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Category Archives: Economics

Doctor Doctor, Give Me the News

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: The Affordable Health Care Act does not make health care more affordable. You can’t ensure that everyone has access to affordable health care by simply mandating that people buy insurance.

One reason why mandated insurance isn’t the answer is that there is more demand for medical care than there are doctors to supply it. Insurance won’t help you if you can’t get in to see a doctor, either because the wait time is just too long or because doctors won’t take your sub-standard insurance [1]. This already is the case with Medicare. The compensation simply isn’t worth it to many doctors, and Obamacare is going to be in the same category [1]. This will put millions more people into the already overloaded system of doctors that accept the government’s cut rate plans, which means less access to care for patients.

There’s a reason we don’t have a surplus of doctors. It takes from 11 to 14 years of education and training to become a doctor and comes with an average debt of over $166,000 [2]. Residents work enough hours for two full time jobs for years with poor compensation. People who are willing to go through this kind of ordeal are not common, and they will be even less common if they can’t expect to be compensated for their initial investment of time and money.

We should be finding ways of increasing the supply of care, like encouraging more direct primary care and nurse practitioners, instead of focusing on running the insurance industry into the ground.

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Posted by on February 13, 2014 in Economics

 

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Dear Mr. President

During the State of the Union address, President Obama stated, “Americans understand that some people will earn more than others, and we don’t resent those who, by virtue of their efforts, achieve incredible success” [1]. Now, while I don’t expect the President of the United States to respond to a mere plebian like me, I still have some questions about what he meant by this statement.

Mr. President, you state that Americans understand that some people will earn more than others. I assume that means that you also think Americans have at least a rudimentary understanding of skilled labor versus unskilled labor and the value of experience. Why, then, Mr. President, do you advocate for paying unskilled laborers in minimum wage positions the same wage as someone that has a job that requires a college degree? In your opinion, why should an unskilled 16-year old starting at McDonalds earn as much as a lab technician or Head Start teacher with a bachelor’s degree? How is it equitable to have someone invest in an education just to earn what a completely unskilled laborer can earn?

Mr. President, I’m also confused by your assertion that you don’t resent those who achieve incredible success. This seems to be quite at odds with some of the things you and your campaign said about your opponent, Mitt Romney, in the last election. If you don’t resent people for working hard and being successful, why would you try to bully them into releasing their tax information to the public to make them look bad? At the time, Mr. President, it sure seemed like resentment of Romney’s wealth and success played a big part in your strategy to win a second term. How do your friends in the Occupy Wall street movement feel about your newfound acceptance of people who are incredibly successful?

Maybe, Mr. President, if you get a minute, you could give us some clarification.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2014 in Economics

 

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Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

The Mediterranean country of Cyprus’ finances are in a bad way. So bad, in fact, that they decided to raid private bank accounts to raise funds, and then they tried to prevent runs on the banks by simply shutting them all down. They stole private money from their citizens and then prevented everyone access to what was left. As you can imagine, the decision was not a popular one.

Our country’s finances are also in a bad way. Our national debt is creeping up on the 17 trillion dollar mark, so what is stopping our own government from following Cyprus’ example? Most people think it is unlikely, if only because our own populace is far more heavily armed than that of Cyprus. It’s also unlikely because, with a little patience, they don’t need to seize our bank accounts to take our money.

They’re doing it right now. Every time they print more money to cover their debts, it devalues the money already in circulation. One hundred dollars in your savings account today won’t buy as much as it did a decade ago, and thanks to the government’s mad money printing policy, it won’t go very far a decade from now. So without overtly taking anything from you, they are slowly bleeding money from everyone by simply printing more money for themselves while making yours worth less and less each day.

So how can we, as private citizens, protect our assets from being eroded away, or from outright seizure like the unfortunate people of Cyprus. The old adage of not keeping all your eggs in one basket applies; don’t keep everything in one place. Hard assets, like precious metals or property, will always have value and can’t be simply taken electronically. And having some emergency cash at home will come in handy if you’re ever unable to access your bank accounts, like the Cypriots.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2013 in Economics

 

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