Health care and monopsony

I should begin by saying that I am not opposed to public provision of health care — quite the contrary. My wife and I had an experience with socialized medicine when we were in Wales. An injury cut our vacation short, but the medical care was first-rate, cheap and much… Continued

Wine shortage fears are unsubstantiated

My colleagues Anne Duchene and Marco Airaudo were recently interviewed about the surging demand for wine on the part of the rising middle class in China and other emerging countries, and they predicted that demand growth will outstrip production. They reasoned that land suitable for wine grapes is limited in… Continued

Economists are to blame for Obamacare woes

Because Mitt Romney pioneered health care reform and the Obama administration supported the federal legislation that established it, maybe we should call it Robamacare. It’s been having problems, and not just with the website. Blame those on computer scientists. You can blame economists for the price fluctuations and unexpected cancellation… Continued

Our future funding woes

Authoritative reports say that over the next few years, Drexel will adopt responsibility center management, or RCM. This is one of several models for university budgeting, each of which has some known advantages and disadvantages. A number of universities, including our next door neighbor, have practiced RCM for some time.… Continued

Most “libertarians” are confused

Gore Vidal (1925-2012) once remarked that the so-called “libertarians” of the right wing are not libertarian at all but should be called “propertarians.” He had a point. The one freedom that right-libertarians value above all others is the right of property owners to dispose of their property. By contrast, people… Continued

Hung, drawn, and quartered

I wrote to the Triangle two years ago in favor of a transition from a quarter system to trimesters. I’d like to think the current review of alternatives to quarters by our administration is a result of my benign influence, but I’m not quite silly enough to think that. Nevertheless… Continued

Corporations, Persons, and Penn State University

Bill Moyers once said, “I’ll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one.” Is a corporation a person? That’s not an easy question to answer because the word “person” has more than one meaning. The word “person” can be used in a theological sense, though I doubt anyone means to… Continued

Paying off the national debt

Now that the elections are over, it is time to think about the federal debt. Most Americans seem to agree that our large federal debt is regrettable and ought to be reduced and eventually repaid. Because of the obstacles that are discussed in Keynesian economics, this will be difficult, if… Continued

Letter to the Editor – Electoral College

In the year 2000, we recall that George W. Bush won the presidential election in the Electoral College, although Al Gore had a majority of the popular vote. (I’m ignoring any issues about the counting of the votes.) This stimulated some discussion of the possibility that the Electoral College might… Continued

Occupy Wall Street’s next steps

Roger McCain   The Occupy Wall Street movement that emerged in the summer and fall of last year was a creative new development in American politics. Their novel tactic of nonviolent mass trespassing will probably continue to influence events for years to come. It is becoming clear, however, that the… Continued