Tagged: Politics

Playing video games does not predict voilent behavoir in children

(Reposted from The Incidental Economist) This November 2013 UK study confirms what other studies have shown, which is that playing video games does not predict psychosocial adjustment problems in young children. Even watching 3 hours of TV per day in the UK has no meaningful association. I also reposted my favorite graph about videos and […]

Health Exchange Rating Areas with More Insurers Offering Plans Have Lower Premiums

  For some reason I have been unable to embed these two figures, but these links should work. minimum_premiums_chart_2014   FL_minimum_premiums_chart_20140930

Early Exchange Bids from NY are VERY LOW

This news is sufficiently important that I am posting sections of several articles and summaries. From July 16, 2013 New York Times: Health Plan Cost for New Yorkers Set to Fall 50% By RONI CARYN RABIN and REED ABELSON Published: July 16, 2013 Individuals buying health insurance on their own will see their premiums tumble […]

31 charts to destroy your faith in humanity

This humorous web site from the Washington Post’s WonkBlog is worth a look. It will only take a couple of minutes. 31 charts that are informative but illustrates how one can put a negative spin on anything. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/24/these-31-charts-will-destroy-your-faith-in-humanity/ Here is the original post that it is spoofing. http://www.businessinsider.com/charts-that-will-restore-your-faith-in-humanity-2013-5

Steve Brill Interview on the Daily Show

Steve Brill, who just wrote a 36 page article for Time Magazine, conducted an informative interview on the daily show on Thursday, Feb 21, 2013. Here is the link to the unedited version. It is in three parts, and lasts about 12 minutes (including some ads). Worth watching if you have time. http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-february-21-2013/exclusive—steven-brill-extended-interview-pt–1

#5 “Let the Children and Grandchildren Pay?”

Time to Change the Tax Discussion #5 This is the  fifth and final posting in a five part series about taxes. Every time congress passes legislation to increase public spending, they should have to specify which taxes they favor increasing to balance the budget. If not, then congress should have to openly discuss why they […]

#4 State Tax Rates are Not Related to State Income or Growth

Time to Change the Tax Discussion #4 This is the fourth in a five part series about taxes. It has  become common in the media to argue that state income or sales taxes cannot be increased or it will dampen incentives and hurt the state or local economy. While this might be true at sufficiently […]

#3 Tax Bads (or at least don’t subsidize them!)

Time to Change the Tax Discussion #3 This is the third in a five part series about taxes. Introductory economics tells us that when the government taxes something, unless it is perfectly inelastically supplied or demanded, the tax will cause a distortion in a market and reduce the taxed activity. For most things (labor, profits, […]

Commonwealth Fund Report on Health Care Cost Control

The Commonwealth Fund has just come out with a new report outlining a strategy for containing health care costs in the US. It seems rather optimistic to me. Here is the opening two paragraphs and link. Confronting Costs: Stabilizing U.S. Health Spending While Moving Toward a High Performance Health Care System, Authored by The Commonwealth […]

Be Ready for the Trillion Dollar Coin!

In case you have not been paying attention, there is growing sentiment in favor of the Platinum Coin Seigniorage (PCS) and the Trillion Dollar Coin. Here are two solid posts on it, one by economist Paul Krugman, the other by Philip Diehl, former director of the US mint . The crux of the issue is […]

#2 Include Social Security and Medicare taxes when discussing tax burdens

Time to Change the Tax Discussion #2 This is the second in a five part series on Taxes. Far too much of the discussion of tax burdens has focused on the federal income tax rates while the federal payroll taxes – Social Security and the Medicare tax – get minor attention. This was epitomized by […]

All Taxes and Budgets Should be Expressed as Dollars per Person

Time to change the discussion #1 This is the first of five posts on my blog on how discussion of taxes and budgets in the US needs to change to improve decision-making. Recent political debate and the media throws around costs of millions, billions and trillions of dollars even though there is no easy way […]

Americans Elect is on Ballot in 25 states

Looking ahead 20 years, it is inconceivable to me that the US will sustain its current archaic primary system for selecting presidents. The new party Americans Elect is one possible new approach. It is getting little publicity relative to the Republican Primary, even though AE is now on the ballot in 25 states. Along with […]

MBTA considering halting weekend service

I urge people from MA to sign the following petition. Halting weekend commuter rail service would be a detriment to the city, state and the environment. Visit the site to see the wording of the petition. Subject: Save Jobs, Environment & Accessibility Hi, In an effort to reduce the deficit of Massachusetts’ public transit system […]

Which US Presidents Grew the Public Debt Fastest?

This figure, based on US treasury numbers, is in nominal dollars. Each president is credited with the debt created in the year after leaving office since budgets are largely set the year before. Democratic presidents were in office for $4.6 trillion in debt since 1960, Republican presidents for $9.9 trillion. The rate of increase in […]

Brocolli and Insurance Mandate

This is an excellent short NEJM article summarizing why the federal government does have the authority to mandate that people buy health insurance.   Written by a Harvard Law School professor. The Irrelevance of the Broccoli Argument against the Insurance Mandate Einer Elhauge, J.D. N Engl J Med 2012; 366:e1January 5, 2012 Favorite passage: “Others argue […]

Kotikoff is running for president!

Our own BU Economics professor Larry Kolikoff is running for president. http://money.cnn.com/2012/01/05/news/economy/laurence_kotlikoff_2012/ Here is his announcement. http://kotlikoff2012.org/ He is proposing to run in the American’s Elect party. http://www.americanselect.org/ Good luck Larry!