Posted tagged ‘Third Party Pays’

Must Reads For The Week 8/18/19

August 21, 2019

“The coordination of men’s activities through central planning or through voluntary cooperation are roads going in very different directions, the first to serfdom and poverty, the second to freedom and plenty.” – F. A. Hayek

 

THE GUN ISSUE

The Dangerous Urge To Do Something, by Judge Andrew Napolitano, at townhall.com.        Wanting the government to “do something” after a tragic situation, almost always leads to a “ready, fire, aim” government solution.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

“The government’s job is to preserve personal liberty. Does it do its job when it weakens personal liberty instead? Stated differently, how does confiscating weapons from the law-abiding conceivably reduce their access to madmen? When did madmen begin obeying gun laws?”

“The concept of a “red flag” law — which permits the confiscation of lawfully owned weapons from a person because of what the person might do — violates both the presumption of innocence and the due process requirement of proof of criminal behavior before liberty can be infringed.

The Republican proposal lowers the standard of proof to a preponderance of the evidence — “a more likely than not” standard. That was done because it is impossible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an event might happen. This is exactly why the might happen standard is unconstitutional and alien to our jurisprudence.

Red Flag Laws & Mass Shootings: Wrong Solution, by Thomas Massie and John Lott, nationalreview.com.       Remember the false accusations brought against Brett Kavanaugh? What about the false Trump Russia collusion accusations? When an issue becomes politicized, the rule of law goes out the window and the only rule is, win by any means necessary.

Since nothing is more politicized than your Second Amendment right to own arms in order to protect yourself against tyrannical government (not your right to hunt); Do you want the give anyone on the anti-gun left the power to take away your arms on a knowingly false accusation? A false accusation they pay no consequence for bringing?

Individuals in government are attempting to take away your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. As well as your Fifth Amendment rights of due process, the presumption of innocence, as well as taking property without compensation.

Does the fact that individuals in government are attempting to violate your rights, constitute tyrannical actions? Our Constitution is what protects the individual from the tyrannical actions that individuals wielding government power wish to place on us. This is the reason for the Second Amendment in the first place. Our founders understood that government will become tyrannical unless its power was constrained. And arming the people is a constraint on tyrants.

Excerpt from the article:

“While Trump emphasized mental health in last week’s speech about the Texas and Ohio shootings, red-flag laws are not specifically about mental illness. Indeed, only one state law even mentions the term. It’s about figuring out who is going to commit a crime (or suicide). This is the realm of science fiction, and is the theme of the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report. At least the Future Crime division in the movie had the help of psychics.”

“Everyone wants to stop mass public shooters. But we haven’t previously punished people on the basis of little more than a hunch, without any specific guidelines in place. Stopping “future crimes” didn’t work in the movies, and it doesn’t work in real life.

Armed Firefighter Stops Gunman At Missouri Walmart, at firefighternation.com.     Did you see this covered by the main stream media? Neither did I. A good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun. When the $#!+ hits the fan, you are the first responder. Cops are second responders. The quicker a good guy with a gun can respond to an active shooter situation, fewer people will get killed or injured. Read (New FBI Data On Active Shooters Shows The Importance Of Armed Citizens, by David French at nationalreview.com.)

SCOTUS Is Considering Hearing This 2A Case…. Dem Senators Aren’t Happy, by Beth Baumann, at townhall.com.      Excerpt from the article:

“The Senators who signed alongside New York City include Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Mazi Hirono (HI), Richard Blumenthal (CT), Dick Durbin (IL) and Kirsten Gillibrand (NY).”

“According to the group, the Supreme Court should not take up this case because the plaintiffs – gun rights advocates – are looking to “thwart gun safety legislation” and have the desire to “expand the Second Amendment.” The other argument they make: the Second Amendment and gun control is a political issue and the Supreme Court is supposed to be impartial, not a legislative body.”

“Democrats can argue that the Court shouldn’t get involved in political issues, but it’s the dumbest argument they can make. Pretty much every single case the Supreme Court hears is a political issue of some sort. There’s a question of Constitutionality that needs to be addressed. If there wasn’t, the Court wouldn’t get involved.”

