Archive for July, 2012

Counsel of Despair? »

Over the years, I have heard many people say that the government’s adoption of a laissez-faire stance during a business recession or depression amounts to “do-nothing government”—the unstated assumption always being that it is better for the government to “do something” than to do nothing. Recommending such a hands-off stance is often described as...
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How Much Does Health Insurance Affect Health? Some Surprising Answers »

There have been a number of claims that lack of insurance is life threatening. The most recent and well known is an Institute of Medicine (IOM) study claiming that 18,000 people die every year because they do not have health insurance.[1] Using a similar methodology, a study for the Physicians for a National Health...
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Private Association Fines Government, and Government Will Pay! »

Much has been written about Penn State and the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, but I want to mention two aspects about it that have been on my mind. The first one is the idea of institutional culpability. Jerry Sandusky has already been convicted for his actions, and when they came to light,...
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Progressive Betrayals of Civil Liberties »

In the last two weeks, we have seen the weakness of many left-liberals’ support for civil liberties. Last week, progressive bloggers, activists, and politicians piled on Chick-fil-A, whose president Dan Cathy has spoken critically of and supported groups that oppose gay marriage. For his stance on this issue, which is not all that different...
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The Drowning Lifeguard? »

With Berlin under pressure from everybody to rescue everyone, the recent confirmation of Germany´s economic slowdown and Moody´s threat to downgrade the Triple-A rating enjoyed by that country´s sovereign debt is a poignant reminder that in certain circumstances the lifeguard can also drown. The last time Germany used its muscle to pull a partner...
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Cowboy Revisionist History »

I was pleased to learn that today is the Eighth National Day of the Cowboy. As such, it’s especially appropriate that we take advantage of the opportunity to set the record straight on many things Cowboy and Western. First of all, the Old West was far more peaceful than is commonly portrayed in movies...
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The Problem of Unintended Consequences: How Good Intentions Often Lead to Perverse Effects »

Ideal health insurance is often said to be health insurance with no deductible or co-payment, making medical care essentially free at the point of delivery. Yet, if patients have no out-of-pocket costs, their economic incentive will be to overuse the system, essentially consuming healthcare until the last amount obtained has a value that approaches...
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Ten Fallacious Conclusions in the Dominant Ideology’s Political Economy »

The dominant ideology does much to shape people’s views about what is happening in social affairs, why it is happening, and what if anything ought to be done about it. Ideology exerts its force in large part through what we might call its power of predisposition, that is, its default conclusions that, on examination,...
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Student Loan Forgiveness: Bread and Circuses for the 21st Century »

In late June Congress acted to freeze the interest rate on certain college loans at 3.4 percent for an additional year, claiming this move would help make college more affordable. Of course, a relative handful of college students saving a few dollars each month doesn’t translate into college affordability—and the Obama administration knows it....
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President Obama’s STEM Master Teacher Corps: Another Unconstitutional, Expensive Federal Foray into Education »

The U.S. Department of Education will soon be handing out federal paychecks to teachers across the country. On July 18 President Obama unveiled his $1 billion Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Master Teacher Corps. According to the White House: The STEM Master Teacher Corps will begin with 50 exceptional STEM teachers established in...
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