Posted tagged ‘Obamacare’

New Gov. Healthcare Regulations Will Not Cure The Results Of Previous Gov. Regulations

May 16, 2017

Politicians and bureaucrats are manipulated the masses into believing our healthcare costs can magically be lowered by bureaucratic edicts backed by the force of government. But our political betters fail to mention the high costs of today’s healthcare is a result of previous edicts by politicians and bureaucrats.

The reason we have been so easily manipulated is because, “ We’re All Born In The Middle Of The Story” (click here). Most people think history started the day they were born. They give little thought, or have no understanding of how the world that existed the day they were born came to exist as it did. Where we are today is the result of interventionist decisions made in the distant and recent past by individuals in government which affected previous decisions made voluntarily by individuals in what we can safely call our hampered (free) market system.

GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION INTO HEALTHCARE

How did we arrive at our current “healthcare crisis”? This article by Mike Holly titled How Government Regulations Made Healthcare So Expensive, gives a brief history of how political and bureaucratic intervention, backed by the force of government, has led to our current healthcare mess.

Government intervention, starting in the early 1900’s, has worked to restrict the supply of and increase the demand for healthcare. The result of restricting supply and increasing demand is higher prices. Since the previous interventions of politicians and bureaucrats have increased the cost, the present politicians and bureaucrats are trying to shift the costs to the already insured and to the taxpayers.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

“In 1910, the physician oligopoly was started during the Republican administration of William Taft after the American Medical Association lobbied the states to strengthen the regulation of medical licensure and allow their state AMA offices to oversee the closure or merger of nearly half of medical schools and also the reduction of class sizes. The states have been subsidizing the education of the number of doctors recommended by the AMA.”

  • “In 1925, prescription drug monopolies begun after the federal government led by Republican President Calvin Coolidge started allowing the patenting of drugs. (Drug monopolies have also been promoted by government research and development subsidies targeted to favored pharmaceutical companies.)”
  • “In 1945, buyer monopolization begun after the McCarran-Ferguson Act led by the Roosevelt Administration exempted the business of medical insurance from most federal regulation, including antitrust laws. (States have also more recently contributed to the monopolization by requiring health care plans to meet standards for coverage.)”
  • “In 1946, institutional provider monopolization begun after favored hospitals received federal subsidies (matching grants and loans) provided under the Hospital Survey and Construction Act passed during the Truman Administration. (States have also been exempting non-profit hospitals from antitrust laws.)”
  • “In 1951, employers started to become the dominant third-party insurance buyer during the Truman Administration after the Internal Revenue Service declared group premiums tax-deductible.”
  • “In 1965, nationalization was started with a government buyer monopoly after the Johnson Administration led passage of Medicare and Medicaid which provided health insurance for the elderly and poor, respectively.”
  • “In 1972, institutional provider monopolization was strengthened after the Nixon Administration started restricting the supply of hospitals by requiring federal certificate-of-need for the construction of medical facilities.”
  • “In 1974, buyer monopolization was strengthened during the Nixon Administration after the Employee Retirement Income Security Act exempted employee health benefit plans offered by large employers (e.g., HMOs) from state regulations and lawsuits (e.g., brought by people denied coverage).”
  • “In 1984, prescription drug monopolies were strengthened during the Reagan Administration after the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act permitted the extension of patents beyond 20 years. (The government has also allowed pharmaceuticals companies to bribe physicians to prescribe more expensive drugs.)”
  • “In 2003, prescription drug monopolies were strengthened during the Bush Administration after the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act provided subsidies to the elderly for drugs.”
  • “In 2014, nationalization will be strengthened after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (“Obamacare”) provided mandates, subsidies and insurance exchanges, and the expansion of Medicaid.”

“The history of medical cost inflation and government interference in health care markets appears to support the hypothesis that prices were set by the laws of supply and demand before 1980 and perhaps 1990. Even the degree of monopolization and nationalization promoted by politicians before 1965 was not enough to cause significant cost inflation and spending increases (Figure 2) until demands created by Medicare and Medicaid outstripped the restricted supply of physicians and hospitals.”

