Friday, August 6, 2021

Lower Taxes Higher GDP

This is from Scott Sumner here

While rich countries often have fairly high taxes (i.e. Sweden), between two otherwise similar rich countries the one with lower taxes usually has higher per capita GDP.  (And even Sweden’s economy improved after it cut back on its extremely high tax rates during the 1990s.)  That’s one reason why America’s per capita GDP is higher than Europe’s—we have lower tax rates. In general, rich countries with lower taxes (the US, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Ireland, Singapore, etc.) tend to be richer than those with higher taxes.

People look at Sweden and say it has a good Government but I think that they get a bad deal, the USA voters do too but less so.

Governments are very inefficient and only certain east Asian countries seem to do significantly better that the USA. We can think of ways to do things much more efficiently but not with politics. 

For example Social Security looks like a simple efficient transfer but if it did not exist only maybe 10% to 20% of old people would be in bad shape, so a program that exists to help 10% to 20% of old people, mostly from the bottom 30% of earners, pays more money out to higher earners. 

That produces a lot of dead weight loss of taxation. Plus sub-optimal living and daycare arrangements. Even in healthcare where Sweden looks better than the USA, IMHO they pay for a lot of care that does not come out positive cost benefit. They spend much more than Singapore, with little to show for it.

Were the Crime Statistics Reliable Before 1970?

 I read that the crime statistics (including murder) for blacks before the mid 1970's were very unreliable. That the police would record a likely murder of black citizen as death from natural causes to avoid paperwork. 

According to Thaddeus Russel who studies vice, majority black areas were lightly policed and that was one of the reasons that the black caucus pushed the way Jason said they did.

That would undermine the story that the black crime rate was lower. On the other hand if Thaddeus is correct but police properly recorded the great majority or murders correctly them maybe defunding police would not result in a large (say up 50%) increase in murder. 

Is there proof either way?

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Improving the Idea for Single Payer Supporters

 This is an improved version of my idea for supporters of single payer healthcare.

1. I had earlier proposed that we leave Medicare as it is due the political difficulty of changing it but this idea seems like it would appeal even to seniors on Medicare.

To give better incentives to Medicare recipients, we try giving Medicare recipients at age 65 a health saving account funded with $30k for them and then at 70 years old they get to keep what is left if anything but if they go over Medicare will pay for all of the overage, then again at 70 fund their health saving account with another $30k for them and then at 75 years old they get to keep what is left. Etc. until death.

2. Since it would be relatively cheap, and it’s among the most effective healthcare, and makes the plan more workable, the Government would cover children from the time that their mother gets pregnant until they turn 18 years old with only small copays like $20 visit to prevent abuse.

3. For each citizen turning 18 years old the Government would fund a medical savings account with $100,000 (this number might be too low or too high). Money from that account would be spent on any medical care that normally UK NHS provides for UK citizens. If an individual’s spending goes over $100,000 between the ages of 18 and 65 the Government pays for all the overage. When people reach age 65 the money left in the account would be theirs to keep.

4. If someone is diagnosed with diabetes or some other costly chronic disease before age 18 we might want to add some amount of money to their account.

5. We might have to do something to prevent people from delaying care when they are close to 65 years old.

Only increase the amounts for inflation by vote in hopes that due to this system healthcare spending would lag inflation.

Why this? Because too many USA citizens feel no compunction stealing from Government AND/OR insurance companies.