Tag Archives: Monopoly

New study: Angus Reid Institute analyzes Canada’s single payer healthcare system

Price of healthcare per Canadian household (Source: Fraser Institute)
The cost of healthcare for average Canadian households

I found two interesting studies from Canada’s Angus Reid Institute describing single payer health care in Canada. I’m very interested in find out what things are like in countries that have true government-run health care. A typical Canadian family pays $13,000+ per year per household for healthcare, or about $585,000 over their working lives. What are they getting for all that money?

Here is the first Angus Reid article:

The study finds more than 2 million Canadians aged 55 and older face significant barriers when accessing the health care system in their province, such as being unable to find a family doctor or experiencing lengthy wait-times for surgery, diagnostic tests, or specialist visits.

Moreover, most Canadians in this age group have at least some difficulty getting the care they want or need in a timely manner.

The study focuses on the health care experiences of older Canadians, as well as their assessments of the quality of care they receive.

According to the article, 31% of respondents (aged 55 and older) rated access to the government’s healthcare system as “easy”. 48% had “moderate” problems with access, and 21% had “major” problems with access.

Remember: in the Canadian system, you pay your money up front in taxes, and then they decide how much healthcare you will get later – and how soon you will get it. If you worked from ages 20 to age 65, then your household will have paid 45 x $13,000 = $585,000 into the system, in order to get “moderate” problems with accessing healthcare after you’re aged 55.

And the Canadian system DOES NOT cover prescription drugs.

The second Angus Reid article explains:

This second part of the study finds one-in-six Canadians (17%) in the 55-plus age group – a figure that represents upwards of 1.8 million people – say that they or someone else in their household have taken prescription drugs in a way other than prescribed because of cost.

One-in-ten (10%) have decided to simply not fill a prescription because it was too expensive, and a similar number (9%) have decided not to renew one for the same reason. One-in-eight (12%) have taken steps to stretch their prescriptions, such as cutting pills or skipping doses.

Some 17 per cent of Canadians 55 and older have done at least one of these things, and that proportion rises among those who have greater difficulty accessing other aspects of the health care system.

In a previous blog post, I reported on how Canadians have to wait in order to see their GP doctor. If that doctor refers them to a specialist, then they have to wait to see the specialist. And if that specialist schedules surgery, then they have to wait for their surgery appointment. The delays can easily go from weeks to months and even years. The MEDIAN delay from GP referral to treatment is 19.5 weeks.

But remember – they paid into the system FIRST. The decisions about when and if they will be treated are made later, by experts in the government. This is what it means for a government monopoly to run health care. There are no free exchanges of money for service in a competitive free market. Costs are controlled by delaying and withholding treatment. And no one knows this better than elderly Canadians themselves. But by the time they realize how badly they’ve been swindled, it’s too late to get their money back out. You can’t pull your tax money out of government if you are disappointed with the service you receive. There are no refunds. There are no returns.

Justice Department to begin antitrust investigation of anti-conservative Google

Google's new motto
Google’s new motto – we really need to start calling them “Goolag”

It’s troubling to me when large corporations ally with one political party or another. The videos of Google executives mourning Hillary’s loss, Google’s firing of non-Democrat engineers, and documented bias in Google’s products clearly indicate that Google favors the Democrat party. So, it’s about time for the government to step in and stop the corporate fascism.

Breitbart News reports:

The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. Justice Department is preparing to begin an antitrust investigation into Google that could see the tech giant come under a new wave of scrutiny from regulators. According to people familiar with the matter, the antitrust division of the Justice Department has been gathering information and preparing for the investigation for weeks.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which shares antitrust authority with the Justice Department, has previously conducted antitrust investigations into Google on a broader scale but closed the investigation in 2013 with no action taken.

[…]The FTC and Justice Department have been discussing which group will oversee further antitrust investigations of Google, with the FTC agreeing to give the Justice Department full jurisdiction over Google. Now that an understanding has been reached between the two government bodies, the Justice Department is preparing to conduct an in-depth investigation into Google.