“Gun control proponents, like these Senators, are backtracking because they’ve realized they put their foot in their mouth. They’ve realized this case is a big loser for them and it can actually harm their cause.”

 

ECON STUFF

The Rise Of Capitalism, by Ludwig von Mises, at mises.org.   Lets let the great von Mises explain. Here is an expert from the aricle:

“The precapitalistic system of production was restrictive. Its historical basis was military conquest. The victorious kings had given the land to their paladins. These aristocrats were lords in the literal meaning of the word, as they did not depend on the patronage of consumers buying or abstaining from buying on a market.”

“On the other hand, they themselves were the main customers of the processing industries, which, under the guild system, were organized on a corporative scheme. This scheme was opposed to innovation. It forbade deviation from the traditional methods of production. The number of people for whom there were jobs even in agriculture or in the arts and crafts was limited.”

“Under capitalism private property of the factors of production is a social function. The entrepreneurs, capitalists, and land owners are mandataries, as it were, of the consumers, and their mandate is revocable. In order to be rich, it is not sufficient to have once saved and accumulated capital. It is necessary to invest it again and again in those lines in which it best fills the wants of the consumers. The market process is a daily repeated plebiscite, and it ejects inevitably from the ranks of profitable people those who do not employ their property according to the orders given by the public. But business, the target of fanatical hatred on the part of all contemporary governments and self-styled intellectuals, acquires and preserves bigness only because it works for the masses. The plants that cater to the luxuries of the few never attain big size.”

“The shortcoming of 19th-century historians and politicians was that they failed to realize that the workers were the main consumers of the products of industry. In their view, the wage earner was a man toiling for the sole benefit of a parasitic leisure class. They labored under the delusion that the factories had impaired the lot of the manual workers. If they had paid any attention to statistics they would easily have discovered the fallaciousness of their opinion. Infant mortality dropped, the average length of life was prolonged, the population multiplied, and the average common man enjoyed amenities of which even the well-to-do of earlier ages did not dream.”

“However, this unprecedented enrichment of the masses was merely a by-product of the Industrial Revolution. Its main achievement was the transfer of economic supremacy from the owners of land to the totality of the population. The common man was no longer a drudge who had to be satisfied with the crumbs that fell from the tables of the rich.”

“There is a second important difference. In the political sphere, there is no means for an individual or a small group of individuals to disobey the will of the majority. But in the intellectual field private property makes rebellion possible.

The Triumph Of Socialism, by Lew Rockwell, at mises.org.    Excerpt from the article:

“A new BBC poll [reported November 2009] finds that only 11 percent of people questioned around the world — and 29,000 people were asked their opinions — think that free-market capitalism is a good thing. The rest believe in more government regulation.”

“That news must lift the heart of every would-be despot the world over. And it comes as something of a shock twenty years after the collapse of socialism in Russia and Eastern Europe revealed what this system had created: backward societies with citizens who lived short and miserable lives. Then there is the China case, a country rescued from bloody barbarism under communism and transformed into a modern and prosperous country by capitalism.”

“What can we learn? Far from not having learned anything, people have largely forgotten the experience and have developed a love for the ancient fairy tale that all things can be fixed through collectivism and central planning.”

“….. as Rothbard has forcefully argued, free-market capitalism serves no more than a symbolic purpose for the Republican Party and for conservatives. Economic liberty is the utopia that they keep promising to bring us, pending the higher priority of blowing up foreign peoples, jailing political dissidents, crushing the left wing on campus, and routing the Democrats.”

“Once all of this is done, they say, then they will get to the instituting of a free-market economic system. Of course, that day never arrives, and it is not supposed to. Capitalism serves the Republicans the way Communism served Stalin: a symbolic distraction to keep you hoping, voting, and coughing up money.”

“All of which leaves true capitalism — a product of the voluntary society and the sum total of all the exchanges and cooperative acts of people all over the world — with few actual intellectual defenders.”

