But Now You Know

The search for truth in human action

How Student Loans Increase Your Tuition


People are complaining, as they should, about how tuition prices are shooting up far faster than inflation…in fact, how they went up even faster while the economic depression had prices stagnant or falling, nationally.

The commodity subsidized the most, is the one that's gone up the most in price. In fact, each of these is inflated in accordance to its subsidization, although energy's short-term volatility is a result of our self-destructive foreign policy.

It seems that the more the government increases grants and student loans, and gives special breaks to students or parents to help them pay for college, the more those prices shoot up and undo that benefit.

But this is not a coincidence. It’s exactly what must happen, because of those student benefits…and the more the government hands out student aid, the more the laws of Supply and Demand and of Unintended Consequences will force tuitions higher:

Subsidies

When you give away money to help people buy something in an industry, it’s technically called a “Subsidy“…and the primary function of a subsidy is to raise prices. The government, unfortunately, often does just that, on purpose, giving a subsidy in an industry because it’s been bribed by lobbyists to place the profits of the producers over the needs of the members of society (aka consumers). Farm subsidies are how it keeps milk and other staples too expensive for poor people to buy without the government’s own “help”, for example.

The way a subsidy works, of course, is that you increase the number of dollars available to buy the product, while the actual demand for that product, and therefore its supply, stays more or less the same. If people generally choose to spend a one hundred million dollars per year on apples, and they average $1 a pound, then the government offers people an extra fifty million dollars to “help” them buy apples, the average price of apples can increase to $1.50 a pound, driving up prices of pies, and giving poor people one less healthy snack they can afford. That’s a bit oversimplified, but pretty much how subsidies are used.

Sugar cane field

Sugar cane is cheaper, and better for the environment than beet sugar, but punished by a beet subsidy

People didn’t actually want beet sugar more than cane sugar, the government simply threw more money at it, so that there was more to spend, and prices rose to a new level.  Why? Bribes from beet farmers.

Of course the poor benefit from the inexpensive calories of sugar, so this hike in prices caused them to go hungrier…but they don’t have lobbyists as powerful as the more corrupt and irresponsible farm organizations do.

But money poured into an industry to pay for its goods is a subsidy, with the price-boosting impact, no matter whether that’s the official intention or not:

Health Care Prices

For example, Bush’s own socialized medicine plan, Medicare Part D, threw hundreds of billions of dollars at pharmaceutical companies, for the same medicine that was already out there. Naturally, prices went up even higher, helping precipitate the “crisis” that was used to pass Obamacare…and the Obama administration now admits that, indeed, the added money from Obamacare has caused health care prices to shoot up even faster, even in the short time since it was enacted…and contrary to the claim that it had to be rushed through to reduce prices.

In fact, if you track health care prices through the past century, they shoot up each time the government imposes a program to “help” pay. The largest increase was immediately after Medicare was implemented.

College Tuitions

Occupy Wall Street protester, complaining about student loan debt

The Occupy Wall Street movement is correct to complain about the massive debt created by student loans...because those loans have increased tuitions, tenfold.

Therefore, it’s really no surprise that college tuitions go up each time government grants and loans increase, even when the economy is weak and driving many other prices down.

In fact, with the government’s fake “student loans” and grants now making up the majority of all money spent on tuition, it would be impossible for tuition prices to do anything but be inflated by many times what they would be if colleges had to actually compete for student money, directly.

People are, right now, complaining loudly about how tuitions are going through the roof…but Big Brotherment’s response has simply been to throw even more money at tuitions, like Obama’s recent, unconstitutional Executive Order, even though this will just increase tuitions more.

It’s as if your doctor’s proposed response to emphysema was for you to chain smoke, because the nicotine will make you feel good.

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November 11, 2011 Posted by | Economy, Education, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Why Universal Medicare Isn’t an Option



At one time, those advocating a “public option” were trying to claim it was not a socialized health care proposal like Medicaid/Medicare.

Now they’re actually proposing that this massive socialized bureaucracy be extended to cover all Americans.

Surgeon, chained by the nanny state The obvious question is, with a system that requires the whole of the nation to suffer a massive tax burden in order to cover only 14% of the population, where are we going to get the huge amount of money necessary to cover 100%? Especially when that system is already underfunded, in danger of going broke in only a few years.

Right now, most Americans pay more to FICA than they pay in income taxes.

What happens when you increase it to cover SEVEN TIMES as many people?

Are YOU ready to pay 700% as much in taxes, to cover universal Medicare?

This socialized system only works because it involves the productive part of America paying out the nose to support a tiny fraction of the population. Making it universal would be, quite literally, saying “I know how to make a pyramid scheme work: Put EVERYONE at the top of the pyramid, at  the same time!”

Why Would We Want To, Anyway?