[…]Those familiar with the matter stated that the Justice Department has been in contact with third-party groups that have been critical of Google in the past.

Breitbart News had also reported on how Google used their products to influence elections:

New research from psychologist and search engine expert Dr. Robert Epstein shows that biased Google searches had a measurable impact on the 2018 midterm elections, pushing tens of thousands of votes towards the Democrat candidates in three key congressional races, and potentially millions more in races across the country.

The study, from Epstein and a team at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology (AIBRT), analyzed Google searches related to three highly competitive congressional races in Southern California. In all three races, the Democrat won — and Epstein’s research suggests that Google search bias may have tipped them over the edge.

The research follows a previous study conducted in 2016 which showed that biased Google results pushed votes to Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. Democrats and Google executives have disputed these findings.

[…]Users performing Google searches related to the three congressional races the study focused on were significantly more likely to see pro-Democrat stories and links at the top of their results.

That’s now the only study that’s been done on Google’s pro-Democrat bias.

Here’s another reported by the UK Daily Mail:

Google’s bias towards left-wing media outlets has been laid bare by an algorithm which detected that it favors sites including CNN and The New York Times over others.

According to data compiled by researchers from Northwestern University, the search engine promoted those sites over others repeatedly in November 2017.

Of the 6,302 articles that appeared in Google’s ‘top stories’ page that month after a term was searched, more than 10 percent were by CNN.

The New York Times was the second most favored and accounted for 6.5 percent of articles. The Washington Post was third with 5.6 percent.

By contrast, Fox News, the most right-wing outlet in mainstream media, was the source of just three percent of the stories which appeared.

See for yourself:

Study: Google uses its products and services to supports Democrat Party
Study: Google uses its products and services to supports Democrat Party

Just this week, another story came out about Google discriminating against employees who do not support the Democrat Party.

The Daily Caller reports:

A Republican Google software engineer has written an open letter describing a culture of left-wing “outrage mobs” that make use of the company’s anonymous bias reporting channels to shut down dissent.

The open letter, published Tuesday morning on Medium, was written by software engineer Mike Wacker, who was reported himself multiple times via the company’s anonymous reporting tools.

“If left unchecked,” Wacker wrote, “these outrage mobs will hunt down any conservative, any Christian, and any independent free thinker at Google who does not bow down to their agenda.”

In one case, Wacker describes a fellow Republican employee who was reported for saying nice things about the University of Toronto academic Jordan Peterson. He was given a note in writing that said, “One Googler raised a concern that you that you appeared to be promoting and defending Jordan Peterson’s comments about transgender pronouns, and this made them feel unsafe at work.”

Wacker himself was twice reported via the company’s anonymous reporting channels.

The full article by Wacker is here on Medium. Keep in mind that we have so many stories like this coming out of Google. The James D’Amore story was big, but it’s not the only one.

Google executives caught on film

Here are some highlights of that sting video that I mentioned featuring Google executives crying about the Democrat election loss:

Alone, the video would be damning, but it just the latest in a sequence of news stories showing Google’s anti-American bias.

Previously on this blog, I’ve covered the following stories of Google bias:

I personally have seen Google search engine traffic for this blog go down literally 90% since Trump’s election. My search engine referrals from DuckDuckGo are higher than what I get from Google. I believe that’s when they decided to get serious about helping their allies in the Democrat party. What I’d like to see is the company broken up into small-cap units, and the executives investigated for possible criminal activities, e.g. – collusion with the Democrat Party and unlawful termination of non-Democrat employees. They used American liberty and the free market to make their fortunes, but they’re anti-American.

Will paying teachers more money improve student performance?

Public school teachers in Oklahoma, Kentucky, West Virginia and Arizona are striking this spring, affecting hundreds of thousands of students. The teachers say that spending more money on education will help children learn more. There’s an excellent article by Joy Pullmann in The Federalist that looks at whether increasing spending raises student performance. (H/T Vanessa)

Oklahoma teachers want a $10,000 raise, and Arizona teachers want a 20% increase in base pay. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t get anything near that for my annual raise.

