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Archive for August, 2013
How Much Do You Want to Pay for Medical Care?

The title above is not a misprint. I want you to think about choosing your own price. Suppose you could magically pay any fee you want to health care providers and they can’t refuse. You can’t control the fee others are paying. But you can select your own. What fee would you choose? Your...
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Life, Liberty, and the Threat of Abortion Ambivalence

I happened to catch the headline on AOL News the other day promoting an on-line Huffington Post Live interview with 27-year-old porn star Stoya. The seven-year veteran of adult entertainment was remarkably poised, even if unsurprisingly candid, but her comments raised more than a few interesting questions about life and liberty from a broader...
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The End of Cristina’s Reign

Argentina held open primaries last Sunday whose ostensible purpose was to pick the candidates that will compete in October’s midterm elections. But Argentineans saw them as a major test of Cristina Kirchner’s increasingly corrupt, authoritarian presidency—and she was badly humiliated. The rules make these primary elections a foretaste of the real race, which means...
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Medical Economics and Medical Ethics

A lengthy op-ed in The New York Times the other day typifies the way quite a few doctors think. Written by Gilbert Welch (Dartmouth Institute), the article acknowledges that there are perverse economic incentives in the practice of medicine. But these incentives play second fiddle to a much bigger problem: the failure of providers...
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Is Macroeconomics Really Economics?

The world probably would have been much better off had macroeconomics never been devised. Although I have in mind Keynesian macroeconomics above all, I include other types of macro models as well. I even include, somewhat reluctantly, the whole quantity theory approach descended from David Hume to the Friedmanites, now known as monetarism. One...
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Our System’s Complexity Is Both Its Weakness and Its Strength

If our politico-economic system were the creation of a small group of über-conspirators, it would be easy to change. People would need only to identify, expose, and oust the “man behind the curtain.” But our system is nothing of the sort, notwithstanding the enduring popularity of Grand Conspiracy Theories. Even the formal government itself...
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Bono: “Capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid”

Our Senior Fellow George Ayittey met the Irish rock star Bono in July 2007 during a TED conference. Professor Ayittey was speaking and in knowing that Bono would be in the audience, he explains that “I made a special effort to rip into the foreign aid establishment.... Later, Bono said he liked my speech...
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Bismarck and Healthcare Insurance: DeLong and DeShort of It

Brad DeLong at The Health Care blog makes these assertions: Bismarck created the world’s first national health insurance system 130 years ago because he wanted to make the German people healthier. The rationale for national health insurance in the U.S. today is the same as it was for Bismarck. People can’t pay for expensive...
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NSA Spying Threatens Law-Abiding Americans

I was talking with an older German citizen about the NSA’s data collection program that has recently been the subject of much debate. He worked for the East German government during the Cold War and viewed the NSA’s activities as similar to the Stasi’s under communist rule, but potentially more threatening. The argument often...
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Not Even Achieving an Impossible Libertarian Dream Will Suffice

Libertarians dream of cutting back the bloated Leviathan under whose weight people now struggle simply to catch their breath—breathing freely being almost beyond imagination. A few of us dream of eliminating the state altogether, however much we recognize the impossibility of doing so. Many more libertarians, however, believe that in propitious circumstances, the state...
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