Educated in what? To impart knowledge, we have to gain it first. Knowledge begins with ideas. Many times ideas compete. To follow an idea to knowledge we have to allow the widest range of exchange and never impede ideas from being propagated. Let the ideas fight it out in public and let the best add to our store of knowledge. You might say everyone agrees to that. You would be wrong! The world is a free place to present and discuss ideas so long as they’re the “right” ones.In what part of the globe can you post any idea on the internet or other media without fear of retribution? Russia? China? Turkey? Cuba? We know espousing the wrong thoughts could land you in a world of  trouble. A poem on TV in Germany can find you in legal problems. Just ask comedian Jan Böhmermann. He will soon find himself in court for a sastirical poem mocking the President of Turkey. But the U.S. is different, you say. An energy company discussing its business with shareholders and others can find itself threatened by hordes of State Attorney Generals with a blizzard of litigation. Just ask Exxon. In fact anyone not towing the line on Climate Change, could find themselves in trouble. Talk about an area where there are all sorts of ideas and questions in play, it’s climate change. Even if you agree with the premise the world is warming, there are loads of things to discuss. Should the Government stop subsidizing flood insurance in coastal or low-lying areas if the seas are rising? Should we encourage heat and drought resistant GMOs to safeguard the food supply? What actions make the most economic sense? Is warming actually better overall for mankind? Try to get a dime of Government funding for research for any these and you’ll be disappointed. Private sector funding is dying from fear of  what Exxon is facing or worse. Even if you could get funding, what University would support it?  In fact the very Universities that should be oasis for the free exchange of thought are in fact just the opposite. How many people can freely express unpopular (at least on campus) ideas at your local U?

Continue reading

Catching up

Trump’s Health Plan-Nothing really new here.  There’s no way this plan would have a positive effect on health care costs other than being able to buy policies across state lines. This of course has been part of virtually every alternative plan including our “Dave’s Plan”,but by itself it can’t hope to make a meaningful reduction of costs. Remember our plan (for new readers find under Policy the series describing the plan) aims to actually bend the cost curve down by on one side making people spend for healthcare out of their own savings (Personal Benefits Accounts PBAs) while relieving providers of the bulk of paperwork and credit risks associated with healthcare. These kind of market pressures have resulted in lower costs in other fields and we have no reason to believe it won’t have the same effect in healthcare.On the other hand, by covering preexisting conditions, tax breaks and further expansion of medicare, the Trump Plan could indeed cost even more than Obamacare. Dave’s plan initially could also add to cost but only because it covers everybody, but it does it with exactly the same cost per person as Obamacare. Future costs will be reduced by it’s powerful market features. Add complete portability and leveling the playing field between small and large businesses and we really have a plan that empowers individuals in their own healthcare. Against this, Trump’s Plan seems to be a grab bag of previously advanced ideas without serious intent. It’s probably a good thing that the plan’s ideas are so old that the statute of limitations probably prevents him from  being sued.

Trump winning-People have said we were wrong in our prediction that Trump had topped out.(Hitting the Ceiling 3/3/16 Commentary) We concede nothing. Trump has been winning more delegates in a divided field, but he has done it with virtually the same 30-40%. He is now faced with having to acquire the needed 1237 delegates before the convention or be faced with some ugly alternatives and unless he can expand his base it’s unlikely he gets there. With his increasing opposition from women,  foreign policy flubs and total incoherence on abortion expanding his base is increasingly a mirage. If he is unable to win on the first ballot, he’s done.  Trump has no chance on future ballots. The delegates just aren’t his people. Trump needs to win Wisconsin and then get over 50% in New York to be a winner taking all to have a clear path to 1237. Stumble on either and the path looks like a contested convention. Losing both would be a Trump’s worst nightmare. On the eve of the Wisconsin Primary it doesn’t look promising for Trump. Polls show him with a wide over 50% lead in New York  but this could be a double edged sword. a slippage especially under 50% and all the news will be how he is slipping which could further his downward momentum. At some point he’ll have to confront the possibility of a convention 1st ballot loss. If he can’t reach 1237 before Cleveland on his own he’ll have to use his supposed negotiating skills to make a deal or deals to get there. The problem is with who? Continue reading