Assorted Links (10/6/2009)

Here’s a list of articles that I have been reading today (organized by topic):

Economics and the Financial Crisis

  • The Jobs News Gets Worse, by Floyd Norris

New York Times: “How bad is this recession in terms of job losses? The government’s data since 1939 shows only one time when there was a larger percentage decline in civilian jobs.”

Foreign Policy

  • How Israel Was Disarmed, by Bret Stephens

Wall Street Journal: “News analysis from the near-future.”

Health Care Reform

Wall Street Journal: “Will ObamaCare fund abortions?”

  • The War on Specialists

Wall Street Journal: “ObamaCare punishes cardiology and oncology to finance general practitioners.”
It seems to me that there will hardly be any need for so-called “death panels” under ObamaCare if the completely arbitrary, capricious, and draconian funding cuts for chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease chronicled in this article actually get implemented.  The political class seems to be focused upon minimizing the costs of the system without considering the benefit side of the equation.  It seems like the most likely outcome of a centrally planned system for allocating healthcare resources that is focused on minimizing cost will be to oversupply health care for non-chronic illness and undersupply healthcare for chronic disease.  It won’t take long before the advantage (in terms of better outcomes generally for heart disease and cancer patients) that the U.S. currently enjoys over the rest of the world will disappear.

Human Interest Stories

  • A Doctor in Full, by Roger McCaffrey

Wall Street Journal: “The man who developed Gleevec could have said ‘wait.’”

  • Why I will be a virgin until I’m married, by Arleen Spenceley

St. Petersburg Times: This article also appeared in today’s issue of the Austin American Statesman. I link it here because I was so impressed by Ms. Spenceley’s honesty and integrity.  It is astonishing to consider how notions such as chastity and fidelity are in such short supply that I was actually somewhat surprised to find such an article appear in the opinion pages of my local newspaper!

Politics and Public Policy

  • Bentham vs. Hume, by David Brooks

New York Times: “This country is about to have a big debate over whether government should be actively involved in organizing and promoting innovation.”

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