Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Health Insurance: Right or Privilege? Is it even Necessary?

Depending on your view of the constitution this line in the preamble is up for debate: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." The bold being what is referred to. However, at the time welfare refers to the well-being.

At the fundamental level health insurance is gambling. You pay periodic premiums on the bet that you will become unhealthy. Eventually, you win the bet, and you have to go through all hell to get the insurance companies to pay your winnings, that is the money to the health provider or laboratory. So be it.

We run into a problem when things like this are forced upon the population. People group and force the government to pass legislation requiring employers to provide insurance. They pass legislation mandating that everyone be insured. This at a basic level is crony capitalism. Forcing people to insure themselves leads to false demand for insurance. Is insurance a scarce resource? This has to be determined if we want to have an actual economic analysis. From the time of the ACA insurance premiums have increased. If demand increases and price increases that means that health insurance is a scarce resource and supply is dwindling. Which that has to be the case as doctors and laboratories are both themselves finite.

Now there is also another effect working here and that's price v. money supply. Whenever the amount of money increases so too do the prices. By the government forcing demand and then subsidizing that same market, you get increased prices. To the end insuree that doesn't seem too bad, but it's a waste of money. It drives prices up for those that do not have insurance as well. Perhaps we've gone to far with this now to turn back. But we have to do something or else this market will act as the housing market did before it.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Gun Violence, Gun Control, Gun Stupidity

Population of the US:      323,730,000 [1] (Current)
Registered Gun Owners:   80,000,000 [2] (2010)
Guns:                               310,000,000 [3] (2014)

These statistics may seem a little odd. Nonetheless they are the current statistics (within respective margins of error) of gun ownership in the US. About 25% of the population owns a gun. And there are more guns (by other estimations other than [3]) in the US than actual citizens. Easily explainable buy numerous gun and weapon enthusiasts. There are only the registered guns; who knows how many illegal weapons there may be. 

Deaths by Heart Disease:              611,105 [7] (2013)
Deaths by Cancer:                         584,881 [7] (2013)
Deaths by Suicide:                          40,700 [6] (using the rate of 12.57 per 100,000 in 2013)
Deaths by Motor Vehicle:               32,675 [4] (2014)
Deaths by Murder:                          12,253 [5] (2013)
Deaths by Firearms:                          8,454 [5]
Deaths by murder of other means:   3,799  [5]

It's reasonable to say that murder by a gunman is one of the least likely ways to die. Note also that more murders are done with guns as people are less likely to survive a gun inflicted wound then by other weapons.

With current events [8] [9] [10] it's hard to get lost in the emotions of something as traumatic as losing loved ones. It's really easy to be provoked into thinking that guns are a problem. 

But the real truth is that more people die from preventable natural causes or mental health issues 10-100x more than murder by gun.

That's not too say these incidents of gun violence aren't tragedies; by all means they are. They are just as much of a tragedy as any other death.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Defeat of Sanders; Rise of Trump v. Hillary

The defeat of Bernie Sanders seems to be quite the upset. He's not that great of a candidate begin with. He espouses socialistic policy, but he has a history that cannot make him look true to them. He lived at a commune, which is the smallest form of a socialist society, to which he was kicked from. Why? He didn't not time taking politics then doing actual work. He never worked a steady job and he was the recipient of welfare programs. He was always seemingly poor. He has no skills. According to his policy that "anyone working 40 hours a week should be paid a living wage," does not apply to himself.

Sanders then ran for office. Which he was successful. Mayor for eight years, Representative for 16 years, Senator for nine. Successful so to mean that he has held an office for such a time. His time as a congressman has been unfruitful. He's had only three proposed legislations ever successfully become law. None of which really scream socialist policy.

The man is really a lame duck. Many liked him for whatever reasons, but his time has come and gone. The current Democratic party wants nothing to do with those ideas.

We're left with two candidates now: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Both of which are entirely worthless. Neither has any real skill or intelligence they people find attractive.

Clinton was a lawyer for some time. She was a moderately successfully lawyer and professor. She has no real accomplishments other than holding office.

Trump is pretty much a failure as well. Basic academics. OK businessman. Nothing really to note about him.

That's the battle we'll see unfold: two atrocious candidates battle it out over who is less mediocre.