Micha Gisser In the Wall Street Journal

Congratulations to the Rio Grande Foundation’s Micha Gisser. His excellent letter to the editor regarding health policy was published yesterday in the Wall Street Journal. Here is a portion:
“The economic problem lies in the fact that traditional medical insurance covers two dissimilar events, catastrophic and minor illnesses. Consumers’ demand for catastrophic medical incidents is inelastic: a consumer will not use more of the heart-surgeon’s services just because his out-of-pocket spending is zero. Consumers’ demand for care for minor illnesses is elastic: it is inversely related to price. At the true high price a consumer would consult the medical encyclopedia and use over-the-counter drugs. At a low price (zero if her insurance pays the entire cost) a person would consume much more freely, mainly by making appointments with her doctor for every sniffle and headache. The problem with the prevailing health insurance is that the third-party payment of health-care bills insulates the consumers from the real costs of medical care services for non-catastrophic incidents.”
For the entire letter, click here (subscription required).
Nice job, Micha!

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Advice from Santa

Look who dropped into our Toastmasters meeting Tuesday evening!Santa00_0028_edited.JPG
No shopping mall Santa, he proceded to distribute gifts purchased by each of our generous members. Reality based as it was, we all felt like kids again.
He left these parting words of wisdom: “It’s too bad New Mexico cannot be reality based. We still have too many grownups who believe in the tooth fairy.”

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Leland Thompson, Jr.

We at the Foundation are saddened to learn of the death of our good friend, supporter and champion of liberty.
Leland and his family moved to New Mexico from Midland,
TX around 1960. He had been a wildcatter in the Permian
Basin, an activity in which George H.W. Bush had also been
active, and they were (and remained) close friends. In
fact, Leland gave George W. Bush his first ride in a small
airplane.
He was a first-rate businessman, and a valued director in a
number of New Mexico companies. He was also a wise
investor in real estate, owning outright or with others
in partnership perhaps 25,000 acres of undeveloped land
on the outskirts of Santa Fe. One such investment, Rancho
Viejo, is now home to Santa Fe Community College as the
result of an outright donation of its campus lands by Leland
and his partners. The Institute of American Indian Arts and
a large Catholic church have similarly located on land donated
by the Rancho Viejo Partnership.
Leland was also a founder of Santa Fe Preparatory School,
the premier independent school (grades 7-12) in Santa Fe,
and involved in a major way assisting establishment of
the Santa Fe campus of St. John’s College.
His widow is Evaline (nee Rife), and they have five grown
children. Three are married daughters with children who
live out-of-state. One is a son, Warren, who is married
with (I believe) two sons, is now chairman of the Santa Fe
Preparatory School board and is respected in the Santa Fe
business community. Another son lives in Taos.

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Academic Bias, II

Read the latest column by George Mason Professor of economics and nationally syndicated columnist, Walter Williams, for yet more evidence on the academy’s bias.

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Bias? What Bias?

Harry recently posted about liberal academia. The London-based Economist magazine (a moderate-left paper, in my opinion) has an article about the phenomenon in its latest issue. The Economist calls liberals’ reluctance to release their grip on academia is a “tragedy not just for America’s universities but also for liberal thought.”
Here is some more:
“Academia is simultaneously both the part of America that is most obsessed with diversity, and the least diverse part of the country. On the one hand, colleges bend over backwards to hire minority professors and recruit minority students, aided by an ever-burgeoning bureaucracy of “diversity officers”. Yet, when it comes to politics, they are not just indifferent to diversity, but downright allergic to it.
Evidence of the atypical uniformity of American universities grows by the week. The Centre for Responsive Politics notes that this year two universities—the University of California and Harvard—occupied first and second place in the list of donations to the Kerry campaign by employee groups, ahead of Time Warner, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft et al. Employees at both universities gave 19 times as much to John Kerry as to George Bush. Meanwhile, a new national survey of more than 1,000 academics by Daniel Klein, of Santa Clara University, shows that Democrats outnumber Republicans by at least seven to one in the humanities and social sciences. And things are likely to get less balanced, because younger professors are more liberal. For instance, at Berkeley and Stanford, where Democrats overall outnumber Republicans by a mere nine to one, the ratio rises above 30 to one among assistant and associate professors.”
And my favorite:
“It is notable that the surveys show far more conservatives in the more rigorous disciplines such as economics than in the vaguer 1960s ‘ologies’.”
If you would like to read the whole article, it can be found here with no subscription required (though I’m not sure how long that will last).

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One in Three New Yorkers on Medicaid?

Yep.
Jane Galt writes:
As you may or may not know, the states set the level of Medicaid spending, but the Feds match the states dollar for dollar. New York State decided that a good way to soak up extra Federal money was to require the local governments to match the state, dollar for dollar. Since the Feds match all state and local spending, this had the effect of doubling Medicare spending in the state of New York…

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Your Tax Dollars in Action

I propose that we add two new words to the English language:
wandingerous adj., colorless, feeble, tiresome and repetitious — wandingerousness n. To see why you should read the opinion piece by Angela Wandinger-Ness in the Albuquerque Journal Friday (11/10).
In it she attacks our president John Dendahl for poor writing and lack of rigor. Here is a sample of what she thinks is good writing:
“There should be accountability and a factual basis that underlies a credible opinion.”
I am not making this up. If you have a subscription to the Albuquerque Journal , you yourself can compare the writing skills of John and Ms Wandinger-Ness. Now tell me what do you think of my proposed new words!
With respect to lack of rigor, Ms Wandinger-Ness cites the ACLU website as evidence that John has not done his homework. The ACLU website???? Why doesn’t she look here or here or here?
Ms Wandinger-Ness lost her PC constraint in the article. I guess the Academy will forgive her, since her personal insults are directed at someone who does not share the Academy’s world view. Aren’t you glad your tax dollars fund such wandingerousness?

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