May 20, 2013
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
August 3, 2009
/ 13 Menachem-Av 5769
Beware the High Cost of Unintended Consequences
A teachable moment last Thursday night no, I'm not referring to the beer-in-the-garden session featuring Professor Henry Gates and Sgt. James Crowley and the shirtsleeved president and vice president. We didn't learn anything more about the Gatesgate controversy except that only the least experienced of these four men Sgt. Crowley was the only one willing to speak at length before the cameras.
The teachable moment came at midnight Thursday when the government decided to suspend the less-than-four-weeks-old Cash for Clunkers program. Congress scheduled it to last until November. But many more car owners than predicted walked into dealers to qualify for the $3,500 or $4,500 rebates for trading in their old cars for new ones with slightly (four miles per gallon) better gas mileage.
Mind you, the government hasn't yet shelled out the $1 billion authorized for Cash for Clunkers. Dealers reduce the buyers' prices and have to apply to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the rebates and NHTSA surprise, surprise has only managed to process 23,000 of an estimated 250,000 applications. The checks, we are told, will be in the mail. Oh, there's another problem: The dealers are required to destroy the clunkers, which will reduce the supply and increase the price of spare parts for those low-income folks who can't afford to trade their clunkers in even with a $4,500 subsidy. So much for helping the poor.
Cash for Clunkers is a prime example of the unanticipated consequences of hastily drafted legislation. The House voted hurriedly Friday to transfer $2 billion of stimulus funds to Cash for Clunkers, and the Senate will probably agree next week. But who thinks Congress will stop there? There will still be plenty of clunkers on the road.
This brings to mind a similarly well-intentioned 2000 Arizona law that paid $22,000 per vehicle to owners of cars operable with alternative fuels. SUV owners began installing small propane tanks and pocketing the money; the law didn't say they actually had to use the propane. A program estimated to cost $5 million ballooned to $500 million, one-tenth the state budget. The Arizona legislature, unable to print money, repealed the law. Congress is not similarly constrained.
If such simple laws can have such huge unanticipated consequences, what should we expect from the 1,000-plus-page laws congressional Democrats have been trying to write that would regulate the provision and financing of health care, one-sixth of our total economy?
Ballooning costs, for one thing. Not many members of Congress maybe not any have had the time or motivation to read through 1,000-page bills to figure out how someone could game the system to bring in great gushers of government money. But some nontrivial number of 307,000,000 Americans will do so. And some will figure out how to tap the federal treasury to their advantage.
More important, any health care legislation will inevitably affect medical treatment and care. Under the Democrats' bills, the government will regulate the terms and conditions of health-insurance plans to reduce choice and discourage treatments that some centralized experts decide aren't cost effective. Never mind that experts currently differ on these matters, and constantly revise their assessments based on new information; certain procedures will be frozen into place.
The government insurance "option" sought by Barack Obama and liberal Democrats is clearly intended, as Congressman Barney Frank confessed the other day, to be the best way to get to a single-payer system like Canada's, in which choice will be further limited and innovation discouraged. Obama constantly says you will be able to keep the insurance you have, but not if your employer decides not to offer it any more and to offload you onto the government plan.
Polling shows that most Americans are happy with the health insurance they have. One reason is that they have, in economist Albert Hirschman's phrase, the option of exit. Most Americans choose health-insurance policies every year, and if we don't like our current plan, we can exit from it and choose another.
Government insurance will tend to close off the option of exit, trapping you in a system that is sure to be riddled with unanticipated consequences. Those cost you money when, as a taxpayer, you have to pay for the unanticipated cost of Cash for Clunkers. Unintended consequences can cost you far more when, as a patient, you need medical treatment and care.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment by clicking here.
JWR contributor Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner.
Michael Barone Archives
© 2009, Washington Examiner; DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
Ask Doctor K