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

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

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.