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Economics & Taxes Archives

Episode 100!

Episode 100!

Well, I made it all the way to episode 100! If you’ve been listening, thanks so much. If you haven’t, might as well start now.

I start out the show with greetings and feedback from listeners. Yes, there are people out there actually listening to this, and I appreciate it very much.

Then we take a trip back to Camelot, as Mark Twain’s character did in “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court”. In that book, there is a short chapter about … economics. No, really. And it’s trying to teach a lesson that, over a hundred years later, we’re still having to relearn.

Mentioned links:

Hornet Archives (MOD/Tracker music)

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, chapter 33 [Project Gutenburg]

10 Nations With the Highest Minimum Wage…and What They Pay For It

This is how the minimum wage is actually hurting workers

Wal-Mart Pay Raise Tops Minimum Wage For Half-Million Employees

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Beware of  "free" stuff

Beware of “free” stuff

Seems like the more ObamaCare(tm) is implemented, the less the American people like it. First of all, a liberal, Ivy League university has sent its students into an uproar. They want to #FightTheFee that they’ll be charged for not buying the university’s health insurance. Welcome to the real word of socialism! Lesson 1: You won’t like it when it’s applied to you.

And on a broader scale, the American people in general are souring on the idea. A majority oppose the law now, and I wonder how many of them just took Nancy Pelosi’s word for it when she said that they’d have to pass the law to find out what’s in it. The blue-sky promises have turned to thunderclouds. Maybe folks should understand a law before they support it.

Mentioned links:

Cornell students erupt over health care fee

As Public Sours, ObamaCare Faces An Uncertain Future

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Spending on nothing?

Spending on nothing?

In this episode, I talk about how the money spent on (literally) nothing will soon outpace defense spending, and not much later, non-defense spending as well. And no, it’s not some right-wing think tank making that prediction.

Also, is it possible to have a moral disagreement with someone, and yet not hate them? The Left seems to think that impossible, and Dana Bash questioned Mike Huckabee about it specifically. He schools her in the art of disagreeing without being disagreeable.

(OK, normally I don’t like it when someone says, “Hey, X really schooled Y!” when all X did is say something the speaker agrees with. Usually there’s not actual educating going on. But this time, there certainly is.)

Mentioned links:

The Legacy of Debt: Interest Costs Poised to Surpass Defense and Nondefense Discretionary Spending

CNN Confused: How Can Huckabee Oppose Gay Marriage AND Have Gay Friends?

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Extending the benefits actually cost jobs

Extending the benefits actually cost jobs

Who would have thought that extending unemployment benefits further and further out would actually cause people to stop looking for work altogether? Well, actually, those who know that incentives (and disincentives) actually work; you know, market economics. How many jobs were created after the 99 week benefit system was stopped, and how many folks went back into the labor force? Lots. Listen in.

President Obama did not like the way Bush used executive orders to increase the power of the President. Yet he has used EOs and something just as powerful (but not as well known) to leave Bush, and all presidents for the last 70 years, in the dust. I’ll be discussing the Presidential Memoranda.

And finally, where’s that $2500 per year we were supposed to save from enacting ObamaCare(tm). Numbers grounded in reality tell quite a different story.

Mentioned links:

How Obama has used executive powers compared to his predecessors

Obama issues ‘executive orders by another name’

Extended Unemployment Benefits Hurt Jobs, New Report Finds

OBAMACARE: $2 TRILLION IN SPENDING, $643M IN TAXES, INSURANCE FOR $50K A HEAD

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Drill, baby, drill! It worked.

Drill, baby, drill! It worked.

How about those low gas prices? Who can we thank for them? Well, a number of people, none of which, however, are in the Obama administration. The “Drill, baby, drill” policy of the states have worked; something that Obama said was a lie.

But first, a follow-up on a story last episode about the Atlanta fire chief that published a book with his Christians views, and was docked a month’s pay and suspended. Upon returning from that suspension, he was promptly fired. Another shot on the religious liberty front.

And finally, we have a bounty on the head of a terrorist that we used to have in Guantanamo. I think it might have cost less just to keep him incarcerated.

Mentioned links:

Reed: Atlanta fire chief terminated following book controversy

Klobuchar says U.S. is world’s No. 1 oil producer

Saudi Arabia’s $750 Billion Bet Drives Brent Oil Below $54

Fracking Debunks Obama’s ‘We Can’t Drill Our Way Out’

Oops! U.S. Offers $5 Mil Reward for Al Qaeda Terrorist it Released From Gitmo

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Is this trend continuing? Yup.

Is this trend continuing? Yup.

What do the top 10 states that had the largest GDP growth in 2013 have in common? And once you know that, will knowing what works affect your vote? (Clearly, it doesn’t affect people all the same way. Just look at those who are ignoring what works.)

