Thursday, July 30, 2009

Oh what the heck! A little more Jeff Beck

The hard reality about health care models

Writing in REASON magazine, the very cogent Shikha Dalmia:
The point is that there is no health care model, whether privately or publicly financed, that can offer unlimited access to medical services while containing costs. Ultimately, such a model arrives at a cross roads where it has to either limit access in an arbitrary way, or face uncontrolled cost increases. France and Germany, which are mostly publicly funded, are increasingly marching down the first road. America, which is half publicly and half privately funded, has so far taken the second path. Should America offer even more people such unlimited access through universal coverage, it too will end up rationing care or facing national bankruptcy.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Why Jeff Beck is God!

Jeff Beck always a pleasure: Goodbye Pork Pie Hat/Brush With The Blues

New York will rise again thanks to Bloomberg

The always must-read Ed Glaeseron Mayor Bloomberg. Nothing sets the path for success like the humility of failure.
Mr. Bloomberg was fired by Salomon in 1981, during the depths of a recession. His job dislocation pushed him into a more creative entrepreneurial path that exploited New York’s special advantages, like abundant human capital and sectoral variety.

Forty years ago, Jane Jacobs argued that new ideas are formed by combining old ideas, and local industrial diversity makes innovation easier. She pointed to the brassiere, which came allegedly out of dress-making rather than lingerie, but Mr. Bloomberg himself is a better example of the advantages of cross-sector intellectual fertilization. He succeeded as an information technology magnate because he understood the needs of finance far better than anyone in Silicon Valley.

For New York’s next reinvention, the city will need smart people to because entrepreneurs during a recession. Many of those businesses will surely be outside of finance, but they will draw insights from New York’s largest sector. Mr. Bloomberg’s own career provides a hopeful story of how that can happen.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Goldman Sachs and moral hazard; Too big to fail

"The business of political capitalism, that is. Like Enron, Goldman operates primarily in the nebulous world of public-private interaction. It is the US’s most politically powerful financial firm, skilled at navigating the byzantine regulations governing the virtually nationalized US financial sector. Goldman’s eye-popping $3.4 billion second-quarter earnings shouldn’t surprise anyone; as Craig Pirrong notes, these earnings reflect good old-fashioned moral hazard, with Goldman exploiting its too-big-to-fail status by taking on huge amounts of risk:"

Thursday, July 16, 2009

George B. Merry "Dean of the Beacon Hill Press Corps" has died

Stephanie Davis at Massachusetts Matters remembers George B. Merry, the newspaperman from the Christian Science Monitor.

Monday, July 06, 2009

A maggot stamped out

The gene pool thins. The South Carolina serial killing suspect is dead. Some tough questions need to be answered by all those smart ass defense lawyers and their little eager-beaver law school clinicians. How did this guy ever get to walk free?
He was unpredictable. He was scary. He was weird," said SLED Deputy Director Neil Dolan.

Burris had a long rap sheet filled with charges such as larceny, forgery and breaking and entering from states across the Southeast. He had been paroled from a North Carolina prison in April after serving nearly eight years.

"Look at this," Lloyd said, waiving a stapled copy of Burris' criminal record. "This is like 25 pages. At some point the criminal justice system is going to need to explain why this suspect was out on the street."

Gaffney farmer Sam Howell, 61, was among dozens of people from Cherokee County who came to the news conference where authorities identified Burris.

"My prayers were answered. He got what he deserved," Howell said. "He scared the hell out of everyone. I guess we can feel better but we've lost some of our innocence."
May he burn in hell.

Joe Queenan had a hard life but he's an honest man.

Here's a great review of Joe Queenan's new book Closing Time: A Memoir in the The American Spectator.

The passage that struck me:

Queenan calls any attempts to romanticize this poverty “a mythology concocted by those who were never poor” and tries to set the record straight...

Queenan doesn’t exempt himself from this judgment. Though he has made it financially and as a writer, he doesn’t believe poverty made him stronger but rather more uncaring and vicious than he otherwise should have been. That viciousness has made him a very effective critic if sometimes not a very lovable one. He attributes his survival as a youth and his success later in life to the Catholic Church, to a few oddball heroic shopkeepers who decided to hire the lad, and to his love of literature—while conceding rather backhandedly that his mum managed to keep the family out of even worse circumstances. Queenan’s intelligence was obvious from an early age and Philadelphia’s Catholic schools kept him out of the violent hellholes that were the city’s public schools. His faith didn’t last but its impact has.

Catholic schools have saved many urban souls. The world would be a horrible place without them. Queenan knows this; so do I. Those who claim to fight for the working class -- oddly by keeping it mired in poverty -- have not a clue.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

He's working to get to heaven. God bless Alice Cooper

A fascinating profile of Alice Cooper.

"You teach Bible classes, don't you?"

"Wednesday mornings."

There's more to the man than Billion Dollar Babies.