obamacare

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pages: 554 words: 167,247

Money, Politics, Back-Room Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System by Steven Brill

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, business process, call centre, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, employer provided health coverage, medical malpractice, Menlo Park, Nate Silver, obamacare, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, the payments system, young professional

THE “DEFUND” CAUCUS In August 2013, a cadre of the most conservative Republicans, led by freshman Texas senator Ted Cruz, began staging a series of “defund” rallies, aimed at encouraging conservatives to demand that Congress stop funding Obamacare. They had the leverage to do it, Cruz argued. Republicans could simply threaten to block any new budget, due October 1, or block any increase in the debt ceiling due soon thereafter, if Obamacare wasn’t defunded as part of a new budget and debt ceiling deal. “We have, I believe … the last good opportunity we will have to defund Obamacare,” Cruz declared at a July 30 meeting of the Heritage Foundation, whose political action committee was organizing the rallies. “If we do not pursue this strategy, we are saying we surrender. Obamacare will be a permanent feature of the American economy.” KENTUCKY GOES ALL IN But in one of the reddest of red states, Obamacare was picking up steam. Through the spring and summer, Kentucky Health and Family Services cabinet secretary Audrey Haynes, her kynect executive director, Carrie Banahan, and Deloitte’s Mohan Kumar had pushed their team on all fronts.

Yet Beshear’s message—or perhaps simply the lure of “answered prayers” that Viola Brown had expressed—seemed to have gotten through. What they were doing at those card tables with the kynectors was not about Barack Obama. In fact, none mentioned Obamacare, except for the one enrollee who said that kynect was “a lot better than Obamacare.” “KENTUCKIANS NOT BUYING OBAMACARE” Nonetheless, for Kentucky’s two leading Republicans, kynect was all about Obamacare and Obama. Perhaps oblivious to what their constituents on the ground were experiencing, Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul went on the attack with an op-ed column in the Louisville Courier-Journal the morning the Browns enrolled. Their piece, entitled “Kentuckians Not Buying Obamacare,” said the new law would lead to layoffs, higher taxes, and people losing their current health plans. “The governor likes to tout his so-called discounts for health insurance.… What he won’t tell you is that most Kentuckians won’t receive them,” they wrote.

In the next part of the dream, the gurney and I are about to go through the doors to the operating room when off to the left side I see two cheerful women at a card table under a sign that proclaims “Obamacare Enrollment Center. Sign Up Now Before It’s Too Late. Preexisting Conditions Not a Problem.” Actually, on April 4, 2014, the morning of my surgery, it was already four days too late to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Besides, I already had decent insurance. But at least that dream was more on point with what was happening in my real life. The day I found out about the time bomb in my chest, I was finishing reporting for a book about Obamacare and the fight over how to fix America’s healthcare system. In fact, on March 31, 2014, the day I was told about my aneurysm, I was awaiting the results of the final push by the Obama administration to get people to enroll in the insurance exchanges established under Obamacare. WHAT FOLLOWS IS THE roller-coaster story of how Obamacare happened, what it means, what it will fix, what it won’t fix, and what it means to people like me on that gurney consuming the most personal, most fear-inducing products—the ones meant to keep us alive.


pages: 554 words: 167,247

America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System by Steven Brill

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, business process, call centre, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, employer provided health coverage, medical malpractice, Menlo Park, Nate Silver, obamacare, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, the payments system, young professional

THE “DEFUND” CAUCUS In August 2013, a cadre of the most conservative Republicans, led by freshman Texas senator Ted Cruz, began staging a series of “defund” rallies, aimed at encouraging conservatives to demand that Congress stop funding Obamacare. They had the leverage to do it, Cruz argued. Republicans could simply threaten to block any new budget, due October 1, or block any increase in the debt ceiling due soon thereafter, if Obamacare wasn’t defunded as part of a new budget and debt ceiling deal. “We have, I believe … the last good opportunity we will have to defund Obamacare,” Cruz declared at a July 30 meeting of the Heritage Foundation, whose political action committee was organizing the rallies. “If we do not pursue this strategy, we are saying we surrender. Obamacare will be a permanent feature of the American economy.” KENTUCKY GOES ALL IN But in one of the reddest of red states, Obamacare was picking up steam. Through the spring and summer, Kentucky Health and Family Services cabinet secretary Audrey Haynes, her kynect executive director, Carrie Banahan, and Deloitte’s Mohan Kumar had pushed their team on all fronts.

Yet Beshear’s message—or perhaps simply the lure of “answered prayers” that Viola Brown had expressed—seemed to have gotten through. What they were doing at those card tables with the kynectors was not about Barack Obama. In fact, none mentioned Obamacare, except for the one enrollee who said that kynect was “a lot better than Obamacare.” “KENTUCKIANS NOT BUYING OBAMACARE” Nonetheless, for Kentucky’s two leading Republicans, kynect was all about Obamacare and Obama. Perhaps oblivious to what their constituents on the ground were experiencing, Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul went on the attack with an op-ed column in the Louisville Courier-Journal the morning the Browns enrolled. Their piece, entitled “Kentuckians Not Buying Obamacare,” said the new law would lead to layoffs, higher taxes, and people losing their current health plans. “The governor likes to tout his so-called discounts for health insurance.… What he won’t tell you is that most Kentuckians won’t receive them,” they wrote.

In the next part of the dream, the gurney and I are about to go through the doors to the operating room when off to the left side I see two cheerful women at a card table under a sign that proclaims “Obamacare Enrollment Center. Sign Up Now Before It’s Too Late. Preexisting Conditions Not a Problem.” Actually, on April 4, 2014, the morning of my surgery, it was already four days too late to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Besides, I already had decent insurance. But at least that dream was more on point with what was happening in my real life. The day I found out about the time bomb in my chest, I was finishing reporting for a book about Obamacare and the fight over how to fix America’s healthcare system. In fact, on March 31, 2014, the day I was told about my aneurysm, I was awaiting the results of the final push by the Obama administration to get people to enroll in the insurance exchanges established under Obamacare. WHAT FOLLOWS IS THE roller-coaster story of how Obamacare happened, what it means, what it will fix, what it won’t fix, and what it means to people like me on that gurney consuming the most personal, most fear-inducing products—the ones meant to keep us alive.


pages: 324 words: 92,805

The Impulse Society: America in the Age of Instant Gratification by Paul Roberts

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset allocation, business process, Cass Sunstein, centre right, choice architecture, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Brooks, delayed gratification, double helix, factory automation, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, game design, greed is good, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, impulse control, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, low skilled workers, mass immigration, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, performance metric, postindustrial economy, profit maximization, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, reshoring, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy

Jonathan Rowe, “Our Phony Economy,” Harper’s, June 2008, http://harpers.org/print/pid=85583. 16. Interview with author. 17. Jeffrey M. Jones, “Majority in U.S. Favors Healthcare Reform This Year,” Gallup, July 14, 2009, http://www.gallup.com/poll/121664/majority-favors-healthcare-reform-this-year.aspx. 18. Benjamin Zycher, “Obamacare Inhibits Medical Technology,” Washington Times, Jan. 9, 2012, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/9/obamacare-inhibits-medical-technology/. 19. Thomas B. Edsall, “The Obamacare Crisis,” New York Times, Nov. 19, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/20/opinion/edsall-the-obamacare-crisis.htmlpagewanted=1&_r=2&smid=tw-share&&pagewanted=all. 20. Interview with author. 21. Interview with author. Chapter 8: Forever War 1. Sam Stein, “Robert Draper Book: GOP Anti-Obama Campaign Started Night of Inauguration,” Huffington Post, April 25, 2012, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/25/robert-draper-anti-obama-campaign_n_1452899.html. 2.

The program’s current difficulties have the clear potential to replay events of 2010 in 2014 and possibly 2016.”19 In other words, if we imagine that state power could be used to curb the sort of problematic reflexes (be they in health care or finance or personal behavior) that drive the Impulse Society, we shouldn’t be surprised to see some significant pushback. The Impulse Society, in effect, will defend itself. In some respects, the opposition Obamacare has provoked seems relatively mild, given the degree to which it is attempting to shake up the status quo. Liberals may complain that the ACA falls far short of the long-dreamed-of European-style single-payer model. But as far as many conservatives are concerned, Obamacare represents the first effort in decades to shift the country back toward the New Deal program of economic management that was supposed to have been killed off in the 1980s. More fundamentally, the reaction to Obamacare may force us to reassess the cherished idea that Americans will make personal sacrifices to address a broad social problem. Rather, one could argue that, after decades of an increasingly self-centered ideology and a hyper-responsive consumer economy, when it comes to supporting social justice, personal sacrifice may be a deal breaker.

Doi: http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/09/you-hate-me-now-colorful-chart. Easterbrook, Gregg, “Voting for Unemployment: Why Union Workers Sometimes Choose to Lose Their Jobs Rather Than Accept Cuts in Wages.” Atlantic, May 1983. Accessed September 12, 2013. Doi: http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/83may/eastrbrk.htm. Edsall, Thomas B. “The Obamacare Crisis.” New York Times, Nov. 19, 2013. Doi: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/20/opinion/edsall-the-obamacare-crisis.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&smid=tw-share&&pagewanted=all. Field, Alexander J. “The Impact of the Second World War on U.S. Productivity Growth.” Economic History Review 61, no. 3 (2008): 677. ———. “The Origins of U.S. Total Factor Productivity Growth in the Golden Age.” Cleometrica 1, no. 1 (April 2007): 19, 20. Fisher, Richard. “Ending ‘Too Big to Fail’: A Proposal for Reform before It’s Too Late (with Reference to Patrick Henry, Complexity and Reality).”

Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America by Matt Taibbi

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, carried interest, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, computerized trading, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, David Brooks, desegregation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, financial innovation, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, illegal immigration, interest rate swap, laissez-faire capitalism, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, medical malpractice, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, obamacare, passive investing, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Sergey Aleynikov, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

No, what the near failure of Obamacare represented instead was a colossally depressing truth about the American political system, which is that our government is so dysfunctional that it can no longer even efficiently sell out to the private interests that actually run things in this country. Taylor was wrong about the bill. But he was right, too. Something was long gone. Obamacare had been designed as a coldly cynical political deal: massive giveaways to Big Pharma in the form of monster subsidies, and an equally lucrative handout to big insurance in the form of an individual mandate granting a few already-wealthy companies 25–30 million new customers who would be forced to buy their products at artificially inflated, federally protected prices. The essence of Obamacare was two ruthless power plays fused at the hip.

