Earlier this year, a Wall Street Journal article described how insurance companies appear to be gaming the Medicare system to get more money from the federal government. Insurers allegedly shuffle customers between Medicare plans in a way that increases the bonus payments they receive from Medicare. Background The Medicare bonus system in question was created by … Continue reading Insurers gaming Medicare?
I want to tie together two recent posts on the history of prosperity and economic inequality. The history of prosperity illustrates another reason why a focus on inequality is misguided. Historical norm was poverty For most of human history, almost everyone was poor by today’s standards. The graph below shows the percentage of world population living … Continue reading Another reason why focusing on inequality is flawed
Last month, the UK government published the outline of a plan intended to address childhood obesity, as discussed in this CapX article by Christopher Snowdon. A summary of the actual proposal can be found here. Looks like another example of nanny-state government. What’s being proposed? Here is a summary of actual and proposed government actions: Sugar reduction: … Continue reading Growing nanny-state food control
(This column is an edited repeat of one posted a year ago. I am reposting it because I have many new readers, and because this topic is important enough to repeat.) We have become tremendously more prosperous over the past two centuries, at least those who live in countries that have practiced free-market capitalism for … Continue reading History of prosperity (2 of 2)
(This column is an edited repeat of one posted a year ago. I am reposting it because I have many new readers, and because this topic is important enough to repeat. This post will look at incomes and the next one will look at products.) I think one reason some people don’t appreciate free-market capitalism … Continue reading The history of prosperity (1 of 2)
Most readers probably remember the US housing bubble of the 2000s. The bubble burst starting in 2007, leading to a financial crisis and significant recession. Are we in another housing bubble now? Let’s take a look. Historical housing prices The graph below shows the median selling price of new homes from 1963 through May 2018. … Continue reading Are we in a new housing bubble?
Let’s talk about inflation. It affects everyone, but it’s not always well understood. There are also some interesting points to make. What causes inflation? Milton Friedman said, “inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.” In other words, inflation occurs when too much money is created relative to the supply of goods and services. This … Continue reading Interesting facts on inflation
The Dodd-Frank Act was passed by Congress in 2010 as a response to the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Its main goal was to make the banking system safer. Many people suggested that Dodd-Frank would harm small businesses. A new study by Michael Bordo and John Duca for the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) seems to confirm … Continue reading Study finds Dodd-Frank harmed small business
Let’s talk about a couple reasons we should be optimistic about the future. The two reasons are somewhat random and not connected. One relates to the US, while the other applies anywhere. Divisive US politics Is divisive politics a reason to be optimistic? Well, it could be. It’s possible that the experiences of Presidents Obama … Continue reading Two reasons to be optimistic about the future
No doubt many people think of the US FDA as a generally good institution that keeps us safe from harmful food and drugs. There is some truth to that. But it’s not all sunshine and lollipops. High-priced drugs You may recall the uproar a year or two ago when Mylan, the maker of the EpiPen, … Continue reading The dark side of the FDA