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Archive for March, 2017
Four Years after Chavez’s Death, Venezuela Sinks Deeper into the Abyss

Venezuela’s dictatorship has tried to turn the fourth anniversary of Hugo Chávez’s death into a mystical experience of sorts—and a dose of much-needed political oxygen. Not a simple task in a country with inflation predicted to run at 1,600 percent, an economic growth rate of negative ten percent, a painful shortage of the most…
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New Study Misdiagnoses Elevated U.S. Drug Prices

An interesting research article at the Health Affairs blog last week asserts there is no relationship between high U.S. prescription drug prices and drug companies’ research and development budgets. The point of the article is to debunk the argument that research-based drug companies must earn high profits if they are going to reinvest in…
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The Mullibuster Option

One of the zanier features of American politics is the Senate’s filibuster rule. Long ago, the Senate, by a simple majority vote, ruled that a supermajority is required to get any business done, with the result that often nothing gets done at all. On the positive side, however, the threat of a filibuster has…
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Replacing Obamacare with a Means-Tested Tax Credit

In his first joint address to Congress, President Trump promoted the idea of a tax credit to support people’s purchase of health insurance. This is in line with the approach taken by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, when he was in Congress, and by the House Republican leadership. Some self-styled conservatives, however,…
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Politics without Romance? Yes and No

James Buchanan, a pioneer in the development of public choice, viewed his approach to the study of government and politics as the analysis of “politics without romance.” But Jim couldn’t really live without the romance, and no sooner had he expelled it out the front door than he let it in the back door,…
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Charles Murray and Middlebury College

The Atlantic, not a place to find conservative or libertarian views, has a good essay from a self-proclaimed liberal on the events at Middlebury College.  Just as a recap, a student group at Middlebury College invited Dr. Charles Murray to speak on his book Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010.  Also invited…
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Review: Logan Shows Superhero Films Can Also Have Soul

Logan is the kind of movie that restores my faith in superhero action films. The story is layered, the characters have defined arcs, and the suspense keeps the audience engaged. Its R rating is well earned, with gruesome violence and disturbing situations involving children. The Hunger Games looks like a playground dust-up compared to…
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Why Do Late Middle-Aged Women Allow Obamacare to Gouge Them?

In February, Professor Mark Pauly of the Wharton Business School wrote a short article proposing reforms to individual health insurance, in which he reminded us the biggest premium hike in the market for individual insurance consequent to Obamacare was among women in their 60s. His actual research was published in 2014, but I have…
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