Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Does Inequality Matter?

"This study argues that, for those of us who care about the
welfare of the poorest and the most vulnerable, income
inequality is not a useful measure. Measures of income
inequality tell us nothing about the living conditions of the
poor, their health and their access to economic opportunity.
Income inequality can easily increase in societies in
which everyone, including the very poorest individuals, is
becoming better off. Conversely, a reduction in inequality
can be associated with deterioration in the living conditions
of the less well-off members of the society"

from "Does Inequality Matter?" Dalibor Rohác, Adam Smith Institute Briefing Paper


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Infinite Resources

"The cavemen had the same natural resources at their disposal as we have today, and the difference between their standard of living and ours is a difference between the knowledge they could bring to bear on those resources and the knowledge used today."

-Thomas Sowell, Knowledge and Decisions 

HT Carpe Diem


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Legal Plunder

I have yet to receive a convincing answer to the following question:

If it is wrong for your neighbor to come to your house and demand you pay for his health care, why is it ok if the whole neighborhood gets together and makes the same demand?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Why not use spoons?

Milton Friedman was once taken to see a massive government project somewhere in Asia. Thousands of workers using shovels were building a canal. Friedman was puzzled. Why weren't there any excavators or any mechanized earth-moving equipment? A government official explained that using shovels created more jobs. Friedman's response: "Then why not use spoons instead of shovels?"


Doing more with less is the road to prosperity.

Read the rest of the article:

Obama vs. ATMs: Why Technology Doesn't Destroy Jobs  Russ Roberts, WSJ, 6-22-11

Update: Another good article on this same theme: Obama the Luddite: Friend to Labor Unions, Enemy of Job Creators


Monday, June 13, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

30 years of HIV/AIDS

June 5th, 1981 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports had an article on five cases of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) among previously healthy young men in Los Angeles. This was the beginning of our journey into the puzzle that has been HIV/AIDS. I remember sitting in a series of Grand Rounds in medical school, and then residency, as some of the pieces of the puzzle came together: homosexual males, Kaposi's sarcoma, severe immune deficiency and death from "opportunistic organisms."

The AIDS story has been full of tragedy and fear---and though we still have a long way to go, it is also a story of scientific triumph. In the US it is not quite the same death sentence as before. In Africa, the battles to alter cultures and manage the disease amidst poverty have proved the greater challenge.

The Kaiser Family Foundation  has put together an interactive Global HIV/AIDS Timeline in which you can scan the milestones  from 3 decades of effort.

Just another example of how where there is wealth, the possibilities are so much greater and how poverty is the biggest killer of all.


How to Grow an Economy

Since the recession began Texas...has produced 37% of all new jobs in the United States. Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas, says this remarkable job growth is due to these pragmatic factors: a business friendly environment, flexible economic policies, small government, no state income tax, no right to work laws, a 30.5% health care growth, and systematic tort reform (editorial, “The Lone Star Jobs Surge" Wall Street Journal, June 10, 2010).

from Dr. Richard Reece at Medinnovation

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Changing Character of Medicine: Are We Headed in the Right Direction?

A recent article in the New York Times relates how the shift from small business owner to employee affects a physician’s politics. But that is far from the most important change that will occur because of this shift. What we really need to pay attention to is how it will affect the practice of medicine itself.

Full post is up at PJ Media.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Planned Parenthood Controversy: The Law vs. the Law

There's a very interesting discussion over at The Incidental Economist on what is actually at stake in the controversy over Planned Parenthood funding in Indiana.

Turns out that Medicaid patients were not getting abortions paid for by Medicaid. That is against Federal law.

What the Indiana law is attempting to do is prohibit Medicaid patients from receiving any type of care from a facility which performs abortions. But that prohibition also appears to be against Federal  law.

Read the rest over there:

Medicaid, Planned Parenthood and the law


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Medicare Reform: Paying for the Cake You Want to Eat

Today's post is up on PJ Media.  Check it out, and be sure to leave a comment.

Since Medicare and Medicaid became law in 1965, people have been told: “You can have your cake and eat it too.” You can have the medical care you need and not have to pay for it. (You may think you are paying for Medicare with your payroll taxes, but in fact those taxes cover less than 1/3 of your projected health care costs.) 

For decades, Medicare and Medicaid have been paying for health care with no one facing the difficult question: “Is what we are purchasing worth the cost?” Not the doctors, nor the “beneficiaries” — and especially not the politicians. Doctors get income; patients get health care; politicians get votes — all with the carefree ease of paying for it with other people’s money.