None of these notes are website-related. Remember, this is a piece of legislation which will fail on many levels, not just as poor technology.
- Covered California is supposed to be one of the most successful state exchanges, and they’re falling well short of projections, even if you don’t include the one million people who have lost insurance directly due to Obamacare. Oh, and of those million, the state estimates that at least half will see their rates go up. Remember when President Obama was out there saying that the average family would save $2500 a year?
- Even if you get to the point where you see the Obamacare numbers, it turns out that the website lies to you.
- Oregon, meanwhile, is an utter failure. As of November 26th, they had exactly 0 people signed up.
- Thanks to Obamacare, everybody pays.
- Small businesses are cancelling health care thanks to Obamacare. This includes a business owner who appeared in White House advertisements touting Obamacare. I guess they had to pass the bill to find out how screwed you are by it.
- Matt Labash follows around people going door to door trying to sell people on Obamacare. Hilarity ensues. The best line comes from Welly Corgelas, who nails it: “This is how I see it: The government is still running it. That’s the problem. Insurance companies have always taken advantage of people. Government takes advantage of people. But like, the two of them are going to get together and create something that helps the people? I’m very skeptical, okay? Two barracudas getting together and saying we made something good for you? I just don’t buy that.” The follow-up is just awesome, when the government sasses the government cheerleaders.
- And Kay Hagan, soon to be ex-Senator from North Carolina, says that this is all the insurance companies’ fault.
President Obama goes through the school of hard knocks, stating that he had no clue how complex it is to create a website. It’s really not for the private sector, but this is government.
So by this point Obama has figured out that creating websites is hard, that “shovel-ready” jobs don’t exist, etc. Once Common Core fails, Obama will learn that education is hard. Heck, if he really learned his lessons, by the time he would leave office, he’d make Grover Cleveland look like a socialist.
Strangely, a government which can’t control it spending has its bonds downgraded. This is totally unique to Chicago and certainly has no bearing on other entrenched left-wing governments, just like how the failure of Detroit and several other cities have no bearing on other entrenched left-wing governments. Just move along and let the government and their favored cronies keep shoveling money around.
John Hinderaker notes that socialism always results in toilet paper shortages. People in Nicaragua during the Sandinista dictatorship found a way around that: they used the local currency. This is one of the few cases in which the use-value of fiat currency is greater than its medium of exchange value.
Another fun example is when people wallpapered their houses in German currency during the 1920s, as the currency was cheaper than actually buying wallpaper.
Bob Murphy is nothing if not ambitious. He argues that there’s very little value in empirical economics today, mostly because you can make the numbers add up to whatever pre-conceived notion you want. If you believe that X causes Y, you can find cases in which your proxy for X correlates somehow with your proxy for Y close enough to declare victory. But at the same time, your opponent could just as easily come up with another proxy for X which conclusively proves (because of a lack of correlation with his proxy for Y) that you’re an idiot. He then pushes the envelope a little further, noting that empirical counter-factuals are not very meaningful when you can’t predict the future very well at all.
A classic example is the “stimulus.” After supporters put out a graph showing that unemployment could reach 10% if the government doesn’t spend a huge amount of money, we saw Congress pass and the President sign into law a bill authorizing $800 billion of government spending. Once this passed, we saw unemployment rates consistently above the “no stimulus” estimate. Supporters of the bill said afterward, “Gee, good thing we passed this—otherwise unemployment would have been even worse!”
It’s nice to see that the AFL-CIO has abandoned workers to find its natural constituency: leftists.
Ronald Coase passed away on September 1st. Coase at 100 was more lucid and thoughtful than most people at any age. They don’t make ‘em like they used to, sadly.
Steven Hayward is embarrassed. He then asks if Swedish welfare policy is less generous than that of the United States. The short answer is, yes, once you account for all factors. Though that includes private welfare; using only government-coerced values sees the US below Sweden, at least as of 2011.
Congratulations: you’re probably doing worse after 4 years of Recovery Summer than you were during the Great Recession.
Most of this is due to the move toward part-time work rather than full-time jobs, in part due to the perverse incentives Obamacare set up for us. But if you look at the bright side, at least Obama’s looking out for the 1%. After all, if those people started hurting, with whom would our President golf?
Bonus tidbit of pessimism: 2 in 5 people are probably too stupid to vote.