Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Interesting Study Shows that in the USA Latinos Outlive Whites.

Interesting this study shows that int the USA latinos, who of the groups studied have the least access to health care outlive whites.  Even more interestingly latinos in the USA out live most Europeans.

Add to that the fact that the eight Americas study shows that rural northern whites (with less access to health care) out live the general population and you begin to wonder if access to more health care shortens life!

Of course remember that homicide and accidental deaths move the life expectancy averages more than health care, beyond vaccinations, over the counter meds like aspirin/Tylenol and antibiotics.

Still a little shocking!

Hat tip to Bryan Caplan

Monday, April 19, 2010

Is Too Regulated to Fail a Good Policy Goal

Is too regulated to fail a good policy goal or is it impossible?  Isn't the failure of the weakest players in any industry a good thing? 

Knowing how Goldman Sachs, Lehman etc. operated I think that we would all be better off without their backward and corrupt ways of dealing but a bail out was passed with more Democrats than Republicans votes to bail them out! 

Economic freedom, though the greatest economic system by far does not shield us from economic ups and downs.  It certainly does not shield us from painful creative destruction, but the alternative is slow decline and under performance a la Cuba and North Korea. 

(BTW for those who insist that Sweden is the real relevant alternative rather than Cuba and North Korea, even the most active Governments in free economies have not been able to prevent all finical meltdowns, see Sweden's banking colapse in the early 1990s. it is only a complete governmnet take over like in Cuba and North Korea that can avoid booms and busts.)

IMHO free banking with money backed by bank assets (which was evolving in some places) would have given a fail safe to the financial system where one failing bank strengthens others.  The monopoly federal reserve system that we have now is plagued by feedback where the failure of one bank weakens the others. 

It seems the financial system is complex enough that no one knows enough to regulate it or to run the currency system on a monopoly basis.  The finical and banking systems should have been allowed to evolve longer before governments stepped in and created central banks.   Diversity gives strength and resilience.  A central bank is a monopoly entity.  It eliminates all diversity in currency issue.  This causes problems.  It is more difficult for monoplolies to set market clearing prices.  In a one currency system what do you value the currency against?  The CPI attempts to measure currency against a basket of goods but the CPI did not properly measure the rising cost of real-estate.  In a multi-currency system beanks must keep their currncy on par with other currencies and sop must make continual small adjustments. 

Diversity gives strength and resilience if one currency of many collapses the slack can be filled by others

Keep in mind that with all the regulations that have been added thus far the financial crises have gotten progressively worse.  That fact alone should give us pause. 

Worse than regulation are government guaranties.  Take the example of FDIC insurance, before the creation of the FDIC banks typically kept 30% capital (in banking capital = assets - liabilities) now banks keep 10% capital and they only keep that becuase it is mandated by law (regulation) but because it was law it is not a cushion because if capital drops below 10% the bank is declared regulatorily bankrupt!