WHAT HAPPENS NOW?

Can we get back to a free market healthcare system, or are we going to end up with a government-run single payer system? The passage of time means there will always be change, so no one can predict where this ends because nothing is ever final. We had a free market healthcare system at one point in time. But eventually politicians and bureaucrats granted monopoly status to doctor licensing boards, medical schools, drug companies, and insurance companies, on the one hand, and subsidized the use of healthcare on the other. The incremental change over time was hardly noticeable. But decades later we are close to a government-run wingle payer healthcare system.

Now that “One-Third Of Americans Are On Government Healthcare” (click here), it will be difficult to get rid of this “entitlement”. We’ve already heard the Democrats talking about how all the people who have health insurance because of Obamacare, will lose it under the Republican replace bill. They neglect to tell you about how the increased premiums of the already insured, plus taxpayer subsidies are paying for it (That which is seen and that which is not seen – Bastiat).

If you add the entitlement of government granted monopoly positions in the supply of healthcare we can see that moving away from government central planning of healthcare and toward a free market in healthcare will be difficult. Change will happen either incrementally or categorically.

The American Healthcare Act (click here to see what is in the bill), passed by the Republican controlled house, is an attempt to incrementally repeal and replace Obamacare. It is not a very good attempt. Republican leaders can only muster enough courage to try incremental change at this point. The Republican bill is not enough to change the direction on the road we are traveling.

I think categorical change is the only thing that will turn us around and get us headed in the other direction. The inevitable collapse of our present healthcare system will bring about the opportunity for this categorical change back toward a free market healthcare system. The scary part about a collapse, is it also presents the opportunity for central planners to attempt the implementation of a government-run single payer healthcare system. How do we make sure a free market, and not a government run system, will rise from the ashes of a healthcare collapse?

PEOPLE HAVE TO BE EDUCATED ABOUT THE WHOLE STORY

Being born in the middle of the story doesn’t mean we have to be ignorant about the whole story. The election of Trump, or the rejection of the status quo embodied by Hillary, shows people instinctively know something is wrong with our healthcare system. Trump ran on the repeal and replacement of Obamacare. The fact that people instinctively know something is wrong provides an opportunity to help them understand how government regulations have led to our current healthcare system. How our current healthcare system is not a free market system. How more regulations are not the solution. How the best answer to our failing healthcare system is to allow free market solutions, which means getting rid of existing government healthcare regulations.

Growing numbers of people know something is wrong. They have to understand how we arrived at this point in time. Because when they are faced with the categorical decision between single payer or free market they won’t be fooled by political demagoguery.

Here are some articles about free market solutions for healthcare.

The Bill To Permanently Fix Healthcare For All. at market-ticker-.org

A Four Step Healthcare Solution. at mises.org.

The Impossible Healthcare Solution: Go Back To Cash. at oftwominds.org.

 

Related ArticleHealthcare: Market Solutions vs. Bureaucratic Decrees, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleHow Would Government Run Healthcare Work? Look At The VA. at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleLet’s Look At Government Run Healthcare, at austrianaddict.com.

How Would Government Run Single Payer Healthcare Work? Look At The VA.

April 19, 2017

The VA is a government-run single payer healthcare system. It is a disaster. Obamacare is the last step before you get to a government-run single payer system. Here is a video from Prager University (here) which outlines the failure of our government-run single payer system known as the VA. Obamacare is going to suffer the same failure.

OUR CHOICES ARE?

The only way to lower the cost of healthcare is to repeal all 2500 pages of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). If we truly want the lowest possible costs, we should repeal every piece of legislation related to healthcare that has been passed in the last 100 years. A majority of people believe something as complex as our healthcare system has to be managed or regulated from the top down by experts (government experts). They can’t fathom a complex order created spontaneously from bottom up decisions made by individual consumers and producers (a market). The difficulty in understanding an abstract concept like spontaneous order, allows politicians and bureaucrats to pass top down concrete planning. Seeing a plan spelled out, no matter how complex, is easier to believe than someone not being able to show what a spontaneous complex market order would look like.