If you stop a policy that was taking guns off the street (out of the hands of the bad guys, specifically), and shootings rise, shouldn’t that tell you something? I mean, if you know something doesn’t work, shouldn’t you avoid it? (Clearly, not everyone looks at it the same way. Just look at those who are ignoring what doesn’t work.)

Who was singing the praises of VA health care, even as it was killing our vets? And who is more than happy to foist that particular kind of health care on all of us? (Clearly…aw, you know what I’m going to say.)

Mentioned links

Not a Story: Red States Dominate Government’s 2013 GDP Growth Report

Episode 65: Canadians Escaping Their Health System, American Workers Get Better Health Care From a Corporation, and How Wisconsin Got a Billion Dollar Surplus

Shootings spike in NYC over the last year

THE IRONY, IT BURNS

Does The Government Run Health Care Better?

When socialism works in America

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Socialized medicine?

Socialized medicine?

A little unfinished business from last episode about the troubles with veterans getting health care from the VA. In an opinion piece at the Huffington Post by H. A. Goodman, he argues that Republicans have been complaining about how bad the VA is, but hypocritically voted against a bill for various funding for the VA back in January. But there’s a problem with that, and it’s not something you’ll hear on most newscasts.

I’ll be discussing a human rights article written by the Hoover Institution, which asks the burning human rights question of our time.

One of the alternatives to ObamaCare that the Left suggested is that Medicare should just be expanded to cover everyone. It “worked”, so they said, and thus that would be a simpler way to get health care coverage expanded. But what do you mean by “worked”, actually? I’ll talk about what taking Medicare nationally might mean.

Mentioned links:

41 Republican Senators Voted Against a Landmark Veterans Bill in February, Today They Blame the VA

VA expects to have more medical-care funding than it can spend for the fifth year in a row

Poverty Rate was falling…Until the War on Poverty began

Do Chimps Have Human Rights?

CMS Won’t Review Billings Despite IG Report That It Overpays Doctors Read the rest of this entry

Government health care (Gary Varvel)

Government health care (Gary Varvel)

Keep an eye on Matt Sissel and the Pacific Legal Foundation’s lawsuit against ObamaCare. They are taking a tact that’s not been used before, that ultimately the Supreme Court will likely have to look into. Listen in for details.

The problems with the Veterans Administration health care system may not be solved just by more money. (That’s usually the case, isn’t it?) The issue may be the very socialized medicine framework that it uses. And what does that have to say for the results of ObamaCare?

Mentioned links:

Obamacare’s doom

Remarks in Kansas City, Missouri: “A Sacred Trust”

He KNEW! Obama told of Veterans Affairs health care debacle as far back as 2008

MSNBC Guest Repeatedly Breaks Hosts’ Hearts by Insisting VA Scandal Not About Funding

SHAPIRO: Left’s VA-Worship Comes Back to Bite

Veterans are dying, but at least this criminal still gets his sex change

Comedian Argus Hamilton

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The Impact of ObamaCare

The Impact of ObamaCare

In spite of all its rollout issues, the glitches, the delays and the special privileges, the promise of ObamaCare was that, in getting more people, mostly the young and the poor, insured, that would spread out the risk and make insurance cheaper overall, even with those subsidies. By how much? Well, there were promises made, over and over. But many states are seeing insurance rates rise at a faster clip.

Part of ObamaCare was the PCIP, the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan. John Lott notes that, at its height, at the beginning of 2013, there were 115,000 enrolled in it. Giving them targeted subsidies would have been a lot cheaper.

Millions of Californians have been added to the ranks of the insured, but 1/3 of California primary care physicians are set to retire. What are we going to do now? We passed a law that said insurance should be magically cheaper. That didn’t work. So then let’s pass a law to make doctors magically appear!

Mentioned links:

Survey shows ObamaCare sending premiums rising at fastest clip in decades

Note that at its height 115,000 Americans are said to have had pre-existing health issues that made it difficult for them to get “affordable” insurance

Pre-Existing Conditions: The Case For The Unaffordable Care Act

ConsumerWatch: Some Covered California Patients Say They Can’t See A Doctor

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Episode 68: An “Interv” with Dale Franks

Slackernomics

Slackernomics

This is only my second “interv” on the show, but I think you’re going to really enjoy it, and learn something along the way. Dale Franks blogs at Questions and Observations, and co-hosts the libertarian-oriented podcast, “Observations”, with two of his Q&O co-bloggers.

An “interv” is my word for an interview that fits into 10 minutes or less; short, concise, and to the point. In this interv, Dale discusses the economics of the (supposed) recovery from the Great Recession, and his major issues with the economics of ObamaCare. If economics bore you, then you’re just the person this is aimed at. Dale is the author of Slackernomics: Basic Economics for People Who Think Economics is Boring, so if anyone can make economics engaging, he can.

Mentioned links:

Questions and Observations blog

Observations podcast

Slackernomics [at Amazon.com]

Other intervs

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