The Free Market in Healthcare – Another Fantasy

This is a departure from my normal political topics. In the past few days I have described why the free market does not work with the healthcare system in the United States at least two times. Because both were sort of ad hoc, I decided to write one that is a little more complete. Neither of my readers will mind a change in subject and I get to review interesting stuff.

This article is based on classical economic theory. The Austrian school of economics will argue that some of the assumptions below, notably perfect knowledge, are not valid. The Heritage Foundation has published a refutation of the original argument at http://www.heritage.org/health-care-reform/report/compelling-evidence-makes-the-case-market-driven-health-care-system. I’ll come back to these later. Note that I am not a practicing economist so there will be valid disagreements with some of the items below. However, taken as a whole and observing the healthcare market, I believe the argument to be valid.  Continue reading

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A Theory of Everything Trump

Pundits often attempt to explain the president’s actions and motivations.  I catalogued many Trump actions, tweets and comments in a framework based on my characterization of him.  Almost everything he does can be explained if viewed through this framework.  Simply, the framework describes the president as a

  • thin-skinned,
  • narcissistic,
  • bully,
  • whose only goal is his personal brand management.

Continue reading

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Real News

Let’s be clear. I still think the Donald is a thin-skinned, narcissistic bully whose only goal is self-promotion.

Nonetheless, CNN and other media outlets must de-escalate the Russia story and find more time for other news. There are two reasons for this. First, there is other important news. Second, roughly one-third of the country doesn’t care. If you want to maintain (or reestablish) a reputation for fair coverage, you can’t spend all your on-air time talking about something a third of your potential viewers think is unimportant and won’t be interested in unless something much more definitive comes to light. It looks more like harassment than news coverage to a lot of people and is divisive. Don’t stop reporting on new facts related to Russian election-meddling, possible collusion and hacking. Just don’t spend all day and all night covering the same issues. Continue reading

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Republicans:  Say What You Mean on Health Care

The Republicans should stop messing around with health care bills, state their goal clearly and get on with it.  They could have a vote and be on to the next subject in a week.

The problem they are having is that they keep trying to create a bill that both takes all the money away, strips the government’s involvement (individual mandates, essential benefits, etc.), gives individuals more control and options and simultaneously continues to provide some acceptable level of care to 20 million people more or less.  This is the eat-nothing-and-lose-five-pounds-of-fat-while-gaining-ten-pounds-of-ripped-muscle-without-excercise-in-one-week diet.

What they need to do is state the obvious:   Continue reading

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No Harm, No Foul

Kelly Anne Conway and Donald Trump Jr have both used the “no harm, no foul” excuse in relation to the recently disclosed meeting between Jr, Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort with a Russian attorney.  Because the Russian attorney failed to deliver derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, as Trump apparently had expected, they say “nothing to see here, move along”.  No harm, no foul.

I’m not sure that applies to politics.   Continue reading

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So Happy to Have a Strong, Thoughtful and Effective POTUS – a Fantasy

Looking back to the Obama years, I have to say they were boring.  Yes, Republican obstruction provided some excitement from time to time.  Remember when they were ready to shut down the government?  That was a hoot!  But generally the No-drama-Obama years were more dulls than lulz.

No more!  It began with the president’s promise to unify the nation in his inaugural address.  You remember.   Continue reading

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Resistance is not enough

Let’s get this clear before I go on.  I am no fan of Donald Trump.  I believe he is a 12-year-old, thin-skinned bully – a very talented and clever bully it must be said – in the body of a 71-year-old ego-maniac.  Taking that perspective I think gives tremendous insight into his actions and motivations.  Nonetheless, this story is not about him.  It is about the Democrats and how they are going to continue to lose.  It is to some extent also about how the press is helping them lose.   Continue reading

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