2014 VA SCANDAL

Remember the 2014 VA scandal? We wrote about what was taking place in VA hospitals in this article titled Incentives Matter (here). Here is an excerpt from the 2014 article: “The incentives and constraints transmitted through the market, are totally different from the incentives and constraints transmitted to bureaucracies. In the market the incentive is to provide what the consumer wants. A bureaucracy is a monopoly on a particular service, which means the person using the service is an annoyance rather than someone who has to be pleased……Firing Eric Shinseki and replacing him with a better “angel” won’t solve the problem, {if the problem is making sure the veterans are being taken care of}, because the incentive structure will remain the same.

INDIVIDUAL DECISIONS vs. GOVERNMENT SOLUTIONS

The Republicans failed repeal and replace bill was not much different from Obamacare. The truth is Republicans like the idea of government-run healthcare. They just like their version better than the Democrats version. Only decisions by consumers and producers of healthcare, made free of government coercion, will lower costs.

The 30 or so congressman in the Freedom Caucus are the only members of the House who want to get rid of government-run healthcare. All Democrats want Obamacare to stay as written. All Republicans, except the 30 in the Freedom Caucus, want Obamacare lite. The congressmen in the freedom caucus are all that stands between a permanent government-run single payer system and the possibility of a free market healthcare system.

Related ArticleHealthcare: Market Solutions vs. Government Decrees, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleSpontaneous Order = Free Market, at austrianaddict.com.

Healthcare: Market Solutions vs. Bureaucratic Decrees

March 28, 2017

Modern thin line design concept for HEALTHCARE website banner. Vector illustration concept for healthcare diagnosis and treatment.

Our current battle over healthcare is being debated from a false premise. Most people have bought into the lie that healthcare is or should be a right. It isn’t a right as understood by most people. The right to keep and bare arms doesn’t mean someone else is obligated to supply a gun. The right to free speech  doesn’t mean someone else is obligated to supply a microphone, a stage and an audience. But for some reason we think a right to healthcare means someone is obligated to provide it.

The truth is healthcare is an economic good or service produced by individuals. These individuals own what they produce. It is their property. No one has a right to what someone else produces.

How can you gain possession of what someone else owns? 1) You can produce something they want and exchange it for what they have produced. 2) They may give it to you as a gift. 3) You can steal it. 4) You can have someone steal another persons production, exchange it for what you want, and have them give it to you indirectly. 5) You can have someone else steal it and give it to you directly.

Government intervention into the healthcare market, up to and including Obamacare, has been an incremental march away from the first two and toward the last two. Everyone knows that direct theft of another person’s property is unethical and immoral because it is illegal. But when we are one or two steps removed from the direct theft, for some reason we think it’s ethical and moral because government says it’s legal.

hand writing economic demand - supply graph on chalkboard

ECONOMIC REALITY OF HEALTHCARE

Healthcare is an economic good ruled by the laws of economics. Scarcity, subjective value, supply and demand are a few laws we need to look at in order to understand why government central planning isn’t the right process to ration the scarce good we call healthcare.

SCARCITY: Healthcare has to be produced. It is a scarce good. It isn’t like the air we breathe. Air doesn’t have to be produced by anyone. The abundant supply of air exists naturally. You might say the air I put in my tires Isn’t free. The air you put in your tires is first compressed and then forced into your tires. Compressed air has to be produced, therefore it is an economic good and not free like the air you breathe.

SUBJECTIVE VALUE: Everyone values healthcare differently. There is no objective value that can be placed on healthcare. The value for healthcare is subjective depending on each individual’s needs and wants. Both the demand for and the supply of healthcare is valued subjectively.

SUPPLY AND DEMAND: Since healthcare is scarce and valued subjectively, the law of supply and demand comes into play coordinating its production and consumption. The price reflects subjective valuations by individuals related to supply and demand. The subjective valuations at the existing price drives supply and demand to a new coordinating price.