The result was a new law that will radically remake the faces of both the federal government and the private economy and also ratify the worst paranoid fears of both ends of the political spectrum. The right-wing teabagger crowd spent all of 2009 protesting Obamacare as a radical socialist redistribution, and you know what? They weren’t all wrong, although the people who wrote this bill were about as far from being socialists as people can be. Meanwhile the castrated left wing, the constituency that worked so hard to get Barack Obama elected in the first place, suddenly perceived Obamacare as a crypto-fascist fusing of state and private power, an absurdly expensive capitulation of democratically elected officials to concentrated private interests. And they weren’t wrong, although whatever negative ideology they thought they were protesting in the bill was mostly in there by accident. Really Obamacare was designed as a straight money trade. The administration meant to deal away those billions in subsidies and the premiums from millions of involuntary customers in exchange for the relevant industries’ campaign contributions for a few election cycles going forward.

The system is designed to give regional insurers the power to coerce and intimidate customers in exactly this manner, and also to force them to pay inflated rates. This is thanks to one of the worst pieces of legislation in American history, a monster called the McCarran-Ferguson Act that just might be a more shameful chapter in our legal history than the Jim Crow laws—and you won’t understand exactly how bad a deal Obamacare is until you can grasp the subtext of the whole so-called health care reform effort, which was to pass a “health care reform bill” without touching McCarran-Ferguson. Almost everyone in America is familiar with the Sherman Antitrust Act, and most people have a fairly good idea of why it was enacted. The law was passed in 1890 (sponsored, ironically, by a predecessor of Max Baucus, a Senate Finance Committee chairman named John Sherman) and was designed to curtail the power of the monopolistic supercompanies that were beginning to dominate American business.


pages: 558 words: 168,179

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Bakken shale, bank run, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, centre right, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, collective bargaining, corporate raider, crony capitalism, David Brooks, desegregation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, energy security, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, George Gilder, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, job automation, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Mont Pelerin Society, More Guns, Less Crime, Nate Silver, New Journalism, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Powell Memorandum, Ralph Nader, Renaissance Technologies, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, school choice, school vouchers, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Chicago School, the scientific method, University of East Anglia, Unsafe at Any Speed, War on Poverty, working poor

(The Kochs’ front group seemed to have no such qualms about government intrusion into reproductive health issues.) The organization also sponsored student-oriented protests at which mock Obamacare insurance cards were burned like draft cards during the Vietnam War. The disinformation campaign spread fear and confusion. News reports reflected a widespread belief, particularly in desperately poor areas, that the government was setting up “death panels.” In the summer and fall of 2013, as Meadows was gathering co-sponsors for his open letter, Americans for Prosperity spent an additional $5.5 million on anti-Obamacare television ads. Asked about this later, Tim Phillips stressed that his group merely wanted to repeal rather than defund the health-care law. But either way, he acknowledged that the Kochs’ political organization was not giving up.

After the 2012 election political leaders in both parties had expressed hope that the partisan battles would subside so that the government could finally tend to the serious economic, social, environmental, and international issues demanding urgent attention from the world’s richest and most powerful nation. Speaker of the House Boehner made it clear to the extremists in his party that it was time to back off. “The president was reelected,” he reminded them. “Obamacare is the law of the land.” Yet less than a year later, the country was held hostage in another futile fight over Obamacare. As congressional leaders met with Obama at the White House on October 2, 2013, in what turned out to be an unsuccessful effort to reach a deal that could avert the disastrous shutdown, Obama pulled the Speaker aside. “John, what happened?” the president asked. “I got overrun, that’s what happened,” he replied. A bipartisan compromise eventually enabled the government to reopen.

The combined millions of dollars in contributions paid for some of the most brilliant litigators in the country to advance arguments that Josh Blackman, a conservative law professor who wrote Unprecedented, a book on the case, admitted seemed “crazy” in the beginning. Yet because of the efforts of a few activists bankrolled by wealthy ideological entrepreneurs, the challenge went from the fringe to one vote short of victory in the Supreme Court. For more, see Blackman, Unprecedented: The Constitutional Challenge to Obamacare (PublicAffairs, 2013). “It’s David versus Goliath”: Stolberg and McIntire, “Federal Budget Crisis Months in the Planning.” $235 million was spent: For Kantar Media statistics on ad spending, see Purdum, “Obamacare Sabotage Campaign.” “When else in our history”: Stolberg and McIntire, “Federal Budget Crisis Months in the Planning.” “The president was reelected”: Boehner, interview with Diane Sawyer, ABC News, Nov. 8, 2012. “John, what happened”: See John Bresnahan et al., “Anatomy of a Shutdown,” Politico, Oct. 18, 2013.


pages: 345 words: 92,849

Equal Is Unfair: America's Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality by Don Watkins, Yaron Brook

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Apple II, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, blue-collar work, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Brooks, deskilling, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, financial deregulation, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Naomi Klein, new economy, obamacare, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, profit motive, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Uber for X, urban renewal, War on Poverty, wealth creators, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

Sandeep Jauhar, Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014), Introduction. 46. Ibid., chapter 5. 47. Devon Herrick, “FDA Slow to Approve Medical Devices,” National Center for Policy Analysis, December 1, 2010, http://healthblog.ncpa.org/fda-slow-to-approve-medical-devices/ (accessed May 12, 2015). 48. Michael Tennant, “ObamaCare: Stifling Innovation,” National Center for Policy Analysis, April 9, 2015, http://www.ncpa.org/media/obamacare-stifling-innovation (accessed May 26, 2015). 49. Cato Handbook for Policymakers, 7th Edition (Cato Institute, January 16, 2009), http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/cato-handbook-policymakers/2009/9/hb111-16.pdf (accessed May 26, 2015). See also Rituparna Basu, The Broken State of American Health Insurance Prior to the Affordable Care Act: A Market Rife with Government Distortion, 2013, http://www.pacificresearch.org/fileadmin/templates/pri/images/Studies/PDFs/2013-2015/BasuF2.pdf (accessed May 26, 2015). 50.

Clearly these advocates very much want to believe that the price of labor—unlike that of gasoline, or Manhattan apartments—can be set based on considerations of justice, not supply and demand, without unpleasant side effects.”23 Later Krugman would come out in favor of enormous minimum wage hikes, declaring that it wouldn’t increase unemployment.24) Now let’s say you do find a job. The lower your pay, the more you have to work to achieve a given standard of living. But other regulations can make it harder for you to get the hours you want. Government-mandated overtime pay may make it too expensive for an employer to let you work more than a certain number of hours a week. And now Obamacare, by forcing certain employers to offer health insurance to employees who work more than 30 hours a week, has created an incentive for limiting hours even further. Even if you manage to overcome these barriers, you face more obstacles, including a substantial tax burden. Low-income Americans don’t generally pay income taxes, but they do pay sales taxes, gas taxes, and “sin taxes” on goods like cigarettes and alcohol.

The American health care system is freer and more innovative than virtually every other health care system in the world.42 But it nevertheless has more in common with our stagnant education system than with Silicon Valley. Although there are some areas in which entrepreneurs and visionaries have the opportunity to change and improve things, overall the story is one of bureaucracy and roadblocks. The U.S. health care system is usually characterized as a free-market system (and all of its problems are inevitably blamed on this freedom), but the truth is that it is dominated by government. Even before Obamacare, about half of U.S. health care spending was government spending.43 Starting with Medicare and Medicaid in 1965, the government has sought to guarantee us health care regardless of our ability to pay. But it turns out that allowing people to consume health care that they don’t have to pay for (or don’t have to pay full price for) is incredibly expensive, and shortly after the launch of these medical welfare state programs, the government started imposing rigid controls on doctors, hospitals, and insurers to keep expenses down.


pages: 393 words: 115,263

Planet Ponzi by Mitch Feierstein

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, break the buck, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disintermediation, diversification, Donald Trump, energy security, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, frictionless, frictionless market, high net worth, High speed trading, illegal immigration, income inequality, interest rate swap, invention of agriculture, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, mega-rich, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, pensions crisis, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, value at risk, yield curve

The average employer-sponsored family health plan costs almost $14,000 a year, the highest rate in the nation.33 In short, the likely effect of Obamacare, based on the closest statewide model in existence today, is that public costs will be substantially larger than anticipated while private costs will also grow more rapidly. In short, Obamacare has taken the single worst-controlled area of government (and private) spending and severely exacerbated the problem, in the midst of recession and unrelenting funding pressures. It’s insanity cubed. * The themes explored in this chapter‌—‌the fantasy figures on which the federal budget is based, the too-low taxes, the colossal waste of the Pentagon, the fearsome costs of Obamacare‌—‌these things go a long way to explain why we are currently spending a trillion and a half dollars more per annum than we are raising in tax.

What’s needed is a period of retrenchment. A focus on costs. A reformulation of strategic purposes and priorities. If these things are done right, the result will be a re-energized military. Leaner, stronger, more purposeful, more focused. Better able to carry out the tasks we assign it, less distracted by nonsense. Obamacare The Pentagon, however, is like some kind of budgetary Walmart, some fuel-sipping Japanese mini-car, in comparison with the beast which is health care. Even in those far-off days before Obamacare, the situation was appalling. Over successive administrations, through countless reforms, despite constant legislative attention, health care in the United States failed to deliver. Take, for example, the most basic duty of a healthcare system: that it extends life. Of course we want other things too: we want our healthcare services to reduce pain, to respect our dignity, to discuss clinical choices.

The coming old age of the baby boomers is like a cost tsunami, still a few miles offshore but moving fast and heading straight toward us. Faced with this clear and present danger, the government needed to act. It needed to get a grip on costs first, deal with universal coverage second. What we got was the inverse of that. In Obamacare, we got a plan that aimed to ensure near-universal health coverage for Americans but one in which cost control was nowhere to be seen. It wasn’t even part of the design. In frank comments made after he had left Capitol Hill, David Bowen, the former health staff director of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, said: ‘This [Obamacare] is a coverage bill, not a cost reduction bill. There is stuff here that will begin to address the issue of cost, but this is not a cost reduction bill with a bit of coverage on it‌—‌it is really trying to get coverage first.’29 Increasing the scope of health care before tackling the critical question of cost was always bound to be expensive, yet the CBO estimated that the reform would reduce the budget deficit by $119 billion over ten years.30 Now that makes no sense.


pages: 332 words: 89,668

Two Nations, Indivisible: A History of Inequality in America: A History of Inequality in America by Jamie Bronstein

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, blue-collar work, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gini coefficient, income inequality, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labor-force participation, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mandatory minimum, mass incarceration, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, moral panic, mortgage debt, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, obamacare, occupational segregation, Occupy movement, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price discrimination, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, strikebreaker, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, wage slave, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Some states refused to create the competitive insurance exchanges, hoping instead that the Supreme Court would find Obamacare unconstitutional. States with Republican governments refused to expand Medicaid as the ACA intended, thus leaving some of their poorest residents with no health care. Many people who could have benefited from the availability of health insurance under Obamacare, or from subsidies based on income, made the economically irrational decision to reject it rather than to embrace a conflict with economic individualism. The rise of the Tea Party, with its polarizing rhetoric about federal overreach, transformed what should have been a popular policy initiative into a nonstarter. By January 2016, the House of Representatives had taken over 60 votes attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act.76 Despite all this, it is possible that Obamacare, as feeble a step in the right direction as it may be, will contribute to an equalization of life chances in the United States that has been going on for more than 100 years.

