Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Tea Party

Many who know me might think that I favor the Tea Party movement. The first time I heard it, I thought it was a joke. The more I here about them, the more I understand about what they are protesting. One of the few politicians I respect is a big speaker for Tea Party crowds, Ron Paul.

However, I do not agree with everything the Tea Party stands for. It is a conservative movement pushing mostly conservative ideas.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Health care pre-existing conditions

Our new healthcare bill will forbid insurers from denying coverage to an individual who has a pre-existing condition. There is also a mandate that forces those who are better off without health insurance to buy insurance or pay the punishment. These evil people who think of only their own wellbeing will face a punishment of arround $750. This means that if you currently do not have any health issues, you may be better off just paying the punishment for your selfishness. But if you are afflicted with a serious ailment, you can choose to be a good person and pay your fair share and purchase insurance. Since you cannot be denied coverage, there is a bigger incentive to wait until you face a serious health issue before buying insurance.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New health care bill

We now have a new health care bill passed along party lines and unfavored by the majority of Americans. This health care bill is predicted to raise health care costs and taxes. It mandates coverage for those who have already determined that their money is better spent elsewhere.

What solutions do we have to the increasing costs of health care? First we must ask, why are health care costs rising? There are some reasonable causes of increasing health care costs: increasing reliance on newer technologies, newer treatment techniques that require more highly trained, and therefore more costly, providers, etc. But there are reasons for the higher costs that we can control.

The burden of health care costs has shifted. The majority of health care costs were once primarily paid by the individual. Thanks to government tax policy and government price controls during World War II, much of the cost has been passed on to insurance. The incentives of the tax policy lead to the creation of more comprehensive insurance coverage. While comprehensive coverage benefits  the sick and the poor the most, the majority of Americans do not benefits significantly.

We need to move away from a third party system where due to the reduced individual out of pocket costs, people have the incentive to over consume. Over consumption raises prices and therefore insurance costs. The current plan to add more people to the insurance rolls will cause prices to rise even higher as those who now must sacrifice things that gave them utility in order to purchase insurance. To make up for lost utility and due to reduces out of pocket cost for use of medical services, we will see and increase in health care consumption and even higher costs.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Why not government

Why am I opposed to government? I suppose it comes down to the radical idea that certain moral that all people, even in government, should follow. It is wrong to take property that is not your own. It is wrong to kill a person who does not pose a threat to others. It is wrong to threaten aggression against anyone who tries to compete against you.
Some might say that tax, as opposed to being taking someone else's property, is payment for services. But what if we do not want the service the government provides. Often times the government threatens aggression against those who would try to compete against it and other times you can hire competitive services, but you still have to pay for the government services too. Only a government can enjoy that luxury.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dragon Age: Origins

I have started playing Dragon Age: Origins from Bioware. The story is compelling and the graphics look very good. There are 2 starting races, Dwarves, Elves and Humans and 3 classes, warrior, rogue and mage. Depending which race and class you choose determines you background. A Dwarf character can start as a warrior or a rogue and can be either a Dwarven noble or a Dwarven commoner. Elves and Humans can be any class. A mage can only be a member of the Magi. An Elf can choose to be Dalish Elf or City Elf if not a mage while a Human who is not a mage can only be a Human noble. I have tried the starting stories for all but the Dalish Elf. The stories are quite involved and really help to develop the back story for you character. Regardless of the actions you take, assuming you do not die, all character move on to becoming part of the Grey Wardens.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Batman: Arkham Asylum

For Christmas, my wife got me Batman: Arkham Asylum for the X-Box 360. I have been playing it off and on since I opened it. I really like the game. There are a few interesting features like the optional Riddler puzzles that expand the game beyond a typical 3rd person RPG. The story feels like a batman story. The voice actors are the same as those on the Batman cartoon series. If you are a comic fan but have shied away from comic based video games in the past because of how poorly they were done, give Batman: Arkham Asylum a try.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

What is important

I spent some time recently with my family going on a nice walk. I have come to realize there are more important things in life the arguing about religion. I have but 1 life to life an I see no point in arguing about made up stories. No satisfactory arguments for God have been presented. God IS the God of the gaps. Science has brought us knowledge while religion has brought us ignorance. Science is open to discovery and adaptation to new discoveries. Religion is closed and not open to refute. I have faith in science, not blind faith like with religion, but faith because science is open to change as evidence is presented. The only that never changes with science is that everything else is open to change with new evidence.

Given my change in focus, this blog will discuss things of interest to me. I may post movie or game reviews of interest or comment on politics or economics.