Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Gruber and the Employer Mandates

David Henderson made  a blog post that links to a a video in which Johnathan Gruber, in a wonderful display of candor, says that the employee will pay for his own health insurance through lower wages whether he writes the check directly to the insurance company or his employer writes the check.  Gruber then goes on to advocate for employer mandate?

So what are the plausible reasons to mandate that employers pay for health insurance:

Employers are more capable to handle the book keeping for their employees.
To fool people into thinking health insurance is cheaper than it really is
To fool people into thinking that the employer is paying for his health insurance.

So what are the plausible reasons to not mandate that employers pay for health insurance:

Because of politics the employer mandate will have exceptions that distort the labor market and hurt employees. 
The consumer is more ignorant of what health insurance really costs.
It ties employees too closely to their employer.
It is inefficient for small employers. 
It makes it more difficult to start a business.
It can advantage smaller of bigger business depending on exceptions.

I believe that on net that the employer mandates are a bad idea 

PBS A Path Appears

Watching the PBS video A Path Appears got me to thinking about how inefficient schooling still is. 

Our goals from schooling should be to give people the most useful and valuable education with the least amount of effort and time spent.  

We should always keep in mind that the time of the educators and and more importantly the students is valuable. This means that we should put some emphasis on getting the students knowledge and skills in as short a time as possible.  I do not think that there is much research on this. It seems we focus more on keeping people in school longer but people in poverty would benefit from getting to work sooner.

We should always keep in mind that not everyone can be above average and so we should focus on getting the most valuable and useful knowledge to people early rather than focusing on the hope of college. degrees help up compete for the better jobs but wisdom and knowledge can advance everyone without out competing others.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Left and Right Citizens Could Work Together on These

We live in a world that will have lots of regulation and redistribution of income, there is no getting away it. and left and right will never agree on how much of each we should have.

So let's, knowledgeable people on the left and right, work together to get rid of bad regulations and to improve the efficiency of redistribution. 

Some examples where we could work together:

  • Lets work together to ending silly and costly interventionism in the ME, Latin America and Africa. 
  • Let's make bank capital requirements that say every year the .5% of banks with the lowest % of capital must fold or be merged (or lose FDIC insurance) unless they have more that 35% capital.
  • Let's replace most welfare (TANF, SNAP, SS, subsidized housing) with a BIG (Basic Income Guarantee). 
  • Let's make medicare and medicaid only pay for treatments with good evidence of efficacy. 
  • Let's replace ethanol, solar and wind subsidies and CAFE standards with a carbon tax. 

The current policies on the related to above issues are the type of things that exist only because the voters are rationally ignorant, allowing the politicians to run roughshod over the public interest. Their are many similar areas where the knowledgeable left and right agree.