The law of supply and demand states that more is demanded at a lower price than a higher price and more is supplied at higher price than a lower price. Price changes are constantly re-coordinating supply and demand according to the subjective valuations of individuals.

The supply of healthcare is limited by the scarcity of the resources, labor, capital and time needed to produce it. It is also limited by the demand for healthcare. If the demand for healthcare increases against a fixed supply, the price will go up in order to ration the scarce resource. As the price rises more resources, labor, capital, and time will be attracted to producing healthcare. As the supply increases to meet the higher demand a point will be reached where the price will stabilize and then decrease as supply outpaces demand.

The changing price sends information to consumers and producers about the scarcity of healthcare. These price changes are figured into the subjective valuations of how much each consumer will demand and how much each producer will supply.

Free market prices are the most efficient way to ration healthcare in a world of scarcity and subjective value.

government regulations, magnifier, pencil

GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION INTO HEALTHCARE

Government mandated healthcare subsidies, taxes and regulations distort the prices that would normally exist in a free market. Consumers demands and producers supplies are going to change according to these distorted prices. A mismatch of the supply of and demand for these scarce resources is brought about by government intervention.

What did you think was going to happen when more consumers were brought into the market by the Obamacare individual mandate? Subsidies also increase demand. Prices were guaranteed to rise as demand was artificially increased.

What happens when prices for healthcare services paid by Medicare and Medicaid are fixed below what they would be in a free market? The supply of health care would decrease at these lower prices.

Obamacare created more demand and at the same time created the incentive to supply less. What happens to the price when more is demanded and less is supplied? Even though our politicians told us costs would go down under The Affordable Care Act, anyone who understood basic economics could have predicted which way the price would go. And that isn’t even including paying for the government bureaucracy needed to implement the ACA.

NOW WHAT?

The failure of the Republican repeal and replace bill is a good thing. The bill was just an exchange of a set of not quite as bad new government regulations for the existing bad government regulations. Their is only one way to reduce the cost of healthcare. Get rid of government subsidies, taxes and regulations. Unfortunately all Democrats and a majority of Republicans don’t understand basic economics.

Quoting Ludwig von Mises – “Economic history is a long record of Government policies that failed because they were designed with a bold disregard for the laws of economics.

Republicans are also scared of political fall out when they get rid of healthcare entitlements. The Democrats and their accomplices in the main stream media will trot out all the sob stories of people whose ‘access’ to healthcare was taken away. Of course the MSM didn’t tell the stories of all the people who had their healthcare costs sky rocket under the ACA. These rising premiums paid for the increased costs and subsidies caused by government intervention.

Millions of families got crushed by the higher cost of healthcare. These were small businessmen and people who worked for small businesses in the more rural counties in America. These are the same people who were barely able to stay afloat when the economy crashed in 08. They cut their discretionary spending to the bone. Many had to use their savings and retirement accounts to make it through the recession.

When the Affordable Care Act was implemented after 2013 there was no spending left to cut to pay for the higher cost of healthcare. Wives had to go back to work just for the insurance. Men took second jobs for the same reason. These are the people in the swing states of Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, Iowa, and the Democrat States of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania who voted for Trump. He was their only hope. They literally couldn’t afford to vote for Hilary.

Fortunately market alternatives to Obamacare are starting to appear around the country.

Read Here- Direct Primary Care, A No-Insurance Model.

Read Here – Florida West Virginia Lawmakers Take Interest In Insurance Free Approach.

Read Here – Atlas MD, Wichita’s Premiere Cash-Only Clinic.

As the price of Obamacare goes higher the demand for Obamacare will decrease. This higher price will also bring about lower cost market alternatives to the Government run system. These alternatives will be outside of the system. We can call these free market alternatives as long as Government doesn’t try to shut them down with regulations. If they do try to shut them down they will then become black market alternatives (the new free market).

