Archive for September, 2015
Health Spending an Increasing Share of GDP

Last week’s third estimate of Gross Domestic Product for the second quarter confirms that growth in health spending might be moderating somewhat from its initial Obamacare-fueled rush. Unfortunately, it is not a clear break in the trend of health spending consuming an increasing share of our national income. Current GDP grew $264.4 billion, or 1.5 percent,...
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Fossil Fuels Are the Lifeblood of Modern Civilization

“We don’t want to ‘save the planet’ from human beings; we want to improve the planet for human beings.” —Alex Epstein I never thought I would encounter a book titled The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels. After all, in this day and age, it is the politically correct and fashionable trend for activists, media,...
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Employee Health Benefits on a Winning Streak?

Mercer, a leading firm of consulting actuaries, tells us that the cost of employee benefits in 2016 will grow slowly – a “winning streak”: Early responses from a major Mercer survey still in the field show employers predicting that health benefit cost per employee will rise by 4.2% on average in 2016 (see Fig....
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Hollywood Joins the Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement

I published an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer recently challenging the mindsets of student activists lobbying to force college administrators to purge coal and oil stocks from their investment portfolios. Now, reportedly, but not surprisingly, Leonardo Di Caprio and a few other left-leaning Hollywood personalities are jumping on the divestment bandwagon. He, along with...
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Health Plan Deductibles Grew Seven Times Faster Than Wages

The Kaiser Family Foundation just released its 2015 Employer Benefits Survey: Single and family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose an average of 4 percent this year, continuing a decade-long period of moderate growth, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) 2015 Employer Health Benefits Survey released today. Since 2005, premiums...
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Time for Bond Investors, Especially in Chicago, To “Know What You Own”

Four U.S. cities went belly up recently, and all declared bankruptcy largely due to unaffordable government pension costs. The outcomes of these bankruptcies should make everyone think twice about lending money to cities with serious public pension debts. The graphic below shows the outcome of the municipal bankruptcies in Vallejo, Detroit, Stockton, and San...
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Be Prepared for Active Shooter Threats

I received an email from bereadyflorida.org with a link to this website that contains six videos on being prepared to respond to active shooter threats in a number of different situations. I’m not sure why I got the email, but I am a faculty member at Florida State University. (I have talked with several...
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“But They’re Illegal!” The Worst Argument Against Immigration

A few weeks ago I wrote a piece titled, “An Apology to an Immigrant.” In the piece, I discussed my experience with thinking through the immigration debate, and offered sources that not only debunk many commonly-held myths regarding immigration, but also offer information on the benefits immigrants bring to the United States. The response was...
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Freedom, Fairness, and the Transitional Gains Trap

During the many years I have written about liberty, among the most common criticisms I’ve encountered has been that freedom, including a free market, is unfair. That conclusion always struck me as backward. How is a system fundamentally based on self-ownership and voluntary arrangements unfair? It certainly meets the traditional definition of justice, which...
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Happy Birthday, US Department of Education...Now Go Away

Next month marks the 36th anniversary of the establishment of the U.S. Department of Education. Proponents insisted that such a department would improve federal education spending efficiency as well as student achievement. Opponents countered that there is scant (if any) evidence that increasing federal control over education would achieve either. Turns out, they were...
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