Thursday, April 30, 2009

The real issue with Health Care costs.

We all want expensive care.

THE PRESIDENT: Exactly. And I just recently went through this. I mean, I’ve told this story, maybe not publicly, but when my grandmother got very ill during the campaign, she got cancer; it was determined to be terminal. And about two or three weeks after her diagnosis she fell, broke her hip. It was determined that she might have had a mild stroke, which is what had precipitated the fall.

So now she’s in the hospital, and the doctor says, Look, you’ve got about — maybe you have three months, maybe you have six months, maybe you have nine months to live. Because of the weakness of your heart, if you have an operation on your hip there are certain risks that — you know, your heart can’t take it. On the other hand, if you just sit there with your hip like this, you’re just going to waste away and your quality of life will be terrible.

And she elected to get the hip replacement and was fine for about two weeks after the hip replacement, and then suddenly just — you know, things fell apart.

I don’t know how much that hip replacement cost. I would have paid out of pocket for that hip replacement just because she’s my grandmother. Whether, sort of in the aggregate, society making those decisions to give my grandmother, or everybody else’s aging grandparents or parents, a hip replacement when they’re terminally ill is a sustainable model, is a very difficult question. If somebody told me that my grandmother couldn’t have a hip replacement and she had to lie there in misery in the waning days of her life — that would be pretty upsetting.

And it’s going to be hard for people who don’t have the option of paying for it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

China: The Next Great Bubble?

Is China a vendor financing scheme in its last throes or can it stimulate sustainable growth with new investment?

The government is stimulating hard and fast and will not give up easily.

The Next Great Bubble? | The Big Picture

Decline from Peak.

Case Shiller.
What does this mean for NY and Boston. I would suspect there is more downside.

CSselectedCitiesFeb2009.jpg (image)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Can Billions of Parents Be Wrong?,

Yes. Parenting is not only hard, it is ineffective. One answer: boarding school.
Best line: nagging is not cumulative.

Can Billions of Parents Be Wrong?, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

Luck and Taxes

Thank god we have been lucky.
If nothing else, luck means having the right parents and being born in the right place.

Economist's View: Luck and Taxes

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Political Partisanship

New England Republicans were more like New England Democrats than Mississippi Republicans. Now there are no longer any New England Republicans in the House.

EzraKlein Archive | The American Prospect

Also an interesting note on partisanship bias. Republicans liked Bernanke under Bush. They do not like him under Obama. Dems also reversed their views.

America's Shame

How could we have let this happen?

Memo Sheds New Light on Torture Issue - New York Times

Monday, April 06, 2009

Worse than the Great Depression

You do not often hear this phrase, but the decline in stock prices and trade has been(by some measures) faster.

Economist's View: "A Tale of Two Depressions"