Health care in Ukraine

Recently I read an interesting book called Moneyland by Oliver Bullough. The book describes how with porous borders facilitated by the internet, the rich can evade taxes, hide assets, and basically pick and choose the international legal system most favorable to their interests. One interesting part of the book discusses health care in the Ukraine…

How much is your life worth?

How much should we value life? This is the question put forth in an interesting book by Howard Steven Friedman called Ultimate Price. The book reviews how economists, policymakers, philosophers and others place a monetary value on life. This could be a value courts place when making awards in lawsuits due to harm or death,…

Never enough

I recently finish a very interesting book on drugs and addiction titled Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction. The book was written by Judith Grisel, who is a not only a professor and neuroscientist, but also a former drug addict. The book describes the process of addiction, and how different types of illicit…

What makes humans smarter than apes?

The answer is not raw brain processing power, but rather it is our ability to learn from others. At least that is the argument from Joseph Henrich’s book The Secret of our Success. Slate Star Codex has an excellent book review. Consider the following graph comparing human, chimpanzee and orangutan intelligence. Another interesting quotation from…

Book Review: Overcharged

In the book Overcharged, authors Charles Silver and David Hyman identify a number of problems with the current health care system.  Third party payment under a fee-for-service system means that providers have an incentive to provide more rather than less care.  Further, because the people receiving the services (patients) are not the ones who are footing…

Prohibition

A recently finished reading Prohibition: A Concise History by W.J. Rorabaugh.  The history is interesting throughout and concise indeed at only 133 pages.  Some interesting excerpts include: Whenever a substance is banned two things happen.  First, the price goes up, and second, the product returns in more concentrated form, or a replacement appears.  The high risk…