Fracking is an example of a market alternative to the OPEC cartel and our Governments regulations on drilling off shore and on public land. When the price of oil rose to above $110 dollars a barrel it became affordable for hydraulic fracturing to take off on private land. Now that it is profitable to frack at $45 a barrel the OPEC cartel has lost its monopoly power. The high price of $110 was what eventually brought the price of oil down. Healthcare will be no different. The market will find an alternative as the price goes higher.

Read Here – Trumpcare Defeat Could Be A Small But Important Victory For Healthcare Freedom.

Read Here – Ryancare Is Failing -What Should Happen Next?

Read Here – Forget Obamacare, Ryancare, And Any Future Reformcare – The Healthcare System Is Completely Broken.

Economic reality will end Obamacare. Let’s hope the Government doesn’t end the market alternatives that have started to take root.

 

Must Reads For The Week 3/11/17

March 12, 2017

ECONOMIC STUFF

Donald Trump and Peter Navarro Suffer From ‘Trade Deficit Disorder‘, by Mark J. Perry, at carpediemblog. Here is an excerpt form the article: “In his speech and op-ed, Navarro laid out Team Trump’s trade agenda that involves expanding US exports, reducing imports, and thereby reducing America’s merchandise trade deficit and supposedly therefore increasing our nation’s economic growth. Unfortunately, that’s a pure mercantilist trade agenda, which is an approach to trade that has been discredited now for several hundred years.

How Did Peter Navarro Ever Get A Ph.D In Economics From Harvard? economicpolicyjournal.com. Regular people being ignorant about economics is one thing. But having a Ph.D in economics and being economically ignorant is dangerous.

What Is Laissez-Faire? by Jeffery Tucker, at mises.ca. It simply means ‘Let it be’. A majority of people believe that complex order comes from top down planning by leaders possessing authority. It is inconceivable to them that unplanned order arises when people are allowed to manage their own lives and interact with others. Language is an example of complex spontaneous order. The rules of English were not written by someone and everyone started to follow them. People communicated with people and over time the ‘rules’ were established after discernible patterns (unwritten rules) were recognized. Attempts by Government central planners to control every aspect of society leads to chaos and conflict. Laissez-Faire. Please!

Repeal And Replace Needn’t Be Complicated, by Hunter Lewis, at mises.org. Do you use the term “healthcare system” or “healthcare market” when talking about ‘healthcare’. Most people talk about our “healthcare system”.  This shows we think of healthcare as a centrally planned system. The cost will never go down unless we see healthcare as an economic good rationed by prices in a market. Obamacare was 2500 pages of rules and regulations designed to ‘fix’ what was left of a healthcare market already encumbered by mountains of government regulations. The only ‘fix’ to our current “healthcare system” is to allow it to become a healthcare market. LAISSEZ-FAIRE! Get rid of all government regulations and a complex healthcare order will almost magically form itself. It won’t be a perfect order (nothing man does is perfect). But it will be the best that can possibly exist in a world of scarce resources and subjective value.

High Prices Don’t Cause Economic Bubbles, by Frank Shostak, at mises.org. When central banks increase the money supply (counterfeit money), scarce resources are misallocated to activities that would have never come into existence under normal market conditions. The 08 bubble was caused by the Fed electronically printing counterfeit money. It was not allowed to liquidate. More electronically printed counterfeit money was created to stop the correction. This counterfeit money has and is creating our present financial bubble. Excerpt from the article: “The emergence of a bubble or a monetary balloon need not be always associated with rising prices – for instance, if the rate of growth of goods corresponds to the rate of growth of the money supply then no change in prices will take place……what matters is not whether the emergence of a bubble is associated with price rises but rather with the fact that the emergence of a bubble gives rise to the emergence of non-productive activities that divert real wealth from wealth generators. The expansion of the money supply, or a monetary balloon, in similarity to a counterfeiter, enables the diversion of real wealth from wealth generating activities to non-productive activities.”

