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In The News – May 31st, 2013

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YouTube: The Dollar Vigilante on the State of the US Economy

If you aren’t familiar with Jeff Berwick (aka The Dollar Vigilante), enjoy this video interview from January where he summarizes his views.

This is the USSR in 1989…when it starts to collapse, it’s going to happen very fast.

YouTube: Get far away from USA…its collapse will be messy: Jeff Berwick (Jan 24, 2013)

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Best of ZeroHedge: When Work Is Punished

Says Gary Alexander, Secretary of Public Welfare, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

…the single mom is better off earnings gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income and benefits of $57,045

welfare cliff

ZeroHedge: When Work Is Punished: The Tragedy Of America’s Welfare State (Nov 27, 2012)

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Devil's Advocate: Makena, Premature Births, and Liberals?

Having children means sacrifice, and having a successful reproductive outcome isn’t a right – although we (political society, with the exception of Lisa Hymas) typically view kids  as positive, either because they’ll make money (read: pay taxes) or fight in wars. So if it’s urban-chic to say that children aren’t green, why would any liberals be mad that a drug that helps prevent premature birth is being repriced (see link at bottom of post) to reflect its opportunity cost? My thought is that because it increases the potential cost and risk of “mental and physical disabilities”, it decreases the incentive for [poor] women to have children and become wards of the state (read: liberal voters).

Don’t believe that reproductive decisions are influenced by economic incentives? In a 1995 article (part of Making Economic Sense), Murray Rothbard summarized some of the results of a welfare study by Change-NY.

The “typical” welfare recipient is a single mother with two children. This typical welfare “client” receives, in city, state, and federal benefits, the whopping annual sum of $32,500, which includes approximately $3,000 in cash, $14,000 in Medicaid, $10,000 in housing assistance, and $5,000 in food assistance. Since these benefits are non-taxable, this sum is equivalent to a $45,000 annual salary before taxes.

Furthermore, this incredibly high figure for welfare aid is “extremely conservative,” says Change-NY, because it excludes the value of other benefits, including Head Start (also known as pre-school day care), job training (often consisting of such hard-nosed subjects as “conversational skills”), child care, and the Special Supplemental Food program for Women, Infants, and Children (or WIC). Surely, including all this would push up the annual benefit close to $50,000. This also presumes that the mother is not cheating by getting more welfare than she is entitled to, which is often the case.

Not only is this far above any job available to our hypothetical teen-aged single mother, it is even far higher than a typical entry level job in the New York City government. Thus, The New York Post, (Aug. 2) noted the following starting salaries at various municipal jobs: $18,000 for an office aid; $23,000 for a sanitation worker; $27,000 for a teacher; $27,000 for a police officer or firefighter; $18,000 for a word processor–all of these with far more work skills than possessed by your typical welfare client. And all of these salaries, of course, are fully taxable.

Given this enormous disparity in benefits, is it any wonder that 1.3 million mothers and children in New York are on welfare, and that welfare dependence is happily passed on from one generation of girls to the next?

Regardless of how these numbers have changed over time, the fact is that subsidizing reproductive outcomes will produce marginal disincentives to work, and effectively lock beneficiaries in to voting for the party most in favor of maintaining and extending benefits. So, look for a liberal near you to argue strongly in favor of controlling the price of KV Pharmaceutical’s Makena. Ironically, the exclusivity allowing KV to reprice their drug is the result of the state proper’s continued wholesale interference in health care generally and pharmaceuticals specifically.

$10 preemie preventive now $1,500 on twincities.com 3/14/2011

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