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Category Archives: 030 Economics

Actually, Repealing Obamacare Wouldn’t Kill Anyone

The best statistical estimate for the number of lives saved each year by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is zero. Certainly, there are individuals who have benefited from various of its provisions. But attempts to claim broader effects on public health or thousands of lives saved rely upon extrapolation from past studies that focus on the value of private health insurance. The ACA, however, has expanded coverage through Medicaid, a public program that, according to several studies, has failed to improve health outcomes for recipients. In fact, public health trends since the implementation of the ACA have worsened, with 80,000 more deaths in 2015 than had mortality continued declining during 2014–15 at the rate achieved during 2000–2013.

Key Findings

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Dooming Illinois?

Illinois Might Be Doomed to Financial Collapse

Once of the reasons that tax increases in Washington are such a bad idea (and one of the reasons why a value-added tax is an especially bad idea) is that the prospect of additional tax revenue kills any possibility of genuine entitlement reform. Simply stated, politicians won’t do the heavy lifting of fixing those programs if they think can use a tax hike to prop up the current system for a few more years.

However, if we don’t fix the entitlements, the United States faces a very grim fiscal future regardless of new revenue because the burden of government spending will be expanding faster than the growth of the private economy.

Indeed, tax hikes presumably will accelerate the problems by weakening economic performance, creating an even bigger gap between the growth of government spending and the growth of productive output. Sort of a double violation of my Golden Rule.

Tax Payers Are Escaping

Well, the same thing is happening in Illinois.

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Kansas student activist group “warns” foreign embassies about campus carry law

I hope out of the 160 foreign embassies she wrote she included the 107 countries that have higher homicide rates and tighter gun control than the United states. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

“Meaning many international students at Kansas universities would be surrounded by firearms without the legal right to also carry one — making it potentially even more dangerous for these students,” she wrote. “Considering the shooting of two Indian men who were presumed to be ‘Middle Eastern’ by a white supremacist in Olathe, Kansas last week, international students, especially those from certain countries or regions, are at a greater risk of being the victims of deadly violence once this campus carry law goes into effect.”

Source: guns.com

A Reignited War on Weed Will Harm The American Economy

The Last Thing America Needs Is a Reignited War on Weed – FEE

The marijuana legalization movement has been holding its breath, waiting to see how President Donald Trump will address the issue.

Public opinion and state law have leaned heavily in favor of decriminalizing the controversial cannabis plant over the last several years, signaling the inevitable downfall of the government’s war on drugs.

However, as numerous state victories gave advocates hope that the end of prohibition was near, the unexpected election of Donald Trump threw the legalization movement a curveball no one was anticipating.

Legalized marijuana is projected to create a quarter of a million jobs by 2020.

While the future of marijuana in America is still unclear at the moment, if Trump wants to keep his campaign promises of job creation and financial growth, he should strongly consider the economic benefits of marijuana legalization.

The Future is Green

As a presidential nominee, Trump spent much of his campaign promising national job growth. Reaching out to the blue collar working class, Trump promised to bring jobs back to American manufacturing.

However, if Trump is serious about fostering an environment of economic prosperity and job creation, he may want to set his sights on the burgeoning marijuana industry instead.

According to a recent report released by New Frontier Data, the marijuana industry is projected to create more than a quarter of a million new American jobs by the year 2020.

By the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ own projections, the legalized cannabis industry is expected to outpace growth in any other sector over the next few years, including American manufacturing. In fact, manufacturing jobs are expected to decrease by 814,000 over the next seven years.

Additionally, the marijuana industry is currently estimated to be worth about $7.2 billion. Given its current success and expected trajectory, the entire industry is expected to grow at a rate of 17 percent annually.

Likewise, the New Frontier Data’s report estimates that the medicinal market alone will increase its worth from $4.7 billion to $13.3 billion by the year 2020.

Of the 25 states that have decriminalized cannabis in some capacity, seven of those states have allowed for its recreational use. As a result, the recreational industry is also expected to increase its worth from $2.6 billion to $11.2 billion by 2020.

While these projections are bound to have positive effects on the national economy and create a plethora of new American jobs, the estimates will never come to fruition if the Trump Administration decides to backtrack on the progress made thus far.

Good People Don’t Smoke Marijuana

Had Hillary Clinton won on election night, as many had expected, it is highly unlikely that the war on drugs would have suddenly come to a screeching halt.

