We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Revenue, folks, revenue – the beast is hungry and insatiable. And it has a very serious problem looming the future. It wants no part of lean and mean. Instead, it wants to be fat, happy and expanding – and VAT would do that. And you, dear wage earner, are the means to its dreams.
Keynes vs. Hayek. Of course, we know the only reason that Keynesian stimuli remain popular is pure politics - a justification to reward those one wishes to reward with $.
"How the poor are different" -- there's a huge difference between someone who finds himself poor in a country full of wealth and opportunity, and someone who finds himself poor in a broken, tyrannical society. The solutions that may be effective for one won't work for the other.
It shames me to be a native of Billings after reading the piece about the "art". Growing up there their was always somebody trying to look "cultivated" while completely missing the rich tapestry of the region and it's people. My only hope is the person who approved this is a transplant.
Regarding the curve for medical care: price is only one element of supply or demand. I know at least one person (I shave him daily) who avoids most health care involvement. I have as good an insurance plan as any ordinary person and better than most. I avoid health care involvement because much of what gets done is annoying to experience and, I believe, will have little benefit for me. The same things may have a lot of benefit for other people. Young people won't break their legs or develop cancer just because they have been compelled to get insurance.
This affects our health care demand. Most people with serious health care needs are having those needs met. Some can pay their own way, many have private insurance and many have some form of government subsidy (I'm actually in the last class as a military retiree). There are surely some people with serious, costly health needs that aren't being met and who would demand more services if they felt they had the resources. Most of the "unmet" healthcare needs are minor, though, and adding these people to the patient pool will have small effects on health care demand. I could be wrong, but I think this line of thought is valid.
There are lots of legal and policy problems with the Demcare law. I hope it can be stopped. But I think it's going to shift the demand curve by a small amount.