Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What To Do About Climate Change

-->
Below is a short essay question I ask students in my Foundations of Economics class to grapple with.  See how you do with it.

================================================================

Anyone who has not heard of global climate change (previously called "global warming") really hasn't been paying attention to much of anything for the past 5 to 10 years.  The basic hypothesis goes something like this:

1.     Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas that traps heat energy from the sun, thereby raising the average ambient temperature of the surface of the earth and the oceans
2.     The quantity of CO2 in earth's atmosphere has increased dramatically over the past 100 years
3.     An important cause of the increase in atmospheric CO2 is human burning of fossil fuels, which releases CO2 into the atmosphere, where it continues to build up, resulting in rising average ambient temperature on earth; some people claim that human activity is the most important cause of rising atmospheric CO2
4.     Rising average ambient temperature on earth will cause bad outcomes for humans and other species on earth over the next 100 years, including melting arctic caps, rising sea levels, extreme weather events, greater risk of extinction for some species, and ocean acidification.

The science is not all in, which is to say, the sequence of events listed above cannot be taken as "scientific fact," regardless of what you may have heard.  But let's put that issue aside for the rest of this essay question.  Let's assume that everything in the list above is completely factual.

Using no more than 1,000 of your own carefully crafted words, use the economic way of thinking to address the questions below:

·      If the hypothesis of global climate change is correct, why would human-caused climate change be an externality?
·      If the hypothesis of global climate change is correct, what could government do to mitigate this massive negative externality?  What should government do?
·      If the hypothesis of global climate change is correct, what could individual persons do to mitigate this massive negative externality?  What should individual persons do?
=============================================================

Below is the essay I wrote:

Assuming the hypothesis of human-caused global climate change (HCGCC) is correct (an assumption that many people think is dubious), then HCGCC is definitely the world's most significant negative externality.  HCGCC is a negative externality because people are choosing actions that will unintentionally impose costs (value forgone) on others — other people who had no part in choosing the cost-imposing action. 

Government can use the force of law and law enforcement to impose restrictions on choices that people are free to make.  Government can restrict the quantity of fossil fuels that firms or individuals are allowed by law to burn.  Government can impose taxes on burning fossil fuels, thereby raising the marginal cost to individuals of burning them, thereby internalizing some of the external cost of burning fossil fuels.  Government can do anything it is willing to use force or threat of force to get people to do.

Before thinking about what government should do, we will want to remind ourselves that government is a small set of individuals.  Government is not a real existent.  Government is a collective noun.  Collective nouns do not do anything.  Only individuals act.  With this reminder in place, government should make every effort to weigh costs of actions it takes against benefits of those actions. 

Restricting the burning of fossil fuels in the lived world of today would definitely generate costs — value forgone — for billions of people.  The economic way of thinking proposes that burning of fossil fuels should not be restricted to such levels that additional costs of the restrictions are larger than the additional benefits of the restrictions.

Both costs and benefits are valuations.  Value is entirely subjective, depending on individual human minds, as we have learned.  How would it be possible for government (a small set of people — 545 in the United States) to know what the additional costs and additional benefits would be of restricting the burning of CO2 in the lived world of today?  Cost and benefit are both about value; science has nothing to say about value, so government cannot look solely to scientists to understand what should be done.

What if human life on earth will ultimately be eliminated by rising CO2?  Wouldn't that be too high a cost to pay for continuing to burn fossil fuels?  Even that outcome, even if it were certain (which it isn't) cannot add up to humans discontinuing the use of fossil fuels.  Discontinuing use of fossil fuels will cause some humans to die today, which must be weighed against some other humans dying in the future.  Remember, costs and benefits are values that occur in human minds.   Which has higher value:  1 million lives continued today, or 8 billion lives made possible 1,000 years from today? 

If you don't know the answer to the question posed in the last sentence of the preceding paragraph, then you can't possibly know that answer to what government should do about the issue of global climate change. 

Finally, what could and should individual persons do?  That, my friends, is entirely up to individual persons.  Individuals could stop breathing.  We each exhale CO2 every time we breath.  But that would be a rather high marginal cost, and for what marginal benefit?  If you are beginning to see that HCGCC is an economic issue, congratulations!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Is A Single-Payer Health Care System Where We Are Headed?

