more or less--for most people.
Gallup: Click

It is expensive. It has gaps. They may be stuck in a job they don't like in order to keep coverage. Still, about 150 million Americans have employer-sponsored health insurance and are glad to have it. The insurance lobby group published a poll, saying 71% of people are happy with their employer provided insurance. 

Employer-subsidized health insurance is an untaxed part of a worker's current income. Employers pay an average of 82% of the premium of $6,900 for an individual, or $5,600 a year. Small employers pay 62% of the cost of family coverage and large employers pay 71%. The average for all private employers is $12,800 a year subsidy toward health insurance. Details: Click

It is real money. It costs the employer, but that is the employer's problem. It is something to fear to lose. There is no guarantee that if it disappeared under a Medicare for All system that wages would go up to compensate for the higher taxes to pay for a public system. There is a risk. 

Poll #3: Only 13% of people favor Medicare for All if it means giving up their private health insurance. Voters agree that they or others should have the ability to get Medicare, but they don't want their own personal situation diminished. This means that a "public option" may be possible, but "single payer"--Medicare for All--in which people lose what they now have is very unpopular when people realize it would change their own private insurance. 
The Hill/Harris: Click

Advocates for Medicare for All could argue that this doesn't make sense, that we will all be better off with a single national program, and that this is is a task for political education. 

My own experience tells me this misunderstands the human psychology of loss remorse. Any program by Democrats that causes employers to cut their health benefits will bring crushing backlash. 

Remember the wave elections of 1994 and 2010.They didn't like change.

We probably cannot just "push reset." We are stuck with evolving away from what we have now. Most people have something to lose.