The Terrors Of Price Comparison Websites

This is one of the less strong complaints about the current body politic. Advertising costs money, so it does:

Up to a third of drivers’ insurance costs go on secret commissions charged by price comparison websites, which can be as much as £160 per policy.

These websites charge insurers to display their policies to consumers. Most insurers have little choice but to pay up, as the majority of car insurance is bought through price checking companies.

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Amazingly, Poor People Don’t Actually Want Health Insurance

The true measure of whether someone wants something is whether they’ll pay for it out of their own resources. Given the resources they’ve got, the varied things on offer, will they voluntarily spend their own money on this thing?

Yes, this is indeed an entirely different method of valuation from whether we think they ought to want it. Or even than we should take the resources of others so that everyone does get this thing.

Yet we find that when given the choice poor people don;t in fact want health care insurance:


Insurance take-up falls rapidly as subsidies decline.

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We Know What This Looks Like – Ruto’s Amaco Gains KPC Insurance Contract In Kenya

Kenya doesn’t have the greatest reputation as a place where there is no corruption, no looting of the state coffers. That reputation is perhaps better than say Nigeria’s, to be sure, but less good than many other places.

An example being this little story of the insurance contract. It’s possible, just, to claim that there’s no problem here. But that’s putting a great deal of weight upon the word “just“.

A firm that is associated with Deputy President William Ruto is under investigation after being awarded a lucrative contract at Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC) without following laid down procedures.

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Memo To NYC – If Health Care’s Expensive Now See What It Costs When Bill de Blasio Makes It Free

Bill de Blasio has announced that health care insurance in New York City is now going to be free to all regardless of immigration status. To which the correct response is that if you thought health care was expensive now then wait and see what it costs when it’s free. For there really isn’t any magic wand to be waved over what health care does cost. And increasing insurance coverage isn’t the way to slice the slack out of the system anyway.…

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What Google Teaches – As Unemployment Benefits Run Out, The Unemployed Job Search More

As has been pointed out more than once near the entirety of the social sciences is either obvious or trivial – the exception being Ricardo on comparative advantage. This would mean to a mathematician that none of the social sciences are interesting – as they weren’t to the mathematician who asked the original question. However, there’s still value even if it’s not quite as great as the answer to how to cut pizza – piearesquared.

If we limit ourselves to economics, clearly the only one of the social sciences with any value, it’s not so much whether an effect exists or not which is important.…

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Arkansas’ Cindy Gillespie Is Right – Some People, Even Poor People, Don’t Value Health Insurance

This is being treated as just the most awful thing to say but Cindy Gillespie down in Arkansas is entirely right – some people don’t value health care insurance. Certainly, some people don’t value it enough to pay for it which is a reasonable enough definition of not valuing something. Her statement though is being viewed as just appalling:

‘They don’t value the insurance’: Arkansas official on why thousands lost health care coverage
More than 12,000 people lost Medicaid due to work requirements — but don’t actually fault the new policy, says state official.…

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There Is No Way Insurance Can Solve This American Health Care Problem

We’re treated to a recital of a specific health care problem over The Pond. Our source is, of course, The Guardian. And the complaint is that without some support for Obamacare and the like then this particular woman won’t be able to get her health care insurance.

The actual problem here being that this isn’t a problem amenable to insurance in the slightest:

I woke up on a Monday with tingling hands and numb feet, my legs too weak to climb stairs without a struggle.

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Mandy Rice Davies Moment – Of Course Debenhams Denies Cash Crunch

One of the little things that makes modern business dangerous is quite how efficient we’ve become at it. This means that it is possible to run a little closer to the wire, the edge. That is, a business can be run more efficiently. Can run on mere fumes of capital, can optimise cash flow. That’s great, it all contributes to the overall efficiency of the economy as well as the company. The downside of this is that if there’s no capital buffer, if cashflow is always being optimised, then if there’s some jolt or error then it can all come unravelled very quickly indeed.…

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