From the WSJ, August, 14, 2014

Where Obamacare Is Going
by Scott Atlas

Yet even as the single-payer system remains the ideal for many on the left, it's worth examining how Britain's NHS, established in 1948, is faring. The answer: badly. NHS England—a government body that receives about £100 billion a year from the Department of Health to run England's health-care system—reported this month that its hospital waiting lists soared to their highest point since 2006, with 3.2 million patients waiting for treatment after diagnosis. NHS England figures for July 2013 show that 508,555 people in London alone were waiting for operations or other treatments—the highest total for at least five years.
Even cancer patients have to wait: According to a June report by NHS England, more than 15% of patients referred by their general practitioner for "urgent" treatment after being diagnosed with suspected cancer waited more than 62 days—two full months—to begin their first definitive treatment.

In response the British government has enlisted private care for help, including most recently through the Health and Social Care Act 2012. In May last year, the Nuffield Trust, an independent research and policy institute, along with the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the U.K.'s leading independent microeconomic research institute, issued a report on NHS-funded private care. The report showed that over the past decade the NHS, desperate to reduce its ever-expanding rolls, has increasingly sent patients to private care. The share of NHS-funded hip and knee replacements by private doctors increased to 19% in 2011-12, from a negligible amount in 2003-04.

In 2006-07, according to the report, the NHS spent £5.6 billion on private care outside its system. This increased by 55% to £8.7 billion in 2011-12, including a 76% rise in spending on nonprimary care, going to £8.3 billion from £4.7 billion, despite significant reductions in spending on private care attributed to the financial crisis.
Britons who can afford to avoid the NHS are eager to do so. Even with a slight decrease due to the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath, about six million British citizens buy private health insurance and about 250,000 choose to pay for private treatment out-of-pocket each year—though NHS insurance costs $3,500 annually for every British man, woman and child.

The socialized-medicine model is struggling elsewhere in Europe as well. Even in Sweden, often heralded as the paradigm of a successful welfare state, months-long wait times for treatment routinely available in the U.S. have been widely documented. 

Health care paid for by taxes and administered through a federal bureaucracy works great --- until you really need it.  Will Americans have to experience the deficiencies of socialized health care first hand, or are we smart enough to learn from the European experience that's been underway for more than 50 years?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

What A Shocking Finding


WSJ/NBC Poll Finds Widespread Economic Anxiety

Americans are registering record levels of anxiety about the opportunities available to younger generations and are pessimistic about the nation's long-term prospects, directing their blame at elected leaders in Washington.

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that despite the steady pace of hiring in recent months, 76% of adults lack confidence that their children's generation will have a better life than they do.
 Government and its operatives are the problem.  Capitalism is the answer.  Read about it here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KD153G2

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Minimum Wage Again? You Must Be Kidding

Below is a reprint of an article that appeared originally in the Austin Business Journal, way back in 1995.  Later, in 2007, I updated the article, because the drums were beating yet again to raise the minimum wage.  Unbelievably, here we are once again with the President pushing an increase in the minimum wage.


Raising the Minimum Wage:  Who Benefits, Who Loses?

by David L. Kendall
January 26, 2007

In 1964 I turned 15 and landed my first real summer job washing dishes in a restaurant.  Somehow, I got the job over several others who also wanted it.  My first wage was 80¢ an hour—45¢ below the $1.25 federal minimum wage that year.
 
It might take an army of lawyers to figure out whether my employer was breaking federal law by not paying me minimum wage.  But legal or not, I was thrilled to work for 80¢ an hour.  That summer I learned a lot about holding a job, personal responsibility, and forgoing summer fun with my friends.  I even got a raise to 90¢ an hour after the first month.  More important, I earned about $385 over the summer, an enormous sum for me at the time.
 
Franklin D. Roosevelt sponsored the first federal minimum wage legislation with the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1937.  The Supreme Court declared that act unconstitutional.  But undeterred, one year later Congress legislated a federal minimum wage of 25¢ an hour in the Fair Labor Standards Act.
 
The 1938 act covered wage earners only in industries involved in interstate commerce.  But over the years, Congress amended the law to increase the federal minimum wage and to extend its reach.  Federal minimum wage law now applies to about 70 percent of the work force. 

The drums are beating again in Washington to raise the federal minimum wage from its current level of $5.15 per hour to $7.25.  With House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi as chief drummer, several legislators and pundits are claiming the moral high ground for wanting to raise the federal minimum wage.  Supporters argue that $5.15 is not a “living wage,” and therefore, the moral, ethical thing to do is raise it.
 
