Recommended Reading – Thursday, February 2nd 2012

Feb 2, 2012 by

Ontario’s “pay more, get less” healthcare sytem (Fraser Institute)

“Facing a $16-billion deficit, the Ontario government announced it will stop funding a handful of medical services currently covered by the public health insurer. This should come as no surprise, as it has become the norm in Ontario as well as other Canadian provinces. This is because cost-containment strategies such as rationing access to medical services are intrinsic characteristics of single-payer health insurance.

When governments are faced with budget constraints – i.e. a huge provincial deficit – along with unsustainable growth in health spending, it doesn’t have many options. Consequently, since Ontarians are prohibited from purchasing private insurance for medically necessary services – the breadth of insured medical services is at the mercy of Ontario’s politicians.

It’s time to move away from this fragmented,  highly politicized, and centrally planned financing scheme, and allow Ontarians to take control of their own health care by removing the prohibition on private health insurance.” (Click here for the rest of the article)

How Much Does the Safety Net Help The Poor? (The Independent Institute)

“The right sees the poor as getting all and more than they deserve from big government, from the taxpayers, and so left-liberal complaints about the plight of the poor must be ignoring how much the government has already done to help those on the bottom rung. The left, on the other hand, has a different variation on the theme: The government must do more—much more—to help the poor (and middle class)—through more activity, more handouts, more regulations, more of a “safety net.”

Yet what’s most significant is what both sides have in common, the view that the government safety net does in fact help the very poor, that the poorest Americans have the most to gain from America’s welfare state, such as it is.

This has got to be the saddest misconception in all the talk about government poor programs. It is a mystery that it persists at all. If you consider the very poorest Americans—those without a place to live, for example—it seems odd to think the government has done so much to help them, when, as a matter of fact, they still do not have a place to live. It is a retreat from reality, and an obscene one at that, to speak of the “very poor” as the ones who have most benefited from America’s “social safety net” when, by definition, the very poor are the ones who have the least despite the decades and trillions spent on the war on poverty.

The point here isn’t that the government should spend more to help the poor. The point is that government “safety net” programs are hardly directed toward nor sufficiently help the “very poor.” And this would be consistent with the entire history of the human experience, where the poorest were categorically those with the least access to the spoils of government taxing and spending.” (Click here for the rest of the article)

The Speak Easy Economy (The Daily Reckoning)

“A report from ABC did some sleuthing on educational institutions all over Australia, where government demands that everyone sign up for public school or officially register as home schooling. The report estimates that 50,000 families completely ignore these rules. Some families don’t believe they should have to register. Others have discerned that there is more risk by going legal than schooling underground.

We all know of such cases. We know a person who bakes cheesecakes in her kitchen and sells them to friends — all while ignoring licenses, health regulations, mandates on oven size, zoning laws and all the rest. Her kids help her in exchange for a weekly allowance — an arrangement that looks a lot like child labor. We know of people who have one normal job but also a job on the side making jewelry, designing websites or tutoring. They prefer cash.

All these small anecdotes — and we know many of them — come from every place in the world, especially with the recession’s intense economic pressures. Faced with the choice of complying with government or making a decent life for themselves, people tend to choose the latter. So it is with hundreds of street vendors in San Francisco.” (Click here for the rest of the article)

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