Sam Peltzman, “Mortality Inequality,” Journal of Economic Perspectives vol. 23 no. 4 (Fall 2009): 175–190. 74. David K. Jones, Katharine W. V. Bradley, and Jonathan Oberlander, “Pascal’s Wager: Health Insurance Exchanges, Obamacare, and the Republican Dilemma,” Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law vol. 39, no. 1 (2014): 97–137. 75. James Tobin, “The Case for an Income Guarantee.” The Public Interest vol. 4 (1966): 31–41, at 40. 76. Jones, Bradley, and Oberlander, “Pascal’s Wager,” 127; Deirdre Walsh, “House Sends Obamacare Repeal Bill to White House,” available online at http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/06/politics/house-obamacare-repeal-planned-parenthood/, accessed February 1, 2016. 77. Ron Haskins, “Moynihan Was Right: Now What?” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science vol. 621 no. 1 (January 2009); 281–314, at 306. 78.

In 2009, people living in the poorest counties in the United States had life expectancies that were, on average, six years less than those of their counterparts in the nation’s wealthiest counties; life expectances in the former were similar to those in Mexico, while those in the latter were comparable with Japan.73 Instead of favoring a single-payer program like Britain’s National Health Service or Medicare, President Barack Obama embraced a Republican-designed plan (one which Governor Mitt Romney had actually implemented in Massachusetts). Insurance exchanges would enable insurers to compete for participants in a national market, and participants (individuals without employer-provided insurance, and small businesses) would gain the advantages offered by a larger insurance market.74 The basic plan for Obamacare had been mooted by the economist James Tobin as early as 1966: to make sure that adequate insurance coverage, either from government or from private insurers, is universally available for purchase; b) to require of everyone evidence of such coverage, or of equivalent financial protection for medical contingencies (just as automobile owners must prove financial responsibility) and c) to provide sufficient income to the indigent to enable them to pursue the required insurance coverage …75 But what started as a Republican idea barely became law, passing the House and Senate without a single Republican vote.


pages: 238 words: 68,914

Where Does It Hurt?: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Fixing Health Care by Jonathan Bush, Stephen Baker

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, informal economy, inventory management, job automation, knowledge economy, lifelogging, obamacare, personalized medicine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, web application, women in the workforce, working poor

Our cloud-based service handles much of the paperwork, billing, and electronic patient records for more than fifty thousand medical providers nationwide. Athenahealth thrives because we fulfill the mission we laid out at the very beginning: We handle the busywork that doctors absolutely hate—the stuff they suck at. Through this on-the-job education, I have developed ideas about how to remake health care in America—or at least how to start. The Affordable Care Act—commonly known as Obamacare—is widely referred to as health care “reform.” But it has focused the nation’s attention largely on the demand side of the issue: providing health care for another 30 million or 40 million people. Most of the reforms, however, were watered down by lobbyists protecting the incumbents. So we’re still left with fundamental questions around the supply side, namely how we can ensure affordable, quality care at something less than ruinous cost.

Is it premature death? Pain? Inconvenience? I think each one of us has a different answer and would thrive in a system that offers loads of options, along with plentiful data to make informed choices. This in turn would give birth to a market that would provide even more choices, including many we haven’t even dreamed of. Yet laws, even well-intentioned ones like the three thousand pages in the Obamacare bill, tend to reduce choices and bolster the bloated incumbents, from hospitals to pharmaceutical giants, that created this mess in the first place. What about the people’s “right” to health care? I agree with a very limited version of that premise. I would say that everyone should be covered for the kinds of treatments and therapies that the vast majority of Americans cannot afford. That would include serious accidents and curable catastrophic illnesses.

Maybe a technology company buys access to millions of patient records and develops a system to deliver the information, with security and speed, at a fraction of the cost, a nickel or even a penny. This would provide immense benefits for all of us. Quickly, new business models would emerge in a vibrant medical data economy. But it won’t happen as long as payment for information remains illegal. Now many of the people who sat down in 2009 to draft the behemoth that became known as Obamacare wanted to strip these inefficiencies from the health care economy. They understood that the promise of universal care hinged upon making the system work better and cheaper, and many of them believed that introducing transparency and competition was key. They wanted to reduce geographic and political fiefdoms. They understood that antikickback laws needed to be pruned. I know some of these people.


pages: 296 words: 78,112

Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency by Joshua Green

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bernie Sanders, business climate, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, corporate raider, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Donald Trump, Fractional reserve banking, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, guest worker program, illegal immigration, immigration reform, liberation theology, low skilled workers, Nate Silver, nuclear winter, obamacare, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, quantitative hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, urban planning

Conway’s memo read: Heading into his re-election year, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo enjoys robust favorability and job approval ratings, but those belie some electoral vulnerability. Likely voters across New York who are upset with high taxes, poor business and economic climate, and the price tag associated with Medicaid expansion/Obamacare are open to real solutions and a job-creating governor with business leadership experience. Conway noted that while Cuomo’s favorability ratings were high, the percentage of New Yorkers who wanted to see him reelected was “at a dangerous low.” She highlighted his vulnerability on Obamacare and taxes, adding, in bold, underlined text: Cuomo’s re-elect score is positive in New York City (47%) and in the areas surrounding the city (45%), but a hypothetical “new person” wins the rest of the state by twenty points or more. Most voters agree (70%) and a near-majority “strongly agrees” (49%) that New York needs “a Governor who has created jobs, balanced budgets, and run successful businesses in the private sector.”

Cuomo is not invincible. He can be toppled through a frontal assault that pierces his bravado and exposes the shortcomings of his tenure, as well as his lack of leadership. He presides over the corruption and lack of progress that is Albany. While there is plenty of good news here for Cuomo, there is little guarantee that he will escape the misfortunes of 2014 that may be visited on Democrats (thanks to Obamacare), and his own man-made problems plaguing New York (including high taxes and a poor business climate, and a “lack of frack”). Rather than kill off the idea of Trump running for governor, Conway’s memo had the opposite effect. “She thought that it was possible for him to win New York,” said Caputo. Stone called Conway’s analysis “an enormous crock of shit,” and Bossie a “major douchebag devoid of any political talent—and that’s on the record.”

It was a move that expressed the profound anger and frustration that had been building up in the party since at least the Tea Party wave of 2009. Republican leaders had repeatedly promised voters that if handed power they would unwind the major Obama achievements, from the Affordable Care Act to the Dodd-Frank financial reforms. And although they had gone so far as to shut down the government in 2013 in a failed bid to defund Obamacare, Republicans had controlled the House for almost five years and Obama’s programs remained intact. Republican voters had cynically been promised fast, easy solutions—so when Boehner couldn’t deliver, they were primed to chalk it up to betrayal. As the Summer of Trump carried into the fall, and Republican fascination with the norm-smashing front-runner kept growing, taking down a major party leader came to seem like a measure of the new populist strength.


pages: 323 words: 95,492

The Rise of the Outsiders: How Mainstream Politics Lost Its Way by Steve Richards

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, call centre, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Etonian, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, full employment, housing crisis, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Neil Kinnock, obamacare, Occupy movement, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley

Trump was adamant that Flynn had done nothing wrong, but was compelled to accept his resignation. The following month, in March 2017, Trump was forced to drop his plans to scrap Obamacare – Barack Obama’s attempt to make healthcare more freely available to those on lower incomes. Before his election victory, and in the immediate aftermath, Trump had proclaimed confidently that the scrapping of Obamacare would be ‘easy’ and ‘immediate’. That was when he was an outsider, free to say what he wanted when he wanted. By the spring of 2017 Trump was an insider discovering the powerlessness of power. As a mighty president, he was made powerless because of internal divisions amongst Republicans in Washington. Moderate Republicans feared that Trump’s muddled plans to replace Obamacare would leave many of their constituents without health provision, while right-wing Republicans decided the repeal did not go far enough.

Parties are often divided and must somehow or other be bound together. In addition, proclaiming an aspiration is much easier than putting together a detailed policy that will work, when implemented. Democratic politics is demanding. As The New York Times columnist David Brooks noted in the aftermath of Trump’s failure to secure support from Congress for scrapping Obamacare: ‘The new elite is worse than the old elite – and certainly more vapid.’1 Brooks was not a supporter of Obamacare, but in suggesting that Trump and his entourage were part of the Washington ‘elite’, he has wounded Obama’s successor with a near-fatal blow. Trump the outsider is condemned as being part of an elite that he views with an anti-politics disdain. As an added insult, the columnist suggested that Trump is seen as leading an incompetent elite.

That was before he knew who the next president was going to be.5 Here was Obama still having to plead, after the law had been passed, following agonizing, sleepless acts of compromise: The law has ended the insurance industry’s most pernicious practices, fostered improvements in the way doctors and hospitals deliver care and brought the number of Americans without coverage to a historic low. Some state markets appear to be working just fine, and at least a few insurers are making money. The law’s achievements don’t make the problems any less real. But they do put those problems into perspective – and suggest that fixing them is worthwhile.6 The battles over Obamacare and other items of presidential legislation were straightforward, compared with Obama’s attempts to pass budgets with relatively modest levels of spending. Obama was facing the small-state Republicans, the ones who believed their ideological purity was electorally popular, until their spending cuts had a direct impact on voters’ lives, paving the way for Trump to pledge spending at levels that Obama would never have dared.


pages: 1,104 words: 302,176

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) by Robert J. Gordon

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of penicillin, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, feminist movement, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, Mason jar, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, occupational segregation, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, rent control, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism, yield management

First, the average subsidy on a silver plan was $3,300 per year, reducing the annual premium cost to $828 per year, or only $69 per month. In fact, 85 percent of those who signed up for health coverage under Obamacare in 2015 were eligible for subsidies. Second, despite the high deductibles, an extensive set of preventive screening tests is offered free of any copays, including blood-pressure and cholesterol tests, immunizations, mammograms, and colonoscopies, as well as one annual health checkup. Any further medical procedures found to be necessary as a result of preventive screening would be paid for by the patient up to the limit of the deductible.126 The problems with Obamacare begin with its complexity. An inquiry in February 2015 to the Obamacare website healthcare.gov for my state of Illinois lists 142 different plans, each offering a different menu of premiums, deductibles, and copays.

Other complaints include ever-changing lists of drugs that are covered, that require high copays, or that are not covered at all.127 The complexity and restrictions of Obamacare contrast notably with the simplicity of Medicare and its single-payer system, from which most doctors and hospitals accept payments. In its effort to obtain passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, the Obama administration did not attempt to base the plan on the single-payer model or even to provide a public payer option, apparently fearing an onslaught of opposition from lobbyists for the private insurance industry. Although it is much too soon to gauge the effects of Obamacare on health wellness indicators such as life expectancy, it is encouraging that, as shown in figure 14–7, the long-term increase in the share of medical care spending in GDP appears to have stopped, at least temporarily, during 2010–13, even before Obamacare enrollments began in 2014.

