Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Random Roundup

1. Intrade odds for the Republicans to control the House after the November elections is now up to a contract-high of 60%.

2. China: Mobile phone users top 805 million in June.

3. Eurosclerosis Comes to America (NYT, with great graph)- "This recession has been unique in terms of the multitude of public policies that dull incentives to work and earn income."

4. Rethinking Socialized Medicine in Canada (IBD).

5. When you think of quality healthcare at lower costs, think Brazil.

6. Foreign-trained MDs As Good As Those Trained in U.S.

7. Android Beats iPhone With New Subscribers.

16 Comments:

At 8/04/2010 4:04 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

"Foreign-trained MDs As Good As Those Trained in U.S."

Only MDs that meet U.S. high standards can practice medicine in the U.S., including foreign-trained MDs, while Americans who can't get into or pass U.S. medical school often go abroad for school.

That may help explain why "doctors who trained abroad deliver the same level of care as doctors educated stateside."

 
At 8/04/2010 4:15 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

"When you think of quality healthcare at lower costs, think Brazil."

Brazil has a per capita GDP of $8,200. Maybe, it's better to think of countries with higher per capita GDPs and potentially higher quality healthcare, e.g. Lebanon, Uruguay, Libya, Poland, etc.

 
At 8/04/2010 9:46 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

"Intrade odds for the Republicans to control the House after the November elections is now up to a contract-high of 60%."

If the Republicans win the House and Senate, will they know what to do? Introducing a flat tax (completed on a postcard), reducing government spending, and scaling-back regulations would get us out of this rut (so far, we squandered trillions of dollars to mostly spin our wheels in this rut and now can't afford to get out of the next rut).

Squeezing the Rich Is Poor Way to Spur Growth: Commentary by Caroline Baum
Aug 4, 2010

Why, after all this time and an extensive body of data, are we still questioning whether reductions in marginal and capital- gains tax rates increase economic activity enough to generate more revenue for the federal government?

“Because they don’t like the answer,” Arthur Laffer says of the doubters. “Tax cuts on the poor cost you lots of money. Tax cuts on the rich pay for themselves. Rich people can afford lawyers, accountants, and can defer income.”

What we do know, empirically, is this: Over time, federal revenue as a share of gross domestic product has stayed fairly constant at 17.9 percent. That’s true if the top marginal tax rate is 91 percent (1950s), 50 percent (early 1980s) or 35 percent (2000s). Recessions are the one exception.

So, if the government’s tax take varies little, why create uncertainty over how much of our income we’ll have to fork over to Uncle Sam three, five, 10 years down the road? Why not flatten the rate, fix it and forget about it?

Fairness, for one. The government wants to take money from the rich and give it to the poor.

“They are wrong,” Laffer says. “It doesn’t work that way. The rich can change the volume, timing, composition and location of their income. Poor people can’t.”

The rich have the luxury to respond to incentives, to opt for more work and less leisure when the return on work is greater. They are motivated to take risks, maybe start a business, invent something, and get even richer while giving others the opportunity, through hiring, to do the same.

The opposite is true for low-income workers. When the government raises taxes, someone struggling to put food on the table for his family may have to go out and get a second job to maintain his level of take-home pay. For this socio-economic group, higher taxes translate to more work.

I, for one, would like to see the debate shift from class warfare over tax rates and targeted tax relief to tax reform. Either scrap the tax code and introduce a simple flat tax with no deductions, or scrap the IRS and move to a consumption tax.

 
At 8/04/2010 10:09 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


"When you think of quality healthcare at lower costs, think Brazil."

The same country that is rife with more corruption, lesser quality products on the wholesale, and has to break patents to get the latest medications.

 
At 8/04/2010 10:17 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


...while giving others the opportunity, through hiring, to do the same.

Make it impossible for them to refuse the unemployed on secure, non-contracted, direct, permanent terms. How can they dodge what cannot be refused or dodged?

You don't change ideology by trying to starve someone out of one by withholding jobs. You do so by providing secure, permanent work.

 
At 8/04/2010 10:49 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Seth says: "You don't change ideology by trying to starve someone out of one by withholding jobs. You do so by providing secure, permanent work."

If you make your employer money, you'll earn secure, permanent work. Otherwise, become a tax collector or a mortician.

