Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Some interesting articles

I tend to read a bunch of articles over the course of a week, so I thought I would share some of my favorites from the past week.  I am going to try and do this every Wednesday.  This is by no means a complete list, but it does include most of the articles that I had particularly made note of, at least since I decided to publish such a list.

The Battle of the Narrative: How Ordinary Americans can Fight Obamacare
While Obamacare has been upheld by the Supreme Court, the fight against it is far from over.  There are a number of lawsuits working their way through the court system.  The big battle for individuals is making sure that as the problems with the law come to light, as they are certain to do, the blame does not get placed on the remnants of the free market system, as the government (and likely the mainstream media as well) will likely try to do.

The New Abolitionism: Why Education Emancipation is the Moral Imperative of our Time
This article from the Objective Standard lays out the case for abolishing the government education system.  I was quite surprised with a lot of the quotes from this article the shed some light on how the originators of the public education system saw children and parents.  One example:
The goal of government schools is not to serve children by teaching them to think and acquire important knowledge, but to serve the state by forcing children to conform to its will. The U.S. Bureau of Education made the point clear in 1914: “The public schools exist primarily for the benefit of the state rather than for the benefit of the individual.”30 More recently, William H. Seawell, a professor of education at the University of Virginia, defended government schooling by stating: “Each child belongs to the State.”31
You do need to be a subscriber to read all the article.

Planning ahead is considered racist?
An article referenced in the above article gives another great example of why government schools need to be done away with.  The article is from 2006 but I don't anything has changed in the meantime.
According to the district's [Seattle Public Schools] official Web site, "having a future time orientation" (academese for having long-term goals) is among the "aspects of society that overtly and covertly attribute value and normality to white people and Whiteness, and devalue, stereotype and label people of color."
Fiscal Cliff Deal Raises Taxes, Delays Sequestration...And Will Cut Spending!
I am not sure that I am convinced that the fiscal cliff deal will eventually lead to spending cuts, but it is a good summary of the deal and its possible effects.  One thing that I think is particularly worth noting is the one year extension of the so-called "doc fix" which was enacted back in the 90's to help control Medicare costs by reducing payments to doctors.  Every year since the law was passed Congress has passed a "fix" that prevents the effect of the law from actually taking place.  If the law had taken effect this year, it would have resulted in a 26.5% cut in payments to doctors accepting Medicare patients.  This would likely have some pretty significant impact on access and timely treatment.

I find this of particular interest because part of ObamaCare is the IPAB, Indpendent Payment Advisory Board, whose job it is to control Medicare costs by reducing payments to providers.  Given that Congress has refused to follow a similar law for almost 20 years because of, presumably, the negative impact on seniors, how popular is Obamacare going to be when the same type cuts are required by the IPAB and the Congress has very limited options to override the cuts?

No Real Cuts in Those Fiscal Cliff "Spending Cuts"
A nice summary of why when the government in Washington (I loved the reference to Mordor on the Potomac) says they are cutting spending, the don't really mean it the way a normal person would think of it.

The Times on Taxes
One of my favorite blogs to read, The Grumpy Economist, goes over a story from the New York Times that perhaps reveals what liberals mean when they talk about tax reform.  This seems to be right in line with comments by the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean, that we all need to be paying higher taxes.  WCAX television from Burlington, VT reported Dean as tweeting:

The cliff bill is a fiscal disaster.  Those under 450k get permanent tax cuts.  The deficit will be fixed entirely by cuts in the future
It is worse than doing nothing.  The easy way out and will be very bad in the long run.  Deficits will grow, and key programs must be cut.

Apparently for many liberals, or at least some, the only answer is to raise taxes and keep spending money.  Also, I am not sure what world Howard Dean is in where anything that Congress does is "permanent."  In this case "permanent" simply means that the tax cuts for those who make less than $450,000 do not need to be renewed periodically.  There is nothing that says they cannot be changed at a later date.

Hugo Chavez's Last Days
This one worries me because my wife and her family live in Venezuela, so the possibility of bad things happening there when/if Chavez is gone is certain to give me some sleepless nights.  Hopefully things will be better than a worse case scenario.

Government Can’t Silence Speech Criticizing Its Actions, Even If That Speech Is 'Commercial'
A nice article of how the government tries to hide the actual extent of their taxes on the public, even to the extent of attempting to limit the First Amendment's Freedom of Speech.  Also another good example of why corporations, which are just groups of individuals who come together for a specific purpose, need to have the same rights as the individuals that make up the group.


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