Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tuesday Libertarian Links

An interesting take on medical malpractice (although I'm not sure it's one I completely agree with): "As explained in our Health Affairs study and at a previous blog post, the malpractice system distorts the incentives of doctors and hospitals by encouraging them to make the malpractice events as rare as possible, even if they increase the number of other adverse events. For example, doctors may order more blood tests and other procedures in order to reduce the risk of a malpractice lawsuit, even though these procedures may put patients at additional risk."

More health care: "We estimate the annual social cost of these adverse medical events based on what people are willing to pay to avoid such risks in non–health care settings. That social cost ranges from $393 billion to $958 billion, amounts equivalent to 18 percent and 45 percent of total US health care spending in 2006."
Apple police state: Your iPhone has been secretly tracking and recording everywhere you go for the past several years. Read that again. Your iPhone has been secretly tracking and recording everywhere you go for the past several years. That’s right. Apple built this feature into your iPhone and hid it from you. By doing so, Apple made it possible for anyone who gets ahold of your iPhone or Mac (or any other device synced with either) to figure out exactly where you were when.

Monsanto to do its own environmental impact study for USDA: "To satisfy the legal system’s pesky demand for environmental impact studies of novel GMO crops, the USDA has settled upon a brilliant solution: let the GMO industry conduct its own environmental impact studies, or pay other researchers to."

Israeli socialism: "Its citizens receive free medical care and education through university level.  It has received generous trade and co-production concessions from Congress that some claim amount to $10 billion a year in aggregate national income while its own markets are difficult for US companies to penetrate."

Bush tax cuts increased federal revenues? (a must-read)

History of the debt ceiling: "For the two subsequent decades, Congress set separate limits for different types and maturities of debt. But in 1939, it stopped doing that, and created the aggregate limit on Treasury borrowing. Votes to raise the federal debt ceiling have been controversial, and occasionally incomprehensible, ever since.”"

Fuel subsidies to paper companies?: "The heart of the issue is the tax treatment of a substance called ‘black liquor,’ a byproduct of the wood-pulping process at paper mills. The companies have burned black liquor to generate power since the 1930s. It was not the intent of Congress to reward that behavior, but the industry and its accountants persuaded the Internal Revenue Service to allow black liquor to count as an alternative fuel in 2009. Under that program, the paper industry received more federal money than almost any industry outside the auto sector.”"

Government pay: "The latest example is an article today reporting that there are "at least 17,828 federal employees whose annualized salaries totaled $180,000 or more in September 2010." More: "their ranks soared from the 805 with annualized salaries of $180,000 or more in 2005.""

NPR lies on taxes:  "NPR doesn't mention the sentences of the Varner study that say this: "New Jersey experienced net out-migration of millionaires in every year from 2000 to 2007, averaging a net outflow of 459 per year, or 1.2 percent of the state's millionaires."

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