Demand and Supply: Should Congress Unbundle Cable?

If I pay $100 for a 50 channel cable package, then choosing the 25 channels I really watch should cost me $25. Yes? I suspect Senator John McCain agrees. But it might not work out that way if his legislative…

Unintended Consequences: Cholesterol, Cars and Unemployment

Statins, seat belts and unemployment benefits reduce some of life’s risks. Yes? Not always… Told that statin medication would diminish high cholesterol, some people eat more cheese, more ice cream, more steak. The result? Less healthy diets. Knowing that seat…

Unintended Consequences: When Can Government Control What We Eat?

When government gives us more, can it tell us what to do? During October, 2011, Denmark became the first country in the world to have a fatty foods tax. Targeting all foods with more than a 2.3% saturated fat content,…

Incentive: The 50th Employee

The Affordable Care Act is doing what France has done for years. It has a 50 employee tipping point. The Affordable Care Act says that businesses with 49 employees will not have a health insurance mandate. However, for those with 50 or…

The Price System: Health Care

The price system is rather amazing. Please imagine for a moment that you heard a gallon of gasoline was $1.50. First you would think, “cheap!” Then you might rush to fill your tank. Or, told that a diamond ring was…

Incentives: Should Doctors Be Paid For Performance?

I suspect that the incentives in New York’s doctor quality plan will have unexpected consequences. An incentive for results, bonuses will be given to NY hospitals that they share with their doctors. Described as a reward system and P4P, Pay for Performance, for quality…

Ranking Schemes

I just looked at the U.S. News and World Report ranking for business schools. Then, while I was there, I could not resist checking out the “best” colleges and their new best connected category. The top 3 colleges are Harvard amd…

Storm Warnings

Some thoughts today about predicting natural disasters. Weeks before 308 people perished in L’Aquila from an earthquake, a government commission proclaimed the chance was slim that a disaster would occur. It did happen and now, the 6 scientists and single…

Election Economics: Tax Matters

The candidates agree that tax proposals need to focus on reducing the deficit and on government spending. After that, the divide on tax policy is considerable. To narrow the gap between revenue and spending, President Obama supports a higher tax…

The Cafe Menu

How will a 54.5 mpg CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) mandate affect us? We start with a mystery.  Because Minivans are big and heavy, they should be the source of a large proportion of all traffic fatalities in 2-car accidents.…