Category Archives: economics

The Electronic Record and the Doctor

Tweet Everyone seemed surprised when investigators from the RAND Corp  reported in the January 2013 issue of Health Affairs that the widespread use of the electronic medical record had not resulted in reducing medical care costs  – see the NY Times incredulous reaction. The RAND team of course said if we just tried a little bit harder,…


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Student Loans

Tweet The only segment of our economy that had experienced the same inflation as medical care is higher education. While there may be many causes for this expansion of cost the biggest is doubtless the easy availability of student loans. The federal government has recently assumed full responsibility for the vast majority of these instruments. Until now…


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Income Mobility in the US

Tweet Below is a study from the US Treasury Department –Income Mobility in the U.S. from 1996 to 2005. It presents some very interesting data. We are used to hearing how income disparity in the US is increasing. This conclusion is reached by comparing the difference between the lowest and highest groups of earners. Unless you believe…


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More on Taxes and Spending

Tweet In an earlier post I presented data on income tax revenues before and after the Bush tax cuts. These revenues rose after the tax cuts and then fell with the severe economic downturn of 2008. Below is a more recent graph that shows both government revenues and spending. They seem to show that the greater spending…


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Educational Thought of the Day – Farm Income and Dept of Agriculture

Tweet US farm income in 2011 is estimated by the Department of Agriculture at $94.7 billion. The Department’s 2012 budget is 145 billion. For a comment on this wonderful achievement in the Wall Street Journal go here. Interestingly the commentator underestimates the Department’s budget. No further comment, at least by me, is needed.


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Dow Jones Falls to Zero

Tweet It had to happen. According to Google finance the Dow Jones industrial index fell more than 12,000 points today – all the way to zero. But I never thought it could happen in one day. Market timing is really hard. If there was ever a time for QE 3 this is it. Stay tuned…


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Specialization

Tweet These article is adapted from a talk given at the graduation dinner for the residents of the Department of Internal Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock on May 27, 2011 Specialization is when people concentrate on one thing or another at which they are good. I will limit my remarks…


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To Be or Not to Be

Tweet To those looking to the federal government for the solutions to life’s problems, reality is is a constant lance in the side. Retirees have been told that there was no inflation in 2010 which is why there was no  cost of living increase in Social Security benefits for 2011. Yet seniors have been hit…


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Income Tax Revenue 1995-2008

Tweet This is off topic, but I thought it might be interesting to anyone following the debate about income tax rates. The graph shows that income tax revenues rose about 50% following the full implementation of the Bush tax cuts in 2003. While associations do not prove cause and effect the data show that it is possible to lower taxes and…


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Unreasonable Health Insurance Premiums

Tweet New York Times columnist and Nobel prize winner in economics Paul Krugman is famous for his dedication to fiscal stimulus as an escape from our current economic woes. No matter how much money the government pumps into the economy he wants more if the result is not what is desired. Thus he is indulging…


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