“The Way Insurance Companies Have Rigged Our Health Care System, They’re Probably Going to Emerge as Financial Winners from This”

Author and former health insurance executive Wendell Potter explains to ProMarket why the employer-based health care system in the US is “collapsing” and why health insurance companies see the Covid-19 crisis as a “net saving.”  

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The Stimulus Package Is Too Expensive and Poorly Targeted: The Waste Contained in the CARES Act

A cost-effective stimulus to mend the effects of a 24 percent drop in GDP would cost no more than $1.3 trillion over a 6-month period. The bill that Congress just approved is much bigger because it allocates resources to people who are not necessarily affected and rescuing businesses, like Boeing, that are in trouble for pre-existing reasons.

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America’s Broken Health Care System Is the Biggest Obstacle to Containing the Coronavirus

Over the past few weeks, it has become abundantly clear that the US health care system is uniquely ill-equipped to deal with a crisis of this magnitude. For years, physicians, economists, and health advocates have warned that the American health care system is a disaster in waiting. Now the disaster is here.  

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Populism Weakened the Immune System of Our Democracies. Chile Is an Example

Modern societies have developed immune systems to deal with epidemics: international cooperation, social cohesion, universal health care systems. But today we face the greatest planetary emergency since World War II with these immune systems severely weakened: populist nationalisms disrupt international cooperation and promote every-man-for-himself, and the anti-science wave infects the debate with irrationality.

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Keeping Business Alive During the Coronavirus Crisis: Government as Buyer of Last Resort

The government has to compensate businesses and workers for their losses so that each business can re-emerge almost intact after the hibernation due to social distancing ends. An economy-wide fall in the demand for goods and services of 40 percent over 3 months leads to a 10 percent drop in annual GDP. The government can transfer 10 points of GDP to the private sector, financed via public debt.

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The Most Persistent of All Zombie Ideas: That Taxing the Wealthy Is Destructive to the Economy

Economics can’t tell you what values to have. It can, however, shed light on what to expect from policy that reflects any particular set of values, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman argues in his new book. Values, not rational ideas, polarized US politics: opponents of a larger role for government think that such a role is not just immoral but even destructive. And if the evidence doesn’t agree, they attack both the evidence and those producing it.

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The World Bank’s “Papergate”: Censorship Is Not the Best Way to Stop Development Aid From Fueling Corruption

A new study of World Bank data finds that aid disbursement to highly aid-dependent countries coincides with sharp increases in bank deposits in offshore financial centers. According to The Economist, the World Bank refused to release the study. Afterward, its chief economist resigned. Here is the full content of the allegedly-censored paper. 

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