On the eve of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, better known as Obamacare, 16 percent of U.S. citizens lacked health coverage, higher than the 12 percent who had lacked insurance in 1987.124 The burden of lack of coverage has mostly, contrary to the popular narrative, fallen not on the unemployed or extremely poor, but instead on the working poor. Thanks to a steady decline in employment-based health insurance, by the early 2000s about 80 percent of the uninsured were working Americans who were neither poor enough to qualify for Medicaid nor in a position to bargain for a job with health benefits.125 Among those were citizens who needed and were willing to pay for insurance to cover a pre-existing condition but who were denied coverage because of that very condition. It is too early to determine the overall effect of Obamacare on the share of health care spending in GDP or the efficacy of medical care.


pages: 593 words: 189,857

Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises by Timothy F. Geithner

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, Atul Gawande, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, break the buck, Buckminster Fuller, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, Doomsday Book, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, Flash crash, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, implied volatility, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Nate Silver, negative equity, Northern Rock, obamacare, paradox of thrift, pets.com, price stability, profit maximization, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Saturday Night Live, savings glut, selection bias, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Tobin tax, too big to fail, working poor

Of course, nothing could be agreed to until everything was agreed to, and we had no evidence Boehner had the support of his caucus. The Speaker and his staff kept insisting they needed a scalp for the right; at one point, he proposed we scrap Obamacare’s individual mandate for health insurance, an obvious nonstarter. We were getting a bit nervous about our side, too. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi had told the President they could support a grand bargain, but the outlines of the deal made the Democratic leaders uncomfortable. It would raise substantially less revenue than Simpson-Bowles or a draft proposal by a bipartisan Senate group known as the Gang of Six. And the entitlement reforms were going to be a tough vote for Democrats, especially with Republicans still insisting on some kind of Obamacare scalp. I remember during one Roosevelt Room prep session before I appeared on the Sunday shows, I objected when Dan Pfeiffer wanted me to say Social Security didn’t contribute to the deficit.

(Data as of June 30, 2008; Government Sponsored Enterprises include only Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks, and do not include other GSEs or Ginnie Mae.) I sometimes wondered where this newfound right-wing enthusiasm for fiscal discipline had been during the Bush years, when unfunded wars, tax cuts, and a new Medicare prescription drug benefit had helped turn the Clinton surpluses into deficits. By contrast, Obamacare included reforms aimed at reining in the rising medical costs that threatened our fiscal future, and the Congressional Budget Office estimated that it would reduce future deficits overall despite its subsidies to extend care to the uninsured. Then again, the original Tea Party protested an unelected king who raised taxes, while Obama was an elected president who had lowered taxes, so consistency wasn’t really the point.

The impossibility of achieving true bipartisanship in Congress meant the President had to keep the Democrats with him if he wanted to pass anything. This was especially true in the Senate, where Republicans were using the filibuster with unprecedented regularity, blocking just about anything that didn’t have the sixty votes needed to overcome it. For the second half of 2009, the Democrats had exactly sixty senators, which led to side deals like the “Cornhusker Kickback” that clinched Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson’s vote on Obamacare. But as the President’s policies became less popular, many Democratic senators began keeping their distance. Moderates from Republican states didn’t want to look like big spenders. Liberals thought we were too restrained in our spending and too close to Wall Street. With lockstep opposition from Republicans, it became increasingly difficult to get anything through Congress. The President was often blamed for gridlock in Washington, but I thought he got a remarkable amount done despite a polarized Congress.

Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism's Stealth Revolution by Wendy Brown

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collective bargaining, corporate governance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Food sovereignty, haute couture, immigration reform, income inequality, invisible hand, labor-force participation, late capitalism, means of production, new economy, obamacare, occupational segregation, Philip Mirowski, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, shareholder value, sharing economy, The Chicago School, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, Wolfgang Streeck, young professional, zero-sum game

Graham Burchell (New York: Picador, 2004), p. 163; Terry Flew, “Michel Foucault’s The Birth of Biopolitics and Contemporary Neo-liberalism Debates,” Thesis Eleven 108.1 (2012), p. 60. 2. Jack Jackson notes that this is not an even or consistent process. Obamacare, he argues, was a significant challenge to neoliberalization. Jack Jackson, “Not Yet an End: Neoliberalism and the Jurisprudence of Obamacare,” unpublished paper presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. Certainly, Jackson has a point, but the neoliberal form of Obamacare as a national health plan can be lost on no one. There is also a question of whether it will survive. 3. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 130 S. Ct. 876, 558 U.S. 310, 175 L. Ed. 2d 753 (2010). 4. AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 130 S.

Margaret Thatcher, “Speech to Australian Institute of Directors Lunch,” September 15, 1976, Margaret Thatcher Foundation, http://www. margaretthatcher.org/document/103099. 45. While its critique is supremely important, contemporary prescriptive posthumanism expresses this historical conjuncture and colludes with it. 280  n o t e s Index adjunct teaching, 194, 197–98. Adorno, Theodor, 119–20. Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), 168, 254 n. 2. Agamben, Giorgio, 19, 232 n. 45. Alienation, 38, 65, 77, 96, 209. Allende, Salvadore, 20, 151. Arendt, Hannah, 32, 43, 92, 233 n. 45. See also good life, the; “mere life.” AT&T Mobility LLC v Conception, 152. Austerity politics: as contemporary era of neoliberalism, 49, 71–72, 210, 213, 219; connection to sacrifice, 71–72, 134, 210, 212–13, 216, 232 n. 44, 276 n. 21; in Southern Europe, 38, 212; responsibilization and, 232 n. 44.

Neoliberalism: austerity and, 49, 71–72, 210, 213, 219; best practices and, 131–39; capitalism and, 39, 44, 47, 50, 75, 49, 209, 111, 218–20, 224 n. 6, 232 n. 44; citizenship and, 39–40, 109, 177, 179, 211–12, 218, 220; contradictions of, 47–48; definition of, 20–21; domination and, 75–77, 119; economization and, 33–34; education and, 176, 183, 192, 199–200; Foucault on, 47–48; gender and, 99–107; governance and, 20–35, 47–48, 122–32; homo oeconomicus and, 10, 31–34, 39, 42–44, 65–66, 70, 78–80, 83–85, 109–11, 177, 244 n. 59, 280 n. 43; individual sovereignty and, 42, 78–79, 109–10; inequality and, 28–29, 42, 56, 64–65, 219, 226 n. 22, 260 n. 4; law and, 142–56, 162–67; legal reason and, 148–56, 172–73; political rationality and, 62, 115–16; popular sovereignty and, 35, 39, 44, 49, 65, 79, 108–10, 161, 172–73, 177, 207; sacrifice and, 109–11, 213–16; the good life and, 43–44, 189–90; the public good and, 39, 43, 108, 127, 159, 168–69, 172; variability of, 47–49. Newfield, Christopher, 188, 192, 261 n. 6, 264 n. 20. Nietzsche, Friedrich, 133. Normative order of reason, 117–18. See also political rationality. obama, barack, 49; 2013 State of the Union address, 24–27, 40, 226 n. 13, 226 n. 23; college rating scheme, 178, 225 n. 11; on sacrifice, 276 n. 21. See also sacrifice; austerity. Obamacare, see Affordable Care Act. Occupy Wall Street, 24, 30, 203, 217, 219, 232 n. 40; UC Berkeley and, 250 n. 43. Offe, Claus, 68. “Omnes et singulatim,” 71, 130. See also governmentality; Foucault, Michel. Ordoliberalism, 49, 59, 60, 64, 66; diferences from Chicago School, 59–60; Hayek and, 59; historical inf luences on, 59–60, 213. See also Chicago School. patriotism, 212, 215, 218. Peck, Jamie, 48.


pages: 287 words: 82,576

The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream by Tyler Cowen

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, assortative mating, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, business climate, circulation of elites, clean water, David Graeber, declining real wages, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, East Village, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Google Glasses, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, income inequality, intangible asset, Internet of things, inventory management, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour mobility, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, purchasing power parity, Richard Florida, security theater, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South China Sea, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Great Moderation, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, working-age population, World Values Survey

On that project we have seen a miserable failure, and with the rise of ISIS and the collapse of Syria, the situation is becoming much worse yet. So the post-1990 era for the United States is scored at one out of two. I don’t, by the way, count Obamacare on this list of grand projects. No matter what you think of it as policy, it provided health insurance to about 10 to 15 million of America’s previously uninsured 40 million–plus population, with the exact number for new coverage still evolving. That helps many of those individuals, but it is hardly a game-changer in terms of a broader social trajectory, especially since many of those people already were receiving partial health care coverage and, furthermore, the Obamacare exchanges are experiencing some serious problems. If anything, Obamacare has locked in the basic features of the previous U.S. health care system rather than revolutionizing them. On the issue of grand projects, it is wrong to think there is nothing to say on behalf of the contemporary world.

See also internet dating matching assortative mating and book sellers and choice and class and crime and dating and eBay effects of influence of and jobs and living standards and marketing and music industry and pets and segregation and strivers Medicaid Medicare Mellander, Charlotta Melville, Herman Merkel, Angela Mexico and migration and outsourcing middle class and the Complacent Class and democracy income and wages and mobility Middle East migration African American and education history of interstate as investment and matching and Mexico and Millennial Generation and regional specialization and Texas See also immigration; mobility Millennial Generation and car culture and entrepreneurialism and grand projects and matching Million Man March Minsky, Hyman mobility and African Americans and American South and childrenn cross-generational cross-state and dynamic society and education effects of mobility decline history of American mobility income and innovation labor in media and the arts and politics reasons for migration reasons for mobility decline and segregation symbolism of Tocqueville on See also migration Moby-Dick (Melville) monopolies Moretti, Enrico Morrison, Van Mortensen, Dale multiculturalism Murray, Charles A. music industry Musk, Elon neo-Nazi movement Newton, Huey P. Nigeria NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) mentality North Africa Obama, Barack Obamacare. See Affordable Care Act Occupy Wall Street movement oil industry oil price shock (1973) On the Road (Kerouac) outsourcing pantheism Pareto, Vilfredo patents Patriot Act pets philanthropy Pinker, Steven Pissarides, Christopher play, outdoor polarization policing political science poverty and mobility and segregation Princeton University prison riots productivity and cities diffusion problem firm-specific productivity and innovation and the internet and matching and mobility productivity per worker hour total factor productivity (TFP) worker productivity profiling progress and the Complacent Class and democracy and innovation and mobility model of history and segregation progressivism protests.

Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire by Noam Chomsky, David Barsamian

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Chelsea Manning, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate personhood, David Brooks, discovery of DNA, double helix, drone strike, failed state, Howard Zinn, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, inflation targeting, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Julian Assange, land reform, Martin Wolf, Mohammed Bouazizi, Naomi Klein, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, Powell Memorandum, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, single-payer health, sovereign wealth fund, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Tobin tax, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks

The United States is not totally off the spectrum, but it’s close to the edge. Concern in the United States is notably less than in comparable countries. And the drop that Klein is describing is exactly what they report. It’s very hard to doubt that that’s connected with the propaganda campaign that has been quite openly conducted. In fact, a couple of years ago, right after the insurance company victories on the health reform bill, so-called Obamacare, there was a report in the New York Times about leaders of the American Petroleum Institute and other business groups looking to the victory in the health care campaign as a model to undermine concern about global warming.34 In the Republican presidential debates, for example, even to mention global warming would be to commit political suicide. Some of the candidates have remarkable positions on climate change.

., 72, 85, 174–75 consumerism, 36, 37, 80 corporations, 10, 24, 26, 27, 31–32, 38, 41, 76–77, 81, 103, 119, 152, 174 piracy issue, 107–8 Cuba, 4, 160, 161 culture, and language, 138–40 deaf-blind, 134–35 debt, 8, 87, 152, 168 student, 152 decolonization, 5, 46 democracy, 47, 54, 62, 79–81, 84–85, 109, 112, 143–44, 150, 151, 158–59, 172 Democratic Party, 32, 41–42 demonstrations, 29–33, 35, 40–43, 73–77 Arab Spring, 44–55, 60–64, 67, 112–13, 168 civil rights, 24, 30–31, 45, 65–66, 72, 150, 167, 176 Occupy, 47, 65–69, 74–77, 118–21, 146, 168, 177 student, 73–74 Depression, 23, 27, 28 deregulation, 48, 173–74 Dewey, John, 147, 148, 149 Dink, Hrant, 89, 91 dissidents, 144–45 doctrinal system, 8, 10, 36, 38, 158, 159 Dönitz, Karl, 116 Draghi, Mario, 169 drugs, 160–62 Durand Line, 99 Duvalier, Jean-Claude, 17 Economic Policy Institute, 168 economy, 4, 32, 76–78, 97, 121, 168, 171 Arab Spring, 44–55, 60–64, 67 Chinese, 7–10 financial crisis, 23, 48, 86–89, 168–69 global shift of power, 5–13, 58, 76–77 Indian, 7, 10–11, 20–23 stimulus, 33 U.S. decline, 4–10, 56, 59–60 education, 37, 82, 147–56, 165–68 battle over, 147–56 higher, 150–53, 165–68 K-to-12, 153–56 privatization of, 38–39, 156, 167–68 public, 37–39, 147–48, 153–56, 166–68 science, 154–55 Egypt, 35, 51, 53, 61, 67 Arab Spring, 44–49, 54, 60–64, 67, 168 Einstein, Albert, 143 Eisenhower, Dwight, 125 electoral politics, 102–13, 117–19 electronic books, 104 Ellsberg, Daniel, 15, 113 El Salvador, 145 Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 148, 156 Enlightenment, 116, 147, 148 environment, 12, 75, 121–25, 158–59, 163–65, 176 climate change, 75, 121–25, 159 fracking, 164–65 Erdoan, Recep Tayyip, 89, 90, 93 Europe, 5, 6, 9, 47, 51, 58, 161 economic crisis, 47, 86–89, 168–69 European Central Bank (ECB), 86–87, 169 European Union, 87, 89, 92 evolution, 128, 129, 137–38 Facebook, 145, 146 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 15, 71, 73 Federal Reserve, 86–87 financial crisis, 23, 48, 86–89, 168–69 Financial Times, 66, 76, 78, 123 Finland, 153, 154 Foreign Affairs, 59, 61 fossil fuels, 21, 22, 49–55, 122–24, 164, 165 fracking, 123, 164–65 France, 46, 50, 52, 68, 112–13, 170 Fraser, Doug, 25 Freedom of Information Act, 110 Gadhafi, Mu’ammar, 50, 53 Galileo, 143, 144 Gates, Bill, 11 Gaza, 93 General Motors, 33, 80 genetics, 126–27, 129, 140 Germany, 15, 27, 51, 58, 118, 153 economic policy, 88 Nazism, 28–29, 115–16 Weimar Republic, 25, 27–29 World War II, 115–16 GI bill, 152 Ginsberg, Benjamin, The Fall of the Faculty, 168 globalization, 5, 20–22, 170 financial crisis, 86–89, 168–69 labor, 9–12, 76–77, 169–70 shift of power, 5–13, 58, 76–77 Goldman Sachs, 42 Google, 107 government, 78–85, 150, 158 big, 81, 82 security, 107–13 “Grand Area” planning, 57 Great Britain, 5, 8–9, 16, 17, 21, 35, 50, 52, 61, 79, 107, 139, 172 colonialism, 9, 20 government, 79 slavery, 36 World War II, 115, 116 Greece, 87 Guantánamo, 72–73 Guatemala, 21 gun culture, 162–63 Gwadar, 22 Haiti, 11, 13–14, 17 Hale, Kenneth, 136, 139–41 Hanif, Mohammed, A Case of Exploding Mangoes, 106 Haq, Abdul, 16 Harvard University, Institute of Politics, 158 Havel, Václav, 145 health care, 24, 76, 82, 157 Obamacare, 124 Heilbrunn, Jacob, 111 Hindenburg, Paul von, 27–28 historical amnesia, 97–98 Hitler, Adolf, 28–29, 32, 88 Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, 70–71 Honduras, 7, 110–11 House of Representatives, U.S., 85 Human Development Index, 13 “Human Intelligence and the Environment” (Chomsky), 42 Humanitarian Law Project, 70–71 human rights, 109, 113 violations, 89–92, 95–96, 145 Humboldt, Wilhelm von, 149 Hume, David, 79, 81 Hussein, Saddam, 17, 71, 95 imperialism, 1–33 saltwater fallacy, 3–4 terminology, 3 India, 7, 9, 10–11, 17–23, 38, 50, 51, 107, 164 Bhopal explosion, 174 British rule, 20 -China relations, 20–22 economic growth, 7, 10–11, 20–23 -Israel relations, 20, 21 natural resources, 17–20 neoliberalism and, 19–22 TAPI pipeline and, 17–18 -U.S. relations, 20–22 war, 20 indignados, 47 Indonesia, 17 intellectual culture, 79, 81, 104–6, 141 intellectual property rights, 107–8 International Energy Association (IEA), 121–22 International Monetary Fund (IMF), 47 International Organization for a Participatory Society, 171 international relations (IR) theory, 8, 63 Internet, 105–13 security, 107–13 iPhone, 145–46 Iran, 18, 60, 62, 63, 90–91, 93, 95–98, 111, 112, 114 nuclear threat, 112 TAPI pipeline and, 18 Iran-Iraq War, 97 Iraq, 16–17, 21, 60, 61 Kurds, 95–96 nationalism, 55–56 U.S. war in, 16–17, 55–56, 62–63, 114–16 Islam, 60 political, 49, 61 radical, 61, 100 Israel, 20, 21, 96, 112 -India relations, 20, 21 -Lebanon relations, 63 Palestinian conflict, 46 -Turkey relations, 92–94 -U.S. relations, 21 Jacob, François, 129 James, William, 130 Japan, 5, 8, 58, 131, 139 Jefferson, Thomas, 3, 172 job creation, 76, 87 Kagan, Elena, 70 Karachi, 22 Keller, Bill, 144 Keller, Helen, 134, 135 Kennan, George, 57 Kennedy, John F., 2–3 Vietnam policy, 2–3, 97 Khadr, Omar, 72–73 King, Martin Luther, 30–31, 66, 105 Klein, Naomi, 123, 124 Kurds, 21, 89–92, 95–96 labor, 38, 81, 87, 169 anti-labor movements, 40 Arab Spring, 44–55, 60–64, 67 Chinese, 9–10, 11–12 collective bargaining, 40–41 demonstrations and strikes, 29, 33, 35, 40–43, 68, 120, 146 Depression-era, 23, 40, 67–68 global, 9–12, 76–77, 169–70 organized, 23–25, 39–41, 67–68, 147, 171 rustbelt, 11–12 solidarity, 39–41 unemployment, 22–23, 38, 66, 76 unions, 24–26, 33, 39–41, 68, 79, 147, 171 language, 126–42 biological acquisition of, 129–36 culture and, 138–40 sensory deprivation and, 134–35 similarity of, 140–41 study of, 137–38, 142 universal grammar, 126–59 Latin America, 4–7, 22, 61, 160–62, 164 drugs, 160–62 integration of, 6–7, 47, 161 U.S. military bases in, 6–7 Laxness, Halldór, 106 Lebanon, 63 Lee, Ching Kwan, 11 Left, 23, 25, 32–33, 59, 117, 147, 149, 150, 151 student, 73–74 Left Forum, 25, 27, 33 libertarianism, 157, 158, 163 Libya, 50–54, 91 no-fly zone, 50–52 Lippmann, Walter, 81 Madison, James, 84, 85 Magna Carta, 59, 72, 116 Mandela, Nelson, 71 Manning, Bradley, 113, 114 Marcos, Ferdinand, 17 market system, 80–81 Marx, Karl, 173, 175 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 13, 37, 105, 122, 134, 136, 149 mathematics, 137, 138 McCain, John, 103 McCarthyism, 24 McKiernan, Kevin, 95 media, 32, 66, 150, 151 mental slavery, 34–35, 101–25 Mexico, 11, 152–53, 162, 175 Middle East, 17, 44–64, 89–100, 111 Arab Spring, 44–55, 60–64, 67, 112–13, 168 oil, 21, 49–55 Turkish-Israeli relations, 92–94 uprisings, 44–64 military, 5, 98 Arab Spring, 44–55, 60–64 detention, 70–73 police, 119–20 U.S. bases in Latin America, 6–7 Mobutu Sese Seko, 17 Mondragon, 171 Montgomery, David, The Fall of the House of Labor, 23 Morgenthau, Hans, 63–64 The Purpose of American Politics, 64 Morocco, 46 Mubarak, Hosni, 45, 47, 62 Nader, Ralph, 150 NAFTA, 163, 175 Nasser, Gamal Abdel, 61 National Defense Authorization Act, 70 Native Americans, 22 natural gas, 17–18, 164–65 natural resources, 17–22, 164–65 Navy, U.S., 6–7, 14, 52, 116 Nazism, 28–29, 115–16 New Deal, 23, 82 New York, 67, 100, 166 New York Times, 60, 81, 89–91, 124, 144–45, 160 Ngo Dinh Diem, 2, 3 Ngo Dinh Nhu, 2, 3 Nicaragua, 7 9/11 attacks, 14, 15–16, 139 Nixon, Richard, 125, 150 No Child Left Behind, 153 Non-Proliferation Treaty, 18 North Africa, 46–48, 57, 60 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), 50, 51, 91, 92 Norway, 115 nuclear weapons, 97, 98, 100, 110, 112, 176 Nuremberg Trials, 115–16 Nystrom, Paul, 36 Obama, Barack, 7, 33, 63, 90–91, 93, 110, 111, 114, 153, 162, 164 Afghanistan War and, 14–15 civil liberties and, 70–73 Libya and, 51–52 organized labor and, 41–42 2008 election, 102–3 Obamacare, 124 Occupy movements, 47, 65–69, 74–77, 118–21, 146, 168, 177 oil, 21, 22, 49–55, 124 Orwell, George, 19, 97 Pakistan, 16, 17, 22, 61, 98–100, 110 drone attacks on, 18–19, 98–99 nuclear industry, 98–100, 110 TAPI pipeline and, 18 Palestine, 46, 72 -Israel conflict, 46 Palmer raids, 68 Pamuk, Orhan, 91 Panama, 7 Panetta, Leon, 114 Pashtuns, 99 Patterson, Anne W., 99, 110 Paul, Rand, 157, 162, 163 Paul, Ron, 75, 124–25, 157, 163 pensions, 12, 22, 24, 26 Peres, Shimon, 93 Peshawar, 16 pharmaceutical companies, 107–8 Philippines, 4, 17 Pinochet, Augusto, 61 piracy, 107–8 political Islam, 49, 61 Political Science Quarterly, 82 police repression, 119–20 politics, 32, 41, 57, 59, 121, 142–45, 171 electoral, 102–3, 117–19 labor demonstrations and, 41–43 poverty, 6, 66, 82, 84 Powell, Colin, 115 Powell, Lewis, 150–51 Powell memorandum, 150–51 power systems, 34–35, 69 aristocrats and democrats, 160–78 chains of submission and subservience, 34–43 global shift, 5–13, 58, 76–77 language and education, 126–59 mental slavery, 101–25 new American imperialism, 1–33 uprisings, 44–64 privatization, 11, 38, 39, 40, 156–57, 167 Progressive Labor (PL), 73 propaganda system, 35–40, 66, 80, 82, 102, 119, 122–24 property rights, 84, 85 public, power of the, 78–81 public education, 37–39, 147–48, 153–56, 166–68 public relations, 35, 79–81, 102–3 Qasim, Abd al-Karim, 61 Race to the Top, 153 racism, 3, 31, 92 Ravitch, Diane, 154 Reagan, Ronald, 62, 71, 82, 95, 99 recession, 23, 48, 86–89 Red Scare, 23, 68, 120 Reich, Robert, 170, 172 Reilly, John, 122 Republican Party, 41, 57, 75, 76, 124, 125 Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), 72 Ribbentrop, Joachim von, 115 Right, 23, 32, 150–51 Riyadh, 52 Romney, Mitt, 57–58, 75 Roosevelt, Franklin D., 14, 23, 54 Roy, Arundhati, 22, 29, 31 Russia, 17–18, 20, 50, 61, 98, 102, 145 rustbelt, 11–12 Saharawi movement, 46 saltwater fallacy, 3–4 Saudi Arabia, 21, 49, 52, 61, 99, 111, 144 science, 142–43, 144 education, 154–55 modern, 143 sectarianism, 73–74 Seib, Gerald, 54 self-destruction, 42–43 Senate, U.S., 63, 85 sensory deprivation, 134–35 Shiites, 52–53 Singh, Manmohan, 19 Sino-Indian War, 20 slavery, 3, 34, 36, 51 end of, 34, 35, 36 mental, 34–35, 101–25 Slim, Carlos, 11 Smith, Adam, 8–9 social Darwinism, 157 social media, 105, 107, 145–47 Social Security, 39, 156–57 solidarity, 38–41, 146–47, 159 South Africa, 21, 50–51 apartheid, 71 South America, 6, 7, 57, 60, 161 Southeast Asia, 4, 60 South Korea, 9, 17 Spain, 4, 6, 33, 87 sports, college, 154–55 Stack, Joseph, 25–26, 29 Stalin, Joseph, 61 Stohl, Bev, 105 Stop Online Piracy Act, 107 strategic hamlets, 2 student activism, 73–74 submission and subservience, chains of, 34–43 Summit of the Americas (2012), 160–61 sunbelt, 11, 12 Sunnis, 52–53 Supreme Court, U.S., 70, 150 Buckley v.