Not only is Clinton’s own track record on the matter weak, but her husband also contributed greatly to the perpetuation of the problem.

Former President Bill Clinton helped escalate the war on drugs through his support of mandatory minimum sentencing laws and other policies that were prevalent during the “tough on crime” era of the 1980s and 1990s.

However, Mrs. Clinton’s terrible track record on the issue does nothing to excuse Donald Trump, should he make the same mistake.

 “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

While Trump is not a strict ideologue by any means, he has unfortunately chosen to surround himself with advisors and cabinet appointees who have struck fear into the hearts of advocates of marijuana policy reform.

Trump’s decision to nominate Jeff Sessions as his Attorney General only heightened this paranoia among his critics.

Sessions has been a longtime supporter of civil asset forfeiture, which essentially incentivizes law enforcement to use the drug war as a pretext for stealing property from anyone merely suspected of drug-related activity.

As if Session’s support for highway robbery weren’t bad enough, he has also gone on the record making outlandishly biased statements including, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

Since Sessions has the legal authority to impose federal drug laws on the states, this comment is quite concerning, to say the least.

While Trump’s own comments on the matter have been somewhat neutral, Press Secretary Sean Spicer added fuel to the fire last week when he hinted that the White House might soon begin enforcing federal marijuana laws once again.

Under the direction of former Attorney General Eric Holder, the federal government agreed to more or less “look the other way” when states made the decision to legalize cannabis. This policy has allowed states like Colorado to add over $1 billion worth of revenue to their local economy and create new jobs for its residents.

Just a few days ago, Sessions publicly recommitted himself to the drug war by saying:

“I don’t think America is going to be a better place when people of all ages, and particularly young people, are smoking pot. I believe it’s an unhealthy practice, and current levels of THC in marijuana are very high compared to what they were a few years ago, and we’re seeing real violence around that.”

Ironically, the war on drugs, which Sessions adamantly supports, is responsible for that increase in potency, as economist Mark Thornton has demonstrated.

According to “the Iron Law of Prohibition,” when substances are prohibited, black market providers are incentivized to increase potency because more potent forms take up less storage space, are easier to transport, and sell for more money. This is considered necessary to mitigate the risk of being caught and incarcerated.

Session’s Reefer Madness-inspired statement is absolutely frightening considering his position of authority as Attorney General of the United States of America.

The White House might actually begin enforcing federal marijuana laws once again.

But in the spirit of maintaining optimism, there is still reason to hope that Trump’s alleged commitment to economic growth will overpower the draconian beliefs held by some of his cabinet appointees.

The Economic Savior

Trump was elected as the “no nonsense” businessman who was going to fix our national economy and create jobs for the American people. As America’s “economic savior,” his supporters firmly believed he was the candidate who would restore prosperity to the middle class. This is the promise that ultimately got him elected to the highest office in the land.

Since assuming office, he has shocked the public by actually fulfilling most of his campaign promises— which has been both slightly encouraging and downright terrifying.

While there can be no defense of his love for protectionist policies, he has still maintained his support for a free market economic system.

If this is true and he is as committed to economic reform as he claims to be, then perhaps the economic repercussions of marijuana legalization can change his mind, or at least drown out the backward influence of his advisors.


Brittany Hunter

Brittany Hunter

Brittany Hunter is an associate editor at FEE. Brittany studied political science at Utah Valley University with a minor in Constitutional studies.

This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

Billionaire Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son plans to invest in singularity

Insightful and a first mover…

Billionaire Softbank Group Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son revealed Monday (Feb. 27) at Mobile World Congress his plan to invest in singularity. “In next 30 years [the singularity] will become a reality,” he said, Tech Crunch reports.

“If superintelligence goes inside the moving device then the world, our lifestyle dramatically changes,” he said. “There will be many kinds. Flying, swimming, big, micro, run, 2 legs, 4 legs, 100 legs,” referring to robots. “I truly believe it’s coming, that’s why I’m in a hurry — to aggregate the cash, to invest.”

“Son said his personal conviction in the looming rise of billions of superintelligent robots both explains his acquisition of UK chipmaker ARM last year, and his subsequent plan to establish the world’s biggest VC fund,” noted TechCrunch — a new $100BN fund called the Softbank Vision Fund, announced last October

Source: kurzweilai.net

Trump And Russia: Just Pointing Out The Obvious — Capitalist Exploits

Chairman Trump may well be a child in a man’s body – erratic, lacking in finesse, as articulate as a gangsta rapper, contradictory, and missing the cognitive functions allowing one to think before acting. But.. But… he does seem smart enough to have thought a little about Russia. Thought alone is a welcome surprise from Washington.

