As a long time proponent of civility in public discourse, I find the current primary season to be a helpful reminder of how uncivil we tend to be. The primary case in point is Mr. Gingrich and his use of the name "Obama".
"Obama" does this.
"Obama" does that.
"Obama's policies" caused this.
Long time readers of this blog will readily understand that I am not a big fan of Mr. Obama for a variety of reasons. But for at least the next few months, he is President of the United States.
It behooves one who seeks high office to treat that office with the respect they expect to receive should their candidacy be successful. It is too bad that Gingrich hasn't figured that out.
Kinetic sculptures in Vail, CO. Enjoy!
John Cox has posted a series of studies that he wants to use to create a much larger watercolor piece. I hope he manages to complete this work as the smaller studies are tremendous.
See them all here.
Consider Product X. It costs a store owner $95 to get Product X into their store. They sell Product X for for $100 and make $5 per sale; less the cost of their building, staff, electicity, etc.
What happens when they can only get $90 for Product X? Most store owners would stop selling it.
What happens when someone needs Product X to survive? Not a very nice question.
But this is precisely what is about to happen in California where the state has decided to cut Medicaid prescription reimbursements by 10%. It isn't a 10% cut in the margin that the store owner earns. It is a 10% cut in total reimbursements.
What does this bode for our nation's future? Nothing good.
I hardly need to point out that we can expect a lot more stories like this one in the future. Reimbursements currently have some give in them, which allows the highest-cost providers to operate, and the lowest-cost providers to make some profit. The natural political tendency is to squeeze reimbursements to the level where the lowest-cost providers are pinched--or even beyond. And the best-case result of this is that in the long-run, the lowest-cost providers get bigger, while in the short term, the disruptions among the higher-cost providers compromise at least some patients' access to care.A modest warning for language at the link.
Are we willing to put up with that short term disruption? Not so far, unless the service exclusively benefits the very poor. Maybe we'll get more willing as the tax bite goes deeper. But either way, with a dramatic Medicaid expansion on its way, and more and more of the rest of the health care system under the control of the government, the fights are going to get uglier.
Victor Davis Hansen has a list of new commandments for our modern age. Summarize below, but worth a full read.
1) Wealth and poverty are now more relative, than absolute, conditions.
2) Regulators are never the problem; a dearth of regulations always must be.
3) Debt is a mirage.
4) In our new age of diplomacy, being liked trumps being respected.
5) Collective national wealth is natural; private wealth is unnatural.
6) Medieval exemption is not medieval.
7) Victimhood is always sought, never questioned.
8) Neanderthals need nerds.
9) Ideology, for all the protestations of the zealot, is now not to be taken too seriously - not in this age of global leisure and affluence.
10) Owing in our new millennium shall be less stressful than saving.
Megan McArdle has all the details...you...might...want..about the recent dump of documents from the Heartland Institute. And I want to point out that on the subject of human induced global warming, Ms. McArdle is a believer.
But the tidbit I want to focus is from Mr. Gleick's mea culpa.
Given the need for reliance on facts in the public climate debate, I am issuing the following statement.But we have been told that the debate is over. We have been told that the only "rational" scientists are those that enthusiastically endorse the theory of human induced climate change that results in a global catastrophe.
I only note that the scientific understanding of the reality and risks of climate change is strong, compelling, and increasingly disturbing, and a rational public debate is desperately needed.
Only now that this guy's boy-parts are in a vise does he find it necessary to talk about a "rational public debate" and "facts".
He could have had that without shredding his credibility if he'd be willing to have an adult conversation with people that are of a different point of view.