Sunday, March 31, 2013

Indoctrinating Youth on the Taxpayer's Dime

You've got to love public indoctrination education of our youth.

And I must say I find it amazing that so many of the same people who are against the voluntary exercise of free speech by corporations  simultaneously endorse the coercive funding of education -- a policy which forces taxpayers to materially advance views they find abhorrent and destructive.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Growth of 'Disability' in America

NPR provides an interesting look at those the government pronounces "disabled".  I don't know much about the topic, so I found this quite informative (and not the typical slanted NPR social engineering masquerading as reporting).  Here's an excerpt:

But disability has also become a de facto welfare program for people without a lot of education or job skills. But it wasn't supposed to serve this purpose; it's not a retraining program designed to get people back onto their feet. Once people go onto disability, they almost never go back to work. Fewer than 1 percent of those who were on the federal program for disabled workers at the beginning of 2011 have returned to the workforce since then, one economist told me.
People who leave the workforce and go on disability qualify for Medicare, the government health care program that also covers the elderly. They also get disability payments from the government of about $13,000 a year. This isn't great. But if your alternative is a minimum wage job that will pay you at most $15,000 a year, and probably does not include health insurance, disability may be a better option.
But going on disability means you will not work, you will not get a raise, you will not get whatever meaning people get from work. Going on disability means, assuming you rely only on those disability payments, you will be poor for the rest of your life. That's the deal. And it's a deal 14 million Americans have signed up for.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Capitalists Create Wealth

A good article by Watkins and Brook.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Workings of Socialism

The WSJ provides a good look at the details of how central planning / government intervention affects the provision of healthcare under Obamacare.  It's a good example to keep in mind when thinking about socialism's workings in general.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Uninformed Fears <> Actual Risks

A good article on the Fukushima aftermath.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Detroit's as Harbinger of National Problems

Detroit's pension debacle - a storyline we'll see at every level of government for the next 25 years or more.

One point that's rarely made in these pieces is that deferring costs, i.e. levying them on those who aren't even receiving the benefits, leads to migration and thus even fewer people to tax.  So for instance the tax revenue that Detroit collected in the 70's, 80's and 90's went to services, schools, roads, etc., while the funding shortfall -- the deficit -- accrued as unfunded pension and healthcare liabilities (which would have to be paid in the future).  As time went on and the pensions started becoming due, current citizens not only faced higher tax rates, they also lived with diminished services since now the tax collection wasn't enough to pay for current needs.  Since current taxpayers want benefits from their taxes, e.g. safe, well-lit neighbourhoods,  they begin to migrate to places where taxes are still used for current expenses.  Once this process starts, it's almost impossible to stop, since fewer and fewer people are left have to shoulder the burden accrued by previous generations.  I predict that some time in the next decade, people will explicitly be looking at unfunded liabilities of both their own region and prospective regions to which to move.  That's when the reality that the only way out of this mess will be massive government bankruptcies and a concomitant repudiation of a lot of the unfunded promises  will finally strike home.