Author Archive

It Wouldn’t Cost Anything At All

The United States spends as much government money on health care as do the socialized health care systems of Europe.  States and our federal government now spend nearly two trillion dollars a year on health care.  That’s more, as a % of GDP, than Canada and the U.K. spend on...
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Fairness

The rising cost of health care is driving more and more citizens into Medicaid, the program for the poor. Medicaid, in turn, drives up the cost of health care by under-paying doctors. HealthAffairs.org says that it doesn’t even pay half of the discount price that your insurance company would pay. A...
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$20 Trillion!

The federal debt is now larger than Twenty Trillion Dollars.  That's $124,000 per American, if you're counting just the younger half of the population. The older half of the population has benefited from the growth of the debt---we paid lower taxes and got more services, for decades---and we won't have...
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An Irresistible Force

By John Lumbard. In the upper left corner of this page you'll see a pretty little girl wearing a sign saying that she's $38,375 in debt.  That number is now $57,764, if you're willing to use the Enron accounting standards of the federal government, which don't acknowledge that she's carrying liability...
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Debt Is Rising All ‘Round The World

By John Lumbard. Populism sounds like such a friendly and democratic word.  Only the grumpiest blogger would complain about politicians doing things that make them popular ....  Unhappily, the word "populist" has come to mean a politician who promises cash, services, or benefits to voters.  He doesn't offer to pay for these things...
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$18 Trillion!!!

    Chinese Citizens Gather In Beijing Square To Watch U.S. National Debt Clock Strike $18 Trillion News in Brief • World • foreign affairs • money • finance • china • News • ISSUE 50•45 • Nov 14, 2014   BEIJING—Celebrating the milestone with hugs, jubilant cheers, and singing, over 600,000 Chinese citizens...
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The Price of Affection

By John Lumbard, CFA .... Argentina just defaulted on some of its bonds, for the very first time in 13 years. It’s their seventh default since declaring independence from Spain.  Investors kept buying Argentine bonds . . What were they thinking??? In the early 1900s the people of this bountiful land---their economy...
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Privilege

By John Lumbard, CFA ... “Swiss cantons are free to set their own tax rates. For example in Zug, corporate tax is about 16 percent but can fall as low as 9.5 percent for companies that do most of their business outside Switzerland. That compares with an average global corporate tax...
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Unlimited Possibilities

By John Lumbard, CFA. In 1972 the Club of Rome, a global think tank formed by “scientists, economists, heads of state, UN bureaucrats, high-level politicians and government officials” caused an international sensation with the publication of The Limits to Growth, which predicted that population growth and economic growth would exhaust all...
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How To Get The Economy Moving Again

On August 8 George Schultz, Secretary of Everything (Labor, Treasury, and State;  also OMB director) penned an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, offering ides for renewal and reform to a country that seems to be suffering from Eurosclerosis.  We'll stick to the parts that affect the economy and...
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