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There are, of course, many aspects of the U.S. healthcare system I have not had the opportunity to discuss over the course of this series on Unhealthy Healthcare. I am thinking of the growth of new, profitable medical centers (e.g., for out-patient surgery), plus biotechnology companies, diagnostic clinics, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes. There are also all […]

As I’ve been discussing over the course of the past week, the U.S. healthcare system is a nightmare, at least for workers and their families. It costs more and provides less than in other countries. Employees are being forced to pay higher and higher fees (in the form of premiums, deductibles, and other charges). And it […]

The Wall Street Journal refers to it as “insurers playing a game of thrones.” Big U.S. insurers are courting one another for possible multibillion-dollar deals. How they pair off could have significant implications for the managed-care industry, its individual and corporate customers, and U.S. medical providers. . . “Usually, fewer competitors means prices will be […]

Everyone knows that most of the jobs created during the so-called recovery are not particularly good. Most of them are for very low pay and offer few if any benefits. Not so, according to the Wall Street Journal: were all the jobs we created since the recession bad? Well, yes and no. It’s true that many low-wage […]

Class war in Britain

Posted: 29 April 2016 in Uncategorized
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  A couple of days ago, I linked the 1989 Hillsborough disaster with the earlier attack on the striking Orgreave miners, since both groups were treated as the “enemy within.” Suzanne Moore just did, too, arguing that the Hillsborough verdict shatters the fantasy that class war doesn’t exist in Britain. It must be somewhat galling for those […]

  According to mainstream economists, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Sure there is, I teach my students: just abolish monopolies and oligopolies, and the economy can increase production (technically, the economy can move from inside to the production possibilities frontier without any additional resources or new technology, just by eliminating imperfect competition). There’s […]

No, that’s not the democratic socialist candidate for the Democratic nomination. It was actually Al Capone who once said that “Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class.”* That racket—and, with it, challenges to the legitimacy of capitalism—was evident in a wide variety of news stories yesterday. First, there was the issue of health. Once again, we’re […]

Apparently, physicians are not going gently into that good night. Doctors are being increasingly treated like assembly-line workers—forced to see more patients, in order to boost nonprofit hospitals’ profits, or replaced by contractor doctors or outsourced as “hospitalists,” who are employed by multistate management companies. As recently as the mid-1990s, there was no one called a hospitalist. Most […]

6-hour day?

Posted: 24 September 2015 in Uncategorized
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Back in the nineteenth century, the union movement demanded an 8-hour workday. Here’s the question I often pose to my students: when did the United States finally pass legislation limiting the workday to 8 hours? It’s a trick question, of course. The answer is: never. These days, with GDP per capita having grown by a factor […]

The U.S. healthcare system ranks dead last out of 11 countries studied by the Commonwealth Fund [ht: ja]. The United States health care system is the most expensive in the world, but this report and prior editions consistently show the U.S. underperforms relative to other countries on most dimensions of performance. Among the 11 nations studied in […]