Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Reflections on the Italian Election Debacle

You know there was that French sociologist who pointed out that French suicides went down during the Franco-Prussian war. 'We're all in this together' occurred anomie was relatively banished. Having a currency is something like that. 'Let a smile be my umbrella' the song goes, but we all know that is being a bit gay. It really is 'Let $3.98 be my umbrella.' When you have a little, you are part of the dollar society; you have choices. You belong. When Italy had the lira, similarly all Italians were 'in it together.' If the value of assets slid, they all slid together from the Mafiosi to the street cleaner. To reduce Italy's collective claim on the rest of the world and on each other is fractured more among asset classes when the government employee retains her Euro salary and the factory worker becomes unemployed and has to scuffle underground. - See more at:
That recent announcement of releasing the illegal immigrants set for deportation seems passive aggressive, Or is it not? Shall we expect more of the same?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Health Care and Cost, in McArdle's* comments

But who is doing your biding? When you go to work, you get paid so you do the 'bidding' of the employer. So, as in the example I give below, if a surgeon could certify that an assistant could do an operation, then presumably the surgeon can do it for less because he could be doing something else. If the state rules that he cannot, then the state is raising your costs. Or is it when the state mandates a 'maximum wage' for a pharmaceutical or a procedure that it is doing our bidding. A part of our cost structure is mandated basically quality controls which may or may not be excessive but they certainly are costs. Could states do those differently, thus lower costs while still allowing people to own their labor, selling it at a market price, and be doing your bidding?

It wouldn't be hard to cut spending by 30%. You could allow PA's or NPs to do surgeries if a board certified surgeon said they had done that surgery successfully 15 times (under their 'supervision') for instance. But you run into an interlocking set of desired quality controls and cost factors. Former president Clinton's statement that abortion should be 'safe, legal, and rare' is something of an allusion to that. It wasn't that people couldn't get abortions but the quality control was poor.


The end* of Richard III and the War of the Roses. *

Saturday, February 02, 2013

MosesZC in the second comment on this post has an interesting comment which makes the Chinese turn to successful production less mind bending.