Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Some (non-libertarian) sense on vaccine hesitancy and mandates from Zeynep Tufekci

Vaccine hesitancy is a serious problem.  It is killing people and prolonging the social and economic costs of the pandemic.  One possible policy response is to make vaccination mandatory, at least in certain contexts (hospitals, schools, interstate transportation, etc.).  Libertarians frequently object to vaccine mandates in uncompromising terms.  They exaggerate the risk of vaccine side […]

“Quit Your Whining” – Economists to Cattle Ranchers

Author, Farmer, and Economist Michael Smith briefly talking returns to Cattle Ranchers and profits to meat processors and retail. The beef industry is under fire, we’ve been seeing this for years. We first saw where Smithfield has taken over whole towns for pork production, vertically integrating as much as possible, even to take a cut of […]

Continuing the Conversation concerning Medicare and Medicare Advantage

Continuing the conversation concerning Medicare and Medicare Advantage programs – Value Added Healthcare. Background Kip Sullivan and I have had a running dialogue on Value Added (VA) healthcare. This usually starts up with my asking a question, giving my doubts on certain topics, and a back and forth in an exchange of emails. I have […]

Employers are going to have to sweeten the pot to add employees

Another strong month for real retail sales growth; to cope, employers are going to have to sweeten the pot to add employees Real retail sales, perhaps my favorite monthly economic indicator since they tell us so much about average consumer behavior, and are also a good short leading indicator for jobs, were reported this morning […]

Jobless claims: a renewed downward trend?

Jobless claims: a renewed downward trend? Jobless claims declined 36,000 this week to 293,000, another pandemic low. The 4 week average also declined 10,500 to 334,500, also another pandemic low: With the exception of the last few years of the last expansion, this level of weekly initial claims would be very low for any point […]

Private Equity Taking Over Healthcare and Doctors losing Control . . .

Articles from my Inbox as usual. There is a common thread here of private equity getting more involved. It is bad enough with ACOs buying up medical facilities. We are losing control of healthcare. “Insurers are taking decisions out of the hands of physicians, says ortho surgeon,” Dr. Grant Shifflett: I don’t want to paint […]

Meanwhile, back in the authoritarian hellhole of Australia . . .

According to American libertarians, the dangers of covid authoritarianism are clearly on display in Australia.  We’ve looked at some of these claims before.  Here is some additional context from Van Badham, writing in today’s New York Times: Last week, the myth of our enslavement propelled aspirational allies into the streets. In the United States,  Poland  and Britain, […]

Agenda of Biden’s Build Back Better Bill

The same as the American Rescue Plan Act and the Improving Medicare Coverage Act, no one is talking of the detail within the Build Back Better Agenda bill. This makes it very vulnerable to pseudo Senators like Krysten Sinema and Joe Manchin who are holding out for what ever reasons or just for spite. It […]