Educational bureacracy

Will raising taxes on taxpayers in order to spend more on education improve student performance? Joy says we can look at the past in order to understand whether spending more money gets results.

She writes:

Research has also long and conclusively shown that school spending hikes usually don’t go to teachers, they go to administrators and other bloat outside classrooms. So the kids are just unions’ human shields on their way to raid the kids’ public bank accounts — again.

[…]As the Cato Institute’s Neal McCluskey has shown, U.S. public K-12 spending has skyrocketed over the past 50 years with no improvement in academic outcomes. Other researchers repeatedly find increasing spending doesn’t help students. That’s because, as noted above, schools typically don’t send more money to classrooms, they use it to increase bureaucracy and nonacademic programming.

Got that? When taxpayers throw money at public schools, the teachers don’t see very much of that money. It gets put into education administrators and indoctrinators – people whose sole job is to make sure that the children accept secular left values.

Check out this graph of education spending compared to test scores:

Federal spending has increased astronomically, but test scores are flat
Federal spending has increased astronomically, but test scores are flat

Spending more doesn’t produce the results that parents are looking for, for their children. Parents want children to learn what they need to find work and become financially independent. But teachers, adminsitrators, etc. have a very different goal: making little secular leftists. And that’s what they use increased funding for that. Numbers don’t lie.

Another way that public schools waste money is by promising massive gold-plated public sector pensions to teachers – pensions that no private sector  taxpayer would ever get themselves. And they use any increase in their budgets to pay the pensions of teachers who are retired, and not helping students to learn.

Teacher pensions

I saw a really nice map of the United States over at Daily Signal, with all the outstanding pensions liabilities, and the amount ranges from about $7600 in Tennessee (the best state in the union) to tens of thousands in the big blue socialist states.

Unfunded pension liabilities for public sector workers
Unfunded pension liabilities for public sector workers

Joy explains:

States promised such outsized retirement benefits to the last generation of public-school teachers that they’re paying off this promise with current revenues. A national average of $6,800 per year per teacher pays former teachers’ pensions that state and local governments failed to save up for while those teachers were working. That’s money that could have instead boosted current teachers’ salaries. The problem is only going to get worse as more baby boomers retire and legislatures continue to hide their heads in the sand.

It’s not just that states and districts failed to save up for pensions they knew would come due, it’s that they offered literally the cushiest pensions available to teachers, notes a 2016 study: “as a group, [teachers] have by far the highest retirement costs, even compared with other public-sector employees. While the average civilian employee receives $1.78 for retirement benefits per hour of work, public school teachers receive $6.22 per hour in retirement compensation.”

Like I said, I don’t have a pension funded by taxpayers. I’m having to saving for my own retirement, as well of the retirement of these wealthy government workers. Public sector benefits are paid by taxpayers in the private (free market) sector. We are the ones wh have to make products and services that consumers are actually willing to pay for in a free market. Unlike teachers, I can’t go on strike if I feel I’m not paid enough. If I go on strike, I’ll be fired. But they go on strike, holding children hostage to get more money. With no guarantee of improved student performance.

Joy also notes that teachers are actually vastly overpaid already, based on what their marketable skills:

[…][R]esearch finds teachers are overpaid by an average of 50 percent relative to their skills and mental abilities. The overage comes almost exclusively from their fat benefit packages.

The reason they complain about pay is because the majority of their pay is going into extravagant health care, paid time off, pension, paid training, etc. benefits. When you add back all those benefits, they’re being overpaid compared to an equivalent private sector worker.

Regulations

Another factor that lowers student performance is that the fact that teachers are highly regulated. Instead of spending their time teaching students, they are forced to waste time doing other non-teaching tasks.

