Weekend Update 07-28-2012

Posted: July 28th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Weekend Update | Comments Off on Weekend Update 07-28-2012

This column by Christina Romer on containing health care costs is a good one. The ACA is a good first step, saving an estimated trillion dollars in its first ten years just on the federal budget side, but it’s only the first step. With per capita health care costs more than double those of any other industrialized nation, many more steps are required. We certainly need more than the GOP “plan” (though that descriptor probably goes too far) to simply reduce government expenditures and nothing else — essentially shifting even more of the spiraling costs of our out of control system onto employers and individuals. That will simply have the effect of impoverishing our nation and throwing an increasing number of those who are sick or injured under the metaphorical bus.

America is a violent country. Like Krugman, I’m impressed by how much we’ve improved. I lived in the Montrose area inside the loop in Houston in the 70s during the peak in that graph. During that time, there were rapes on either side of us and a man shot and killed in the street less than a block away. As a preteen and young teen I learned to fend off street propositions for sex. They happened in broad daylight sometimes shouted from cars in the street as I waited at a bus stop. The Saturday Evening Post had a cover story with a stylized photo of a biker gang declaring, “There’s a New Gang in Town!” The patches on the “gang” were HPD (Houston Police Department). It really was that bad. We still have more violence than any of the other industrialized nations, but we have improved so much that I’m not sure it’s possible for those younger than me to really grasp how bad it was at the peak in that graph — especially if you lived in an urban area. We still have lot to do, of course. Both mass shootings like the recent one in Colorado and individual acts of violence like the murder of my friend’s son on vacation remain far too common. But things are not getting ever worse as some want to portray the situation. Rather they’ve been improving for a long time now.

This is an interesting little election year issue quiz. Not particularly surprising to me, but I “side with” President Obama on most of the issues that I ranked important to me among the questions. Back in my twenties Ron Paul would have ranked a whole lot higher, but I’ve changed a lot since those days.

This analogy to loaded dice when it comes to the effects of climate change is a good one. We’re experiencing the consequences of climate change now. The real question is what it will take to smash the blinders of denial or general apathy that many have?

Five Obamacare Myths. Not that it will matter to those determined to believe blatant lies. But still.

Celiac Central’s archived webinars. How did I not know about these?

Anyone who’s interested in it has probably already watched Rob Bell’s most recent video — Rediscovering Wonder. But if you’ve somehow missed it, here it is.

If you are an America who wants to restore our rightful place as the laughingstock of the world …


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