 
At 8/05/2010 1:03 AM, Blogger Don Culo said...

"When you think of quality healthcare at lower costs, think " ...... Cuba

 
At 8/05/2010 4:31 AM, Blogger JamesD'Troy said...

"Foreign-trained MDs As Good As Those Trained in U.S."

This actually plays into Obamacare. As U.S. doctors and nurses are driven out of the profession due to over-regulation, higher costs, and lower profits, Obamacare will bring in foreign doctors and nurses to fill those gaps at lower salaries.

From my experience in the U.K. with the wretched NHS get ready for doctors who barely speak English. The more interesting aspect of the NHS doctor quality was the importation of doctors and nurses from Britain's former colonies, particularly the Muslim countries whose doctors and nurses had numerous problems treating non-muslims, especially Jews and unveiled women. Let's hope it isn't obvious your not a U.S. serviceman. Don't believe me, google it to see what the NHS horror show is really like.

Unless Obamacare is repealed it will be better to fly to India or Singapore for your healthcare.

 
At 8/05/2010 7:59 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Make it impossible for them to refuse the unemployed on secure, non-contracted, direct, permanent terms. How can they dodge what cannot be refused or dodged?"...

Good, ole sethstorm, always willing to spend someone else's money because he thinks he can do a better job of it...ROFLMAO!

So sethstorm, you can't see the gaping hole in your argument?

Owners (people who's money YOU want to spend) can always just close up shop and move away to somewhere else...

 
At 8/05/2010 9:24 AM, Blogger juandos said...

How's this for a medical story?

From an AP story running in the Seattle Times we have this...

The District of Columbia passed a law earlier this year that allows residents to legally obtain the drug for medical reasons. But it also includes a provision unlike the 14 other states with medical marijuana laws, requiring the drug to be provided at a discount to poor residents who qualify...

Means testing for marijuana?!?!

Whoa!

Obama told us that health care should be a right...

 
At 8/05/2010 11:39 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Seth says: "You don't change ideology by trying to starve someone out of one..."

Who's trying to starve who?:

Fed's Hoenig: Recovery on track despite stumbles
Jul 13, 2010

Uncertainty about what will happen when tax cuts expire, whether the government will cut spending or raise taxes to address the budget deficit, and what health care and financial regulatory laws mean has kept businesses on the sidelines, Hoenig said.

My comment: If you want to help the poor, we need to promote growth and tax it, not prevent growth and tax it even more.

 
At 8/05/2010 7:36 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"The District of Columbia passed a law earlier this year that allows residents to legally obtain the drug for medical reasons. But it also includes a provision unlike the 14 other states with medical marijuana laws, requiring the drug to be provided at a discount to poor residents who qualify..."

What a laugh. I'm sure there is no possiblility of abusing this system.

I wonder who is paying for the discount?

 
At 8/05/2010 7:45 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Make it impossible for them to refuse the unemployed on secure, non-contracted, direct, permanent terms. How can they dodge what cannot be refused or dodged?"

Hmmm....Where have I seen this exact comment before? No, don't tell me...it will come to me in a moment.

 
At 8/06/2010 8:31 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"Make it impossible for them to refuse the unemployed on secure, non-contracted, direct, permanent terms. How can they dodge what cannot be refused or dodged?"

I must be misunderstanding this. Is Stethstorm saying employers should be forced to hire anyone who applies?

 
At 8/06/2010 3:25 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Owners (people who's money YOU want to spend) can always just close up shop and move away to somewhere else...

...where the military will gladly wait to repatriate you with the US.

 
At 8/06/2010 3:33 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


I must be misunderstanding this. Is Sethstorm saying employers should be forced to hire anyone who applies?

Close, but not close enough. More like you have a legitimate US citizenship and no other work, you fix the skill gaps while on-the-job. The longer you're unemployed, the less the hiring end can do.

It's a lot better than just expropriating money to the government. People get to go off the uncertainty of unemployment, work gets done, and a healthier tax base reforms.


Uncertainty about what will happen when tax cuts expire, whether the government will cut spending or raise taxes to address the budget deficit, and what health care and financial regulatory laws mean has kept businesses on the sidelines, Hoenig said.

That's no different from trying to starve someone just because you don't like the politicians in office.

 

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