Archive for November, 2016
Ideology, Identity Politics, and Politico-Cultural Conflict

The past year’s political events, especially the campaign for the presidency as it converged on a contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, have illuminated the way in which ideology, with the identity politics that springs from it, drives a dialectical process: political domination creates resentment, which feeds reaction and, on occasion, revolution against...
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“Surprise” Medical Bills a Big Problem

Yale University professors Zach Cooper and Fiona Scott Morton have published a new article reporting their research on “surprise” medical bills. These occur when a patient goes to an in-network hospital but is treated (without his knowledge) by an out-of-network doctor and receives an unexpected bill from the doctor (or doctors). Examining 2.2 million...
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Students for Democratic Society?

I am the faculty advisor for the Florida State University Students for Liberty. I am guessing that is the reason I received an email from the FSU Students for Democratic Society which says, in part: Anyone who has been following Donald Trump’s campaign has seen examples of Trump’s racist, xenophobic, and misogynistic, far-right ideology....
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Make No Mistake: Fidel Castro Was a Horrible Person

Cuba’s former dictator, Fidel Castro, has died at the age of 90. When I woke up on Saturday morning to see the news, I was surprised by the reaction of many friends on social media, as well as the national media. The New York Times headline read, “Cuban Revolutionary Who Defied U.S., Dies at...
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Tax Reform for Investment Income

Executive Summary The unexpected election of an at least nominally Republican president, along with Republican control of both Houses of Congress, presents a unique opportunity for the incoming Congress to make meaningful reforms to the tax system. One major problem has been the over-taxation of corporate income. Another is the under-taxation of carried interest....
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Political Power Takes a Hit in J. K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts

J. K. Rowling’s entertainment and cultural empire expands with the addition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a well-crafted action film that will surely push the Harry Potter film franchise beyond the $8 billion gross receipts milestone. Fantastic Beasts has already earned nearly $300 million worldwide, solidifying Rowling’s role as a leading...
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The White Man’s Burden: More Drinking, Drugs, and Suicides Since 2000

More nonsense has been written about White nationalism/supremacy in the wake of Donald Trump’s election than anyone should have to read. So, it is a pleasure to find some actual data analysis on the role of the non-college educated white citizen in the success of the Trump candidacy, especially versus Mitt Romney’s failed 2012...
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The Pharmaceutical Industry and Access to Medicines

Having written critically about a decision made by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to reject a donation of vaccines by Pfizer, Inc., I am grateful for a new report which ranks research-based pharmaceutical companies on a number of measurements of how they make medicines available to patients in low-income countries. Jointly funded by the...
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Government Failure in Health Systems Is Widespread

The Commonwealth Fund has published yet another survey comparing health care in the United States to health care in other countries. The title conveys its emphasis: US Adults Still Struggle With Access To And Affordability Of Health Care. Really? As I’ve previously written, I agree utterly with the Commonwealth Fund scholars that health care...
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On Virtue Signaling

Accusations of virtue signaling have become all the rage in certain quarters in recent years, especially on social media. And one can easily see why: the accusation is a cheap, easy, universally applicable way of disparaging someone’s expressed opinion or belief, essentially a dismissal of that opinion or belief as mere posturing in quest...
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