How are German Smokers and American Savers related?

Medpage Today recently released some statistics regarding the prevalence of smoking cessation among Germans with serious health diseases (“Smokers Can’t Say No in the Face of Serious Circulatory Disease“). “…the investigators found that among those with a single disorder, the proportion of current smokers among ever-smokers ranged from 29% for myocardial infarction to 44.4% for…

‘A Wealth of Talent’: Complimentary article on UCSD’s Economics department

This Sunday, the San Diego Union Tribune (“A wealth of talent“) wrote a complimentary article regarding the ascendancy of UCSD’s Economics department into the elite strata of economics departments.  Last year, U.S. News and World Report ranked the UCSD economics department #10 in the nation.  As a graduate student in UCSD’s economics department, my ‘unbiased’ opinion is…

How to invest your money

Paul Merriman one of the few investment advisors I respect.  His blog is full of useful information.  His advice is simple: Invest in Index Funds.  For an average investor, attempting to ‘beat the market’ or is a wasteful endeavor.  Index funds diversify risk by allowing investors to hold a large variety of stocks while minimizing…

“The Genesis and Development of Medicare”

The following is a timeline which summarizes the genesis and evolution of government provided health insurance in the United States. Major Foreign Events: 1883: Otto von Bismark, then Chancellor of Germany passes a compulsory health insurance bill for factory and mine workers 1911: Germany extends compulsory insurance coverage to almost all employees 1911: David Lloyd…

Economists fail as evangelists on Sunset Blvd.

In the “Capitalism: The Movieâ€? in the March 2006 Atlantic Monthly, writer Clive Cook examines why many of Hollywood’s recent releases have been anti-capitalist.  Hollywood simply assumes that the public will run to see free-market bashing movies such as: Syriana, Fun with Dick and Jane, Wall Street, Erin Brockovich, The Insider, etc. Why? Cook claims…

A model of Medicaid’s poverty trap

The design of legislation which regulates Medicaid eligibility creates a poverty trap. In California, generally those who have income below 250% of the federal poverty level and who have limited assets are eligible for Medicaid. (In reality California’s Medicaid eligibility is more complicated than this. For full details of eligibility requirements see “Medi-Cal Facts and…