AOC’s Top Aide Admits Green New Deal About The Economy, Not Climate, by Adam Shaw, at foxnews.com.    This is an admission of what we have known for decades. Socialist central planners have been using the environmental movement to push their collectivist ideas on the masses. They are green on the outside and red on the inside.

What Student Loans And Health Care Have In Common, by Nicholas C. Anderson, at mises.org.   When a third party pays there is no true price discovery.

Money Printing Can’t Replace Saving And Production As The Real Engine Of Economic Growth, by Frank Shostak, at mises.org.    Money printing is supposed to stimulate demand which in turn will lead to economic growth. But consumption doesn’t come before production. A specific something has to be produced before that specific something can be consumed. Production is the increase of wealth. Consumption is the destruction of wealth. Money facilitates the exchange of goods. Excerpt from the article: “money is not the means of payment but just the medium of the exchange. Payment is always done by means of goods and services.”

 

OTHER STUFF

You Should Totally Trust Our Elite Institutions …. Not, by Kurt Schlichter, at townhall.com.   Excerpt from the article:

“Basically, the best-case scenario here is that our government is unbelievably incompetent, not a particularly soothing thought. But the alternative is that it is corrupt and criminal in ways we can barely imagine. There’s an even less soothing thought. I can’t wait until these Einsteins take over my health care and are no longer restrained by the citizen veto of the guns we bitter normal people have, so far, wisely clung to.

The Road To Hell Is Paved With Virtue-Signaling, by Charles Hugh Smith, at oftwominds.com.    Excerpt from the article:

“Virtue-signaling goes hand in hand with the only “solution” that’s politically correct: throw a borrowed trillion dollars at the “problem”, dance the humba-humba around the bonfire at midnight and hope that magic will resolve the underlying issues.”

Hence the calls for Medicare for all, Universal Basic Income, and free college for all, all paid with borrowed money, despite the virtuous bleatings that “taxes on the rich/robots” will magically pay for trillions of additional dollars to be squandered on corrupt, self-serving cartels.”

Chinese Social Credit Score Prevents 2.5 Million “Discredited Entities” Buying Plane Tickets, at zerohedge.com. This could never happen here, could it?

(VIDEO) Hong Kong Protesters Sing US Anthem, With US Flags, Against Chinese Tyranny During Airport Occupation, at americanmilitaryews.com.   America is still the beacon of freedom for the rest of the world.

The Dream Team Loses To The Nobodies, by Victor Davis Hanson, at amgreatness.com.    Excerpt from the article:

“… the comical effort to destroy President Trump was a bad replay of the cultural cluelessness of a haughty Hillary Clinton in the last days of the 2016 campaign—the Ivy League prima donna, ensuring her “landslide” to come by futilely campaigning in Georgia and Arizona, fueled by the “analytics” of her whiz kids, while the orange, combed over, and uncouth Trump at her rear played the fox in her blue-wall henhouse. Was it Ivy League smarts to label roughly one-quarter of the country “deplorables” or to go to West Virginia to tell the impoverished they would have no more coal jobs?”

“There is always a civilizational elite of sorts, one based on merit, and it is often divorced from its counterfeit counterpart predicated on aristocracy, credentials, titles, and privilege. Real elites from all walks of life are rewarded for their singular achievement not for their empty reputations and media hype.”

“The last three years have been a painful relearning of that most obvious but forgotten truth that it is what we do rather than who we say we are that truly matters. That the lesson was lost on self-described egalitarians and social justice warriors is the most ironic lesson of all.

Cruz Unloads On The New York Times After Leaked Report Shows They Allegedly Planned To Push Trump-Racism Narrative, by Madison Dibble, at ijr.com.    More proof of main stream media bias. But we’ve known this for years.

Ignorant Liberals Need To Go Visit America, by Kurt Schlichter, at townhall.com.    Excerpt from the article:

“Locked up in their largely child-free urban playgrounds, our garbage elite is utterly unaware of the real America and of real Americans themselves. And it is dangerously unaware of – even actively hostile to – our true history. There are lessons there they need to learn as they continue to bully and provoke the mass of Americans who just wish to be left alone. Anyone who causally suggests confiscating millions of weapons from millions of American patriots and who has not walked through Lexington and Concord is a fool. And, sadly, our blue elite is full of fools.