Joy explains:

Education regulations are almost always decided by non-teachers, and the effects are about what you would guess from that fact. Rather than benefiting students, these regulations typically require or justify ever-expanding employment for the very bureaucrat types who come up with them. I’m talking about things like teacher licensing mandates, which researchers have long found do not improve teacher quality and traffic in disproven education fads (but do provide easy-access cash cows for state departments of education and teacher colleges since teachers are required to keep buying their products to maintain certification); ever-increasing testing and data-entry mandates; centralized curriculum mandates like Common Core; centralized teacher evaluation and ratings systems; and the massive data entry required to document things like student behavior problems and special education services.

More money being wasted that doesn’t help students to learn more at all.

So what’s the solution?

The solution is to allow parents to choose who provides their children with an education, instead of having the money automatically taxed and spent by a massive secular left education bureaucracy. If teachers have their money in their hands, they will spend it where they can get the best quality for the best price – just like they do in every other area of their lives. That might be scary for teachers, administrators and indoctrinators, but in a free market, the parents should not be obligated to pay for something they don’t want. We should be concerned about the children first and foremost.

Republicans introduce new federal legislation to expand school choice

If I were giving advice to the Republican party about how to win in 2020, I would advise them to focus on three priorities. Lowering unemployment, reforming the criminal justice system, and expanding school choice. They should also paint the Democrats as the party of infanticide, Green New Deal and elimination of private health insurance.

So far, Trump has done an excellent job of encouraging private sector job creators to create millions of new jobs. Unemployment is at a record low, and that’s important for persuading Black and Hispanic voters to vote for smart policies instead of tribal identity and envy. I don’t agree with with reforming criminal justice to favor criminals, but that will help with minority voters as well. But what we really need to do is provide Black and Hispanic voters with a way to get their children out of failing public schools. Public schools are filled with lazy, unionized Democrat teachers and administrators who care more about indoctrinating kids with Democrat propaganda than teaching them job skills that will make them independent, self-sufficient adults.

The Republican party knows that school choice is a win for them, and they are doing something about it.

Here’s the latest from the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank that promotes fiscally conservative policies:

Today, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos joined Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), to announce new federal legislation that would establish a federal tax-credit expanding school choice. The proposal would give dollar-for-dollar tax credits to individuals and corporations who donate to state designated scholarship granting organizations (SGOs). While its particulars bear scrutiny, the “Education Freedom Scholarship” (EFS) proposal’s overall design is a solid attempt to walk a tightrope of backing state efforts at school choice while protecting against federal meddling now and in the future. Unfortunately, a number of critics on the right are too quick to react on their fears, and too slow in remembering what is holding back school choice.

Some conservatives and libertarians worry that solving the problem of underforming schools from the top down is a political overreach, but the AEI policy analyst writing the article says that the Republican bill doesn’t have that problem:

As I wrote back in 2017, backing state developed tax-credit scholarships is the best, and probably only, way the federal government could support state efforts without overreaching.  It would not be a federal program, but a tax credit that supports programs where states are explicitly responsible for policy particulars.

[…]No doubt, the bill would need to be explicitly structured to ensure the states’ primary role, and durably prevent federal overreach; fortunately defending states’ role is a paramount feature of the bill’s design.

School choice is a nice issue for Republicans, because it allows them to point out the hypocritical nature of Democrat politicians. Democrat politicians are essentially hypocritical. They want to ban guns for you, but they have armed security to protect themselves. It’s the same thing for education. They want to ban private schools for your children, but their own children all attend private schools.

Top Political Contributors in 2016 election cycle
The top Political Contributors in 2016 election cycle includes two teacher unions

Democrats are obligated by teacher unions, (e.g. – the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers), to vote against parents who want their children to get a better education. That’s because teacher unions are some of the biggest Democrat donors. Teacher unions just want more salary and bigger benefits, despite the evidence that clearly shows that more education spending doesn’t produce better student achievement.

Education spending has tripled since 1970
Education spending has tripled since 1970

Here’s a study from 2012 published in the journal “Education and Urban Society“. It says:

The possibility is examined that school choice programs could be a means to reducing the achievement gap. Data based on meta-analytic research and the examination of nationwide data sets suggest that school choice programs that include private schools could reduce the achievement gap by 25%. The propounding of this possibility is based on research indicating that the achievement gap in faith-based schools is generally 25% narrower than one finds in public schools. Results of these studies suggest that both the racial achievement gap and the socioeconomic achievement gap are reduced by the same degree (25%). The significance of these results is discussed, especially as it pertains to the attitudes that people frequently have toward school choice.

