the high cost of healthcare in the USA

April 7th, 2018

The United States spends much more on healthcare than other countries, and receives less for it. But why is spending on healthcare out of control and seemingly so ineffective in the USA? Siddhartha Mukherjee, a Columbia University professor of medicine, summarizes and comments on a paper written by three researchers from Harvard and the London School of Economics. Here are some snippets from his readable essay; the full article contains much more of value and interest. Read the rest of this entry »

multilateralism, rules, and their demise

April 5th, 2018

FT columnist Philip Stephens has written an excellent column on the sad state of world affairs. Here are a few excerpts from it. Click on the link below to read the full column. Read the rest of this entry »

the real cause of trade deficits

April 4th, 2018

In an FT column, Megan Greene provides an excellent, concise explanation of why the US has a large trade deficit, and why tariffs on trade will not reduce it. President Trump should read this before his trade war harms the US and its trading partners. This is Economics 101, understood by nearly all trained economists but difficult for non-economists to understand. Read the rest of this entry »

call for universal pensions in the Philippines

March 31st, 2018

Senator Grace Poe has filed a Bill to provide all citizens aged 60 years and older a monthly pension of P1,500 (US$29). Read the rest of this entry »

towards universal health care in Burkina Faso

March 30th, 2018

When only 1% of your population has health insurance, the road to universal coverage is a long one. Burkina Faso is beginning this journey, but is off on a rocky start.

In 2012 an initiative was launched to provide healthcare for the “poorest of the poor”. The International Social Security Review, a journal published for the International Social Security Association under the under the auspices of the International Labour Organization, has an article on this in the latest issue. Unfortunately, it is available to subscribers only. I do not have a subscription, so could only read the abstract, which I reproduce below.

The initiative was not successful, as might have been predicted, as the poor were required to make co-payments, no doubt on top of their insurance contribution, and were limited to three visits to a doctor or hospital per year. It is not clear from the abstract if this limitation was per family or per family member. Read the rest of this entry »

Jan Morris at lunch with the FT

March 25th, 2018

This week’s Lunch with the FT, hosted by FT political correspondent Henry Mance, is one of the best I have read. It is very entertaining.

Welsh historian and travel writer Jan Morris, CBE, FRSL (born 1926) published under her birth name (James) until 1972, when she had surgery and transitioned from living as a male to living as a female. Now aged 91, she continues to live with the woman she married in 1949. The couple had five children together. Read the rest of this entry »

the leadership styles of JFK, GW Bush and Donald Trump

March 22nd, 2018

Today, while searching for information on varied topics, I came across an old interview with Ted Sorensen, a lawyer who was speechwriter for and close adviser to President John F. Kennedy. This segment caught my attention. Read the rest of this entry »

Donald Trump IS a protectionist

March 6th, 2018

Martin Wolf, in another great FT column, explains that there is no justification (even on protectionist grounds) for the 25% tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminum, and they will likely spur further protectionist tariffs, since industries using steel and aluminum as inputs will face rising costs. The solution? More tariffs! Read the rest of this entry »

lunch with the FT at Mar-a-Lago

March 3rd, 2018

I am bored with Donald Trump, his family and his friends. What I most enjoyed in this week’s FT lunch with a close friend of Trump were the photos of Mar-a-Lago, where the lunch took place. Here are two of the photos. The first is a painting of Donald in his youth. Read the rest of this entry »

healthcare in China

March 2nd, 2018

Healthcare used to be free for Chinese citizens. Now the healthcare system is moving toward that of the United States – a low bar for healthcare, at least for the poor. Read the rest of this entry »