UK PC Police “Draw The Line” – Ban Cream-Cheese & Car Ads Over ‘Gender Stereotypes‘, at zerohedge.com.   This could never happen here, could it?

El-Erian Admits The Era Of “De-Globalization” Is Here, at zerohedge.com.    Excerpt from the article:

“The U.S. economy is strong; however, the multinationals on Wall Street – invested overseas – are exposed. Thus there’s a disconnect and accompanying market volatility.”

“There is nothing that China and the EU can do to stop the de-globalization process: and efforts to stimulate their economy, more quantitative easing (pumping money) while the global supply chains are being shifted, are futile.”

President Trump has purposefully stalled the process of globalization, and is resetting global supply chains. This is bringing massive amounts of wealth back into the United States.”

Don’t Be Fooled, Omar and Tlaib Maliciously Set Up Israel Ban, by Katie Pavlich, at townhall.com.    These two are always in search of mischief. Especially when it comes to Israel.

Rep. Tlaib Rejects Israel’s New Offer To Visit West Bank, at zerohedge.com. She said she wanted to visit her grandmother. Israel called her bluff. She folded her cards. Israel raked in the chips.

How Important Is Today’s Racial Discrimination, by Walter E. Williams, at jewishworldreview.com.   Walter Williams dealt with real discrimination when he grew up. Read what he has to say about the subject.

 

SATIRICAL HEADLINES

Facial Recognition Software Mistook 1 in 5 California Lawmakers For Criminald, Says ACLU. So, They’re Saying It Works, Then? at daviddrakesplace.blogspot.com.

Bernie Sanders Arrives In Hong Kong To Lecture Protesters On How Good They Have It Under Communism, at babylonbee.com.

Report: King George Really Regretted Not Imposing Red Flag Laws On Deranged American Colonists, at babylonbee.com.

America Offers To Trade All Of Its Communists For Democratic Protesters In Hong Kong, at babylonbee.com.

God Demands America Remove ‘In God We Trust’ From Currency, at babylonbee.com.

Women Who Don’t Believe Israel Has Right To Exist Not Sure Why They Got Banned From Israel, at babylonbee.com.

Bill Clinton: Epstein’s Cause Of Death Depends On What Your Definition Of ‘Suicide’ Is, at babylonbee.com.

Shooter Walks Free As Police Tackle, Arrest AR-15, at babylonbee.com.

Biden Clarifies: ‘ I Like All Races, Even The Bad Ones’ , at babylonbee.com.

California Mandates Conversion Therapy For Straight Kids, at babylonbee.com.

 

CARTOONS

From theburningplatform.com.

 

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok 

 

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

 

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Political Cartoons by Pat Cross

 

 

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Reaction To EpiPens Increased Price, Reveals Our Economic Ignorance.

September 1, 2016

SAINT LOUIS, UNITED STATES - AUGUST 25, 2016: Two EpiPen auto-injectors used for treatment of allergic reactions.

The angst over the recent price increase of the product EpiPen, reveals our economic ignorance. This economic ignorance in and of itself wouldn’t be a problem in a free market capitalist system. Unfortunately we live in a crony capitalist economic system, where more and more economic decisions are being made through the political process. Businesses are being forced to obey interventionist laws passed by Congress, on the one hand, and cave in to political shaming by ignorant consumers and politicians on the other.

When this point is reached, companies are incentivized to put their resources toward lobbying Congress to pass laws that favor these incumbent businesses. They also donate money to politicians and political parties which is like paying protection money to the mob.

All of these resources could have been used to satisfy consumer demand. But these companies have decided that these resources can best serve their interest if they are invested in lobbying government. This is not how free market capitalism works. This is how crony capitalism works.

