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May 2019

"Everybody’s Business"

Review of Tyler Cowen's new book. This is a point that I don't think can be repeated often enough:

Cowen addresses some common criticisms of big companies—that too many are monopolistic, for example, and that more should be broken up. Monopolies do exist, but many, if you look closely, are in heavily regulated industries where misguided government policies raise the cost of entry and allow a few companies to dominate. Health-insurance firms have consolidated into giants to deal with all the regulation now demanded of them. Cable television offerings were restricted for years thanks to local governments handing out exclusive territorial licenses. Only recently, with the rise of online streaming, has technological innovation created a path around the cable monopoly, decreasing prices. And, of course, housing prices have skyrocketed in certain markets because of inadequate supply caused by government restrictions on building.

"Whatever Happened To Obamacare?"

Excellent questions:

But wait a minute. Whatever happened to Obamacare? Wasn’t that the be-all-and-end-all program that was supposed to bring “everyone access to medical care”? This was 1000+ pages of untold complexity, put together by certified geniuses like Jonathan Gruber and Zeke Emanuel. Every possible contingency was anticipated and provided for. No stone was left unturned. If we could just enact this one, the problem of inadequate access to medical care would surely be solved once and for all. And Obamacare was in fact enacted, and has survived all efforts to repeal it. So now, are you telling me that despite this incredible accomplishment of progressive government, the problem of “universal access to medical care” has somehow avoided being solved? How could that even be possible? And, if that problem has not been solved, isn’t the discussion we should be having a conversation about what went wrong? If we don’t understand what went wrong with Obamacare, how could we possibly already be thinking about adding on the next program?

"Bernie Sanders Wants to Destroy the Best Schools Poor Urban Kids Have"

Jonathan Chait, Liberal--very Liberal--explains why this is a really bad idea. The title pretty much says it, but here's the lead paragraph:

Bernie Sanders today is announcing the foundation of his K-12 education plan, which is to crack down on public charter schools. If enacted, the Sanders plan would snuff out one of the most successful social policy innovations in decades, and close off a lifeline of opportunity for hundreds of thousands of poor urban children.

"What They Are Not Telling You About The UK Election Results"

Interesting. I read a number of stories about the UK elections--for instance, here--and they didn't mention this.

Nor this, of course:

Many Remainers who supported Brexit and have been scheming to stop it accuse the Leavers — the 17.4 million Britons who voted for Brexit — as motivated by bigotry against immigrants and foreigners. But if that were their true motivation, they should have been satisfied with May’s agreement. Their discontent with this deal indicates their true aim — that the United Kingdom should make its own laws and not have to accept ukases from arrogant bureaucrats in EU headquarters in Brussels.