Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Profit Opportunity?

There is a lot discussion lately of whether or not Federal subsidies to student cause tuition to rise and by how much. (here is one) The discussion extends to who captures the additional money that goes into the system and why the state universities are not lowering costs.

Harvard is awash in money, they charge tuition $30,000/year.  Harvard is quite a profitable not-for profit and yet Harvard has not increased its enrollment to even keep up with population growth let alone an additional amount for the fact that more people attend school longer.   If they did they could probably increase the bottom line but they are run by people that has other things in mind.  They are among the top hand of Universities in the world and are determined to keep that prestigious position.  They also know that the way to maintain that position is to reject a lot of well qualified students only taking the some best of the best.

I think that you that you could provide education some majors for as low as $2,000/year.  For example there are many well qualified, would be history professors with phd's available at fairly low cost, lets say full compensation of 70,000/year.

The obstacle is that to get respected a university needs to get enough applications from good students so that they can reject most of them and still fill the school.  That takes reputation and that is difficult to get.

A long term might be to hire some famous professors and start a school that charges no tuition.  This would allow you to attract some of those students that you need.

Are Some Getting Healthcare Much Cheaper than Average

SaveyourSelf writes:

I am a Family doctor in the Midwest. Some of my patients are Mennonite. They pay only cash. As you might expect from a group of people who pay for everything out of pocket, they ask a lot of questions about prices, risks, benefits, "why do I need that?" etc. They get the same healthcare as insured patients. On the whole, though, they pay less for their healthcare because they make themselves more informed about their choices and they consider cost.
I asked a couple of them, just out of curiosity, if they have been hurt by the "ever rising cost of healthcare." They had not noticed.
I thought that was telling.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

We Are Told that SS Exists Because Some Would be Destitute in Old Age Without It

The Incidental economist has a couple of good post about Social Security here and here.

They just shows how perverse our welfare for the elderly programs are. We are told that the SS system exists because some would be destitute in old age without it.  So shouldn't that be reflected in the structure of the program? We have all been scammed by the SS system for long enough.  One sensible thing to do is to end FICA (FICA is not a tax but a "contribution"), fund Social Security though taxes and pay all retirees the same amount.  This would improve life for most Americans because they would get to spend more money when they are young and poorer and if they saved and invested they could still have more to spend when old due to greater returns on private investments.  Also since saving and investing promote growth, the economy would produce more, meaning we will almost all be able to consume more.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hospice and Insurance

File this under why insurance is a bad way to pay for anything.  If one goes into hospice, health insurance will pay for it, but if a family member quits work to give care, they will not be compensated.  The latter is often doable until very close to the end and is much cheaper and better for the patient.