Tag Archives: fail

Surprising new study

A new study finds some surprises when it comes to what causes premature deaths.

A combination of four unhealthy behaviors — smoking, lack of exercise, poor diet and substantial alcohol consumption — greatly increases the risk of premature death, a new study has found.

The study, published in the April 26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, included 4,886 people, aged 18 or older, who were interviewed in 1984-1985.

Wow.  I would never have guessed it.

Lucky for us, the researchers have a solution,

“Modest but achievable adjustments to lifestyle behaviors are likely to have a considerable impact at both the individual and population level,” the researchers concluded. “Developing more efficacious methods by which to promote healthy diets and lifestyles across the population should be an important priority of public health policy.”

Great.  The government will fix it.


Government success!

Well, if you think moving lots of money from productive uses to non productive uses (out of the pockets of consumers to purchase and destroy cars) is success, then Cash for Clunkers worked!  Because it didn’t have any other positive effect.

Eventually, we’ll learn.  The question is whether it will matter when we do.

Failed Policies

After all the talk of the failed policies of the Bush administration (with which I nearly completely agree), as one would expect from the government, the solution is to do more of it.

You sure about this?

Are these the people you want running your healthcare?

Just last week the General Accountability Office added the Postal Service to its list of troubled agencies, saying there are serious and significant structural financial challenges currently facing the agency.

“Every major postal policy, from employee pay, to days of delivery, to the closing of postal facilities must be on the table. Without major change, the day will soon come when the Postal Service will be unable to pay its bills …” GAO said.

Congress is considering a bill to change the way the post office funds its retiree health benefits over the next two years that could save it $2 billion annually.

The post office also filed a petition with the independent Postal Regulatory Commission indicating that managers are looking at closing many post offices to save money.

In addition, Postmaster General John Potter has asked Congress for permission to reduce mail deliveries from six days-a-week to five.

Interestingly, the same thing that allows us to find alternatives to the government run postal service won’t be part of government run healthcare.  Would you put up with being forced to use the USPS?

Link via Inside Charm City


Today’s Quote of the Day comes from Karen De Coster, a fantastic writer/blogger.  In a post on the “cash for clunkers” program, she writes:

For those new to libertarian ideas, notice the multitude of comments in this story regarding the “success” of a failed, centrally-planned policy that needed emergency funding to keep its failure successful. Whereas businesses within the free market gauge success and failure through the means of profit and loss, here’s how a government determines success.  

Read the entire post, it’s great.

Bubbles and Busts, explained

Doug French posts the introduction to his new book at mises.org.  I suggest you read the entire article, and even the book, but here’s the money (get it?!) quote:

Austrian economists Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich A. Hayek’s Austrian business-cycle theory provides the framework to explain speculative bubbles. The Austrian theory points out that it is government’s increasing the supply of money that serves to lower interest rates below the natural rate or the rate that would be set by the collective time preferences of savers in the market. Entrepreneurs react to these lower interest rates by investing in “higher order” goods in the production chain, as opposed to consumer goods.

Despite these actions by government, consumer time preferences remain the same. There is no real increase in the demand for higher order goods and instead of capital flowing into what the unfettered market would dictate — it flows into malinvestment. The greater the monetary expansion, in terms of both time and enormity, the longer the boom will be sustained.

But eventually there must be a recession or depression to liquidate not only inefficient and unprofitable businesses, but malinvestments in speculation — whether it is stocks, bonds, real estate, art, or tulip bulbs.

According to the article (I didn’t confirm this, but I trust it), M2 supply has increased 11 fold since 1971. Probably has something to do with what’s happening now, huh?

So the next time you or someone you know wants to blame the evil ‘big’ coporations, or the fat cats, or the rich, or the greedy investors, think for a minute.

Maybe it’s big government at work?

Earth Hour Fail?

The results are  in (namely here and here), and it’s pretty clear Earth Hour was a resounding failure.

But why?

I have a couple of ideas:

Lots of people just ignored it.  I did.  I was at a wedding.  They didn’t shut the lights off.  Life goes on, and we’ve gotten used to electricity.  I also think some people might have taken the opportunity to celebrate electricity, and in a fit of protest, turned some things on.  (I might have if I thought about it and I were at home).

People already turn off unnecessary lighting.  Generally speaking, we don’t have unnecessary lighting (or any electronics) running.  We actually prefer to conserve, given we see no reason to pay for electricity to needlessly run something.   There is an incentive to conserve, you know.

There are far more productive things the WWF could be doing, and all of us along with them.  Some of those things might actually do something good for the planet, too.

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