Recently I saw a Facebook post that was starting to seriously make the rounds among my more politically inclined friends. It made the case that if the US were to switch over to a Single Payer system, it could pay for the entire thing with its current budget and also provide a $200B annual tax cut. Also nobody would pay for private health insurance. Sounds pretty great. Unfortunately it has zero citations so I decided to do the research. Is it anywhere close to accurate or totally full of it?
I was in Seattle recently (great city, fabulous, everyone says so), and while there a very nice and gregarious person was telling us about how excited she was for the $15 minimum wage. I knew almost nothing about it other than brief headlines on the news, so I listened but didn't add much.
But it was a good opportunity to then go do some research.
Trump withdrew from the Paris agreement in early June 2017. Not surprisingly, there was a big reaction. We were meeting with one of our ReConsider Cabinet members discussing the withdrawal the day it happened (as expected, great conversation). One thing we learned immediately hearing from her was that she had done much more research on the Paris Agreement and the withdrawal's implications than we had, so we did some research! You're welcome.
Imagine: You’re afraid. Fidgeting, you rub your fingers against the palm of your hand and feel the clammy coolness of half-evaporated sweat. You’ve done something wrong, and they’re after you. The penalty for your crime will be forfeiting a great portion of your life spent staring through a tiny window on one side of your claustrophobic hole and the spaces between metal bars on the other. The only freedom from your cell will be spent surrounded by dangerous characters that have done even worse than you.
A number of friends of ours have electric cars, and hoo boy are they fun. (Got to drive a Tesla recently and holy smokes does it have some get-up-and-go.) A reader asked me recently how much an electric car--over lifetime--reduces CO2 output versus a conventional car. They wondered whether charging a car with a predominantly hydrocarbon-based energy grid actually helped the environment. It could be a major environmentalist's dilemma.
President Trump has taken a lot of flak for his missile strike against the Syrian government’s Shayrat airbase. One of the criticisms that’s bounced around my social media echo chamber is how irrational it is for Trump to get involved in another Middle Eastern war. But I don't understand how Trump’s decision to launch a limited missile strike on Syria can be considered irrational.
This article won't be an intrigue piece about how the GOP will lick its wounds and try to circle back for another run at "repeal and replace." (And frankly I don't think they'll be ready for another attack anytime soon.) More interesting, perhaps, is looking at what will happen if we leave Obamacare alone. So I did some research into the Congressional Budget Office, and here's what I found:
I wanted to point out a potential consequence of the United States adopting single payer insurance that I have not yet seen spoken elsewhere. I wanted to point out a potential consequence of the United States adopting single payer insurance that I have not yet seen spoken elsewhere.
I've been asked a lot about the "post-scarcity economy" as it relates to policy going forward. I have done some research into the economics of this and decided to not seriously consider the question as I've concluded that we will never live in a post-scarcity economy. The technological changes required would be so vast that society is unimaginable.
"I will build a great wall...and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me --and I'll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words."
One of the things we see frequently with wedge issues is that both sides dig in on something pretty quickly as soon as it turns up. On a national level, 2 years ago, bathrooms were a non-issue. Today, they're divisive. One side wants an immediate and sweeping change to a long status-quo, using law; the other side wants to codify the status quo using law.
So our last post ended up stirring up far more controversy than I had imagined. People believed I was making a case for the North Carolina bathroom bill, being deliberately deceptive, or deliberately trolling for an emotional response. So obviously some lessons to be learned as a blogger, as of course the response I was looking for was "oh that's interesting I learned something."
I got to think about it in a lot of dead travel time over the weekend, and I want to take my best crack at my current hypothesis about what the suggests to us about the state of play in American politics.