That the health care system in the United States could have been different if different decisions were taken is entirely true, as the following article proposes. But it never could have ended up with an entirely government run health care system, as with Britain’s National Health Service. For there is such a thing as path dependency. What happens in the future starts from where we are now. All theoretically available options are not so in reality, given the structure of the polity, for example.…See More
We’ve all long known that American attitudes to abortion are rather different than they are over here in Europe. We do indeed have people who are vociferously against the practice – I am one of them but this isn’t about me or my prejudices – but there’re many fewer. We really don’t have anything like the very large American pro-life movement and most certainly not the power they have in politics.
Well, OK. And it’s also pretty easy to work out why too.…See More
One of the amusing little asides in the economics of taxation is that we here in Europe have rather higher tax rates than they do over in the United States. Yet the structures of our tax systems – more specifically, the laws surrounding who gets taxed and why – suggest that we should in fact have lower rates than they. The point being about our old friend the Laffer Curve and where the peak of it is.…See More
Given that economists have predicted 15 of the last 3 recessions – and very few have predicted those that actually happened – the when of the next US recession is going to be a fun point to consider. Which is what is done here. Do not though fall into the trap of thinking that as we don’t know when there won’t. We have no abolished the business cycle, there will be another recession at some point:
The next US recession is likely to be around the corner
Franck Portier 03 May 2019
Business economists argue that the length of an expansion is a good indicator of when a recession will hit.…See More
The underlying justification for the European technocracy is that while that sort of guidance from hte enlightened might leave us marginally poorer it also leaves the economy more stable. All those clever people in offices mean the swings and roundabouts are slowed so that there’s less social and cultural upheaval. Recent evidence shows that even this isn’t true. The business cycle is worse over here than in the more free market US.
That is, European technocracy doesn’t work even in its own terms:
Faraway, so close!…See More
If you’d like to see the lunacy with which governments – politics that is – discuss and act upon trade there’s nothing better than this story about the illegal subsidies to Airbus. The European Union – and associated governments – have been providing launch subsidies so that Airbus can get failures like the A 380 off the ground. This breaches World Trade Organisation rules, as the WTO has ruled. Such subsidies of course make Europeans poorer and also Americans richer.…See More
Given the abuse Keith Richards has subjected his body to over the years all us observers thought it would be his that gave up first and finally broke up the Rolling Stones. But this latest delay they’re making to the US and Canada tour isn’t from him at all, it’s Mick Jagger who’s finding that age is catching up. Or at least, illness and we all know that age makes us more prone to that:
Mick Jagger illness forces Rolling Stones to cancel US and Canada tour
It’s not just that he’s crocked a knee or something, doctors are advising that he doesn’t tour:
A statement from the group said: “Unfortunately today the Rolling Stones have had to announcement the postponement of their upcoming US/Canada tour dates – we apologise for any inconvenience this causes those who have tickets to shows but wish to reassure fans to hold onto these existing tickets, as they will be valid for rescheduled dates, which will be announced shortly.
The US tax system has one horrible little bit in it, that of demanding a bond for taxes that will become due at some future date. It’s bad enough that a business has to do the tax collecting in the first place but then to charge them for doing so? The sense of entitlement among the tax collectors is astonishing. This is also one area where the UK system is markedly better, not imposing such costs.…See More
A PMI is a useful way of predicting how the economy is going to be doing a couple of months from now. The US PMI for manufacturing has fallen – that means disaster ahead, right? Well, no, not really, it’s actually a pretty unimportant number. Because manufacturing is a pretty unimportant sector of the economy.
Yes, yes, I know, that’s not what everyone thinks but it’s true all the same. This is of mild interest but it’s not important:
The Atlantic runs a piece of that gee, whizz, what could possibly explain this stuff idiocy. The subject under discussion being why Americans seem to pay their taxes – voluntarily, and with a higher rate of acceptance – than other countries. The clear and obvious point to consider being, well, do Americans have to pay less in tax than the people of other places?
The answer is yes, considerably less. That people know we need government, that we need taxes to pay for gubmint, we’re working with adults here so yes, everyone knows that.…See More