The EpiPen kerfuffle is an example of how our economic ignorance has allowed politicians to place the blame for the price increase on Mylan, the producer of EpiPen. The blame should be placed on the very politicians who are doing the finger-pointing. Government intervention into the healthcare market over the last 75 years, culminating in The Affordable Care Act (aka. Obamacare), is what has caused prices to skyrocket. Let’s take a look.

ECONOMICS 101

EpiPen is a product that delivers a life saving dose of epinephrine to individuals who have severe allergic reactions to food, insect stings, and medicines. Lets look at the economic reality of how EpiPen magically appears to perform its life saving task.

As much as people want to think that healthcare is a right, they are literally dead wrong. Healthcare in general and EpiPen in particular, is an economic good. This means it is subject to the first rule of economics which is scarcity.  EpiPen just doesn’t appear out of thin air as if we lived in the Garden of Eden. In the real world, someone has to produce this product, and you don’t have a right to take what a person produces.

The people who produce this product have to be compensated for the cost of production plus a profit. If they can’t make a profit, they would cut their losses and stop producing the product. This is why prices are so important in a free market economy. Prices send information through the production process. Government intervention increases the cost of production, which in turn sends false information through the pricing system.

CENTRALLY PLANNED HEALTHCARE

The Healthcare system was one of the most regulated industries before the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) was passed six years ago. There is no true price discovery in our current healthcare system. This means information about which healthcare goods and services should be produced and in what quantity they should be produced doesn’t exist.

When third-party pays, whether it’s an insurance company or Government, prices are distorted. If you add the fact that insurance companies have to abide by the rules set by Government it is worse. Take a quick glance at this article, EpiPen Price: What To Know, at webmd.com, to see how much Government intervention there is in the healthcare system. Government intervention is essentially an attempt at price-fixing. Price fixing distorts the information sent through the market.

Government has created the monopoly position that Mylan holds with EpiPen. Government regulations have made it more difficult for competitors to enter the market and produce an EpiPen like product. Scan this short article, Why The EpiPen Has A Monopoly (Hint It Is Not Runaway Capitalism), at thelibertarianrepublic.com, to see how Government planners created the monopoly position for Mylan that allows the price to soar.

Supply and demand chart drawn on a blackboard.

SUPPLY AND DEMAND RULE THE DAY. EVEN IN A HAMPERED MARKET.

At a lower price more is demanded and less is produced. At a higher price more is produced and less is demanded. This is the law of supply and demand.

Government had artificially lowered the price, that people were paying for EpiPen, through Insurance mandates and Government subsidies. Because of the artificially low price, demand increased. When Auvi-Q, one of the other two producers of automatic injection devices for epinephrine, was taken off the market by regulators in October of 2015, overall supply was reduced. What happens when demand is increasing and supply is decreasing? The price has to go up to ration the scarce resource. Is this a good thing? It is neither good nor bad. It is just the reality of prices. Prices discovered through free markets not only coordinate supply and demand. Free market prices also reveal the scarcity that exists. But free market prices don’t create the scarcity.

Let’s look at the price of oil to understand what would happen if there were free markets in the healthcare system. When the price of oil was around $120 dollars a barrel, there was talk of oil going to $200 a barrel. But what happened. People started using less, demand started to decrease. At these higher prices fracking became economically viable. The supply of oil started to increase. Frackers started to find more productive methods of extracting oil from the ground. As supply increased and demand decreased the price of oil started to decrease. Because of these more productive methods, fracking wells could keep supplying oil at lower and lower prices. Because supply remains high and demand has just marginally increased, the price has remained low.

Even though Obama’s EPA took government land off-line for fracking, that didn’t keep fracking from happening on privately owned land. The free market pricing system worked to supply more oil to the market at a lower price. Bureaucrats in Government didn’t do this, free markets did. What does this have to do with the price of EpiPen?

In a free market the rise in the price of EpiPen would do two things. People would start using less. And companies would start supplying more. The price would eventually go down.

Because of Government intervention their won’t be new suppliers even at the higher price. They are being restricted from entry into the market by Government rules. Supply won’t increase like supply increased in the oil sector.

