Your Friendly Neighborhood Economist

4.2 percent in West Virginia. Would it not be better for the world and those workers if we found them something more useful to do?

At least these numbers do look good.

Just remember we have the BEST. HEALTHCARE. IN. THE. WORLD!

(if you can afford it)

h/t: Brad deLong: http://equitablegrowth.org/2014/06/21/evening-must-read-adrianna-macintyre-second-depressing-graph-american-health-care/

The folks at Naked Capitalism are on tear on the TISA and TPPA. Here’s a nice summation: “The ultimate goal of these treaties is to reconfigure the legal apparatus and superstructures that govern national, regional and global trade and business – for the primary, if not exclusive, benefit of the owners of the world’s largest multinational corporations.”

Speaking of trade deals negotiated in secret, here’s another to keep an eye out for. Beware of politicians describing international agreements as being things that “can create jobs.” Usually you can substitute the word jobs with the word profits to get closer to the truth.

Ugh: “electronic health records, which in theory should reduce errors and allow for more consistent delivery of medical services, were instead designed only with patient billing and control over doctors in mind. As a result, they are if anything worsening medical outcomes.” I should not be surprised, should I? A corporate-friendly reform is corporate-friendly.

If you don’t know about this, I’m not surprised. The media have not been covering this at all. Basically the idea is, to give financial institutions the freedom to do what they want wherever they want. What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

Global warming “presents the classic free-rider problem of this ultimate global commons problem: It is in the interest of no country to take action, but each can reap the benefits of any countries that do take action. This is why international, if not global, cooperation is essential.” OF course, as Stavins indicates, it may be that US action will spur other countries to take action as well. Of course, countries are not individual rational actors, but they do tend to behave in ways that their leaders believe are in the country’s (or the country’s powerful elites’ anyway) best interest.
All that said, the EPA’s net benefits come mostly from the reduction in health affects from other harmful associated emissions with burning fossil fuels.
Frankly, with the growing chance that we are going to leave behind an earth that will not be able to support the civilization we inherited, I think the use of cost-benefit should be limited to the comparison of different approaches to reducing carbon emissions.