Some Links

by Don Boudreaux on February 16, 2016

in Books, Creative destruction, Environment, Health, Politics, Property Rights

Rob Bradley remembers the great Julian Simon, who would have turned 84 a few days ago.

Tim Worstall celebrates the fact that air pollution is today rising in relative importance as a source of health problems.  You, I, and everyone else on the globe should join in this celebration.  (HT Warren Smith)

Ilya Somin, a brilliant GMU colleague over in the law school, reflects on Justice Scalia and property rights.

John Tamny reviews Sally Pipes’s book on Obamacare.  A slice from John’s review:

Obama’s signature legislative achievement “has forced Americans to endure lengthy waits before seeing a physician.”

Pipes goes on to relay that “A 2014 survey of physicians in 15 cities found that the average wait time for a new patient in five medical specialties was more than 18 days. Those seeking an appointment with a family physician in Boston waited an average of 66 days.” Impatient Americans don’t like waiting, and as evidenced by the reaction within the electorate in 2010 and 2014, those same restless Americans have divided up power in Washington as a way of limiting more legislative errors that would almost certainly compound the existing Obamacare mistake.

Sadly, wait times haven’t been the only health care negative to emerge from the 2010 legislation. Though billed as a law meant to render access to health care “affordable,” it’s been anything but.

Jonah Goldberg nicely exposes the snake-oil-salesmenships that are the campaigns of both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.  A slice:

Donald Trump is all about the gnosis. He insists that the idiots in Washington don’t understand anything, particularly the “Art of the Deal” (Now in paperback!). If elected, he will simply apply his magical secret wisdom to the black hole in Washington and turn it into a supernova of winning.

Indeed, Trump has been playing this game for years. He still won’t back off his poisonous belief that vaccines cause autism. The roots of his current presidential bid (he’s tried before) lay in his “birther” shtick. His spamtastic Trump University — now called the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative and being sued for fraud — promised to reveal the secret techniques Trump used to amass his fortune. Students say they paid thousands and got nothing.

For millennia, snake-oil salesman have promised shortcuts, quick fixes, secret tricks, and easy riches by claiming that the Powers that Be are deliberately hiding the good stuff. In the past, the Powers that Be could hold such claims at bay, particularly in the political realm.

Here’s more from Randy Holcombe on how politics creates conflict.

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