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You may disagree at times with some of the positions (such as living wage provisions) but the conversation here is a good one to follow, and this gentleman clearly understands tradeoffs. I wished there would be more conversations like it.



In other news, my university (which operates its own group plan, meaning it is largely exempt from ObamaCare) starts its open enrollment period today. I think they may have taken a few cues from the web designers in the new exchanges. Here is what happens when I try to get enrolled: (it’s not my connection since I am blogging this from another tab in the same web browser):




In other news, my university was once again recognized with awards for its Sustainability “efforts” … not results mind you, just for its efforts. This is beginning to look at lot like youth soccer programs that give everyone trophies for showing up. The grounds folks seem, by the way, to be doing work based on research and implementing strategies that seem to be “good” – so kudos to them at least. But look at how much evidence is presented for how sustainable any of this actually is. Lots of sciency goodness. And you might ask why I keep linking to this? Because our university privileges the “Go Green” agenda almost beyond any other agenda item. We get morning emails from the university about faculty research, news and events on campus and the like, and easily once per week there is a featured story linking up to something from the “Go Green” folks. So as long as it comes into my inbox, we’ll keep pointing to the nudity of the green emperor. I am going to propose a weekly highlight in the e-mail for “Thinking Like an Economist” and see if that gets accepted. I need a catchy title of course, and no “Go Lean” is not going to be it.

4 Responses to “Conversation with a Progressive on Food Stamps and Poverty”

  1. Scott says:

    It’s not spending on food stamps that gets under my skin. I would think a more efficient approach might be to have a negative income tax and preserve the liberty of individual choice of consumption, in order to prevent distorting markets, but I’m happy to see a portion of my income go toward making sure that everyone can eat, or alleviate any of the harshest conditions of poverty.

    But what I do find infuriating consider that the gummit, in all of its’ forms, city state & federal, is currently ‘investing’ somewhere in the range of $25 million to fill in a portion of the inner loop in Rochester and replace it with retail shops and offices and residences. Of course these things all seem great – but how can you take taxpayers money and ‘invest’ in some project based on a market research project?

    How many bananas could you buy with $25M? Accepting the argument that wealth should be redistributed in order to maximize utility throughout society, how could anyone possibly justify such allocations of government spending?

    Talking about the hypocrisies of individual politicians is a straw man, is it not?

  2. Harry says:

    Is it still possible to have a medical savings account coupled with a major medical insurance policy at the university, and when does that end under Obamacare? In 2015, when the employer mandate kicks in, and the fit hits the shan?

    • wintercow20 says:

      For now – I have been asking this question for two years and not received a clear answer. But I have a high deductible with HSA and that is still offered. It’s not quite as “bare bones” as I would want, so really it’s the same insurance plan as the others offered by U of R with only material differences at the front end payment. It’s not a catastrophic plans, just a high deductible version of a fairly gold-plated plan – so for now I think it will survive.

  3. Harry says:

    Thanks for your answer about HSA’s, WC. I did not want to get personal.

    Regarding food stamps, let us stipulate that we all do not want children to starve. I am not so sure the author of that Washington Post piece believes that of me, a teabagger who wants to put a testicle into the mouth of a young supporter of Obama’s vision. While that rambling piece did have a nugget or two, the whole mouthful was impossible to swallow. But then, you are more patient than I.

    The elephant in the room are the extra twenty million new people signed up for food stamps, and the USDA’s aggressive program that continues today to sign up more, way beyond the margin of neediness.

    Even if one accepts that the state should subsume the role of taking care of the needy, can we reject help for young males who are healthy, so in their adolescent years might think about how they might make a living and provide for both their families and their other children?

    In this I agree with Calypso Louie Farrakan, but I would add that the problem extends to the white boys with the piercings, who have little rings in their lips and no job.

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