July 2009

It beggars belief.

It’s crazy for a group of mere mortals to try to design 15 percent of the U.S. economy. It’s even crazier to do it by August.

Yet that is what some members of Congress presume to do. They intend, as the New York Times puts it, “to reinvent the nation’s health care system”.

(HT Jeremy)

LurrayLoopI took a ride Saturday morning up through Luray, including Fort Valley Road. One of the hairpin turns on this road is realistically posted at 5 mph. I think it safe to say that the road qualifies as technical when the speed limit is in the single digits.

Fort Valley Road is like this pretty much all the way from Front Royal to Luray. A wonderful drive that would have been even better if huge swaths of the road had not been recently graveled.

Tight right hander into the shade, front tire slipping on unseen gravel, tire catching again and inducing tank slapping front end wobble . . . pulling it out and not having to clean one’s undergarments — priceless.


Highway 211 from Luray to Sperryville – simply brilliant motorcycle road, “high crash area” notwithstanding.


Good to see that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Sperryville, Virginia.


Graffiti scrawled on Robinson Hall at George Mason University.

End the Fed

From Cafe Hayek.

No one who went to school in the ’80s and ’90s can forget the poor legless frogs — helpless victims of pollution spewed out in callous disregard for the welfare of the planet.

As it turns out . . .

Around the world, frogs are found with missing or misshaped limbs, a striking deformity that many researchers believe is caused by chemical pollution.

However, tests on frogs and toads have revealed a more natural, benign cause.

The deformed frogs are actually victims of the predatory habits of dragonfly nymphs, which eat the legs of tadpoles.

George Newman has a good review of the often inconsistent arguments being put forward in favor of health care “reform.”

I was glad to see him address the “health care represents a rising proportion of our income” issue. 

That’s not only true but perfectly natural.  Quality health care is a discretionary, income-elastic expense — i.e. the richer a society, the larger proportion of income that is spent on it.  (Poor societies have to spend income gains on food and other necessities.)  Consider the alternatives.  Would we feel better about ourselves if we skimped on our family’s health care and spend the money on liquor, gambling, night clubs or a third television set?

When discussing this issue, I regularly ask people if they would rather have today’s healthcare at today’s prices or 1950’s healthcare at 1950’s prices.  No one has ever chosen the 1950s option.  (People would prefer to have today’s healthcare at 1950’s prices, and I too wish that Santa Claus was real.)

Newman, Parsing the Health Reform Arguments

(HT Andrew B.)