., 6–7, 14, 52, 116 Nazism, 28–29, 115–16 New Deal, 23, 82 New York, 67, 100, 166 New York Times, 60, 81, 89–91, 124, 144–45, 160 Ngo Dinh Diem, 2, 3 Ngo Dinh Nhu, 2, 3 Nicaragua, 7 9/11 attacks, 14, 15–16, 139 Nixon, Richard, 125, 150 No Child Left Behind, 153 Non-Proliferation Treaty, 18 North Africa, 46–48, 57, 60 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), 50, 51, 91, 92 Norway, 115 nuclear weapons, 97, 98, 100, 110, 112, 176 Nuremberg Trials, 115–16 Nystrom, Paul, 36 Obama, Barack, 7, 33, 63, 90–91, 93, 110, 111, 114, 153, 162, 164 Afghanistan War and, 14–15 civil liberties and, 70–73 Libya and, 51–52 organized labor and, 41–42 2008 election, 102–3 Obamacare, 124 Occupy movements, 47, 65–69, 74–77, 118–21, 146, 168, 177 oil, 21, 22, 49–55, 124 Orwell, George, 19, 97 Pakistan, 16, 17, 22, 61, 98–100, 110 drone attacks on, 18–19, 98–99 nuclear industry, 98–100, 110 TAPI pipeline and, 18 Palestine, 46, 72 -Israel conflict, 46 Palmer raids, 68 Pamuk, Orhan, 91 Panama, 7 Panetta, Leon, 114 Pashtuns, 99 Patterson, Anne W., 99, 110 Paul, Rand, 157, 162, 163 Paul, Ron, 75, 124–25, 157, 163 pensions, 12, 22, 24, 26 Peres, Shimon, 93 Peshawar, 16 pharmaceutical companies, 107–8 Philippines, 4, 17 Pinochet, Augusto, 61 piracy, 107–8 political Islam, 49, 61 Political Science Quarterly, 82 police repression, 119–20 politics, 32, 41, 57, 59, 121, 142–45, 171 electoral, 102–3, 117–19 labor demonstrations and, 41–43 poverty, 6, 66, 82, 84 Powell, Colin, 115 Powell, Lewis, 150–51 Powell memorandum, 150–51 power systems, 34–35, 69 aristocrats and democrats, 160–78 chains of submission and subservience, 34–43 global shift, 5–13, 58, 76–77 language and education, 126–59 mental slavery, 101–25 new American imperialism, 1–33 uprisings, 44–64 privatization, 11, 38, 39, 40, 156–57, 167 Progressive Labor (PL), 73 propaganda system, 35–40, 66, 80, 82, 102, 119, 122–24 property rights, 84, 85 public, power of the, 78–81 public education, 37–39, 147–48, 153–56, 166–68 public relations, 35, 79–81, 102–3 Qasim, Abd al-Karim, 61 Race to the Top, 153 racism, 3, 31, 92 Ravitch, Diane, 154 Reagan, Ronald, 62, 71, 82, 95, 99 recession, 23, 48, 86–89 Red Scare, 23, 68, 120 Reich, Robert, 170, 172 Reilly, John, 122 Republican Party, 41, 57, 75, 76, 124, 125 Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), 72 Ribbentrop, Joachim von, 115 Right, 23, 32, 150–51 Riyadh, 52 Romney, Mitt, 57–58, 75 Roosevelt, Franklin D., 14, 23, 54 Roy, Arundhati, 22, 29, 31 Russia, 17–18, 20, 50, 61, 98, 102, 145 rustbelt, 11–12 Saharawi movement, 46 saltwater fallacy, 3–4 Saudi Arabia, 21, 49, 52, 61, 99, 111, 144 science, 142–43, 144 education, 154–55 modern, 143 sectarianism, 73–74 Seib, Gerald, 54 self-destruction, 42–43 Senate, U.S., 63, 85 sensory deprivation, 134–35 Shiites, 52–53 Singh, Manmohan, 19 Sino-Indian War, 20 slavery, 3, 34, 36, 51 end of, 34, 35, 36 mental, 34–35, 101–25 Slim, Carlos, 11 Smith, Adam, 8–9 social Darwinism, 157 social media, 105, 107, 145–47 Social Security, 39, 156–57 solidarity, 38–41, 146–47, 159 South Africa, 21, 50–51 apartheid, 71 South America, 6, 7, 57, 60, 161 Southeast Asia, 4, 60 South Korea, 9, 17 Spain, 4, 6, 33, 87 sports, college, 154–55 Stack, Joseph, 25–26, 29 Stalin, Joseph, 61 Stohl, Bev, 105 Stop Online Piracy Act, 107 strategic hamlets, 2 student activism, 73–74 submission and subservience, chains of, 34–43 Summit of the Americas (2012), 160–61 sunbelt, 11, 12 Sunnis, 52–53 Supreme Court, U.S., 70, 150 Buckley v.


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The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics by John B. Judis

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, capital controls, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, fixed income, full employment, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, mass immigration, means of production, neoliberal agenda, obamacare, Occupy movement, open borders, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-materialism, post-materialism, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, white flight, Winter of Discontent

Judis, “America the Liberal,” The New Republic, Nov. 19, 2008. 55prepare the nation for a new age: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2009/01/21/president-barack-obamas-inaugural-address. 55did not prosecute: http://www.g-a-i.org/u/2012/08/DOJ-Report-8-61.pdf. 55shake business confidence: See Noam Scheiber, The Escape Artists: How Obama’s Team Fumbled the Recovery, Simon & Schuster, 2011, pp. 170–8. 55growth of Medicare spending: See Thomas B. Edsall, “The Obamacare Crisis,” The New York Times, November 19, 2013 and “Is Obamacare Destroying the Democratic Party,” The New York Times, December 2, 2014. 56“Chicago Tea Party”: See John B. Judis, “Tea Minus Zero,” The New Republic, May 10, 2010. 56160,000 members: Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson, The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism, Oxford University Press, 2012, p. 22. 57“You are not entitled to what I have earned”: Skocpol and Williamson, p. 66. 57ACA as a redistributive transfer program: Emily Elisabeth Ekins, “Tea Party Fairness: How the Idea of Proportional Justice Explains the Right-Wing Populism of the Obama Era,” UCLA diss., 2015, pp. 74–75. 57services by illegal immigrants: Skocpol and Williamson, p. 71. 57took jobs from native-born Americans: See Kazin, pp. 35–36. 58sending him big checks: John B.

