Archive for October, 2012

Are Welfare Programs Worth What They Cost? »

In 2011, 14.6% of households in the United States were below the poverty line, according to these statistics. That represents 16.8 million households. That same year, the federal government spent $746 billion on means-tested welfare programs, according to this report recently released by the Congressional Research Service. If that money were divided up and...
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Is Government Provision the Answer? (Part I) »

A small but vocal group on the left believes that single-payer national health insurance is the answer to the problem of escalating healthcare costs. As I wrote in my recent book, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis, some would like to copy Canada’s healthcare system. Others would like to enroll everyone in Medicare. The Physicians for...
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The “Green” Election Market Proxy »

With just a week to go, election predictors puzzling over the too-close-to-call polls, have a choice of numerous proxy market predictors, among them the 7-11 Cup Poll, Intrade, and the Iowa Electronic Markets. And now: the Chia president. As reported in the San Francisco Business Times: Chia Obama was trouncing Chia Romney 69.6 percent...
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Anti-Gouging Laws Prevent Prices from Sending the Right Signals »

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, a Republican, and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat, have warned sellers against “price gouging” in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Their words and policies are supposed to help people during a catastrophe, but the opposite is true. As columnist Matthew Yglesias explains in Slate, stopping...
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Obama and Civil Liberties: The Prospect of Four More Years »

Most voters prioritize the economy and far behind that comes foreign policy, where both major presidential candidates offer more of the same. One can make arguments that on these important issues, one side is worse than the other. But another important set of issues, those of civil liberties, has gotten much less attention than...
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Once More, with Feeling: Our System Is Not Socialism, but Participatory Fascism »

I continue to encounter many discussions in which the author or speaker bemoans the economic order’s drift toward socialism or, in some cases, its actual existence as such. If this characterization were simply a matter of linguistic imprecision, it might not matter much. But it is much more than a matter of terminology, because...
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How Much Do You Trust Your Insurer? »

Dennis Haysbert is the actor I remember best for playing the president of the United States in several of the Jack Bauer 24 seasons. You probably know him better as a spokesman for Allstate. In one commercial, he is standing in front of a town that looks like it has been devastated by a...
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It’s Official: No Global Warming Since 1997 »

The Daily Mail of London has reported that despite its support for global warming alarmism, Britain’s National Weather Service (U.K. Met Office) has quietly unveiled a report admitting that there has been no warming from January 1997 through August 2012. (Here also are the data sets for the report as well as an analysis...
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Obama’s Trifecta: The 3 Biggest Lies »

With his latest ad, “Your First Time,” President Barack Obama has now completed his trifecta on the the 3 Biggest Lies in the World. You remember those, don’t you? #1: The check is in the mail. #2: I’m from the government and I’m here to help you. #3: Of course I’ll still respect you...
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Modeling Disasters »

It always astonishes me that a publication calling itself a “newspaper” can report as fact, leaving no allowance for the possibility of error, a story such as this: “As Waters Warm, Predators’ Hunger Games Will Get Tougher.” [Note that the online version tones it down a bit: “...predators may go hungry.” (Emphasis added.) Hedging...
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