Brian Easton on whether inequality has risen in the past 20 years in New Zealand

Source: Brian Easton (14 March 2016) Do inequality and poverty matter? | Pundit

Tax burdens of the top 10% across the OECD

Competition, not Price Controls

Truth on the Market

In an effort to control drug spending, several states are considering initiatives that will impose new price controls on prescription drugs. Ballot measures under consideration in California and Ohio will require drug companies to sell drugs under various state programs at a mandated discount. And legislators in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania have drafted bills that would create new government commissions to regulate the price of drugs. These state initiatives have followed proposals by presidential nominees to enact new price controls to address the high costs of pharmaceuticals.

As I explain in a new study, further price controls are a bad idea for several reasons.

First, as I discussed in a previous post, several government programs, such as Medicaid, the 340B Program, the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs drug programs, and spending in the coverage gap of Medicare Part D, already impose price controls. Under these programs, required rebates are typically calculated…

View original post 781 more words

Alternative for Germany

Alternative for Germany just missed out on the 5% threshold of the last German election. They are certain to get in at the next federal election. Initially an anti-bailout party that has now become an anti-immigration party

Law of Markets

The German people actually seem to want border protection against invasion by peoples from other cultures, who have no marketable skills in the German economy and who speak languages other than German. Germany Wakes Up to Politics Trump-Style as AfD Takes on Merkel. I am somewhat at a loss to know what the outrageous ideas the AfD has based on the opening of the story.

If you think Donald Trump has some outrageous ideas, wait until you meet Germany’s AfD party.

The Alternative for Germany, to give the party its full name, has shaken up the country’s consensus-driven politics with headline-grabbing policies that include telling Germans to have more children to avoid the need for immigration. Frauke Petry, the AfD’s co-leader, has said that police must “prevent illegal border crossings, using firearms if necessary.”

Like Trump, her rhetoric hasn’t damaged AfD support but rather struck a chord with those…

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Justice Scalia and the Original Meaning of Originalism

Uneasy Money

humpty_dumpty

(I almost regret writing this post because it took a lot longer to write than I expected and I am afraid that I have ventured too deeply into unfamiliar territory. But having expended so much time and effort on this post, I must admit to being curious about what people will think of it.)

I resist the temptation to comment on Justice Scalia’s character beyond one observation: a steady stream of irate outbursts may have secured his status as a right-wing icon and burnished his reputation as a minor literary stylist, but his eruptions brought no credit to him or to the honorable Court on which he served.

But I will comment at greater length on the judicial philosophy, originalism, which he espoused so tirelessly. The first point to make, in discussing originalism, is that there are at least two concepts of originalism that have been advanced. The first and…

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Creative destruction in Internet usage

Image

@BernieSanders defence of #Castro did not help spread democracy

Dodging the #Trump Bullet: @zingales (2011) on @realdonaldtrump’s previous run for president

Read what Zingales wrote five years ago on City Journal that was part of what was cut out of his book “A Capitalism for the People” because Donald Trump running seriously for president was never supposed to happen.

Source: Dodging the Trump Bullet | City Journal.

Zingales is no kinder in his recent op-ed recalling the lost book chapter, which is paywalled.

We are not aware of any other districts that have made such large improvements in such a short time.

relinquishment

In August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina nearly destroyed New Orleans.

Over the past ten years, New Orleanians, with the support of the nation, rebuilt their school system.

The system is predicated upon three principles: educators operate schools, families choose from these schools, and government holds the schools accountable for performance and equity.

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The title of this post comes from Doug Harris’ article on his study on the New Orleans reforms. After summarizing the effects, which he estimates at .4 standard deviations, Doug writes:

We are not aware of any other districts that have made such large improvements in such a short time.

Doug also notes that these reforms were accomplished at a significantly lower cost than reforms such as pre-k access and class size reduction.

Here’s a chart that tracks the progress of the reform impacts:

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 7.03.28 AM

To put this .4 standard deviation in context, the black-white achievement gap is…

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Running the Numbers: Who Will Be the Education Base of the Democratic Party in 2024?

relinquishment

The New York Times just ran a piece titled: “Can Labor Still Turn Out the Vote?”

It raises some interesting questions about the future of the Democratic party.

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Total union membership is 14.8 million.

Private unions have 7.2 million members and public unions have 7.6 million members.

These numbers are going down.

Overall, declining union membership is being in large part driven by losses in the private sector:

UnionMembershipRates2015

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When it comes to teachers unions, numbers are also in decline.

ednext_XV_1_antonucci_fig01

Overall, teacher union membership is about 2.5 million.

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Charter enrollment, on the other hand, is going up:

charter enrollment.png

This year, there are more students enrolled in charter schools than there are teacher union members.

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To simplify a complicated issue: teachers unions, on average, do not support significant charter school expansion.

This may put them at odds with the millions of families who are enrolled, or who wish to…

View original post 163 more words

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