The Tea Partiers’ argument about “makers” and “takers” recalled the “producerism” of the Jacksonians and the People’s Party, which was rooted in a distinction between productive and unproductive elements of society. Bankers, land speculators, and gamblers were typically numbered among the unproductive—as were, for the populists, recent immigrants who took jobs from native-born Americans. The Tea Partiers initially singled out Obama for coddling the “takers,” but after Republicans won the Congress in 2010 but failed to deliver on the Tea Party’s non-negotiable demands to repeal Obamacare, the Tea Party focused their ire on the Republican establishment. Tea Party candidates ran against both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor—and in the latter case, won. McConnell and Cantor’s sin lay in refusing to go all the way in repudiating even the bare rudiments of the neoliberal consensus between the parties and in failing to block even discussion of immigration reform.


pages: 273 words: 87,159

The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy by Peter Temin

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, clean water, corporate raider, Corrections Corporation of America, crack epidemic, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, full employment, income inequality, intangible asset, invisible hand, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mandatory minimum, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, mortgage debt, Network effects, New Urbanism, Nixon shock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Powell Memorandum, price stability, race to the bottom, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, the scientific method, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, white flight, working poor

Many states chose to deny the expansion of Medicaid to their residents even though the federal government would pay all the costs for the first few years and most of the costs thereafter. The states that opted out of the free extension of Medicaid were clustered in the South, reflecting again the racecraft involved in such decisions on compensation of care. Part of the anger against the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as “Obamacare,” is because its benefits are seen in racist terms by some critics as gifts from one black man—who happens to be the president—to the black population. This factor may be most important to less educated whites. Another reason for the anger is that Obamacare raised taxes on the very rich. In fact, the Obama administration raised taxes in two ways: by letting some tax breaks for people earning over half a million dollars to expire, and by the Affordable Care Act provisions raising taxes on the rich to support healthcare for the poor.

New York Times, May 11. Chyn, Eric. 2016. “The Long-Run Effect of Public Housing Demolition on Labor Market Outcomes of Children.” Economics Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, March 27. Clotfelter, Charles T. 2004. After Brown: The Rise and Retreat of School Segregation. Princeton: Princeton University Press. CNN. DATE. “Poll: ‘Obamacare’ vs. ‘Affordable Care Act.’” CCN Political Unit. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/09/27/poll-obamacare-vs-affordable-care-act/. Accessed September 22, 2016. Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the World and Me. New York: Spiegel and Grau, 2015. Cohen, Patricia. 2015a. “Gasoline-Tax Increase Finds Little Support.” New York Times, January 2. Cohen, Patricia. 2015b. “For-Profit Colleges Accused of Fraud Still Receive U.S. Funds.” New York Times, October 12.


pages: 160 words: 6,876

Shaky Ground: The Strange Saga of the U.S. Mortgage Giants by Bethany McLean

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, collateralized debt obligation, housing crisis, mortgage debt, negative equity, obamacare, race to the bottom

The market was crashing, home prices were plummeting, and almost everyone thought Fannie and Freddie would be an endless black hole. Quarter a◊er quarter, they posted stunning multibillion-dollar losses, which required huge draws from Treasury. In early 2009, the Treasury amended its agreement to increase the total amount of funding available for Fannie and Freddie from $200 billion to $400 billion—half the 10-year estimated cost of Obamacare. On Christmas Eve, 2009, the Treasury amended the agreement again to remove any cap on the funding for the next three years. In addition, the Federal Reserve began to buy Fannie and Freddie securities to help the perception that they were safe. According to Paul Willen, a senior economist at the Boston Federal Reserve, between 2008 and 2014 the Fed would purchase $2.8 trillion of agency mortgage-backed securities. 101 SHAKY GROUND 102 CHAPTER EIGHT – THE TOXIC TWINS Employees of Fannie and Freddie, now dubbed the “Toxic Twins,” were demoralized by the flood of criticism, and under the terms of the conservatorship they weren’t allowed to say anything to defend themselves.

“Our investment was predicated on a simple thesis: there are no substitutes. Fannie and Freddie provide services that are absolutely essential to the American way of life,” he wrote in the fund’s annual report. “They help make the popular 30-year fixed-rate mortgage available and a≠ordable. They provide liquidity and stability to the nation’s housing finance system—during good and, especially, in bad times. No one does it better.” He compares housing reform to Obamacare. “Obama can get a do-over when he says ‘You can keep your insurance!’ ‘Oops, you can’t keep your insurance!’” he says. “But you cannot mess up the plumbing of housing finance. If you do, within two weeks, credit will totally dry up. No one will be able to get a mortgage.” There is disagreement among investors on many details of how a plan would work. But there’s a general consensus about this.


pages: 309 words: 114,984

The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age by Robert Wachter

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Airbnb, Atul Gawande, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Firefox, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Google Glasses, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Internet of things, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, lifelogging, medical malpractice, medical residency, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, personalized medicine, pets.com, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Toyota Production System, Uber for X, US Airways Flight 1549, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Yogi Berra

Smith’s pessimism is proving to be warranted: under the HITECH Act, on top of the $30 billion in implementation incentives, the federal government has spent nearly $600 million promoting health information exchanges, but there isn’t terribly much to show for it. There are a few successful exchanges, such as ones in Indianapolis and upstate New York, but they remain distinct outliers. What kind of incentives might actually succeed in creating a viable information exchange system? Under Obamacare, the federal government and private insurers are actively pushing new payment models that promote the formation of large organizations that will share the responsibility for populations of patients and be accountable for the quality and efficiency of care. The hope is that these new models, called accountable care organizations (ACOs), will create markets in which hospitals and clinics will want—strike that, need—to move information around.

You just can’t ask people to make multibillion-dollar investments in things that have no short-term return on investment.” Blumenthal is particularly proud of the major bump in IT adoption that began during his tenure at ONC. The penetration of electronic health records in American clinics and hospitals went from about 10 percent the year before he took office to about 70 percent in 2014. While Obamacare itself, with its shift toward payment for results rather than visits and procedures, might have inspired a modest uptick, few people question that the bulk of the increase can be chalked up to Blumenthal’s initiatives.29 If Job One was to digitize the American healthcare system, then Blumenthal’s plan and his tenure at ONC were overwhelmingly successful. To be fair, Blumenthal may well have had the easiest task of the five ONC directors, in that he had billions of dollars to dole out and, at least at first, relatively little opposition.

(This was a recurring theme for many of the physician-informaticists I met.) Before he left Atlanta, Gross had created a Google Calendar–based scheduling system, an improved paging system, and a new way of accessing the medical literature for his Emory classmates and faculty. In 2008, just as David Blumenthal, Bob Kocher, and Zeke Emanuel were beginning to hammer out the details of HITECH and Obamacare in Washington’s corridors of power, Gross was still a medical student, studying anatomy and biochemistry, but transfixed by the excitement of the presidential campaign, particularly the debate over healthcare. He decided to take a break from medical school to obtain an MBA at Harvard, so that he could better understand healthcare economics and policy and make some contribution to them. He had no idea what that would be.


pages: 367 words: 117,340

America, You Sexy Bitch: A Love Letter to Freedom by Meghan McCain, Michael Black

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, carbon footprint, Columbine, fear of failure, feminist movement, glass ceiling, income inequality, obamacare, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, white picket fence

They live in a comfortable but creaky townhouse on the south side of London, and every summer they come to the States to summer at an old beach house her family has had since the thirties. I’m curious to hear about the British National Health Service, a single-payer system, which has become a bogeyman here in the United States. The Republicans routinely point to Canada and England as examples of the path on which Obamacare is leading us, and never in a complimentary fashion. They never say, for example, “Obamacare will make our health care system like England’s! And it will be great! Cucumber sandwiches for everybody!” Whether or not we are ultimately headed for a single-payer system I have no idea, but I am curious to hear what Jessica’s experience with it is like, since she’s dealt with both the American and British systems. To the disappointment of my liberal heart, Jessica is quite critical of the NHS.

Depending on which civic organization you choose to believe, the world’s first rodeo was either in Payson, Arizona, in 1884, Pecos, Texas, in 1883, or Deer Trail, Colorado, in 1869. But I’m not going to quibble with the residents of Prescott because I am a guest in their town and because they all have guns. While we’re cleaning up after lunch, the conversation turns to health care, or specifically “Obamacare,” which Jackie hates. Jackie hates Obama generally and his new health care law specifically. Even Jackie, hard ass Jackie, is willing to concede that there are parts of the Obama health care plan she likes. The preexisting condition stuff, for example. But she worries that our health care system, “the finest in the world,” will become like Mexico’s. Or Canada’s. Jackie doesn’t seem to think the people she sees in her ER night after night—the illegals, the meth heads, the wife beaters—are going to purchase health insurance just because the government says they have to.

I’m in no mood, so of course the minute my butt hits the cushiony blue seats, Michael starts spewing some nonsense about health care and we begin the morning by bickering like an old married couple. By now he must be fully aware that health care and national defense are possibly the two issues that I am most conservative and he is most liberal about. Well, even though I’m pretty sure there’s a big brick wall in my future, we start discussing Obamacare on the bus on the way to the swamp tour. Michael’s argument starts with Republicans being heartless, and that we all need “to give a little more for the common good,” and that “health care should be free to every American.” I naturally feel like Uncle Scrooge when I say that universal health care would bankrupt this country if enacted into law. Of course I think all Americans should have access to health care, however, the concept of free health care is unrealistic.


pages: 252 words: 72,473

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O'Neil

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Madoff, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, call centre, carried interest, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, Emanuel Derman, housing crisis, I will remember that I didn’t make the world, and it doesn’t satisfy my equations, illegal immigration, Internet of things, late fees, mass incarceration, medical bankruptcy, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price discrimination, quantitative hedge fund, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, Rubik’s Cube, Sharpe ratio, statistical model, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working poor

Health System,” NPR, October 22, 2009, www.​npr.​org/​templates/​story/​story.​php?​storyId=​114045132. 65 percent of Americans: Ibid. $3 trillion per year: Chad Terhune, “U.S. Health Spending Hits $3 Trillion as Obamacare and Rising Drug Costs Kick In,” Los Angeles Times, December 2, 2015, www.​latimes.​com/​business/​healthcare/​la-​fi-​health-​spending-​increase-​20151202-​story.​html. Nearly one dollar of every five: Scott Thomas, “Nation’s Total Personal Income Approaches $13 Trillion,” Business Journals, December 4, 2012, www.​bizjournals.​com/​bizjournals/​on-​numbers/​scott-​thomas/​2012/​12/​nations-​total-​personal-​income.​html. The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare: US Department of Labor, “The Affordable Care Act and Wellness Programs,” fact sheet, accessed January 9, 2016, www.​dol.​gov/​ebsa/​newsroom/​fswellnessprogram.​html.