Not only do children do better in non-public schools, but the competition forces public schools to focus less on leftist indoctrination, and more on reading, writing and math.

This study from the on-partisan National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) explains why.

It says:

A school that is more productive is one that produces higher achievement in its pupils for each dollar it spends. In this paper, I comprehensively review how school choice might affect productivity. I begin by describing the importance of school productivity, then explain the economic logic that suggests that choice will affect productivity, and finish by presenting much of the available evidence on school choice and school productivity. The most intriguing evidence comes from three important, recent choice reforms: vouchers in Milwaukee, charter schools in Michigan, and charter schools in Arizona. I show that public school students’ achievement rose significantly and rapidly in response to competition, under each of the three reforms. Public school spending was unaffected, so the productivity of public schools rose, dramatically in the case in Milwaukee.

School choice makes public schools perform better because competition between providers always lowers the cost and increases the quality of services and products being provided to the consumers. Consumers always suffer when there is a monopoly. This is why people are more satisfied purchasing goods from Amazon and Netflix than they are lining up at the post office or the department of motor vehicles. The free market serves the consumer.

I was raised in a poor background, and I am a visible minority. If Republicans want to get the votes of people in my community, it makes sense to put in place policies that allow people like me to get a good education so we can get good jobs and do better than our parents did. Republicans should be all about equipping people to be independent and self-sufficient. These are conservative goals.

Fascist Twitter permanently bans conservative, no warnings, no explanations, no appeals

Twitter bans another conservative with no previous violations
Far-left fascist monopoly Twitter bans a conservative with no warnings, no previous violations, and no indication of which tweet violated their rules

Although Twitter allows tweets from radical leftist anti-Semites like Louis Farrakhan, they permanently ban moderate conservatives with no explanation of which specific rules those conservatives violated. There are no warnings. There is no appeal. It’s time for the government to step in and break up the big social media monopolies.

Here’s the story from The Federalist:

Federalist Contributor Jesse Kelly was permanently suspended from Twitter on Sunday for “repeat violations of the Twitter rules,” according to a message from Twitter Support. Kelly is a combat Veteran Marine, conservative radio host, and former Republican candidate for U.S. Congress.

Twitter did not explain what rules Kelly violated, or if there was a specific tweet in question.

[…]Kelly is a frequent guest on Fox News, and ironically, his last appearance on Tucker Carlson’s show was to discuss online censorship.

All we have is a copy of Twitter’s message (screenshot above), about the permanent ban. No other reasons were given.

Requests for more information from conservative journalists were ignored, and no specific reasons for the permanent ban were given.

Note that a permanent Twitter ban isn’t a ban where they just ask you to delete specific Tweets that violate their rules. In the past, Twitter asked a Canadian feminist to delete a tweet where she said that a transgender woman was a biological man. You can’t say that a woman has to have a vagina on Twitter – that’s hate speech, and you’ll be banned if you say that.  She was allowed to delete the offending tweets to get her account back. Kelly was not told which of his tweets was offensive, he was just permanently banned.

But do you know what isn’t banned on Twitter? Saying that all Jews are termites. That tweet is fine with them, because it comes from a leftist. The account that tweeted that is still active.

The Times of Israel reports:

The Anti-Defamation League on Thursday called on Twitter to remove tweets by Louis Farrakhan, the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader, from the social network after he posted a video in which he appeared to compare Jews to termites.

But when the Buzzfeed news site asked Twitter whether Farrakhan’s latest post violated its newly announced  policy against “dehumanizing language,” it was told the religious leader was not in violation of any rules.

It’s time for the government to step in and break up this corporate monopoly. And maybe we need to have some civil suits with some billion dollar decisions against these left-wing fascists, for violating first amendment rights of conservatives.