That is aside from how bad, how harmful, Medicare already is to America, even when it only covers one seventh of Americans:

  • Fraud and Theft: Medicare is already fraught with fraud…it is thought that between sixty and seventy two billion dollars are stolen from the taxpayers via Medicare fraud, each year. That’s $72,000,000,000 every year. Imagine how much the fraud would balloon if the government had to police seven times as many people. The lost money would be comparable to the recent Stimulus/Bailout spending, but it would never end.
  • Too Expensive and Inefficient: Medicare is ALREADY expected to run out of money by 2017, becoming bankrupt even with its current users and tax burden. How are we going to expand it 700%?
  • Abysmal quality: Consumer and doctor dissatisfaction with Medicare is only surpassed by the similarly government-mandated HMO system.
  • Driving Costs: The ballooning cost of health care is consistently charted as having begun in the late sixties, right after the creation of Medicare. This system strips away consumer controls of prices…if the government took over the buying of your meals, the price of food would similarly go through the roof.
  • Tax the Poor: The wealthiest segment of Americans is the oldest. Americans tend to gain more wealth as they age. Yet the poorest segment of Americans are forced to pay in full for FICA, already. In effect, the poorest are being taxed for the richest.


Next time someone suggests that we should simply extend Medicare to cover everyone, because it’s working so well, ask him where we’ll get the two billion people necessary to fund extending that this fraud-ridden, insolvent, price-ballooning system to the 86% of Americans who now fund it for the rest.

February 18, 2010 Posted by | Economy, Health, liberty, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

America Already HAS Death Panels and Waiting Lists


Next time you see someone mocking the idea that America could have health care waiting lists and death panels, point out that we already do.

There is one domain of medical treatment that is mandated socialism-only, by the Federal government.

And, unsurprisingly, this system has a waiting list of over 100,000 people at a time.

You usually have to wait at least 1,000 days…nearly three years…for treatment.

In fact, you usually die before you get treated.

Why?

Big government types have heartlessly condemned thousands to death, by banning compensation to organ donors

Big government types have heartlessly condemned thousands to death, by banning compensation to organ donors

1,000 Day Waiting List

Because it’s illegal to compensate people for donating their organs.

That’s right, you can’t pay someone for a kidney, whether they’re alive and donating one, or they just died and are a good organ donor whose family desperately needs the money.

Because of this, out of the 2,000,000 Americans who die every year, only 5,000 donate their organs. The vast majority of potential organ donors do not…but, obviously, more would if they had the hope of helping their own families deal financially with their death.

And so, with this socialized organ donation system, there is a waiting list of over one hundred thousand people, and you will probably die during the average of 1,000 days you will wait for an organ.

Imagine how many more people would sign their donor cards, put that in their living wills, et cetera, if they could hope that they could at least help support their family, if they did die.

Consider how many families, left destitute because the bread-winner unexpectedly died without life insurance, could at least have the hope of compensation because he was an organ donor. In fact, 35% of all people who did sign an organ donor card fail to donate because their family refuses consent after they died. How many might have chosen otherwise, if they could be compensated for the emotional sacrifice?

It’s even possible for people to choose to donate some organs while alive. The kidney waiting list, in some parts of the country, is ten years. That’s 3,650 days waiting for a kidney, on a dialysis machine that slowly kills you. Yet people could choose to donate a kidney any time, even when alive and healthy. Frankly, I’d never do that for money, but other people should be free to disagree with me.

As dramatized on a popular TV show, Gregory House on his his way to a modern-day organ death panel, which rejects his patient, condemning her to death

As dramatized on a popular TV show, Gregory House on his way to a modern-day organ death panel, which rejects his patient, condemning her to death

Actual Death Panels

And let’s be clear: Because there is such a waiting list, there are actual panels of people who decide where each donated organ will go. They pronounce who gets them first, and who will not be allowed to have one at all, because it’d be a “waste”.

If you need an organ transplant, a panel will actually weigh how old you are, what shape you’re in, even what your lifestyle is, and then decide not only where to place you on the list, but even whether to just let you die. That’s right, if they don’t approve of how you live, they can pass you over to die.

Older people are actually passed over, because they’ve lived longer, and more “deserving” people moved ahead of them even after they’ve waited on the list.

There are already panels of people who will literally decide to let your grandmother die untreated, because she’s lived long enough.

It not only could happen in the US, it already does.

Do we really think, given the chance, that this won’t expand into every other part of health care that becomes socialized?

Criminal Transplants

It is a far greater crime when the government causes a death, because it is using supposedly legitimate authority to do so

It is a far greater crime when the government causes a death, because it is using supposedly legitimate authority to do so

Like Canadians and Brits sneaking to the US when their governments put them on endless waiting lists for life-threatening or painful conditions, Americans condemned to die by the socialized organ transplant system in America end up flying overseas, to obtain transplants, if they can afford to do so. Therefore the socialist prohibition actually ends up linking wealth to survival even more, not less as intended…only wealthier Americans can afford to fly a foreign country and pay for a transplant out-of-pocket. What’s more, it’s far more dangerous than an American transplant, since the US has the best surgery outcome rate of any nation on earth.

Meanwhile, avoiding questions of whether people really want to sell their organs, or are doing it for money, actually produces an even more dangerous system of commercial organ transplants, that of black market organs. There really is a question of whether an organ obtained this way was gotten from a consenting patient…and yet such a system exists only because it’s illegal to do so openly, with safe documentation.

Fix Transplants, Don’t Break Everything Else

Hope and/or pray that the US transplant system is de-socialized before you end up needing an organ, so that you won’t have to wait for years, and probably die without treatment.

And, as important, fight to keep the rest of the American health care system from ending up in the same, deadly, condition.

September 17, 2009 Posted by | Economy, Family, Health, Politics, Science | , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

   

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