Monthly Archives: August 2009

what the public option means about our politics

The best reason to create a public health insurance option is to increase competition in the health insurance market and thereby lower premiums. No one can know how much money a public option would save, but the idea seems worth … Continue reading

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The Anachronist, chapter 1

We are going on vacation for a week, and I will be offline until August 31. Meanwhile, chapter 1 of a novel entitled The Anachronist is pasted below. I have written the novel through to the end (working on it … Continue reading

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village democracy in India

One of the most remarkable innovations in democracy comes from India, where the Constitution requires every village (but not urban areas) to have both elected councils and empowered open meetings called “gram sabhas” (GS’s). Vijayendra Rao of the World Bank … Continue reading

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questions for Sen. Grassley

“I think that he is a good person, and good-intentioned. But I believe he didn’t serve in government long enough to understand really how things work… He really does not have an understanding of how Congress operates.” — Sen. Charles … Continue reading

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health co-ops from a civic perspective

Senator Conrad and some others are promoting health insurance co-ops as alternatives to a government-run insurance option. The liberal critique is that they would be small and ineffective competitors to private insurers, many of which enjoy quasi-monopolies. In today’s New … Continue reading

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the role of government (the big picture)

The size and scope of government is one of our most basic debates, and underlying it, I think, is a debate about the past. Conservatives think the government began very small and has grown inexorably, diminishing freedom. They argue that … Continue reading

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Amazon ranking

I admit that one of my time-wasting, egocentric computer activities is to check the day’s Amazon rank of my more recent books by means of a tool called Title Z. It gives you graphs of all the titles you choose … Continue reading

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talking about the health care forums and civil discourse

This morning, I was on “Radio Times” with Marty Moss-Coane. That’s a call-in program of WHYY-FM in Pennsylania. The MP3 file is here, for those who like to listen online or download podcasts. My fellow guest was Martin Carcasson from … Continue reading

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why have town hall meetings at all?

Members of Congress are doing their usual thing–holding “town hall meetings” that are really public Q&A sessions on major pending issues. This summer, the main topic is health care reform. What is unusual is the hostile reception that politicians are … Continue reading

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the hourglass

One grain of sand is not a heap of sand.If one grain is no heap, two cannot be.If two are not a heap, neither are three.So keep adding grains from your open hand– One million’s no heap if built up … Continue reading

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