Saturday, March 29, 2014

The NLRB and the Student Athlete

Student athletes, as a rule, are athletes first and students second (or not at all) at division 1 competitive athletic programs.  They are encouraged to take courses that are non-taxing so that they can focus on their athletics.  It wasn't always this way, but it is today.  If an athlete doesn't perform to the expectations of the coach their scholarships can and are ripped away by unfeeling athletic administrations.  Given the level of tuition, this means that athletes are forced to transfer solely due to athletic performance, even if, academically, they are doing fine.  I have witnessed this first hand and on more than one occasion.

Meanwhile the compensation of athletics department personnel has gone through the roof.  In most states, athletic department personnel dominate the top five paid state employee list.  $ 5 to $ 6 million per year compensation is becoming common at the more ambitious football and basketball programs.  So, somebody is doing well.  But, sadly, not the athletes.  The athletes are the mules that pull the luxury liners that are modern division-one football and basketball programs.

But, is a union the answer.  Not likely.  The answer is to let the free market reign in college athletics.  Let the players be paid and let the chips fall where they may.  Don't saddle college athletes with union bosses and union dues and  thereby merely replace one uncaring institution with another.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

One Size Fits All Economics

There are several reasons why "Obamacare" will make the vast majority of Americans significantly worse off economically.

Most of the problems are related to the perverse incentives that Obamacare creates that will dramatically reduce the quality of health care that will be available to the average American.  Obama and Warner and Buffett will be fine because they will be rich, but for the rest of us, health care will become a nightmare.

But even beyond the incentives, Obamacare yields no ground to individual differences -- even gender differences and age differences.  80 year old men will pay the same premium to provide insurance for pregnancy as 18 year old women!  If 80 year old men need a particular life saving drug not covered by the plan, but something they desperately need, they are flat out of luck.  But, in their dying breath, one supposes, they can take comfort that if they happen to get pregnant, they are covered.

One size fits all.

This would be great if everyone had identical health needs, but the truth is that no two people are alike -- especially when it comes to health care.

It should be legal to buy the health care you want and need.  But, in the brave new Obama world, that is no longer possible.  Unless, of your, your name is Warren Buffett or Mark Warner or Barrack Obama.

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Modern American Myth -- The Inequality "Problem"

Inequality has risen in Russia.  Why?  Because, once upon a time, virtually all Russians lived at what Americans would define as the poverty level.  Now a large part of the Russian population lives well above the poverty level.  The average Russian is far, far better off today than 25 years ago, but inequality has risen.  One way to get back to the old "equality" is to reduce everyone back to poverty levels.  Then all can be equal in their poverty.

If you have a society of two people with no income and of them discovers a coconut tree and gathers coconuts, you have created great inequality.  So, destroy the coconut tree.  Then you can have true equality restored.  That seems to be the Obama Plan for the US economy.

The myth that the middle class is losing ground is artfully dispelled by today's Wall Street Journal piece by Professor Donald Boudreaux of George Mason University and his graduate student Liya Palagashvili. Check it out.  It turns out that the middle class in America has shrunk mainly because a huge number of middle class Americans have moved to a higher income level.  One way to return to the old level of "equality" is to hammer those folks back into the middle class by reducing their income.  Kill the coconut tree.

How do you kill the coconut tree?  Enact Dodd-Frank and Obamacare.  That should do the trick.  So far, so good for the Obama team.  If they reduce us all to poverty, then we will have true inequality.  Except, of course, for Obama and Lois Lerner and their friends.  They will live high while everyone else lives low.