Evening Linked and Loaded

Links to what I’ve been reading.

The cost of switching to an insurance exchange

Sarah Kliff:

In the debate over health reform, that’s a lot of crystal ball gazing over whether employees will continue to offer health insurance, or send their employees to the new health insurance marketplaces where many could purchase subsidized coverage. While employers would get fined for not providing coverage, those fees would pale in comparison to the cost of paying for employee health benefits.

*My note: For those who’ve been paying attention, this isn’t exactly breaking news. Yet it should almost go without saying now that, as we get closer to 2014, more “bomb” articles will be written.

Words fail, obesity edition

Aaron Carroll:

Former Senator Rick Santorum in Iowa:

Santorum told the group he would cut the food stamp program, describing it as one of the fastest growing programs in Washington, D.C.

Forty-eight million people are on food stamps in a country with 300-million people, said Santorum.

“If hunger is a problem in America, then why do we have an obesity problem among the people who we say have a hunger program?” Santorum asked.

It’s times like this that I want to put my head in the sand, too […] It is possible to have both an obesity problem and a hunger problem, in the same country.

*My note: Correlation does not equal causation…except when it suits your campaign narrative.

Hayek and Macroeconomics

Karl Smith:

I have been and am still eager to engage Austrians generally and Hayekians in particular in debates over macroeconomic fluctuations.

This is not because I believe – as many have suggested – that Real Business Cycle Theory over even the Chicago emphasis on micro-foundations are Hayekian. They don’t seem to be to me.

Its because in my mind Hayek’s explanation of the business cycle is a beautiful example of a theory whose only vice is that happens not to be true. Its brilliant. Its elegant. Its parsimonious. It possess boundless fecundity. It’s the kind of thing we expect from brilliant minds. It just happens to be wrong.

Even Romney Now Says Obama Is a Socialist

Jon Chait:

This accusation is approximately as accurate as claiming that the Republican party wants to pass laws forbidding poor people from making more money. Yet this absurd claim is so common nobody even thinks to challenge it anymore. Even the most intellectually acclaimed Republicans, figures like Paul Ryan and American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks, routinely assert that Democrats are plotting to create full equality of outcome.

*My note: Straw men make for strong narratives.

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