Sunday, October 25, 2009

More On Health Care

Since I saw this PBS report on health care in the Netherlands I've been pretty high on their system. A price ceiling that allows the market full leeway in shifting the supply curve to the right. If you watch the video in the link above, note the automated prescription dispenser... no need to spend $100k+ a year on pharmacists (reading this, Ashlie?).

Since the U.S. reform falls well short of what the Dutch have done, and well short of what was outlined in "How American Health Care Killed My Father," I've been pretty depressed about what the outcome will be-- disaster!

This Tyler Cowen column in yesterday's NY Times makes me feel worse. Arguing that what little state-level evidence we have so far indicates that individual mandates won't bring premiums down, and the subsidy-laden reform working through congress will make matters of entitlement-dependency worse.

Americans don't realize how much their standard of living is slowly falling behind that of other countries. We're not experiencing the growth in that measure that we've known in years past, and this will only worsen over the next decade (my opinion here).

Monday, October 12, 2009

Back on Top

Thought I'd take a spare 2 minutes to post this picture from yesterday's race.
Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus are in first place 4 races into the Chase, so the world is as it should be. If you watched "Together: The Hendrick Motorsports Story" on ABC this weekend then you know that it's just WRONG for any teams other than Hendrick to win.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Suicide Tax

France Telecom has seen 24 of its employees commit suicide in the last 18 months, most of whom mentioned the poor working environment of France Telecom in their suicide notes. Many of these also killed themselves while working on the job, hanging themselves in their cubicles or jumping out the window.

In microeconomics we teach that one sure way to reduce the quantity of something is to tax it at the margin. So, one trade union proposes doing exactly that:

"As the debate rages whether the suicides were provoked by vicious globalization, the company's cynical management, or mollycoddled state workers being made to face up to reality, France Telecom seems to be doing its utmost to avoid another one. One trade union has suggested the government levy a suicide tax on companies to make sure they maintain a decent work environment."