Thursday, 31 December 2009
Happy New Year
As we end the noughties
And as the teens begin
I resolve to be less haughty:
Less righteousness, more sin.
What do we lose with state-based exchanges?
1) buying power, to get costs down
2) government jobs, to run each state exchange
3) political patronage, appointing friends to state insurance commissions
However, there is a compromise that solves all 3: have state-based exchanges but allow people to buy insurance out of state (on any state exchange). As people flock to the best value-for-money insurers, larger pools can spread risk better and bring costs down. Since no government or bureaucracy ever reduces staff just because work load goes down, state government jobs and patronage will be unchanged.
Monday, 28 December 2009
Thursday, 24 December 2009
How is it a windfall? They bought it, then sold it a quarter-century later for more than they paid for it - just as most sensible property investors have done for generations. Does the Independent now consider all profit to be windfall? Indeed, if the Indie figures are correct, they seem to have just recouped their capital and paid off their mortgage,
Wednesday, 23 December 2009
Well, that's a step in the right direction then.
How much jail time did the media get for blasting this story to the front of the news?
Monday, 21 December 2009
Saturday, 19 December 2009
Gee, and most of us like it so much
80 MPs revolt against ruling to repay expense claims
Good for them had_it wrote: Saturday, 19 December 2009 at 03:56 pm (UTC)
Either we have a rule of law or we do not. Retroactive changesto compensation would have any trade union out in the streets.
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
Wall Street Shorting the Dollar
Shorting is trivial; small change. The real problem comes from interest rates.
Banks can borrow here for 1% and invest in countries that pay 5%.
Given that option, what would you
Monday, 14 December 2009
Sunday, 13 December 2009
Does Death Exist? New Theory Says 'No'
This is not a scientific theory. To present it as such is disengenuous.
This is pseudo-scientific babble, NOT a scientific theory. To present it as such is either a silly grade-school level mistake or a deliberate lie. As a contribution to the philosophy of reality and perception, it might be germane, but is too vaguely expressed to decide either way.
Friday, 11 December 2009
Only the wealthy will be MPs? That is true already. If poor people get elected to Parliament, they are no longer poor.
The problem with relatively low remuneration (though still generous compared to UK average incomes) is that the best and the brightest run, not walk, to the nearest exit. Parliament will not become richer, it will become ever more mediocre.
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
The short answer is: Yes.
Just as the printing press led to the loss of theocracy and divine right monarchy (and some say memory)
Radio led to the loss of ships at sea disappearing without a trace (and some say the ability to entertain oneself)
TV led to the loss of candidates being chosen in smoke-filled back rooms (and some say imagination)
Every new overlay of invention loses some things that are good and some that are bad and changes many of the rest. There is only one way to deal with this phenomenon: get over it.
Progressive income tax is discrimination against those who make more money.
Fuel taxes are discrimination against people who drive a lot.
Rebates on hybrid vehicles are discrimination in favour of those who drive green.
Family allowances are discrimination in favour of those who have children
You just don't like the government discriminating in favour of two-parent families.
As the research show that children in two-parent families do better than those in one-parent families, this discrimination seems to serve a legitimate government purpose - whether or not you or I agree with it.
Too right, Bob. Let our children and grandchildren pay for us to return to the lifestyle we have come to expect as a right.
"borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf, and then burn it in ways that destroy the planet. Every bit of that’s got to change."
Yes, Al, but it is hard. The Chinese want to lend so we will buy their goods, Persian Gulf states want to sell because they have little other income, and the bankers make a profit on every leg of the cycle that they do not want to give up. Finally, politicians feel they can't live without the campaign contributions from the importers, the oil companies and the banks.
Good luck breaking this impasse and let us know if there is something you think that Joe Public can do to help.
Monday, 7 December 2009
Look on the bright side had_it wrote: Monday, 7 December 2009 at 04:52 pm (local)
The best way to reduce carbon emissions is to reduce the population of the planet by 10-20%.
If serious (+4 degrees C) climate change actually does come, the rising sea levels, water conflict and falling agri-production should accomplish this nicely. Problem solved.
There was no way that America could prosper while paying for the defence of Europe and Asia for the past 60 years. Had the US, like China, ploughed it's money into industry, instead of the defence of others, it would not be about to be overtaken economically. True, it could be argued that - by buying American debt - it was actually China and OPEC that paid for the defence of Europe and Asia. But the USA still has to repay that debt, so it's economic fall is inevitable.
Thursday, 3 December 2009
Anti-Surge Lawmakers Write Letter Of Opposition To Obama
These three had a their chance and put their point of view. After considering their views and those of many others, the Commander in Chief made a decision - so shut up and soldier.
Get off of this silly season stuff and get on with your real job.
This investigation, including figuring out how to fix the problem, can be handled by any low-level bureaucrat. So stop grandstanding and get back to work.
He is the man the American people elected as their president, Lou.
Who the hell are you?
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
How could they not contemplate having all the UN forces simply abandon moderate Afghan men and all Afghan women to their fates?
Monday, 30 November 2009
A test of true colours had_it wrote:Monday, 30 November 2009 at 01:25 pm (UTC)
Friday, 27 November 2009
Thursday, 26 November 2009
"Whoever argues that a person is entitled to complete freedom of faith is an unbeliever, guilty of the major sin of disbelief." Whoever argues that a person is NOT entitled to complete freedom of faith is a bigot who promotes hate crime.