But is raising the minimum wage the moral high ground?  Should those who oppose the minimum wage hang their heads in ethical shame?  Who will benefit and who will lose?  A closer look and a little reasoning may be helpful.
 
Myth Number One—unless forced by law to pay higher wages, businesses will exploit workers, forcing them to accept a low wage.  The truth is that fewer than 7 million workers—about 5 percent of the workforce—received wages below $7.25 in 2005.  Conclusion:  most wage earners receive wages higher than minimum wage, even though no law requires it.
 
Employers are willing to pay more than minimum wage because they are in business to earn profit.  Just as most people are willing to pay costs to earn income—transportation, lunch, and day care expenses, for example—businesses are willing to pay costs to earn income too.  In fact, businesses are willing to pay workers whatever wage will maximize profits. 

But willing or not, employers are not able to pay workers more than they’re worth.  The wage workers are worth per hour in business depends on the value of goods or services they produce, and how much they are able to produce each hour.  Fortunately, a huge majority of workers in America produce goods or services each hour that can be sold for far more than minimum wage.
 
My employer during the summer of 1964 was a good, kind man.  But he was also in business for a living.  Owning and running a restaurant was how he and his family earned their income.  Like any other business—small or large—he had to cover all his costs of doing business, including a profit for his family’s income.  Otherwise, he would soon have been out of business.  He paid me what I was worth that summer.  Had he been forced to pay me minimum wage, the cost to his business would have been about $600 for the summer instead of $385.  Would he have hired me if the law had required him to pay me more than I was worth?  Plain sense suggests no.

Myth Number Two—minimum wage law helps the poorest, least advantaged workers in society.  Belief in this proposition may explain why so many Americans favor raising the minimum wage.  Much closer to the truth is that the minimum wage helps one set of “have nots” at the expense of another set of even poorer “have nots.”  A simple example helps explain why.

Suppose that a company is now paying $5.15 an hour for 400 hours of labor supplied by 10 workers, each working 40 hours per week.  Suppose also that the business is paying 100 other workers various amounts more than minimum wage.  Raising the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour would increase this company’s weekly wage bill for the 10 minimum-wage workers from $2,060 to $2,900, an increase of $840. How will the hypothetical business respond?  Let’s consider several options:  (1) raise prices to consumers, (2) accept lower profits, (3) reduce wages of workers who earn more than minimum wage, or (4) lay off some minimum wage workers. 

Most employers have no ability to “pass it on” to consumers.  If businesses could raise their product prices anytime they wished, why wouldn’t they already have used their hypothetical market power to increase profits?  Raising price to consumers, other things unchanged, has a predictable outcome—a drop in sales. Our hypothetical business can ill afford to lose sales.  After all, its weekly costs of doing business are up $840, due to the increase in minimum wage. 

What about accepting lower profits?  This option seems reasonable to some—particularly to people who think “profit” is a four-letter word.  But keep in mind that profit is someone’s income.  Is it any more reasonable to expect employers to accept lower incomes by decree of law than it would be for you or me to accept lower wages or salaries? 

Which brings us to the third option, reducing wages of workers who already earn more than the new $7.25 minimum wage.  Are you and I ready to be one of those workers?  Paying some workers less than they’re worth to allow paying other workers more than they’re worth isn’t really much of an option.  Remember, what a worker is worth has nothing to do with the worker as a human; only that worker’s worth as a producer of goods or services.
 
That leaves option four.  Our hypothetical company can keep its weekly wage bill from rising by reducing its use of minimum-wage labor by about 116 hours per week.  Which workers would lose their jobs if the company chooses this option?  They will likely be the least skilled, least productive workers.  Arguably, they will also be the poorest, least educated, least advantaged people—those most in need of even a low-paying job—whether it’s a “living wage” or not.  If low income is bad, no income is worse.
 
How will real companies all across the nation respond to a higher minimum wage?  Companies who can do so will raise prices to consumers, but competition at home and abroad will severely limit that option.  In the short run, business owners may absorb the increased wage bill through profit reductions.  But in the long run, stockholders and entrepreneurs must earn a normal profit or they move their capital resources elsewhere.  In the long run, higher labor costs will not be paid for with reduced profits. 

