Saturday, June 27, 2015
Friday, June 26, 2015
And, the basic structure was used in Massachusetts, in a system proposed by a Republican governor who, if memory serves, also ran for another larger office.
No. If you strip out the individual mandate, but keep the non-discriminatory provision, the system will collapse. There just isn’t a big enough pool of risk to make it work. It’s that simple.
A Final Thought
The US is one of the only developed countries that doesn't have a single payer system. Think about that and ask yourself, "why do other countries do it differently?" It it's so bad, why haven't these countries -- which are democracies -- changed their system of providing health insurance? It socialized medicine is terrbile, shouldn't there be a massive ground-swell of activity to change the system? Just sayin.'
So that’s it. Hope you’ve found this helpful.
- by New Deal democrat
Cullen Roche of Pragmatic Capitalism has a good post up on Greece this morning. Basically I agree up until his forecast.
He thinks Greece will stay in the Euro and suffer the consequences because European integration is inevitable. When I read statements like that, I think of the Norman Angell's 1910 book, "The Great Illusion," which forecast a Teh Awesome 20th century for Europe, because countries that trade with one another as much as European nations did back then, never make war on one another.
In short, just because something is rational, doesn't mean that emotional, stubborn human beings won't make a wrong or stupid choice.
This situation is playing out almost exactly as I expected at its start. Both sides have every interest in staking out maximalist demands at the start, and not significantly compromising until the very last moment. But ultimately, it is a question of human choices, and they may or may not make rational sense.
Ultimately there were only two critical unknowns in the scenario:
1. would Greece have the guts to actually walk out on the Euro?
2. if so, how would the rest of the EMU react to Greece walking out on the Euro?
Why are those the two critical points? Because up until (1), Europe has all the power. But if Greece actually does (1), then Greece has all the power.
Before that point, inevitably someone had to blink first. The only question was, who would blink first. That has been answered: Greece.
Next, how would the other side react? With compromise (rational), or with a boot crushing the adversary's face in the mud (emotional)? It sounds like we have the answer to this as well. Kaiser Wilhelm of 1914, meet Herr Schauble of 2015. But, of course, a brilliant move - so long as Greece doesn't have the guts to walk out on the Euro.
So it looks like we are rapidly coming up to the point of getting an answer on the first critical unknown. Up until now, Herr Schauble et al could have great confidence, since the polls indicated Greeks wanted debt relief. But by a huge margin, the also wanted to stay in the Euro. And a pony.
Well, the most recent polls show a marked increase in Greeks willing to leave the Euro. If Tsipras has played his cards in such a manner as to make sure he is not blamed for leaving the Euro by, say, 40% or more Greeks, he can actually go through with (1).
But it is a human decision. Just as the reaction by the rest of Europe will be a human decision if he does so. Europe will surely let out a collective gasp of shocked disbelief. And then it will either compromise, or it won't.
Unlike Roche, I do not think continued European intergration is inevitable.
There is a structural medium term compromise which can be implemented, if Europe is willing to acknowledge that the Eurozone, in its present state, is flawed.
That compromise is the three R's: Resignation, Restructuring, and Re-entry
Resignation: the peripheral Euro states are allowed to resign from the Euro, on a temporary basis, in order to devalue.
Restructuring: the peripheral zone states then restructure their tax and/or welfare systems to bring them into balance (either California with California-style benefits, or Mississippi with Mississippi-style benefits, or anywhere in between, but not Mississippi with California-style benefits.)
Re-entry: the restructured states re-enter the Euro at a more neutral value.
If the program is agreed up front, then it is a decent coping meachanism.
Or else the Europeans find out that indeed integration can work in reverse.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
- by New Deal democrat
This post is up at XE.com. This morning's report on personal income, saving, and spending puts the last nail in the coffine of the most recent Doomer thesis: the the savings in gas prices to US consumers would do more harm than good.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Quick Update: This is from the latest BOJ Meeting Minutes:
The U.S. economy continued to recover solidly, assisted by household spending, although adjustments had been seen in the industrial production sector mainly on the back of the decline in crude oil prices and the appreciation of the U.S. dollar. Business fixed investment had been relatively weak, partly due to a decline in investment related to energy; exports had also been somewhat weak due to the effects of external demand and developments in foreign exchange markets. However, private consumption had rebounded from a decline observed last winter, supported in part by a favorable employment and income situation. Housing investment had also followed a moderate pick-up trend. As for prices, the year-on-year rate of increase in the consumer price index (CPI) for all items less food and energy, or the core CPI, had been more or less flat while that for all items had been at around 0 percent, mainly due to the decline in energy prices.
Wow. The Board of the Bank of Japan knows more about the domestic investment situation than Morrissey. Go figure.
Monday, June 22, 2015
- by New Deal democrat
It used to be said of Microsoft that "The upgrade ain't done until Lotus don't run." Microsoft's OS "improvements" were notorious for rendering perfectly good older third party programs inoperable.
Well, apparently I'm not the only one whose iPad was turned into a virtual brick by the latest Apple software update. Here's Atrios:
Also, too, thanks for bricking my inlaws' iPad with your "software update" and then lying about it to me. No I won't forgetIt took me two trips to the Genius Bar, one a marathon 3 hour session, to get my iPad back close to where it was before the latest softaware update. My old photo library is still out there somewhere, and I have had to change how I post both here and at XE.com to get around new problems with Safari.
Apple blames everybody else for not keeping up with their OS updates. But I never had a problem like this with Apple before. Software updates always seemed to make sure that older programs were still compatable.
Oh, and unlike Microsoft, once you update Apple you can never uninstall and go back.
Memo to Duncan Black: call the manager of the Apple store in Center City Philly and insist that they fix the problem in store. If you tell them you are a highly paid independent contractor, and your business depends on the iPad not being turned into an expensive brick, it helps.