If Government and insurance companies subsidize the purchase of EpiPen, and Mylan gets bullied into lowering prices, their will be no true price discovery. False information about production and consumption will be sent through the hampered market. Their will be over consumption and under production of EpiPen. The more the planners plan the more their plans will not work.

CONCLUSION

Central planners, and people who vote for central planning, think that whatever is decreed, will happen. Unfortunately for them economic laws are more powerful than central planners mandates. Unless more companies are allowed to supply EpiPens, the artificially created shortage will continue. If the price is artificially kept below what it would be in a free market, demand will remain high. High demand and short supply means EpiPen will have to be rationed by bureaucrats in Government instead of by prices in a free market. Look at the waiting lines in Venezuela if you want to see what rationing by Government looks like.

The answer? Get rid of Government regulations and let free market prices work. Until people gain understanding about free markets, they will continue to get fooled by slick politicians, and we will remain in this political quagmire.

 

Related ArticleThe Economics of Healthcare vs. The Right to Healthcare, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleLets Look At Government Run Healthcare, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleThe Reality Of Obamacare, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleGruber Tells The Truth About Obamacare, at austrianaddict.com.

Must Reads For The Week 4/25/15

April 25, 2015
The pen is mightier than the sword...

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

People Are Voting With There Feet, at washingtimes.com. In the last 10 years the population in over regulated states is decreasing and the population in states with more freedom is increasing.

Can You Solve This Moral Dilemma From A Real Job Interview, by Jason Stevens, at thefederalistpapers.org. One guy comes up with a creative solution. See if you’re this clever.

Two TSA Agents Fired For Pre-Planned Groping, at targetliberty.com. A couple of points. 1) I thought people turned in their pitch forks and horns for a halo when they became public servants? 2) Their union must not be very good because I’ve heard of union members jobs being protected for doing worse. 3) Whats the real difference between a, by the book pat down, and what these two did? Don’t you feel violated either way?

What Happened To Book Sales In Israel After A Year Of Price Controls And Minimum Payment Mandates To Authors, by Sharona Schwartz, at economicpolicyjournal.com. Anyone want to take a guess what happens with these price controls? Why do politicians and bureaucrats think that this time it will be different?

Stunned Greeks React To Initial Capital Controls And The Decree To Confiscate Reserves, And They Are Not Happy, at zerohedge.com. The Government mandated that any idle reserves be transferred to the Greek Central Bank for investment in short term state debt, (Isn’t that theft?). Something like this couldn’t happen here, could it?

DISGUSTING Republicans Vote To Hide Congress’s Obamacare Exemption, at targetliberty.com. The Senate Small Business Committee voted to not subpoena secret documents that show how the House and Senate members got an exemption from joining Obamacare exchanges. They think of themselves as the ruling aristocracy that doesn’t have to abide by the very rules they’ve forced us to obey.

Heal Wants To Be The “Uber” For Doctors Making House Calls, at targetliberty.com. This app brings doctors and patients together without any third party interference. Just as I’ve said before, Obamacare will create a free market for healthcare. Unfortunately the tax payer will have to fund both the free market system and Obamacare.

Regardless Of Obama Care, ‘Self Pay’ Primary Care Models Will Thrive, at selfpaypatient.com. This article explains that getting rid of third party pays is the way to go to fix healthcare. If Obamacare hadn’t passed, market realities would have started to fix the high cost of healthcare. Now we’re stuck with a huge Government program that tax payers will have to fund forever because Republicans don’t have the stones to get rid of it.

Get Ready For The ‘Achocolypse’: The World Is Running Out Of Chocolate, by Kate Taylor, at entrepreneur.com. A fungal disease and dry weather have cut the worlds coca supply by a third, at the same time world demand for chocolate is increasing. If prices are allowed to rise to ration this scarce resource, there won’t be a shortage, like the shortage of water that California is experiencing during this drought because of fixed prices. Read Prices Will Solve California’s Water Crisis.

Lets Laugh! Cartoons From theburningplatform.com.

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley