Archive for August, 2012

Competition Based on Quality of Healthcare: Why Does Quality Rise in Free Markets and Decline with Government? »

Lack of quality competition is in part the result of certain characteristics of healthcare quality. What we call core quality is not a variable at all. As I discuss in my recent book Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis, it is the result of other decisions made by the providers. Since the vagaries of medical...
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Lessons from Ruby Ridge »

Twenty years ago today, an FBI sniper shot Vicki Weaver in the head as she held her ten-month-old baby at her home in Ruby Ridge, Idaho. The sniper also shot her husband Randy Weaver in the back, trying to kill him. Their son was shot in the back and killed the day before by U.S....
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Goldwater Was Right about the Dangers of “Big, Inflationary Government” »

In Sen. Barry Goldwater’s 1964 campaign ad against big government, the narrator warns a young boy who’s parking his bike at grandma’s house, “Don’t look now young man, but somebody has his hand in your pocket. It’s the hand of big government. It’s taking away about four months pay from what your daddy earns...
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I Don’t Care What Rep. Akin Thinks about Rape »

I shouldn’t have to care. He’s not my doctor. Neither his nor any other politician’s opinion on the matter should have any bearing on or meaning for my life or anyone else’s. I shouldn’t have to care what Mayor Bloomberg thinks about nursing vs. formula for babies. Nor for what Senator Harkin thinks birth...
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What’s a Geezer to Do? »

In 1968, I went to work as a faculty member at the University of Washington. Two years later, I noticed that a large deduction had been made to my monthly pay, and I inquired about it. I discovered that it was my personal contribution to a retirement plan. Because I had no recollection of...
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Can Entrepreneurship Be Copied? Some Behaviors Can Be Replicated, but Results Are Unique. »

Time and again, President Obama has told us how he intends to solve our healthcare problems: spend money on pilot programs and other experiments, find out what works, and then copy it. He’s also repeatedly said the same thing about education. The only difference: In education, we’ve already been following this approach with no...
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College Officials’ Excuses Costing Students and Taxpayers »

Finishing college shouldn’t be so hard. Completing challenging classes and mastering advanced material plus working to pay for increasingly expensive degrees is tough enough. But some institutions make it even harder for undergraduates because of their own shoddy administration. Sacramento State undergraduate Starlight Trotter is starting her fifth year and shared her travails in...
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Absentee Ballots Create a Market for Votes »

The secret ballot used in contemporary American elections inhibits a market for votes because there is no way to assure someone who pays you for your vote that you actually voted as you promised. That mechanism for preventing vote-buying is being undermined by the widespread use of absentee ballots, because voters can sell their...
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Healthcare Entrepreneurs: Unleash the Innovative Caregivers »

Although we often associate the term entrepreneur with profit seeking, the healthcare field is teeming with innovators who are largely motivated by altruism. As I wrote in my new book Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis, take Dr. Jeffrey Brenner of Camden, New Jersey.* In any other field, Brenner would be a millionaire, but because...
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Mrs. Obama Guilt-Trips Olympic Wunderkind—Over 300-Calorie “Sin”? »

Sixteen year-old Olympian gold medalist Gabby Douglas—a model of sweet humility, giving “all the glory to God”—had her well-deserved turn in the spotlight with Jay Leno last night, and was treated to a dose of humiliation from our self-appointed nutrition czarina, Mrs. Obama. Asked what she did to celebrate her stunning performance in London,...
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