Dumb as bricks

I know nothing!

“Economists” are out with another one of those stupid studies, this time claiming that a tax on sugary drinks would save 26,000 American lives a year. No medical data supports this and, naturally, the supposed experts are professors based in San Francisco, but the press picked up the story and ran with it.

Did you ever notice that every “health” plan like this, every idea to hike taxes and spend more of your money always hides behind a claim that the costs will be fr exceeded by the benefits? Mandatory insurance coverage for mammograms will cost each household $1,000 a year but society will save X billions otherwise lost to sickness and breast reconstruction surgery. Spend $15 billion on mandatory bicycle helmets and save $100 zillion in hospital emergency room costs. Having been deluged with this idiocy for decades,  have you noticed the cost of health care going down? Neither have I.

8 Comments

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8 responses to “Dumb as bricks

  1. HG

    If I were a government official I would have a general rule to vote against stuff like this. My arguments? 1. France’s Gabelle (salt tax) 1780s, see also French Revolution. 2. Tea Act, see also Boston Tea Party 3. Whiskey Act 1789, see also Whiskey Rebellion.

  2. Al Dente

    I don’t think they have reached the “zillion” stage yet, but give ’em another term……

  3. AJ

    The debt based economy– it’s a wonderful thing. Is the Federal Reserve a Trogan Horse owned by foreign bankers sent to destroy America? The Wizard of Oz is a story about central banking with the Scarecrow (the not so stupid farmer), the Tin Man ( who needs oil– cash– to keep the system working) The Cowardly Lion (William Jennings Bryan), the yellow brick road (gold) and the silver slippers (silver), yes, they were silver not ruby in the book. Watch this intriguing and fascinating movie by The Money Masters here:

  4. Fred2

    There is always some damn crusader with mono-maniacal interest in something pressureing the government in making laws. Since their mono-mania is greater the the combined “do not give a damn onthe topic” of the rest of us they tend to win.

    Nice thing is a lot of this non-sense gets debunked inthe internet pretty quick.

    Now about the stupid-scary SOPA law…

  5. Anonymous

    I immediately thought of this recent Krugman column on new EPA standards for mercury from power plants when I read your post.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/26/opinion/krugman-springtime-for-toxics.html?_r=1&ref=paulkrugman

    Excerpt from article
    [“The new rules would also have the effect of reducing fine particle pollution, which is a known source of many health problems, from asthma to heart attacks. In fact, the benefits of reduced fine particle pollution account for most of the quantifiable gains from the new rules. The key word here is “quantifiable”: E.P.A.’s cost-benefit analysis only considers one benefit of mercury regulation, the reduced loss in future wages for children whose I.Q.’s are damaged by eating fish caught by freshwater anglers. There are without doubt many other benefits to cutting mercury emissions, but at this point the agency doesn’t know how to put a dollar figure on those benefits.

    Even so, the payoff to the new rules is huge: up to $90 billion a year in benefits compared with around $10 billion a year of costs in the form of slightly higher electricity prices. This is, as David Roberts of Grist says, a very big deal.”]

    So the only quantifiable benefit offsetting the guaranteed $10B in cost is the lost wages from compromised IQ’s from eating fresh fish? Are they serious! Who eats fresh fish anymore? Most of it is farmed in China/Southeast Asia (I bet they have controls in place there to reduce mercury emissions).

  6. Anonymous

    Anything to help curb the rising rates of obesity in minority communities. Ever been to an ER in Nyc ? It makes Yale new haven seem like a pleasure spa.

  7. Peg

    “Rising rates of obesity in minority communities”? Anon; you need to leave your Greenwich-haven a bit more. I dunno about the rest of you, but it sure seems to me that the non-minority community (aka white folks) are doing quite well in increasing the ranks of the obese, too.

  8. AJ

    Remember when Blue Cross (a nonprofit) was the standard for health insurance offered by employers, and it was so inexpensive that even most small local businesses offered it to their employees free of charge. Of course, it didn’t cover your doctor bills, but who cared; the cost of going to the doctor was almost inconsequential at the time. Then in the early seventies the insurance companies got involved and came up with managed health care as a way to reduce medical costs– yeah, right– and they’ve been skyrocketing ever since. And now the Republicans, seeking to put the final nail in the coffin of nonprofit medicine want to kill the remaining noprofit hospitals because they don’t give treatment away for free– how dare they call themselves non profit. Now we have mandatory health insurance written by insurers (Obamacare), proving once again that we the people are nothing more than surfs whose sole purpose is the feed the parisitical elite. USA, USA, USA. It’s becoming a less wonderful country day by day.

    New research is revealing that hormone-mimicking chemicals in the environment is what may be causing our current pandemic of obesity:
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2009/09/10/born-to-be-big.html
    But my favorite issue is GMOs because apparently in America, you don’t have the right to know what you eat.