Archive for May, 2015
Maybe the Government Just Shouldn’t Ask People if They’re Uninsured

Sir John Cowperthwaite was the Financial Secretary of the British Colony of Hong Kong when it began to boom in the 1960s: Asked what is the key thing poor countries should do, Cowperthwaite once remarked: “They should abolish the Office of National Statistics.” In Hong Kong, he refused to collect all but the most...
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What Abercrombie and Fitch Can Teach Us about the Same-Sex Marriage Controversy

When I was a young teenager, Abercrombie & Fitch was one of the “it” brands. Everyone in school wanted to wear it, and it was absolutely used to signal that one was up-to-date on recent trends. As the child of two schoolteachers, I learned very early in my life that paying $50 for a t-shirt I’d grow...
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Hackers Stole Data from Whom? An Example of Media Bias

This story’s headline reports, “Hackers Stole Data From More Than 100,000 Taxpayers, IRS Says.” The headline is wrong. Hackers stole data from the IRS, not from taxpayers. This is an example of the subtle kind of media bias that minimizes government shortcomings, in this case by pointing the finger at taxpayers. This particular headline...
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Commonwealth Fund: “Underinsurance” Unchanged under Obamacare

Yet another pro-Obamacare organization has had to publish a study indicating that Obamacare is failing to achieve its objectives. I recently discussed Families USA’s report that one-third of low-income families cannot afford care under Obamacare. This time it is the Commonwealth Fund, inventor of the notion of “underinsurance,” which is defined as out-of-pocket health...
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Planned Rate Hikes Presage a Health Insurance ‘Death Spiral’

The Wall Street Journal has reviewed health plans’ rate filings for 2016 in Obamacare exchanges: In New Mexico, market leader Health Care Service Corp. is asking for an average jump of 51.6% in premiums for 2016. The biggest insurer in Tennessee, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, has requested an average 36.3% increase. In Maryland, market...
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Military Education Savings Accounts: A Great Way to Provide Educational Choice

This Memorial Day we remember and honor our fellow citizens who were willing to defend our American liberties to the death. Nobel Prize–winning economist Milton Friedman was a leading proponent of ending military conscription, or the draft, because forced military service is incompatible with a free society. Thanks in no small part to his...
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Parental Choice Could Help Curb Willful Defiance in School

Students attending Oakland Unified Public Schools will no longer be suspended for willful defiance, a broad category of misbehaviors such as swearing at teachers, texting in class, or refusing to take off hats in the classroom. A number of other California schools districts, including those in San Francisco and Los Angeles, are also dropping...
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“Rape Culture” and the Implications for Liberty on College Campuses

College campuses are placing a stronger emphasis on reducing sexual assault. Unfortunately, universities and colleges often adopt heavy-handed policies to punish alleged offenders based on abstractions or simplistic understandings of college student attitudes and behavior. One of the more problematic overgeneralizations is the concept of the “rape culture”, and the pervasive use of the...
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High U.S. Health Prices from Market Power?

The National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) recently published a consensus report on healthcare-provider consolidation. Basically, we have a growing problem in that hospitals are buying up each other and also physician practices, which leads to reduced competition and higher prices. The report was promoted with an op-ed in The Hill by the esteemed...
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Progressivism: Rhetoric versus Reality

Contemporary supporters of an expanded role for government are increasingly moving away from calling themselves liberals and toward referring to themselves Progressives, so it is worth considering what the ideology of Progressivism entails. Progressivism began in the late 1800s as a political movement that advocated expanding the role of government. Before the Progressive era,...
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