Monday, March 11, 2019

Government Provition of Daycare

Government provision of daycare seems an oddity to me

I once did asked a few single mothers I worked with if they would rather have $x/week or free daycare. I varied x from $10 to $100.  Some said that the would not use the daycare even if it was freely available without receiving any money at all. The average prefered about $20 cash per week to free daycare. There is no way a government could provide daycare for $20/week. I've seen estimated costs as high as $400/week and I don't think I've every seen numbers below $200/week. On top of that 56% of women with children under 18 say they would prefer to stay home and care for their children.

So why do some countries provide it rather than giving cash? Below are some possible reasons, some of which people might not want to admit:
  • They believe low income people are such bad parents that government provided daycare will help the children become better adults.
  • They are afraid that if given cash the parents would spend the money on themselves.
  • They don't want to give cash because they do not want to be seen to be paying people to have children.
  • People don't understand that government paid for things have costs. 
There may be other reasons but these are what come to mind. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

A Rational Argument Could Made that the USA has Best Education in the World and Florida has the Best Education in the USA

Because the selection effect is so powerful in education we do not see it but a rational argument could made that the USA has best education in the world (The Amazing Truth About PISA Scores: USA Beats Western Europe, Ties with Asia) and Florida has the best education among the USA states (Florida Number One in School Measure).

But if you ask me, I will tell you that there are not significant differences in overall schooling quality in the developed world.

In fact I think a slight modification of of Arnold Kling's null hypothesis in schooling is accurate.

Playing off Arnold Kling's Clarifying his Null Hypotheses on Schooling

Note, this does not mean that we cannot improve education education over time as techniques improve that can be applied that do improve education but they spread very fast in the developed world and we see no significant differences.

Of course there are some good techniques that do not spread. One technique that works but has not spread is direct instruction, it has not spread because teachers and students hat it. Also a singular focus on the three R's might work but is not tried for the same reason.

It is not bad that those techniques do not spread, childhood should not be all about education.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Could Sending the Money to State Governments Push Healthcare Spending Down?

I think it is possible to lower healthcare spending dramatically without loss in health (see here: Article Contends Healthcare could be 80 to 90% Cheaper Based on Direct labor Costs And here Cut Medicine in Half

But what incremental steps could get us moving in that direction? One Idea I had was for the Federal Government to send all the money they would have spent on healthcare to the states and require that the state Government's cover the elderly and poor. The money would be sent on an age adjusted per capita basis.The state Governments would be allowed to spend the money as long as they choose cover those over 65 years old and the poor, as Medicare and Medicaid do today

Arizona and Utah have much lower medical spending than do Massachusetts, New York and California so they might be able to cover everyone in the state without adding money.  There is a lot of bad regulation of medical care at the state level. The states that spend the most would have to augment the federal money with their own tax money and the states that spend the least could use the excess wherever they choose.

The states do most of the healthcare regulation  and a lot of regulation is bad. This would motivate the high spending states to regulate with more of an eye toward keep spending down.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

What Anthropogenic Global Warming Alarmists Should Acknowledge

The Anthropogenic Global Warming alarmists should at least acknowledge how wrong popularly seen and read environmentalist were in the 1970's, and distance themselves from such.

Paul Ehlich was  a regular on the Tonight show and though the real scientists specialized in the area of environmental studies (Ehlich is a butterfly scientist) at the time were not so alarmist, it was the alarmist who got the publicity.

Considering that it is quite understandable that people be skeptical of alarming claims. Even today it seems to me that there is a huge gap between what the real scientist on the IPCC and the likes of Al Gore are saying.

It is dangerous to try to scare the voters into action with projections that are very likely to be undershot by a huge margin.

I believe that co2 is causing AGW and that at some point we will better of addressing it, but it seems to me that there is still plenty of time.

Let's stop demonizing the deniers and work on educating them.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Did You Pay for Medicare and Social Security

I run into the above sentiment pretty regularly, now that's a strange use of the word entitlement but going with it the way the writer seems to want it understood.

No one paid for Social Security and Medicare, people were taxed like they were taxed to pay for defense, TANF and SNAP. Paid for it implies a quid pro quo, but a quid pro quo is not even possible. The current congress has no ability to bind a future congress. 

You are taxed to pay for public goods and congress has ostensibly (though some would consider it more a case of vote buying) considers taking care of those over 62 a public good. (BTW Medicare is funded primarily from general revenues (41 percent), payroll taxes (37 percent), and beneficiary premiums (14 percent) (Figure 7)) 

It seems to me that that a sensible thing would be to follow the Australian model and pay the same amount out to all retirees. 

Combined social security plus Medicare make up almost half of the federal spending and medical spending for people over 65 is the least effective medical spending, spending for pregnant women and infants and children would yield much more health for the dollar. Much of the healthcare for the elderly yields so little in better health that it is hard to see in the data. See. Also few people even know how Social Security benefits are calculated, if you're curious and want to be surprised, look Here

Security is very much a welfare program disguised as a Ponzi scheme. (I love to say that.) And BTW for you constitution supporting Republicans out there, SS and Medicare are unconstitutional, now I think we should amend the constitution to allow the federal Government to do charity like that. 

None of the above means that you shouldn't be for keeping them as they are, but the argument that you paid for them and are therefore entitled to them is not correct.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Immigration To and From the USA

From here. 

Immigrants from the US to:
Belgium: 10,000
Canada: 310,000
Denmark: 10,000
France: 50,000
Norway: 20,000
Sweden: 20,000
UK: 190,000

Immigrants to the US from:
Belgium: 40,000
Canada: 890,000
Denmark: 30,000
France: 180,000
Norway: 30,000
Sweden: 50,000
UK: 750,000
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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

More Random Critical Analysis of Helathcare

More Random Critical Analysis of Helathcare

He is again arguing that USA healthcare spending is in line with other USA spending and we are not an outlier.