"The person who maintains that the Sun does not move should be condemned to death" - so all intelligent people should die? Reminds me of Pol Pot.
"It is not permitted to teach secular law as a general course in higher education. This subject should be limited to specialists, who are able to show how secular law deviates from the truth..." i.e. those who agree with me.
That there are not fatwas against the people who issued these edicts is a stain on all Islam.
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
"Cynics noted that Google was not so high-minded when it entered the lucrative Chinese market..."
Here's a solution: Let's have China set the standard for free speech.
Will that make the cynics happy?
Is the Bulldog to be real effort at journalism, or do we need to ask who is paying whom?
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Of course, when the Soviets did withdraw, there was a bit of a blood bath, women were told to stay home and forget education, men were told how to wear their hair and to forget democracy, Al Qaeda was invited to plan and conduct the murder of civilians abroad (mostly Muslims, including lots of women and children). Is that how this author thinks the UN involvement should end?
Monday, 23 November 2009
One side wishes to pass a weak and ineffective bill, the other wishes to emasculate it entirely. Both are paid political compensation from the same deep pockets.
The expenses appear reasonable to me.
As there is a remarkable lack of fact in the story, until I see any evidence of a judge scamming the system, I will file this story under the let's-you-and-him fight category. That is, a story designed to weaken trust in an institution and to increase anomie and alienation in society.
Friday, 20 November 2009
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
While Barack was lecturing on Tibet, I was surprised that Hu didn't lecture back on our treatment of 12 million illegal immigrants (or the lack thereof).
I am getting a little tired of the cowards who fear a trial because it might damage New York or might fail because of flaws in our justice system. These people are the natural targets of terrorism, and it works: they get scared and try to bend over backwards to accommodate the terrorists by saying "not on our soil" or "we have to use tribunals because our courts aren't good enough." Grow some backbone - stand strong for America.
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Just as any Irish priest who did not condemn the IRA and ex-communicate any member of its military wing has Christian blood on his hands, any Irish protestant minister than did not condemn the UDA and ex-communicate any member of its military wing has Christian blood on his hands. They lied each time the gave the benediction.
I do not know if such options were available to his parents at the time they made their selection. If it was, they are to blame - not the insurers. If higher coverage limits were NOT available, then this family was not offered true health insurance and hence have a moral case, if not a legal one.
She made the right decision, but I feel for her dilemma.
Give her a general discharge and let her be on her way
Anyone who stands for facts and against drivel is opposed to Sarah Palin as a political candidate.
Monday, 16 November 2009
Dream on Clegg. You are asking for sensible behaviour at a pre-scripted piece of theatre.
Next thing, you'll be asking MPs to represent their constituents, rather than their party - or for the party to care about anything other than winning elections. (And that will get you in just as much trouble at LibDem headquarters as it would at the HQs of other parties.)
If we measured these bureaucrats on results, I would be happy to give the top 10% first class travel. Unfortunately, if they are measured on anything at all, it is input not outcomes. Their use of 1st class comes from a sense of entitlement of rank, not from a desire to work on the train.
Although I accept that many do work on the train, the work that they do does not seem worth the price. I am prepared to be corrected: let the education bureaucrats list the work they did and its effect on results.
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Parliamentary questions not there to be dignified
I won't dignify that question with an answer
Religious freedom at last!
It is nice to know that respectable religions like Scientology, Jedi, Voodoo and Wiccan will now be protected, along with beliefs in psychics, ghosts, laetrile, numerology, faith healing and UFO's. If we can protect the evil five (Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism - those responsible for more war and oppression than any other cause), it is about time we started protecting more gentle superstitions.
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Key differences between Dumbocrats and Retroblicans
Dumbocrats: One main purpose of taxation is the redistribution of wealth
Retroblicans: Government should not redistribute wealth, except to farmers, steel-makers, oil companies, banks, insurance companies and other friends of ours.
Retroblicans: Throw them all out, except for those that work for me and my friends
Dumbocrats: Let them all in, as long as someone else pays for them
Retroblicans: No Socialized Medicine, but don’t you dare touch our Medicare drugs plan
Doctors, Hospitals, Drug Companies and Insurers deserve a fat profit at our expense
Dumbocrats: Give the indigent free health insurance, as long as someone else pays for it
Doctors, Hospitals and Insurance Companies deserve no profit (except for mine).
Retroblicans: Get government out: people should plan for their own retirement income
PS: don’t you dare touch our Social Security
Dumbocrats: Give everyone free social security, as long as someone else pays for it
I think you are perhaps too simplistic about a complex area. People resent the big bonuses that sports stars get for hitting a ball, until you explain that the team owners are making millions from the TV coverage - then folks agree that the players ought to get a fair piece of the pie. As Walter Cronkite said when he got the first million-dollar newscaster contract: Am I worth it? Compared to a school teacher, no; but compared to a baseball player, you bet!
What folks do not understand is what talents are actually being paid for, why executive compensation is such a large share of the profits and why they do not seem to sink in relative measure when the companies do badly. They also have been led to distrust the term "bonus" in its own right. If these exec's could swallow their pride and call their performance-contingent compensation "commission", much of the animosity might disappear.
Indeed, if executives were paid commission on profits, both shareholders and the general public might be a good deal happier - especially if commissions went negative when the executives showed losses.
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