Health Care Equality

Robert Samuelson reports (HT: Greg Mankiw): t is widely assumed that health care, like most aspects of American life, shamefully shortchanges the poor. This is less true than it seems. Economist Gary Burtless of the Brookings Institution recently discovered this astonishing data: on average, annual health spending per person — from all private and government sources — is equal for the poorest and the richest … Continue reading Health Care Equality

Class-based Affirmative Action

Richard D. Kahlenburg urges Barack Obama to propose ending race-based affirmative action, substituting class-based affirmative action in its place—mostly as a political ploy to move “beyond race” while still channeling mopst fo the program’s benefits to minorities. Commenters give some arguments that Kahlenburg’s political analysis leaves out: There’s no conflict between academic merit and the goals of racial and SES affirmative action, if one drops … Continue reading Class-based Affirmative Action


Megan McArdle writes disapprovingly of the minimum wage: Both at Crooked Timber, and in my own beloved comment threads, the suggestion has been made that the minimum wage is really swell because it gets rid of low-productivity jobs that only pay the minimum wage. This sounds lovely–if you are the kind of person who has the skills to get one of the higher productivity jobs. … Continue reading Updrafts

Why Republicans Are Happier, Part II

I wrote earlier about Pew research findings that Republicans are happier than Democrats, and, generally, conservatives are happier than liberals. Here was my explanation: I think it’s likely that happy people are more likely to be Republicans, while unhappy people are more likely to be Democrats, for unhappiness gives one an incentive to seek change, and happiness an incentive to resist it. But the causal … Continue reading Why Republicans Are Happier, Part II

Kling on Inequality

Arnold Kling reflects on the fact that the Clintons made $109 million over the past seven years. (Maybe John Edwards is on to something with that “Two Americas” thing.) What’s remarkable is not the amount of private wealth, however, but the amount of wealth and power that government officials control: Montgomery County, Maryland, has an annual budget of $3.8 billion. This sum is under the … Continue reading Kling on Inequality

Reactions to Obama’s Speech

Michael Goldfarb points out how amazing our current situation is: What if I told you in 2004 that the Democratic party would run an African American candidate for president in 2008? I tell you National Journal will officially label this candidate the most liberal member of the United States Senate. This candidate will also have served less than three years in that Senate, with no … Continue reading Reactions to Obama’s Speech

Schools of Social Work

The National Association of Scholars has published a report on schools of social work throughout the country, finding that most are committed to ideological indoctrination rather than unbiased research: “Social work education is a national academic scandal.” Stephen Balch, NAS Director: Defenders of the American university claim that the seriousness of the problem of political correctness has been greatly exaggerated by critics. There is, however, … Continue reading Schools of Social Work

May I Have Another Doctor?

Muslim medical workers in Great Britain are refusing to sanitize their forearms for religious reasons. To wash according to guidelines, some Muslim women say, forces them to bare their forearms up to the elbow, which, they think, is forbidden by Islam. (HT: Lydia McGrew) Dr. Semmelweis discovered the significance of sanitizing hands and arms in 1847—some 1,215 years after the death of Mohammed. Requiring medical … Continue reading May I Have Another Doctor?