Wages of workers already earning more than minimum wage will certainly not decline.  Oddly as it may seem, raising the minimum wage tends in the long run to increase wages of skilled, experienced workers.  Faced with a higher minimum wage for unskilled labor, companies demand even more skilled labor.  It’s really just sensible economics.  A higher minimum wage for unskilled labor makes skilled labor relatively cheaper, other things unchanged.  Savvy business owners always want to use more of a productive input that becomes relatively cheaper—and less of inputs that become relatively more expensive.
 
In the end, once business firms make long-run adjustments to a higher minimum wage, workers who aren’t worth the higher minimum wage to their employers will lose their jobs.  Minimum wage legislation does not and cannot force employers to hire workers who are not worth the legal minimum wage.
 
Who gains and who loses if Congress raises the minimum wage to $7.25 and hour?  Supporters in Congress clearly gain by doing what appears to be a highly visible “good.”  Some voters like the idea of guaranteeing higher incomes to low income earners.  But the good comes at the expense of others in the labor force who earn even lower incomes.  The losers are generally willing, hardworking people with the poorest educations, the lowest skill levels, and the least ability to help themselves.  Fortunately for Congress, the harm done is evidently out of sight to most Americans.  Better still for Congress, the losers don’t make campaign contributions, and many of them seldom vote.

Workers who lose jobs or cannot find jobs that pay the higher minimum wage will have even poorer choices than they had before the increase.  They may retreat to the welfare rolls, or they may find a job that can legally pay them less than minimum wage.  Most will choose a job—or perhaps two jobs—that pay less than minimum wage, because most are self-respecting, hard working people.  But if unskilled, inexperienced workers cannot get in on the ground floor, it’s even less likely that they will make it to the second floor.
 
If a higher minimum wage could somehow transfer income from wealthy “haves” to disadvantaged “have nots,” then raising the minimum wage might be defensible on moral, ethical grounds.  At least it would be debatable.  But to use the force of law to take from really poor “have nots” to benefit slightly better off “have nots” may not be what most people would call ethical behavior.  It no doubt depends on how you look at it, but perhaps there is no moral high ground available to supporters of a higher minimum wage.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Be Happy! The World Is Getting Better

Gloom and doom is just about all we get from the media and most pundits.  Take heart!  The world really is getting better.  Here, in an interview with Russ Roberts,  Joel Mokyr of Northwestern University explains why.

The audio file referenced above will take about an hour to listen to, but it's worth your time.  It's just an ordinary mp3 file, so download it to you smart phone and listen to it while you're commuting.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Fighting Povety in America

Here, Michael Tanner reports a startling fact:

In total, the United States spends nearly $1 trillion every year to fight poverty. That amounts to $20,610 for every poor person in America, or $61,830 per poor family of three.
Don't you suppose that just about any poor family of three would be tickled silly to have $61,830 in income per year?  Why don't we just give the poor the money and dispense with the 126 federal welfare programs that currently require bureaucrats to administer?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Money Illusion

Here, Philipp Bagus offers a crystal clear explanation of how the Fed and other central banks around the world are systematically misleading millions of people to believe that all is well.  All is not well.

By monetizing federal debt (so-called "Quantitative Easing" to the tune of $85 billion per month), the Fed is "papering over" past attempts to borrow something that had not yet been produced and saved (albeit with digital paper instead of real pictures of dead U.S. presidents).

Regular readers of EconoBlast need no reminder of the impossibility of borrowing something that has not actually been produced and saved.  New comers to EconoBlast can read all about it here.

 What does the future hold for Americans who are members of the Baby Boomer generation?  Will the financial claims many of us hold (stocks, bonds, savings accounts, and just plain money) have real purchasing power over the next two or three decades when we Baby Boomers expect to spend those claims on real goods and services?

Sadly, much of the financial wealth we Baby Boomers take ourselves to hold could turn out to be an illusion.  Just as Philipp Bagus reminds us in the article linked above, we cannot consume our financial wealth.  We can consume only real goods and services.

Will our economy produce the real goods and services we Baby Boomers financial claims are supposed to allow us to purchase?  The Fed is doing just about all it can get away with to make that possibility vanishingly small.  Please read the Bagus article linked above.  He's already explained it clearly, so I won't bother repeating his words.

Against all odds, I remain optimistic that our economy will produce the real goods and services necessary to honor the financial claims of Baby Boomers.  I remain optimistic in spite of the misguided policies of the Fed and our federal politicians.