The establishment for their part are fuming!

First their rice bowls are at risk, and to top it off they’re now publicly mocked. To egomaniacs this is worse than acne to a prom queen. As I mentioned a couple weeks back the mockery has come thick and fast:

CNBC’s John Hardwood decided to conduct a Twitter poll to see who the American people trusted when it came to the DNC hacks. Did they believe Wikileaks, who deny Russian involvement, or do they believe the intelligence community who has blamed Russia despite ZERO hard evidence being shown to the public?

The results were shocking and it stunned the media elite!

 

The absurdity over Russia has turned into a social meme. Few buy the narrative and those that do increasingly find mainstream thinking to be questioned.

Source: Capitalist Exploits

Don’t Ruin A Chance for Tax Reform with “Border Adjustments”

Don’t Ruin A Chance for Tax Reform with “Border Adjustments”

As part of an otherwise very good tax reform plan, House Republicans have proposed to modify the corporate income tax so that it becomes a “destination-based cash-flow tax.”

For those not familiar with wonky inside-the-beltway tax terminology, there are three main things to understand about this proposal.

  • First, the tax rate on business would drop from 35 percent to 20 percent. This is unambiguously positive.
  • Second, it would replace depreciation with expensing, which is a very desirable change that would eliminate a very counter-productive tax on new investment outlays. This is basically what makes the plan a “cash-flow” tax.
  • Third, any income generated by exports would be exempt from tax but the 20-percent tax would be imposed on all imports. These “border-adjustable” provisions are what makes the plan a “destination-based” tax.

I’m a big fan of the first two provisions, but I’m very hostile to the third item.

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Repealing Obamacare Is Not Enough

American health care is not very effective in curing diseases. The National Center for Health Statistics projects over 1.6 million new cancer cases and almost 600,000 cancer deaths for 2016. Among those who suffer heart attacks, fewer than 50% are alive five years later.

Republicans do not want to repeal the regulations that make healthcare expensive and ineffective.

Medical treatment is so expensive that people need insurance to survive financial catastrophe in case they become ill or get hurt. Even middle class folks who need extensive medical care cannot begin to pay the costs. Those facts supported demand for Obamacare, the halfway point on the road to socialized medicine.

Republicans argue that American medicine was the finest in the world, with only minor problems, until it was ruined by Obamacare. But American medicine has been plagued with extraordinarily high costs and ineffective treatments for many years.

According to Forbes.com, in the Commonwealth Fund’s 2014 healthcare survey of the eleven wealthiest countries, the USA came in last.

Republicans campaigned to repeal Obamacare. But they waffle about its replacement, because they sense they have no answers to the problems that predated the disastrous Affordable Care Act. Republicans want medicine to be inexpensive and effective, but they do not want to repeal the morass of regulations that make it expensive and ineffective.

A Brief History of Medical Regulations

After the Civil War, there were virtually no regulations of medicine in the United States. People would choose their doctor and treatment, and doctors would thrive or languish according to the exigencies of the market. Profit-seeking medical schools flourished and graduated many practitioners.

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The Blockchain and Us: Interview with Caitlin Long, Symbiont – YouTube

This type of technology will revolutionalize the way the world works, and what money is.

The more competition, the better, the more secure your funds will be. The market (now able to react at the speed of light) will find the value as long as no one owns a monopoly on what people want to use.

Germans arming themselves with illegal guns and grenades

I weep for Germany and its unarmed citizens.

However, there is a bright side, the market (even if it’s black) is working just fine. It seems that some enterprising individuals were able to start an online business, find the demand, ship products, and shut down their operations quite successfully.

With the advent of the distributed internet (Maidsafe) cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Safecoin, etc.,) 3-D printing (plastics, metals, and ceramics), and online marketplaces such as OpenBazaar, I suspect you will see many more people opting for personal security.

Various packages were available to customers, ranging from €7.99 to €799, and includes guns, grenades and ammunition.Professionals, including doctors, were getting the deadly weapons delivered to their workplaces, according to Sued Deutsche.

Source: Daily Mail Online

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