This will warm you up for the Bluegrass Tax Liberation Day on April 18.
See you at:
Applebee’s Ball Park
207 Legends Lane
Lexington, KY 40505
Saturday, April 18, 2009
rain or shine
More than a decade ago, Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman wrote in “The Case for Free Trade” that a “fallacy seldom contradicted is that exports are good, imports bad.”
One of those rare opportunities now stares you in the face. Tell the entire world you believe free trade is the best policy by signing a petition here that will be unveiled Wednesday before the G20 economic summit in London.
With the specter of protectionism rising, it’s time for Americans to take Friedman up on his suggestion offered in 1997: “We could say to the rest of the world: We cannot force you to be free. But we believe in freedom and we intend to practice it.”
President Barack Obama and Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear seem to be of like mind when it comes to expanding government’s role in health insurance. A Cato Institute scholar has a better idea: getting the government to back off and encouraging health insurers to provide better coverage against the risk of getting sick.
From Investor’s Business Daily:
“Government does a mediocre and costly job of basic simple services like garbage removal; government-provided health insurance is a certain recipe for expensive, inefficient and ossified health care.”
“Government is not the only option. Markets can provide long-term, secure health insurance while enhancing choice and competition. Given the chance, they will.”
“The key innovation is “health-status insurance.” If a health shock causes your medical-insurance premiums to rise, it pays a lump-sum payment sufficient to pay the higher medical-insurance premiums. (To deter fraud, the payment goes into a special account that can only be used for medical insurance premiums.)”
“You can always purchase medical insurance with no change in out-of-pocket costs, and therefore have complete long-term health security.”
“When people have health-status insurance, medical insurers can be turned loose to freely compete, even though they will charge higher premiums to those with long-term illnesses.”
“Insurers will compete for the sickest patients, attracting them with better care rather than “cost containing” them, or denying them coverage for pre-existing conditions. Insurers will compete hard for the healthy patients too, giving us all better service at lower cost.”
The whole article is worth a read. Getting out of the way and allowing greater consumer choice is the way to enhance freedom and prosperity. We’ve given the alternate approach too many opportunities to succeed already.
The “North Area Counties of Kentucky Exposition of Science” was held on March 21, 2009, and the list of winners is now posted.
To put it mildly, the winners’ list is dominated by the Northern Kentucky parochial schools. In fact, a Catholic school won the school-level award for both junior (grade 5 to grade 8) and high school levels of the competition.
This actually is a little surprising, because some recent studies have claimed that there are no advantages for private schools.
Anyway, that urban legend has been shot full of holes by this science fair, which was open to all students in the 30 county area of Northern Kentucky.
— Finally getting the message
From our early days the Bluegrass Institute has pointed out that there is something wrong with the ratio of teachers to other staff in our schools. This graph, which shows Kentucky ranks dead last for this ratio among the 50 states and even Washington, DC, has run ever since the early days of the Bluegrass Institute’s “Ten Great Reasons for School Choice” started publication half a decade ago (See the current “Ten Great Reasons” here).
For example, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence took some issue with the graph above back in 2005. See their comments and our response in the far right column of page 4 in this document where it talks about Reason No. 8.
But, times are changing. Over at the Prichard Blog, Susan Weston now raises concerns that Kentucky seems to have overstaffing problems in its public schools.
Well, this isn’t a new issue, but it is new for Prichard Committee to revise their position to agree with our long-running analysis and concerns.
So, without a doubt, our “tooth to tail” teacher to staff ratio in Kentucky’s public schools does look problematic. Even Prichard now admits that.
This needs an investigation.
In looking for a way to govern Detroit automakers to prosperity, even President Barack Obama seems to realize the influence of union wages has had a negative effect.
“What we are asking is difficult,” Obama said today. “It will require hard choices by companies. It will require unions and workers who have already made painful concessions to make even more.”
So as Kentucky moves closer to a tax raising special session, wouldn’t it make sense for us to look at the excessive costs of mandating union wages for public construction projects in the state?
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