I believe that technology will save us from ourselves, just as it has always done in the past.  Give the audio file you will find here a listen.  Put simply, advancing technology will almost certainly make America's $17 trillion federal debt irrelevant!  That distinct possibility is no excuse for the self-serving actions of the Fed and federal politicians, but it is nice to know.

In the nearby future, the combination of artificial intelligence, nano technology, and technologies not yet heard of will mitigate the scarcity of real goods and services so dramatically that most people living on planet Earth will enjoy a very high standard of living --- without working.

Some people think that not having to work will destroy society.  Other people (like me) do not think so.  Not having to work to keep body and soul together will be wonderful, not a scourge.  Am I just a fool with a dream?  You decide.  Listen to the audio file linked above before you decide. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

King BHO?

Hot off the Wall Street Journal


White House to Allow Cancelled Health Plans to Continue, Official Says
The White House will allow insurers to continue plans that have been cancelled, a Democratic official said.

The proposal may dissuade Democrats from backing House GOP legislation slated for a Friday vote. President Obama is scheduled to deliver remarks on the health law at 11:35 a.m.


Here's a question.  I thought the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (roll over George Orwell) was an act of Congress.  Since when in America is the President empowered to make up ad hoc provisions of a law at will?


Friday, November 1, 2013

Mendacity Means Lying

Here, Charles Krauthammer pretty much tells it like it is.  ObamaCare (a.k.a. the wildly misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) will not work.  Nearly everyone, except BHO and his throng, have been telling us why for a long time now.

Now that the really bad stuff about Obama Care is kicking in, EconoBlast predicts that it will not be long before the House and the Senate set about making necessary amendments to the empowering legislation for ObamaCare.  Who knows, BHO might even sign an amended law, if the lay of the land under the current legislation starts exploding in his mendacious face.

Nearly everyone understands that our health care system "as is" isn't free-market capitalism.  Nearly everyone understands and agrees that reforms are highly desirable --- nearly everyone except the healthcare insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and the hospital industry, that is.  These three big, rich, and politically powerful industries all stand to wax fat under ObamaCare.  So don't be surprised when these three big, rich, and powerful lobbies resist amending the PPAACA.

Alternatives for reforming our health care system have always been around.  EconoBlast archives offer several (here, here, here, and here).  When the House and the Senate do get around to amending the PPAACA, which they definitely will, with or without BHO in office, here are some principles that could and should guide their work (but likely will not, given the vested interests and political power of the three big, rich, and powerful lobbies).
  1. Health care insurance should be privately purchased by individuals in a nation-wide market of competing companies.  State borders should be absolutely irrelevant.  Think automobile and homeowners insurance.  We should be seeing commercials on TV about how to save 15% on our health care insurance,  just like we see for autos and homes!
  2. Health care insurance should be  INSURANCE, not pre-paid health care packages.  Insurance protects consumers from high-cost, low-probability events (e.g., events like wanting a heart transplant, treating stage-4 cancers, treating survivors of horrible traffic accidents, and the like).  We do not purchase insurance for changing the oil in our cars, cleaning the exterior of our homes, and the like.  We all expect those expenses to come around,  and we expect to pay for them out of pocket.  We should all expect to pay for routine, ordinary, entirely common health care out of our pockets, too.  After all, we pay for our food that way, unless we qualify for food stamps.  Why should health care be different?
  3. Health care insurance should have nothing to do with where people work.  Individuals could and should purchase health care insurance in a national, competitive market that offers a variety of insurance plans that are suitable for each individual household. 

    Sixty-year old people will no doubt choose a policy that does not cover pregnancy.  People with an unusually high risk of breast cancer will no doubt choose a policy that covers treatment for breast cancer.  Insurance plans simply must carry risk-based premiums.  Anyone who understands the insurance principle and actuarial principles knows that anything else is not and cannot be INSURANCE.

    What about people with preexisting conditions, you say?  Preexisting conditions are a special case, and not a particularly large problem, by the way.  If Americans want to subsidize health care for people who have preexisting conditions, that's fine.  Congress can vote means-tested provisions to do so, if We the People want to elect members of Congress to do that.  But preexisting conditions is certainly no reason to embrace the insanity called ObamaCare.

