At times NobodyisFlyingthePlane will be a diatribe about the current state of affairs in the US and the world at large, at other times it will be an evidentiary discussion of the problem, and most of the time it will just be a collection of links I wanted to share.
This is what happens when we allow rampant corporate mergers. Competition is reduced or eliminated. The airlines push through a transparency in price bill which actually creates opacity in pricing and their profits soar to 26%.
NYTimes: No Relief for Air Travelers
It sounds like NYC has a great plan to treat mental health with various solutions other than jail. I hope these wide ranging services and solutions when combined will help people stay out of “the System”.
I’m concerned that what advocates for the mentally ill often over look is that these folks just can’t exist on the city streets. Their illnesses, afflictions, and addictions often make them incapable of coexisting with modern civil society.
Many of the people these programs seek to assist likely need extended or long term care. How that gets paid for is hard to fathom, but we shouldn’t fail to recognize the cost to society pf leaving them untreated on the streets.
NYTimes: New York City Plans Focus on Mental Health in Justice System
This first article makes sense of a book from last year about inequality, while the second seems to miss the point altogether; albeit while providing two worthwhile quotes.
most economists probably would contend that a change that makes some people in society better off without making anyone worse off must ipso facto represent an increase in economic welfare. It follows that inequality in income and wealth engendered by economic growth typically is not to be deplored.
But…Too much inequality gives those at the top the:
power to rig market processes in their favor or to exploit taxpayers through what economists call “rent seeking” – that is, profit made on government contracts that is not matched by commensurate value delivered to society. That linkage can easily make the rest of society worse off.
“There is a danger that the rapid growth in top incomes can become self-reinforcing through the political process that money can bring,” Professor Deaton warns — a process that can turn democracy into plutocracy.
Progress begets inequality, and the resulting inequality can either encourage more progress or impede it, or both. Professor Deaton suggests that inequality in the modern United States has had both of these effects.
The following seems to me a truth not all are willing to accept.
For most of human history, family incomes were barely enough to survive and life was short. But in “The Great Escape: Health, Wealth and the Origins of Inequality,” Professor Angus Deaton of Princeton writes that while economic progress allowed much of the world to escape poverty, “escapes leave people behind, and luck favors some and not others; it makes opportunities, but not everyone is equally equipped or determined to seize them.”
Clearly there’s room for better medical studies. Especially non drug studies. This article advocates more randomized testing of healthcare procedures.
We cant just rely on using health practices that make common sense. As the ER study showed, access to insurance doesnt reduce ER visits. We’ll also learn things such as palliative care for cancer patients not only makes them happier and more comfortable than typical life prolonging hospital care, it actually lets patients live longer with a better quality of life. Counterintuitive, but most likely true as shown in a recent randomized study.
NYTimes: How to Arrive at the Best Health Policies
Immigration myths debunked. There is lot more that can be said for both sides of the following arguments, but they show that illegal immigration is not all bad for the US.
Myth # 1: They don’t pay taxes
Undocumented immigrants are already U.S. taxpayers.
Collectively, they paid an estimated $10.6 billion to state and local taxes in 2010
Myth # 2: They don’t pay into Social Security
The truth is that undocumented immigrants contribute more in payroll taxes than they will ever consume in public benefits.
Take Social Security. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), unauthorized immigrants — who are not eligible to receive Social Security benefits — have paid an eye-popping $100 billion into the fund over the past decade.
Myth #3: They drain the system
Undocumented immigrants do not qualify for welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, and most other public benefits. Most of these programs require proof of legal immigration status and under the 1996 welfare law, even legal immigrants cannot receive these benefits until they have been in the United States for more than five years.
Myth # 4: They take American jobs
The American economy needs immigrant workers.
immigrants, regardless of status, fill the growing gap between expanding low-skilled jobs and the shrinking pool of native-born Americans who are willing to take such jobs.
Myth # 5: It’s just a matter of following the law
Many Americans want immigrants to enter the country legally.
But under current immigration laws, there are very few options for legal immigration, the costs are increasingly prohibitive and the wait for any kind of status can be long and frustrating.
You greedy liberal fucks!?!?!
You can’t be satisfied can you? You’re just as bad as the right wing nuts.
The White House decision to deny health benefits also underscores how far the president’s expected actions will fall short of providing the kind of full membership in American society that activists have spent decades fighting for. The immigrants covered by Mr. Obama’s actions are also unlikely to receive public benefits like food stamps, Medicaid coverage or other need-based federal programs offered to citizens and some legal residents.
The health care restriction may be the most immediate concern for many immigrants and for activists who have urged Mr. Obama to act to prevent deportations. Advocates for immigrant rights were infuriated in 2012 when the White House ruled that Dreamers would not get subsidized insurance coverage.
We can’t open our door to every poor person in the hemisphere. There has to be limits to how many immigrants we let in and what we do for them.
Of course, we have to recognize that people will come whether we welcome them or not. Its not incumbent upon us to make it easy, nor is it incumbent upon us to provide illegal immigrants with services we can’t fully provide to our own citizens. Besides, what these liberal whiners miss is that illegal immigrants can still purchase healthcare like the rest of us. They are not being denied healthcare and they are not being denied health insurance (so far as I know). They are being denied subsidized insurance payments.
On one hand, they said, Mr. Obama plans to provide relief to millions of undocumented immigrants so that they can come out of the shadows and be better integrated into American society. On the other hand, they said, the administration is shutting them out of the health care system that would help them become productive members of society.
Not true. They are not currently shut out of the system any more than poor US citizens are. We can’t afford to give our own citizens decent healthcare in this broken system, but they can receive some healthcare. I can’t believe the temerity of someone who has just received the biggest gift illegal immigrants have ever received asking for subsidized healthcare too.
The problem is that it’s not the grateful poor saying this. Its the agenda driven activists on the far left. STFU, learn to pick your battles, and let a win be a win without getting greedy for more.
Arriving at our doorstep doesn’t immediately confer the right to be a US citizen, nor should it immediately confer all of the rights and services afforded to those living here legally. There is and must continue to be a tiered and phased approach to becoming a legal resident and then, if desired, a US citizen. Few if any reasonable people would say that immigrants should be allowed to vote upon arrival. The provision of services and conferral of other rights should take time as well. What I believe Obama’s most recent executive actions do is attempt to clear away the gray area new arrivals get stuck in. Whether that works remains to be seen. Whether it becomes a welcome mat for any and all, prompting waves of immigrants beyond our capacity, will determine its success.
NYTimes: Obama’s Plan Could Shield Four Million
The drought out West has brought the insane water use issues out there to national attention again. The way water is being apportioned and used is not at all inline with whats best for the citizens out west, the free market, or the country in general. Unfortunately things are stuck that way out there because of some old outdated laws and practices. Time for change.
What we have now, he added, is “a government bureaucracy that gives the most powerful interests all the water they want, for low cost.”
A freer water market would almost certainly revolutionize water consumption in the West. You’d see more high-priced crops like almonds and fruit, less alfalfa for export, probably fewer dairy farms in California and perhaps more microchip manufacturing. “It would change the economy,”
“If people who owned water rights could make more money by selling them rather than using them locally, and they could move it … I’m absolutely certain it would change the face of water use in California.”