Octavo Dia

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Competitive Healthcare


When you introduce a species into a wide-open niche, its population and diversity expands wildly. Once the niche is full, natural selection begins to take its toll, the population stabilizes into a cycle with its resources and much of the diversity is trimmed off.

In America's healthcare system today, we have a wide open niche. Our system is designed to keep pumping more and more money into it, so the inhabitants of that niche expand vociferously and diversify greatly. There is no population pressure. Other than introducing predators to the healthcare system (which would be a fun experiment), we can generate greater healthcare efficiency simply by closing the niche. The inefficiency providers will go out of business and things will be standardized. In effect, to pay less for healthcare, we need to pay less for healthcare. Make them fight for the money rather than dumping it on them.

Focused Stimulus

Much like the adherents of Communism, the adherents of Keynesianism insist that their policies would work if only this or that would happen, e.g., if only we had had a $1.5 trillion stimulus! Well I don't care what your theory predicts should happen "if only..." Looking at the waves of austerity rolling around the world, I'd say that opinion is pretty much shared by the world's electorates. People balk at a price sufficient to pull an entire economy out of the doldrums.

What the Keynesians should do instead is a focused stimulus. Instead of trying to pull an entire economy of the mire, pick a region and stimulate the heck out of that. Once that region is on solid ground, switch to the next region. The economic growth in the first region will help pull the second region up. Then on to the third and so on.

One caveat I would add to this is that you should stimulate the healthiest regions first. Since every victory makes the next one easier, you should focus on racking up easy victories. People won't like this at all. It doesn't make sense, for example, to stimulate Texas when there's so much more suffering in Michigan. It would take a good bit of explanation to get people to go along with this, but compared to the eye-watering figures for the nation as a whole, I think it's more likely to pass.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Did the Media Create the Tea Party?

If you come across an argument that is contrary to your beliefs, but it is not persuasive enough to make you change your mind, that argument actually strengthens your beliefs. It's analogous to a weakened virus vaccine--since it's not enough to kill you, it makes you more resistant to the real deal.

From the media I read, I'm strongly exposed to the left wing perspective, but remain right wing. The "arguments" presented in the media are insufficiently persuasive, so they are instead reinforcing my beliefs. Moving from the specific to the general, if this is happening to me, it's happening to the population at large. The "liberal bias" of the media is reinforcing, dare I say radicalizing, the right wing.

Therefore, the media's liberal bias created the Tea Party.