Sunday, October 31, 2010

"Fear the Boom and Bust"

Brilliant video concerning an economics argument. I'm with Hayek as any Catholic should be.

An aside: Why won't the bishops defend our traditional Catholic scholastic economics? Spanish monks got economics praxeology correct hundreds of years ago; why do we pretend they never existed? Is there any field where the progressives (and pure social-justice types) haven't hijacked?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Health Insurance Field Report

This is a field report for Mr. and Mrs. Audentior Ito's health insurance. Specifically this note compares the 2010 and 2011 costs and benefits. We assume in-network medical expenses.

Deductible $3000
We pay 20% after deductible is met.
Out of pocket maximum: $2200 (plus deductible)
Cost:  $624

Deductible $3200
We pay 20% after deductible is met.
Out of pocket maximum is $2500 (plus deductible)
Cost: $900

Our cost versus billed cost is plotted in the following figure for the three different health options.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Phil Donohue: When you see around the globe the maldistribution of wealth, the desperate plight of millions of people in underdeveloped countries, when you see so few haves and so many have-nots, when you see the greed and the concentration of power, did you ever have a moment of doubt about capitalism? And whether greed is a good idea to run on?

Milton Friedman: Well first of all tell me, is there some society you know that doesn't run on greed? You think Russia doesn't run on greed? You think China doesn't run on greed? What is greed? Of course none of us are greedy. It's only the other fella that's greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The greatest achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn't construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn't revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty that you are talking about, the only cases in recorded history are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worst off, it's exactly in the kind of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear, there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.

Phil Donohue: Seems to reward not virtue as much as the ability to manipulate the system.

Milton Friedman: And what does reward virtue? You think the Communist commissar rewards virtue? You think a Hitler rewards virtue? Do you think... American presidents reward virtue? Do they choose their appointees on the basis of the virtue of the people appointed or on the basis of political clout? Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest? You know I think you are taking a lot of things for granted. And just tell me where in the world you find these angels that are going to organize society for us? Well, I don't even trust you to do that.

Source: Phil Donohue interviews Milton Friedman, Feb. 11, 1979