Friday, July 21, 2017

"...it put the gravel in your gut and the spit in your eye."

Angela Lee Duckworth has just returned from her 25th class reunion at Harvard. “People’s lives really do turn out differently,” she observes during an interview in a stylish boardroom. “And it certainly can’t be explained by how intelligent you remember them being when they were sitting next to you in organic chemistry class. Some of it is luck, some of it opportunity.” And some of it is “grit,” as Ms. Duckworth has told the world in articles, lectures and a 2016 bestselling book, “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.”
https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-there-anything-grit-cant-do-1498254238

What do you suppose teaches grit?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Winning the Off Year?

But if the GOP Congress can get things done, 2018’s unusual mix—25 Democrats up for re-election versus only nine Republicans—could make it one of the 20% of midterm elections in the past century in which the party holding the White House actually picks up seats.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/troubled-times-for-10-senate-democrats-1499899156

I have no particular love for the GOP senate, but either by incompetence (not a bad thing in a senate) or luck they tend to mess things up less badly than the demo.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Germany, Sweden, Kentucky

Last year, I posted an article titled "If Sweden and Germany Became US States, They Would be Among the Poorest States" which, produced a sizable and heated debate, including that found in the comments below this article at The Washington Post. The reason for the controversy, of course, is that it has nearly reached the point of dogma with many leftists that European countries enjoy higher standards of living thanks to more government regulation and more social benefits. What the data really suggests, however, is that even after social benefits are incorporated into the income data, the median American still has a higher income than most European countries. 
https://mises.org/blog/when-it-comes-household-income-sweden-and-germany-rank-kentucky

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Health Insurance Does Not Equal Longevity

"Speaking of studies, all of America has been participating in an experiment since 2010 to see if a federal effort to extend government-mandated insurance coverage to millions more people can improve our lives. Last year the Obama Administration bragged that 20 million adults had gained health insurance as a result of Mr. Obama’s so-called Affordable Care Act.

"Given the Sanders logic, one might have expected to see a corresponding improvement in public health. But so far evidence that ObamaCare made us healthier has proven elusive, to say the least."
https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-didnt-obamacare-make-us-healthier-1498508891

Friedman About Social Responsibility

I asked "have you read Friedman's famous article about the social responsibility of corporations?", the answer "no" might be disqualifying for comments about the role of government and businesses.

"Aside from the question of fact–I share Adam Smith's skepticism about the benefits that can be expected from "those who affected to trade for the public good"–this argument must be rejected on grounds of principle. What it amounts to is an assertion that those who favor the taxes and expenditures in question have failed to persuade a majority of their fellow citizens to be of like mind and that they are seeking to attain by undemocratic procedures what they cannot attain by democratic proce­dures. In a free society, it is hard for "evil" people to do "evil," especially since one man's good is another's evil."
http://www.colorado.edu/studentgroups/libertarians/issues/friedman-soc-resp-business.html

Doing business is about you agreeing to buy what someone else wants to sell.  No coercion, voluntary exchange. There is no higher form of human interaction.

Government is the opposite - it has only coercion or threat of same to wield.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Liberty in Health Care?

I read about healthcare quite a bit, rarely find something I have not seen before.


Like the task-force draft, a Republican bill could give new nonprofit or employer-sponsored alliances the explicit task of verifying that a health plan’s contractually specified rights and obligations are (1) “such as might reasonably be agreed to by an informed, value-conscious consumer” and (2) “adequately specified in the contract” by: (a) reference to responsibly developed “clinical practice guidelines;” or (b) “general language altering [conventional] legal and professional standards;” or (c) identifying a disinterested arbiter to deal with ambiguous situations. The task force also negotiated a final clause providing strong assurance that no patient could be denied any significant, verified benefit of medical science.
http://www.realclearpolicy.com/articles/2017/06/25/the_missing_key_to_market-based_health_reform_110281.html

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Why Obamacare Didn't Make Us Healthier

Part of why obamacare didn't make us healthier is that we are killing ourselves, and the health care system can't do much about that.

Speaking of studies, all of America has been participating in an experiment since 2010 to see if a federal effort to extend government-mandated insurance coverage to millions more people can improve our lives. Last year the Obama Administration bragged that 20 million adults had gained health insurance as a result of Mr. Obama’s so-called Affordable Care Act.
Given the Sanders logic, one might have expected to see a corresponding improvement in public health. But so far evidence that ObamaCare made us healthier has proven elusive, to say the least. In December the New York Times was among the many news outlets that had to share the embarrassing news:
American life expectancy is in decline for the first time since 1993, when H.I.V.-related deaths were at their peak. But this time, researchers can’t identify a single problem driving the drop, and are instead pointing to a number of factors, from heart disease to suicides, that have caused a greater number of deaths.

A study on mortality rates released on Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics showed that Americans could expect to live for 78.8 years in 2015, a decrease of 0.1 from the year before. The overall death rate increased 1.2 percent — that’s about 86,212 more deaths than those recorded in 2014.
http://thegrayarea.org/?p=126743

Insurance doesn't create health, it doesn't prevent us from killing ourselves. 78% of mortality is tied to what we eat and how we live. It's gauche these days to blame anyone for anything bad that happens to them.  We are often to blame, nonetheless.