Posts Tagged ‘economics’

I’ve tried to start this a couple times, and each time I fail miserably.

I read a lot throughout the week, and some of it is often worth sharing with others.

I recently got annoyed with how much time I was wasting on Facebook on my phone, so I went nuclear the other day and uninstalled Facebook, Facebook Pages Manager, and Messenger. Sorry Zuck… Not surprisingly, I found some significant time that allowed me to try and do this again.

You’ll find some of the most thought provoking or important articles I read in the last 7 days. With each article I’ve tried to copy a quote that gives you an idea of what’s there or something that really stood out to me. There may be a few comments prior to the article about why I decided to include it. You’ll find a link to the article after the quote.

I hope you find something below that will challenge your thinking.

Missouri Related

A taxpayer subsidized MLS stadium during a pandemic? Why not? Really bad ideas are all the rage these days… Sigh…

https://showmeinstitute.org/blog/subsidies/absolute-worst-time-ask-stadium-incentive-package


I’m continuously fascinated at how few Missourians know what certificate of need (CON) laws are. I often find that it’s really informed and intelligentt people, too.

You really should because they drive up the cost of health care in our state, and do nothing but benefit existing health care providers.

We simply don’t have anything in Missouri or this country that even remotely resembles a free market health care system, and CON laws are one of the easiest things we could remove that would begin to finally move us in direction of choice. Choice equals more access which equals more competition which equals lower prices.

State Regulations Let Hospitals Literally Veto New Competition. Here’s How To Change That.

“Americans spend more on health care now than ever before, and so-called certificate of need laws (or CON laws) are part of the reason why.”

https://reason.com/2020/02/26/these-state-level-health-care-regulations-raise-prices-and-create-shortages-heres-how-to-fix-them/

Certificate-of-Need Laws: Implications for Missouri

“Missouri remains among the 36 states, along with the District of Columbia, that continue to limit entry and expansion within their respective health care markets through certificates of need. On average, states with CON programs regulate 14 different services, devices, and procedures. Missouri’s CON program currently regulates 14 different services, devices, and procedures, the same as the national average. As figure 1 shows, Missouri’s certificate-of-need program ranks the 21st most restrictive in the United States….

…While CON programs were intended to limit the supply of health care services within a state, proponents claim that the limits were necessary to either control costs or increase the amount of charity care being provided. However, 40 years of evidence demonstrate that these programs do not achieve their intended outcomes, but rather decrease the supply and availability of health care services by limiting entry and competition. For policymakers in Missouri, this situation presents an opportunity to reverse course and open the market for greater entry, more competition, and ultimately more options for those seeking care.”

https://www.mercatus.org/publications/regulation/certificate-need-laws-implications-missouri


Healthcare related…

We need more companies to just grab the bull by the horns and do something different. Interesting thinking from Walmart.

Walmart’s New Clinics Are a Free Market Experiment in Health Care Reform

https://reason.com/2020/03/13/walmarts-new-clinics-are-a-free-market-experiment-in-health-care-reform/


Most Americans have no clue what the Federal Reserve is and what it does. That ignorance is hands down the greatest threat to the Republic. Pretty much all of our political problems have roots in economic problems, and the Fed us doing its level best to make those economic problems worse.

This is an outstanding article that lays out what the Fed is doing to all of us no matter our political tribe. And if we don’t wake up, the harm is just going to get worse.

How the Fed Wrecks the Economy

“The bottom line is that we can’t “fix” the economy by electing Republicans or Democrats. We can’t put the country on sound economic footing by tweaking this or that policy in Washington D.C. The only way to put the economy on a sound footing is to deal with the root cause of the problem — the Federal Reserve and its constant meddling. As long as the Fed controls the monetary system, there will never be a “free market” in America. The central bankers always have their fingers on the economic scales.”

https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2019/05/23/how-the-fed-wrecks-the-economy/

And yes, the Fed is making our current situation far worse by enabling terrible politicians to enact even more terrible “solutions”.

Massive Stimulus May Boost Inflation The Wrong Way: Stagflation

https://app.hedgeye.com/insights/83292-massive-stimulus-may-boost-inflation-the-wrong-way-stagflation?type=guest-contributors


It’s hard to really describe this next one, but it’s absolutely brilliant and comes from one of my favorite sites that comments on markets, society, and politics: Epsilon Theory. They look at the market and society through the lens of game theory and narrative.

Trust me, you won’t regret reading it

The Elton/Hootie Line

“When we transform our interactions into Competition Games, it doesn’t just mean that we’re mean and yelling at each other all the time. It also means that optionality disappears. Degrees of freedom disappear. Creativity disappears. Diversity disappears. True risk-taking disappears. More of our decisions are optimized toward cartoons, abstracted versions of reality. More of our information is based on narratives and memes….

…Trump, on the other hand … I think he breaks us. Maybe he already has. He breaks us because he transforms every game we play as a country — from our domestic social games to our international security games — from a Coordination Game to a Competition Game.

You can disagree about whether Donald himself is responsible. You can say he was an inevitable outcome of a prior defection in the Stag Hunt by a now almost entirely left-wing news media and academy. That’s maybe a little bit closer to my personal view. It doesn’t matter now. Whatever the proximate cause, the volume of our political discourse has been cranked to 11….

