The prevailing notion among most people is that education can only be provided in a rigid and highly structured environment called "School", with a set of subjects that must be learned within a certain time in order to proceed to the next structured setting, like in an assembly line. The above short video quickly explain the many rigid aspects of modern schooling plus how, where and why it originated.
Monday, May 6, 2013
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
In the "What will come next?" department, We should have a conversation about teeth control in this country! So many tragedies could be averted if we, as a community, and the government, get involved to reduce all this biting violence that brings so much sorrow to so many families! I mean, who needs more than 10 teeth? We should have more laws and enforce them to make people undergo a background check if they want to get themselves dentures! Our schools can be made safer if we enforce zero-tolerance rules against grinning!
Monday, April 1, 2013
According to an article in Forbes magazine, many doctors are considering or have decided to provide medical care on a cash-only basis in order to reduce their costs substantially. What will this mean for the future of medical services in the United States?
Obviously, this is not the first time doctors accept cash for their services; but, for many years, the norm has been that people buy medical insurance as a way to pay for medical services. This 3rd party payment system is the main driver of medical care costs in the U.S., primarily because it shields the consumers from the true costs of medical care, and also because the practitioners have to keep and maintain a mountain of records to satisfy the red tape created when dealing with insurance companies (leaving aside Medicare/Medicaid).
From the Forbes article:
Even before Obamacare, direct-pay practices were growing in popularity. According to the Center for Studying Health System Change, direct-payment practices increased from 9.2 percent of the market in 2001 to 12.4 percent by 2008.7 per cent may not seem like many, but as word of mouth allows practitioners to know first-hand of the advantages of a cash-only business, the number is going to grow. The article also states that many doctors are planning on retiring early or know a colleague that is planning to do the same. This will surely mean a shortage of primary care doctors who would still be in business receiving insured or Medicare/Medicaid patients.
Nearly 7 percent of doctors say they are planning to change to some form of direct-pay care in the next three years, according to a survey of 13,000 doctors done for the Physicians Foundation.
One worry that can stem from this trend is that there will not be enough doctors to see patients who are poor or have no insurance. Will a direct-pay system affect poor people more than rich people? A typical housecall may cost $100 USD, a huge amount considering the $30 USD co-pays that an insured patient pays; but factor in your monthly premium payments and you will see that it actually becomes much cheaper to see a cash-only (or direct-pay) doctor than keeping insurance. If a working-class family decides to risk it and stop buying insurance, it will probably be better for them in the end because they can use the money they save (from not paying insurance premiums) to set up a medical savings account for direct-pay visits and still purchase catastrophic medical emergency insurance at a lower cost.
How does all of this factor in with Obamacare? The new health insurance law makes it mandatory for people to purchase health insurance, under the threat of paying a penalty. This may in the end not amount to much because the Internal Revenue Service - the agency in charge, under the new law, of applying the penalty - doesn't have the manpower or wherewithal to impose a penalty on anyone, except maybe small and other businesses. This means people will not buy insurance unless they really need to. This is surely going to impose a huge burden on the health insurance industry as they are not allowed to deny coverage to people with "pre-existing conditions."
What will this mean for the cash-only medical service, especially as it becomes more popular for those that decide not to buy insurance? My take is that the government will not sit idle by and will come up with some sort of imposition that will turn all practitioners into employers for the state, just like it happened in countries like Canada or the U.K., where doctors are not allowed to freely practice their industry, as they are burdened by restrictions on billing or against private practice completely; for instance, several provinces in Canada forbid doctors from billing clients directly. It is possible that the U.S. government may thus decide to impose similar restrictions to private practice in order to keep doctors from engaging in direct-pay systems, and thus retaining control of the industry in their own way. The government may face a huge legal battle if it decides to go this route, especially coming from the doctors themselves or even from the several states. All of this promises to be an interesting spectacle as the U.S. government tries to impose its will over the medical service industry.
Monday, February 18, 2013
Monday, February 11, 2013
Here are in a nutshell the fundamental principles that define libertarianism: a) The self-ownership principle, from where the right to liberty, life and property are derived. b) The Non-aggression principle, or the non-initiation of force against other people. The video explains these principles in a very concise yet entertaining way. It is a good primer on libertarianism and Voluntaryst ethics.
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Friday, December 28, 2012
Friday, December 7, 2012
Monday, November 26, 2012
As it is typical with government, whenever there's a crisis, it will be there to make things much worse. Due to a bunch of badly-crafted and insanely complicated regulations - the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2009 - many small manufacturers are bailing out of the children's toys and apparel industry, as they have no way to comply with the pile of requirements that purport to demonstrate that their products are "safe." From the Reason.com article:
The law was designed to require additional testing for children's toys after a 2007 scare over contaminants in Chinese-made Mattel toys. But overly broad language and strict testing and labeling requirements meant the law wound up seriously hurting the market in second-hand children's books, making charitable giving of secondhand stuffed animals tougher, putting motorbike manufacturers out of business, squelching the market in handmade wooden toys, taking popular children's jewelry off the shelves, and more.There are also serious consequences for people trying to unload perfectly good toys and clothes through e-Bay, Craig's List and even garage sales, as they can find themselves in trouble if a local district attorney with political aims finds it attractive to prosecute the small-time sellers just to score easy points, under the guise of "protecting the children." This is more evidence that regulations and rules are not really meant to keep us "safe" but to benefit a few producers who are politically well-connected. If the broadness of the wording in this regulation and the onerous costs that it imposes on small manufacturers was not a purposeful act, then one can only conclude that people in Congress are so incredibly dumb to write laws and regulations that hurt the very people they purport to help.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Three years ago, Dr. Keith Smith, co-founder and managing partner of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, took an initiative that would only be considered radical in the health care industry: He posted online a list of prices for 112 common surgical procedures. The 51-year-old Smith, a self-described libertarian, and his business partner, Dr. Steve Lantier, founded the Surgery Center 15 years ago, after they became disillusioned with the way patients were treated at St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City, where the two men worked as anesthesiologists. In 1997, Smith and Lantier bought the shell of a former surgical center with the aim of creating a for-profit facility that could deliver first-rate care at a fraction of what traditional hospitals charge.
The major cause of exploding U.S. heath care costs is the third-party payer system, a text-book concept in which A buys goods or services from B that are paid for by C. Because private insurance companies or the government generally pick up most of the tab for medical services, patients don't have the normal incentive to seek out value.
The Surgery Center's consumer-driven model could become increasingly common as Americans look for alternatives to the traditional health care market—an unintended consequence of Obamacare. Patients may have no choice but to look outside the traditional health care industry in the face of higher costs and reduced access to doctors and hospitals.
Because bills charged by Integris are paid primarily by insurance companies or the government, the hospital gets away with gouging for its services. Reason obtained a bill for a procedure that Dr. Sigmon performed at Integris in October 2010 called a “complex bilateral sinus procedure,” which helps patients with chronic nasal infections. The bill, which is strictly for the hospital itself and doesn't include Sigmon's or the anesthesiologist's fees, totaled $33,505. When Sigmon performs the same procedure at the Surgery Center, the all-inclusive price is $5,885.
The Integris bill for the same nasal procedure went to Blue Cross of Oklahoma, so the patient had no compelling reason to question its outrageous markups. They included a $360 charge for a steroid called dexamethasone, which can be purchased wholesale for just 75 cents. Or the three charges totaling $630 for a painkiller called fentanyl citrate, which all together cost the hospital about $1.50.
Friday, November 9, 2012
Friday, September 21, 2012
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
If one person finds morally reprehensible the use of force to compel another person to be charitable, then why would the use of force by a majority be less morally reprehensible?