The Fed’s Dependence On The Consumer Will Backfire, by C. Jay Engel, at mises.org. Production is the creation of wealth and consumption is the destruction of wealth. Spending is consumption. Consumption is the destruction of what has been produced. Spending doesn’t grow an economy. We can only spend out of our own production. What we produce allows us to spend. Consumption has to lag behind production for an economy to grow. When consumption is increased by debt and money printing, we start a process where consumption is out pacing production. We start to eat our seed corn so to speak. Artificially increasing spending is a quick shot of adrenaline.  But it has no staying power.

 

CARTOONS

Must Reads For The Week 8/15/15

August 14, 2015

The pen is mightier than the sword...

 The pen is mightier than the sword… (Photo credit: mbshane)

Fed Finally Figures Out Soaring Student Debt Is Reason For Exploding College Costs, at zerohedge.com. The Fed has figured out that when money, from debt and money printing, is injected into a particular area of the economy, it raises the price (creates a bubble). Does this revelation hold true for all of the Feds printed money that has gone into the stock market?

The Doctor Won’t See You Now, at Forbes.com.  The laws of economics will be strictly obeyed.  The money quote from the article, “Many exchange policies limit patients’ choices of doctors and hospitals in order to keep premiums down in the face of Obamacare’s intrusive regulations and costly mandates.”  Who could have predicted that?

Navajo Nation Vows To Hold EPA Accountable, at zerohedge.com.  The EPA is responsible for releasing 1 Million, 3 Million gallons of toxic waste water into Colorado’s Animus River.  Like all Government agencies they are currently blaming the contractor for the accident.  Tough luck for New Mexico and Utah who are downstream from the toxic release.  I haven’t heard a peep from the media or environmental groups about this.  I guess it’s neither illegal nor a big deal if the government does it.  I wish the Navajo nation good luck in any lawsuit.  It’s great to be the tyrant, king!

Did EPA Intentionally Poison Animus River To Secure SuperFund Money?, at zerohedge.com.  It appears that a retired geologist predicted that the EPA would foul the Animus River a week before it actually occurred.  The implications of his accusations are chilling.  Never let a good crisis go to waste?

The Battle Intensifies: Police Raid Uber’s Hong Kong Office, at economicpolicyjournal.com.  Car Wars! Return of the Jitneys continues.  At this point, a rational government would realize they can’t put the genie back in the bottle.  Protecting special interests always trumps rationality but it can’t defeat the basic laws of economics.

Going Breadless in Venezuela, at economicpolicyjournal.com.  Socialism and price controls rear their ugly head again as bread shortages are the new norm in Venezuela.  Weren’t there food riots last week?  Don’t they have a toilet paper shortage as well?  Hey, let them eat cake!  Sorry, that’s reserved for the rulers.

Minimum Wage Effect?, at Carpe Diem Blog.  January to June job losses for Seattle area restaurants reaches 1300.  While there are many reasons for declining employment, artificially raising the price of labor means you will have less of it.  Businesses must make adjustments to increased costs.  My guess is that one unintended consequence will be less tipping for servers.

China’s Currency Policy: Devastating Manipulation or a Form of Generous Foreign Aid to Americans?, at Carpe Diem Blog.  This is a very different take on China’s recent efforts to devalue their currency.  Government intervention in currency whether it is printing counterfeit money, zero point interest rates, fractional reserve banking, or devaluing will always have unforeseen and negative consequences.  As for devaluing currency, how do you jump off a cliff halfway?

The Disturbing Messages In Police Recruiting Videos, at The Washington Post.  You don’t have to watch all the videos to get the point.  Why would you stress violent confrontation in your recruiting videos?  Even the Marine Corps doesn’t do that and they have the best military recruiting videos bar none.  If it is part of the recruiting tactics then it is likely the emphasis of their training.  When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  Make sure you check out the last recruiting video by the Decatur Alabama police.  Quite the difference!

Serfdom USA!, at economicpolicyjournal.com.  Let’s end the week with some laughs.  This is for all of the true Austrian Economics Addicts out there.

 

Must Reads For The Week 5/9/15

May 8, 2015
The pen is mightier than the sword...

