Thursday, September 15, 2016

Economics 101

Or how the government messes things up by Kevin Williamson --

The perverse fact is that government efforts to make politically important goods such as education and health care less expensive make them more expensive. This is because most government programs are designed as though supply and demand do not actually exist, or as though they are optional. Consider not only Obamacare but all of the other efforts we’ve made over the past several decades to make health care more affordable. None of those programs subtracts from the number of Americans needing or desiring medical services; none of them adds to the number of physicians, dentists, nurses, or pharmacists available to meet that demand, or to the number of hospital beds, clinics, or pharmaceutical factories. Demand is what it is, and supply is what it is, and the government simply dumps money into the equation. A larger quantity of money chasing an unchanged supply of goods is something close to the classical definition of inflation, so it is no surprise to see medical prices increasing far more rapidly than those of other consumer goods.

...Pouring an extra $1 trillion into health-care subsidies will not make medical care less expensive; it probably will end up making it more expensive. If you really wanted to bring down the cost of medical care, there are more-direct ways: You could increase the supply of providers by allowing non-physician specialists such as nurses to provide a wider array of services; you could lower taxes on medical devices rather than raising them, as Obama does; you could use immigration law and, if necessary, expedited licensure to add 5 million doctors to the market in a very short period of time. Similar approaches could provide savings in education and housing. We don’t do that, in part because very influential people have a financial stake in high prices for medicine, education, and housing. The National Rifle Association, which is widely regarded as a one of the capital’s most fearsome advocacy organizations, doesn’t spend a tenth of what the National Association of Realtors spends on lobbying.

From Bookworm's website --

Monday, September 5, 2016

That Friday Before Labor Day News Dump

Jim Geraghty and Andrew McCarthy analyze the devastating revelations from the FBI's furtive release of the notes of its interview with Hillary Clinton.

If Trump somehow wins the election, his first act as president should be the firing of that corrupt incompetent, James Comey.

Geraghty --

McCarthy --

Most bracing is the fact that Mrs. Clinton had her server wiped clean sometime between March 25 and 31, 2015, only three weeks after the New York Times on March 3 broke the story of the server system’s existence. David notes that, at the same time the Democrats’ Janus-faced presidential nominee was outwardly taking the position that she “want[ed] the public to see my email,” she was having her minions frantically purge her emails behind the scenes.

...Among the most eye-popping claims Clinton made to the FBI was that she was unfamiliar with the markings on classified documents. Yes, you read that correctly: one of the highest ranking national security officials in the United States government – an official whose day-to-day responsibilities extensively involved classified information; who had secure facilities installed in her two homes (in addition to her office) so she could review classified information in them; and who acknowledged to the FBI that, as secretary of state, she was designated by the president as “an Original Classification Authority,” meaning she had the power to determine what information should be classified and at what level – had the audacity to tell the interviewing agents that she did not know what the different classification symbols in classified documents signified.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Electing Criminals

Kevin Williamson compares the corrupt governments of Brazil and the United States, focusing on the previous leader of the former and the future leader of the latter.

Brazil was riding high for about five minutes there while commodities prices were unusually strong, but President Rousseff’s anti-business, anti-trade, anti-investor, welfare-statist agenda — which differs from the current Obama-Clinton-Sanders-Trump economic vision mainly in aggressiveness rather than substance — did what it usually does. Unemployment and inflation took off, and public-sector spending increased radically, resulting in an unbalanced fiscal position that caused Brazil’s government debt to be downgraded to junk-bond status.

...In November, the people of the United States almost certainly are going to elect Hillary Rodham Clinton their next president. Like Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, she will be the first woman to hold the office. Like Dilma Rousseff, she is an old-fashioned party-machine pol who is deeply and consistently corrupt, habitually dishonest, funny with money, and prompt to dismiss any and all efforts at holding her to some basic standard of decency and accountability as — remember the words, which could have been Rousseff’s — “a vast right-wing conspiracy.”

We had to impeach the president the last time we had the poor national judgment to send a member of this hilljack crime syndicate to the White House, and Mrs. Clinton already has been acting as a one-woman crime wave when it comes to the laws that regulate how sensitive government information is handled and how official communications are archived for the purposes of accountability and oversight. Mrs. Clinton has argued that this all stems from her being too stupid to understand how to operate a mobile phone: “I used one device,” Mrs. Clinton lied. (She used many and has a talent for nesting lies within her lies.) “Maybe it was because I am not the most technically capable person and wanted to make it as easy as possible.”

Poor Huma Abedin doesn’t have one person in her life who knows how to handle an iPhone.