…What’s important is recognizing that the concepts of volume and the compression are linked. When you turn up the volume and make politics existential, you will ALWAYS limit the range of feasible views. You will ALWAYS end up with more institutional paralysis. You will ALWAYS make policy compromises far more difficult. You will ALWAYS constrain the emergence of good new ideas.

As with music, as with politics, the higher volume environment has created a tendency toward compression. What does that mean in this context? It means that when language becomes more extreme, when society becomes more polarized, narratives take on a more dominant role in defining and framing news coverage...

But in most – not all, but most – of the battles we will fight today and in the future, this is what victory will look like: the creation of a sustainable, opt-in world for people who want to be free from a life in which we are obliged to invest our passion, treasure and energy in cartoons. In other words: epistemic communities.

https://www.epsilontheory.com/the-elton-hootie-line/


I’m not religious at all, and I often find religious history fascinating. This is an interesting one…

Big Gods Came After the Rise of Civilizations, Not Before, Finds Study Using Huge Historical Database

“One of the earliest questions we’re testing is whether morally concerned deities drove the rise of complex societies. We analysed data on 414 societies from 30 world regions, using 51 measures of social complexity and four measures of supernatural enforcement of moral norms to get to the bottom of the matter. New research we’ve published in the journal Naturereveals that moralising gods come later than many people thought, well after the sharpest rises in social complexity in world history. In other words, gods who care about whether we are good or bad did not drive the initial rise of civilisations – but came later.”

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/big-gods-came-after-the-rise-of-civilisations-not-before-finds-study-using-huge-historical-database


College is growing more worthless by the year, and I thought more people were figuring that out before Covid. I have two college degrees, but in hindsight they were mostly worthless, really expensive societal stamps. I did what every good child of the 80s and 90s was supposed to have done, take out a bunch of loans and waste 4+ years of my life finding myself. At least I finally found myself, years after my college experience.

Personally, I hope Covid causes irreparable harm to the way colleges currently operate and deliver content. There has been more harm done to our society by “educated” elites, and it just gets worse by the day. It also wouldn’t be a bad thing some of them went broke and laid off a few social justice warrior professors.

And it looks like my hopes may become reality…

After Coronavirus, Colleges Worry: Will Students Come Back?

“In mid-March, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the outlook for higher education from stable to negative, predicting that institutions with strong endowments and cash flow, like Harvard or Stanford, would weather the virus, while smaller ones would not.”

https://pocket.co/xdWhLp?cta=1&src=ph

I spend a significant amount of time online reading and learning. And one of my favorite areas of interest is economics. It’s weird, I have a high school diploma, a BA, and an MA, and if you had talked to me immediately after completion of my MA I would have said I basically had an elementary, maybe even cartoonish view of economics and economic theory. All I had in college was Micro, and I barely remember getting anything out of that class other than realizing I was bored every day I was there. I have spent years learning more about the topic, and I’m amazed what I learn each day about the topic. It’s that complex and that interesting.

I get it. On the surface, economics is not the most interesting stuff for the average Joe, but the average Joe is supposedly tasked with maintaining this Republic.

It’s arguable that the economic system that we live inside of is as important in any ecosystem biologists study. Economics is a fascinating mixture of history, sociology, and psychology. It is not an exact mathematical science and it is not primarily math driven, far from it.

All history and current events should be seen through the lens of economics. This is why I never watch any mainstream news. These people are often moronic talking heads who just have a news fetish. There’s no depth of knowledge. I learn far more from the people I follow in the investing space.

Why?

Because not knowing the importance of what is happening is what kills returns.

This is just an outstanding lecture, and really does a good job of destroying some of the cartoonish nonsense you were taught if you attended a public school or typical university.

Tom Woods is one of my favorite Libertarian thinkers. He’s a phD historian who has degrees from both Harvard and Columbia. He went off the reservation of allowable opinion years ago because when you start honestly questioning and studying the reservation, it isn’t that inviting of a place for anyone of any intelligence.

Turn off whatever crap you’re watching on your TV or your phone, and open your mind and learn. You won’t regret the time spent.

The other day I had some harsh words for the “average” American. While I still stand by what I say when it comes to taxation, there may be some hope after all.

65% of voters favor across the board spending cuts.

I hate to break it to the political class in Washington. The American people may be ignorant about things that matter, it seems they get that we have a spending a problem. Failure to compromise could hold some interesting political consequences to the tyrants that currently “represent” us.

I am actually willing to go along with small tax increases on everyone, including myself, as long as we get massive spending cuts. The thing is the Democrats have no intention of compromising and there will be no spending cuts offered. The mainstream media has somehow managed to convince the American people that the Democrats and the Marxist in Chief are willing to compromise. It could also be that the American people are just a bit naive in believing the elected members in the Democrat party actually care about America. The American people are about to learn how much they have been duped.

Any Republican that goes along with a crap compromise that has no spending cuts of any size should be primaried and removed from office. I already will not be voting for Roy Blunt in the next Senate primary, and I definitely won’t vote for him in the general if he supports the wrong path in the next year.

Another interesting piece of data is this, 68% of people are favorable to capitalism only 24% are favorable to socialism. We still believe in the things that made this country great. The problem is I don’t think Americans are well educated on the ins and outs of each system. It is up to us to educate our neighbors, friends, and families.

Over the next year, pledge to learn more about American history and economics. Become an expert, and earn the trust of your friends and family, so that when what we are doing  as a country quits working (and it will!) you are there to educate them on the truth.