    What about people who can't afford health care insurance, you say?  If Americans want to subsidize health care for people who "can't afford health care insurance", that's fine, too.  Congress can vote means-tested provisions to do so, if We the People want to elect members of Congress to do that.  After all, most of us do want to help people who truly need our help.  But again, people who cannot afford health care insurance is not a particularly large problem.  And again, that problem is certainly no reason to embrace the insanity called ObamaCare.
  4. We could and should be presented with a price list each and every time we want health care.  When is the last time you looked at the menu of prices in your docs office?  Yea, right.  People who don't have to face a price don't really care what the price is.  We don't buy anything else that we consume without wanting to know the price.  Why is health care supposed to be different?  Can't answer that question?  Neither can I.
  5. The supply side of health care simply must become much more competitive.  Not many people know about or talk about the supply-side restrictions our current health care system has built in. 

    Thousands of well-qualified students, graduates with a BS in an appropriate field, who want to go to medical school should not be turned away each and every year for lack of seats in medical schools, as they are today. 

    Yes, medical doctors are usually very smart people.  But so are people who earn a doctorate in tens of other fields like finance, accounting, engineering, and history.  Seats for training in these tens of other fields are not strictly regulated by Congress.  You get the picture, right?

    People with medical training that does not rise to the level of MD should not be prohibited from administering health care that they are well qualified to provide.  Nurses and nurse practitioners can and should be able to provide health care for many ailments and conditions they are currently barred by law from providing.  Pharmacists could and should be allowed to sell us medications and drugs that they certainly know the purpose and safe use for.  Truth be known, most MDs don't have much knowledge about drugs.  They get what they know from pharmaceutical sales reps.  Well trained pharmacists actually understand the information.

    It's fine for MDs to be certified.  Certification is a good practice.  We all like Consumer Reports, right?  Angie's List is a great idea.  But requiring licensing to practice medicine is just a barrier to entry that gives docs market power to limit competition.  Why should practicing medicine be different from practicing accounting?  CPAs are certified.  We go to a CPA when we think it's in our best interest to do so.  We go to a bookkeeper when we think a bookkeeper is all we need.

    If you want to know why health care is so bloody expensive, look to just two really, really important reasons:   (1) supply-side restrictions, and (2) health care expenses paid for Joe by Sally, with no prior knowledge of what the price will be.
  6. Medications, drugs, and medical technology could and should cost just what it costs to manufacture and market them.  Monopolies on pharmaceuticals and medical technology should be banned.

    What about research, you say?  Let's pay for basic research in pharmaceuticals through our taxes.  Let's let our universities compete for dollars to support such research in competitive bidding through the National Institutes of Health.  Most people don't know that academics in research universities are already the driving force behind advances in health care drugs and technology.  Let's get it out in the open explicitly and sharply reduce the price of drugs.

    People who argue that we won't get advances in health care and drugs without patents just don't understand people very well.  The softwares Open Office and Moodle, both open-source software, are two great examples of people creating and maintaining advanced technology simply because they want to; it's what they do.  No patent necessary.  The same is true for medical research and innovation.  It's just what some people do, and they will do it regardless of patents that raise the price of drugs and health care technology.

    Research has shown that being first to market is important for making money with innovations.  Patents just raise the price to consumers and enrich the patent holder.  Is that really what we want in health care?

Additional details could be offered for Congress to consider to amend the PPAACA.  But the suggestions I offer above would get us a really long way down the road toward  meaningful and important health care reform.  ObamaCare will not.  Each day that passes will make that truth ever-more obvious. 

Go ahead.  Write your member of Congress.  But don't be too surprised when all you get back is a form letter from your member's staff that says your member of Congress thanks you and will certainly take your suggestions into consideration.  Don't be too surprised when none of the sensible suggestions offered above don't find their way into the sure-to-be-amended PPAACA.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Our House of Cards

The House and the Senate just added another story to our $17 trillion house of cards.  What that means, of course, is that when the house of cards finally does implode, the cards at the top have farther to fall.

Congress --- the House and the Senate --- proved once again that an unlimited government of men, instead of a limited government bound by law (remember the Constitution?), is dangerous.

Kick the can down the road, goes the metaphor.  And so it goes. Thank goodness Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell were able to save the day yet again!  Congress veered away from the fiscal cliff a few months ago, only to do a U-turn and head straight back toward it at higher speed. 

A government that will not be bound by laws will certainly be bound by men instead.  Our highest leaders' refusal to follow not just the Constitution, but even the rules that Congress itself wrote to govern its own behavior, speaks volumes.

Why am I wasting time this morning writing this pitiful refrain?  I really do not know.