 The pen is mightier than the sword… (Photo credit: mbshane)

ECONOMIC LESSONS ABOUT PRICE FLOORS AND CEILINGS

NYC Mayor: Lets Bomb New York City With Rent Controls, at economicpolicyjournal.com. Rent control is a price ceiling. When the price of rent is not allowed to go above what the price would be under normal market conditions, an artificial shortage is created. Less is supplied at a lower price than a higher price, and more is demanded at the lower price than a higher price, creating a shortage of housing and a surplus of renters. It’s simple supply and demand.

Robert Reich: Economic Malpractice On The Minimum Wage, by Mark J. Perry, at carpediemblog. A minimum wage law is a price floor that a wage can’t go below. Watch the difference between the explanation about the minimum wage from Robert Reich, and the explanation by the Kahn Academy. Robert Reich is trying to fool people who are economically ignorant. When a wage is set at a rate higher than what that labor produces, the demand for that labor will decrease, creating unemployment. Less labor will be demanded at a higher rate than a lower rate, and more labor will be supplied at a higher rate than a lower rate, creating a surplus of labor or a job shortage.

Meet The Hotel Robot That Will Battle Minimum Wage Hikes, at economicpolicyjournal.com. When a wage is set higher than what the labor produces, the labor will go away. Automation is one way this will happen. Robert Reich forgot to mention this as well as some other salient points.

Free market prices coordinate supply of and demand for scarce goods and services. Government price controls, like minimum wage laws and rent control laws, are interventions that are factored into the economic law of supply and demand. Government force can’t do away with the economic reality of scarcity, it can only distort the coordination process.

MORE GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION

Ripple Labs Faces Fines From FinCEN, at payments.com. Ripple Labs is the first virtual currency exchanger to be fined by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The Government wants to keep its monopoly on money creation via the Federal Reserve, by making virtual currency providers comply with anti-money laundering laws. This is curious because the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve are running the biggest money laundering operation in the history of the world.

Obamacare Killer? Global Spending On Cancer Drugs Surges To $100 Billion, at economicpolicyjournal.com. Obamacare has taken over decision-making from what was left of a free market system in the healthcare system. Coordination of supply and demand through prices barely exists. Lobbying Government for protection and favors through Government decision-making is no way to run an industry, just ask the former USSR.

The Mysterious Source Of Surging Demand For GM Cars, Revealed, at zerohedge.com. The first trick to increase sales was channel stuffing. The second was subprime car loans. Now the Government has increased its purchases from Government Motors. Maybe it does pay to get into bed with the Government! They bailed GM out. They subsidised purchases of the Chevy Volt. Now they are buying cars, (for whom, I don’t know).

Government Using Subprime Mortgages To Pump Housing Recovery, Tax Payer Will Pay Again, at zerohedge.com. This didn’t end well last time, did it?

MISCELLANEOUS

Meet Three Kids Alive Today Thanks To 3D Printing, by Ashley Welch, at cbsnews.com. We are only scratching the surface of what can be done with 3D printing.

Creative Destruction: Newspaper Ad Revenue Continues Free Fall, by Mark J. Perry, at carpediemblog. The market (decisions by individuals), picks the most productive goods and services. I predict the print media will, at some point, ask for a Government bailout.

CNN Anchor, Chris Cuomo, Ignorant About The Constitution And Hate Speech, by Robby Soave, at reason.com. And Chris Cuomo has a law degree from Fordham University? He must have missed the class when they talked about the first amendment!

Hello Al Gore: Low Sun Spot Cycle Could Mean Another ‘Little Ice Age’, by Chriss Street, at americanthinker.com. Who would have ever thought that the sun is the most important factor when it comes to the earths temperature.

CARTOONS THAT MAKE YOU THINK

https://i1.wp.com/www.jewishworldreview.com/toons/horsey/horsey050115.jpg

https://i0.wp.com/media.cagle.com/205/2015/04/30/163369_600.jpg

https://i0.wp.com/i.imgur.com/G3PgdMW.jpg