June 2009


Why are MD Salaries So High? The Medical Cartel
Mark Perry

One reason we might have a “health care crisis” due to rising medical costs, and the world’s highest physician salaries is that we turn away 57.3% of the applicants to medical schools. What we have is a form of a “medical cartel,: which significantly restricts the supply of physicians, and thereby gives its members monopoly power to charge above-market prices for their services.

Great stuff as usual at CARPE DIEM.

Later Terror Link Cited for 1 in 7 Freed Detainees
Elisabeth Bumiller

The report is the subject of numerous Freedom of Information Act requests from news media organizations, and Mr. Whitman said he expected it to be released shortly. The report, a copy of which was made available to The New York Times, says the Pentagon believes that 74 prisoners released from Guantánamo have returned to terrorism or militant activity, making for a recidivism rate of nearly 14 percent.

This from wiki (fwiw) on recidivism in U.S. prisons:

A 2002 study survey showed that among nearly 275,000 prisoners released in 1994, 67.5% were rearrested within 3 years, and 51.8% were back in prison.[77] However, the study found no evidence that spending more time in prison raises the recidivism rate, and found that those serving the longest time, 61 months or more, had a significantly lower re-arrest rate (54.2%) than every other category of prisoner. This is most likely explained by the older average age of those released with the longest sentences, and the study shows a strong negative correlation between recidivism and age upon release.

Half our prisoners return to a jail cell, while 15% of Jihadists in GTMO return to hell raising.

ObamaCare Stick Shock
WSJ Editorial

Mitt Romney pitched his 2006 health reform — which Democrats view as a model for universal coverage — as modest and affordable, yet already its public option is annihilating the Massachusetts fisc. The original cost estimate for last year was $472 million; final spending came in at $628 million. Spending this year is at least $75 million over initial budget, while projections for next year range as high as $880 million — and even those are probably too low.

A government program missing its budget? Crazy stuff.

Here’s the link

The attached table summarizes our preliminary assessment of the proposal’s budgetary effects and its likely impact on insurance coverage. According to that assessment, enacting the proposal would result in a net increase in federal budget deficits of about $1.0 trillion over the 2010–2019 period. Once the proposal was fully implemented, about 39 million individuals would obtain coverage through the new insurance exchanges. At the same time, the number of people who had coverage through an employer would decline by about 15 million (or roughly 10 percent), and coverage from other sources would fall by about 8 million, so the net decrease in the number of people uninsured would be about 16 million.

$1 trillion over 10 years in additional spending to insure 16 million of the 46 million, or one-third, uninsured Americans. That’s $6,250 taxpayers will spend a year for each American provided coverage with this plan.

China’s state news agency issues the following:

The common characteristics of current mass incidents can be summarized as follows: social contradictions have already formed certain foundations of society and the masses, creating a powder keg ready to explode at the first hint of a flame. Conflicts escalate extremely rapidly; confrontation is intense; the destruction to society is sizable; appropriate management is difficult. At the same time, behind the seemingly random “sparks,” there is always a pile of “tinder.” This causes small incidents to escalate quickly, evolving into a large-scale, intense conflict. This shows that in a period of constant change in greater social interest and personal interests, a social crisis can be instigated by a contagion of dissatisfaction among the people. Even a street brawl could turn into an irrational mass venting that engulfs the whole city.

The current uprising in Tehran certainly brings memories of Tiananmen Square protests some 20 years ago. I’m curious how the current democractic failing in Iran is being viewed by freedom fighters in China, or even how well its being covered by the CCTV.

If you browsed the morning cable news channels today, you likely aren’t aware of the uprising occurring in Iran. If you really want to know what’s happening in Tehran, you’ll have to sign up for Twitter. The real-time ‘whatcha doin” service allows users to follow real-time updates of the revolt in Iran. Below are a few tweeters you should be following:

@persiankiwi
@StopAhmadi
@Change_for_Iran
@smileofcrash

Drugs Won the War
Nicholas Kristof

Jeffrey Miron, a Harvard economist, found that federal, state and local governments spend $44.1 billion annually enforcing drug prohibitions. We spend seven times as much on drug interdiction, policing and imprisonment as on treatment. (Of people with drug problems in state prisons, only 14 percent get treatment.)

So we could gain additional revenues by taxing sales of marijuana, decrease our prison populations, and save rough $40 billion per year by ending the war on drugs. Americans also gain more freedom.

End the war on drugs.

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