Assorted Links (11/16/2013)

Here is a list of the articles that I have been reading, videos that I have been viewing, and podcasts that I have been listening to lately:

Did the British invent the West? Daniel Hannan on the world of English freedoms

In this (ungated) WSJ essay, the British journalist, author and politician Daniel John Hannan masterfully explains (among other things), how American exceptionalism is fundamentally different from say, Greek exceptionalism…

“It’s no accident that the English-speaking nations are the ones most devoted to law and individual rights, writes Daniel Hannan.”

The President’s explanation for his broken promise

Quoting Russ Roberts, “If you read a story about yesterday’s press conference with President Obama on the Affordable Care Act, you would learn that the President proposed a fix for people who have had their insurance cancelled. He apologized for the lousy web site. And so on. I don’t know how you legally change a piece of legislation by fiat like the President seemed to do…”

Ads Hide Obamacare Truth: It’s Generational Theft

In Time Magazine, Nick Gillespie writes, “Obamacare is simply the latest instance of generational theft being perpetrated against younger Americans.” I agree (see my blog posting entitled “On the role of health insurance as an “enabling technology” that facilitates risky behaviors…” @!

Even for Dropouts, Being on the Right Side of the Digital Divide Matters

“If you drop out of high school, odds are are you’ll end up in a dead-end job for life. But the odds get a lot better if you happen to have some computer skills.”

Pro-Obamacare ads targeting millennials stir controversy in Colorado

“A new round of advertisements unveiled by supporters of Colorado’s health insurance exchanges ignited controversy that rippled through social media Tuesday and launched debate over the portrayal of women.”

Three Cheers for the Rule of Law: Holding Deadbeat Debtor Argentina to Account

“Despite so much amiss in Washington, the Argentine debt case reminds us that the rule of law remains alive in the United States.”

The psychology of pricing wine

“Restaurant customers who paid $20 for a bottle of wine said the wine tasted better than those who paid $10 for the same one.”

Even though corn ethanol is an ‘ecological disaster’ and is ‘raping the land’

“The Huffington Post presents a devastating assessment of Obama’s push for green energy, especially his ongoing religious-like commitment to corn ethanol, which environmentalists and many scientists have now rejected as an ecological disaster and as bad environmental policy.”

The Sugar Program is Central Planning

“House and Senate negotiators are working out details of a big farm bill that may pass this year. No industry in America is as coddled as farming, and no industry is as centrally planned from Washington. The federal sugar program is perhaps the most Soviet of all. Here’s a sketch of the sugar program…”

Jon Stewart Calls Out Obama’s Lie

“Jon Stewart dedicates two minutes of honesty towards Obama’s massive dishonesty.”

President Obama, is a ‘substandard’ health plan really substandard?

The author of this article, Ed Lazear, is an economist at the Stanford Graduate School of Business professor and former chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 2006-2009. Professor Lazear here provides a superb analysis of the economics of so-called ‘substandard’ health insurance plans…

Don’t screw it up

“By choosing Bill de Blasio, New Yorkers have taken a risk with their city’s prosperity.”

Some Central Texas medical providers opt out of Obamacare

Quoting from this article, “Austin’s largest provider of cancer treatment won’t participate in health insurance plans offered though the marketplace set up by the Affordable Care Act, leaving some patients facing substantially higher medical bills.”

This is part of the so-called “insurance death spiral” predicted recently by AEI fellow Scott Gottleib (cf.

A Baby’s Gaze May Signal Autism, Study Finds

“Researchers using eye-tracking technology found that 3-year-olds diagnosed with autism looked less at people’s eyes when they were babies than children who did not develop autism.”

S.F. programmers build alternative to

Be sure to check out – you can get quotes for an array of policies available in your zip code, and the site even calculates the dollar value of the tax subsidy for which you may (or may not) be eligible for, given your level of income. It also links quotes to contact information for call centers operated by the insurers offering ACA-compliant policies…

“The three 20-year-old programmers developed a site in matter of days that does things the expensive and faltering just can’t do.”

Top Three Policy Reforms to Grow the Economy

“Economist Jeffrey Miron of Harvard University outlines three policy reforms that he thinks would best promote economic recovery and growth in the United States: cutting entitlements, freezing regulation, and replacing the existing tax code with a flat tax on consumption.”

The Collapse of Obamacare

“NYU Law Professor Richard Epstein analyzes the factors causing Obamacare’s catastrophic failings.”

After the Affordable Care Act: Crafting an Alternative to Obamacare

“University of Chicago economist John Cochrane discusses the problems and possible solutions to the Affordable Care Act. Topics include guaranteed issue, regulation in the health care sector, and competition in the insurance industry.”

The Weekend Interview With Dr. Francis Collins: Politics on the Frontiers of Science

Fascinating (ungated) interview in today’s WSJ with Dr. Francis Collins, who during the 1990s and early 2000s managed the Human Genome Project and now directs the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“In The Wall Street Journal, Joseph Rago interviews Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health. He says that major breakthroughs are possible in neuroscience, cancer, AIDS and Parkinson’s—if Congress learns to set priorities.”

The dozen Democrats who voted for the ObamaCare debacle are now scrambling for cover.

“The Wall Street Journal observes that the Democrats who voted for the debacle are now scrambling for cover.”

Charles C. W. Cooke – Obamacare’s Banana-Republic Logic

“Your old plans are now illegal, but don’t blame the White House.”

Rhetoric vs. reality

“The president is going to “campaign” to fix the health care Web site. How does that work?”

Early Buyers of Health Coverage Are Older Than Expected, Raising Expense Concerns

“Insurers say the early buyers of health coverage on the nation’s troubled new websites are older than expected so far, raising early concerns about the economics of the insurance marketplaces.”

When Being Alone Turns Into Being Lonely, There Are Ways to Fight Back

“John T. Cacioppo, director at the University of Chicago Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience, estimates 40% of Americans feel lonely, double the rate in the 1980s.”

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