Employers, which have long been nickel and diming workers to lower their costs, now have a new tactic to combat these growing costs. They call it “wellness.” It involves growing surveillance, including lots of data pouring in from the Internet of Things—the Fitbits, Apple Watches, and other sensors that relay updates on how our bodies are functioning. The idea, as we’ve seen so many times, springs from good intentions. In fact, it is encouraged by the government. The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, invites companies to engage workers in wellness programs, and even to “incentivize” health. By law, employers can now offer rewards and assess penalties reaching as high as 50 percent of the cost of coverage. Now, according to a study by the Rand Corporation, more than half of all organizations employing fifty people or more have wellness programs up and running, and more are joining the trend every week.

Everydata: The Misinformation Hidden in the Little Data You Consume Every Day by John H. Johnson

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Black Swan, business intelligence, Carmen Reinhart, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, Mercator projection, Mercator projection distort size, especially Greenland and Africa, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, obamacare, p-value, PageRank, pattern recognition, publication bias, QR code, randomized controlled trial, risk-adjusted returns, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, statistical model, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Thomas Bayes, Tim Cook: Apple, wikimedia commons, Yogi Berra

,” CNBC, accessed August 16, 2015, http://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/13/­are-​­red‑or‑­blue-​­states-​ ­better-​­job-​­creators.html; “Climate Battle Will Likely Divide Red States and Blue States Down a Green Line,” National Journal, accessed August 15, 2016, http:// www.nationaljournal.com/­next-​­america/newsdesk/­c limate-​­epa-​­regulation-​ ­obama-​­states-​­20150803; Steve Benen, “ ‘Obamacare’ Thrives in Nation’s Largest Blue State,” the Maddow Blog, accessed August 16, 2015, http://www.msnbc .com/­rachel-​­maddow-​­show/­obamacare-​­thrives-​­nations-​­largest-​­blue-​­state. 4. All maps are from http://­w ww-​­personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/2012/. Mark Newman, “Maps of the 2012 US Presidential Election Results,” from the personal page associated with the University of Michigan website, updated November 8, 2012, http://­w ww-​­personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/2012/.

And so Romney got all of Texas’s electoral college votes. The Electoral College is an example of aggregated ­data—​­a type of summary statistic that can often be misleading because it can mask variation in the data. You’ve probably seen media reports that analyze all of the supposed differences between red states and blue states, with stories highlighting differences in everything from job creation to environmental regulations to Obamacare.3 But is there really that much of a divide in terms of the way we think, act, and vote? Or will we see a different story as we go deeper into the data? Let’s take a closer look at the voting data, starting with a map of the 2012 election results (figure 3‑1) from Mark Newman at the University of Michigan (note that red is light gray and blue is dark gray in this map).4 When you look at red states versus blue states, you see lots of divisions.


pages: 31 words: 7,670

Why America Must Not Follow Europe by Daniel Hannan

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, mass immigration, obamacare, quantitative easing, Ronald Reagan, stakhanovite, Upton Sinclair

The trouble is that eventually, the money runs out. Europe is falling further and further behind, sustaining its living standards by borrowing, dwindling as a force in the world. The U.S., which has expanded its federal government by 30 percent since 2008, seems determined to duplicate that error. REPEALING STATE HEALTH CARE: IF IT WERE DONE WHEN ’TIS DONE, THEN ’TWERE WELL IT WERE DONE QUICKLY Once ObamaCare takes hold, it won’t easily be undone. The moment politicians become responsible for treating the sick, it becomes almost impossible to suggest any significant overhaul of the system – or indeed, any reduction in the budget. I can best demonstrate this phenomenon with a personal recollection. In August 2009, I was asked on Fox News whether I’d recommend the British health care model to Americans.


pages: 479 words: 113,510

Fed Up: An Insider's Take on Why the Federal Reserve Is Bad for America by Danielle Dimartino Booth

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, bank run, barriers to entry, Basel III, Bernie Sanders, break the buck, Bretton Woods, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversification, Donald Trump, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, Flash crash, forward guidance, full employment, George Akerlof, greed is good, high net worth, housing crisis, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, invisible hand, John Meriwether, Joseph Schumpeter, liquidity trap, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, negative equity, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, regulatory arbitrage, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, yield curve

Central bankers have invited politicians to abdicate their leadership authority to an inbred society of PhD academics who are infected to their core with groupthink, or as I prefer to think of it: “groupstink.” Annual borrowing costs for the United States since 2008 have hovered around 1.8 percent, thanks to an overly accommodating Fed, which allowed a dysfunctional Congress and the administration of former President Barack Obama to kick the responsibility down the road. Massive spending programs, however ill conceived, got funded with little opposition. Obamacare, anyone? According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), since 2008 federal debt held by the public has nearly doubled and now stands at 75 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). If this lunacy doesn’t end, debt will be 110 percent of GDP by 2036, exceeding the post–World War II peak of 106 percent. And yet feckless politicians get to brag that they’ve cut the deficit, a distinction lost on too many of us.

Oil accounted for some of the effect; but only 2 percent of employment in Texas was directly generated by energy. Fisher credited state and local governments whose tax, spending, and regulatory policies were oriented toward job creation. But the Fed continued to look at the nation’s unemployment metrics as a whole without examining what was working at the state level. In addition to businesses not knowing what the Fed was going to do, Obamacare, signed into law by the president on March 23, 2010, added another level of uncertainty, encouraging businesses to wait until the dust settled. Even before the August 2012 FOMC meeting, Bernanke began making dozens of phone calls to FOMC members to gather support for a proposal he planned to present at the September meeting. To continue downward pressure on long-term rates, Bernanke wanted to extend Operation Twist.

The Whale provided: Richard Fisher and Harvey Rosenblum, “How Huge Banks Threaten the Economy,” Wall Street Journal, April 4, 2012. Why, then, had the Texas economy surpassed: FRBD: Richard Fisher, “The Limits of the Powers of Central Banks (With Metaphoric References to Edvard Munch’s Scream and Sir Henry Raeburn’s The Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch (speech, St. Andrews University, June 5, 2012), www.dallasfed.org/news/speeches/fisher/2012/fs120605.cfm. In addition to businesses: Obamacare bill: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, obamacarefacts.com/obamacarebill/. Even before the August 2012: Jon Hilsenrath, “How Bernanke Pulled the Fed His Way,” Wall Street Journal, September 28, 2012. “They have gone about their usual”: Mamta Badkar, “Stephen Roach: WSJ Report Jon Hilsenrath Is the Chairman of the Fed,” BusinessInsider.com, July 25, 2012. “These leaks are co-opting Fed policy”: Jim Bianco, e-mail to Danielle DiMartino Booth, July 26, 2012, used by permission.


pages: 348 words: 99,383

The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism Is the World Economy's Only Hope by John A. Allison

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, disintermediation, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, high net worth, housing crisis, invisible hand, life extension, low skilled workers, market bubble, market clearing, minimum wage unemployment, money market fund, moral hazard, negative equity, obamacare, Paul Samuelson, price mechanism, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, too big to fail, transaction costs, yield curve, zero-sum game

However, in 20 to 30 years, the increased productivity created by real savings from allowing individuals to invest privately will cover a substantial portion of the existing social security shortfall.4 The real capital from private savings will increase the productivity of American workers and raise our standard of living. Medicare and Medicaid are much bigger problems than social security. Unless there are changes, the cost of Medicare and Medicaid will consume our total GNP by 2050. The system will have to be fixed. The new healthcare program (Obamacare) only aggravates the problems in the system by promoting more healthcare demand and spending while curbing incentives for the providers of healthcare. I will not offer a diagnosis of Obamacare except to state that, as designed, it is mathematically certain to fail.5 It creates massive incentives for private employers to push their employees onto the government program. It will increase, not decrease, cost. We need a new answer. Offering a solution to the Medicare problem is beyond the scope of this book.

Dennis Cauchon, “Federal Workers Earning Double Their Private Counterparts,” USA Today, August 13, 2010, http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/income/2010-08-10-1Afedpay10_ST_Nhtm. 4. For further analysis and a well-thought-out plan for privatizing social security by two long-term experts, see Peter Ferrara and Michael Tanner, A New Deal for Social Security (Washington, DC: Cato Institute, 1998). 5. For a detailed examination and critique of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), see Michael tanner, Bad Medicine: A Guide to the Real Costs and Consequences of the New Health Care Law (Washington, DC: Cato Institute, 2011). 6. See, for example, Brian Riedl, “A Guide to Fixing Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid,” Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder #2114, March 2008, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2008/03/a-guide-to-fixing-social-security-medicare-and-medicaid. 7.


pages: 320 words: 97,509

Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician by Sandeep Jauhar

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, delayed gratification, illegal immigration, income inequality, Induced demand, medical malpractice, moral hazard, obamacare, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, source of truth, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Yogi Berra

This case, in which expert consultations sprouted with little rhyme, reason, or coordination, reinforced a lesson I learned many times in my first year as an attending: In our health care system, if you have a slew of physicians and a willing patient, almost any sort of terrible excess can occur. There are many downsides to having too many doctors on a case. Specialists’ recommendations are often at cross-purposes. The kidney doctor advises “careful hydration”; the cardiologist, discontinuation of intravenous fluid. Because specialists aren’t paid to confer with one another or coordinate care—at least as of this writing; Obamacare is looking to put into place payment systems that will do just this—they often leave primary attendings without a clear direction as to what to do. More important, patients don’t always require specialists. Patients often have “overlap syndromes” (we used to call it aging), which cannot be compartmentalized into individual problems and are probably best managed by a good general physician. When specialists are called in, they are apt to view each problem through the lens of their specific organ expertise.

Nevertheless, many self-employed doctors recoil at the idea of institutional employment and intrusion on their decision-making authority. Another option is to use bundled payments. A major driver of overutilization is that doctors are paid piecework. There is less of an incentive to increase volume if payments are packaged (e.g., for an entire hospitalization) rather than discrete for every service. Yet another possibility is “accountable care organizations” advanced by Obamacare, in which teams of doctors would be responsible (and paid accordingly) for their patients’ clinical outcomes. Of course, such a scheme would force doctors to work together and to coordinate care. Unfortunately, most doctors, notoriously independent and already smothered in paperwork, have generally performed poorly in this regard. However, if we want to maintain the current fee-for-service system, reforms will have to focus less on payment models and more on education.

A physician recently wrote online: “The reason we are feeling ‘burnout’ is that there does not seem to be any hope for things to get better.” Another said, speaking for many in private practice who stand to lose the most from policy proposals to restrict fee-for-service and encourage greater use of nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants to do what was formerly doctors’ work, “We look forward to a future of a fully implemented Obamacare where physicians are but meaningless pawns in the hands of those who are pushing this absurd social experiment.” Such irrational anger, the almost operatic self-pity, has become commonplace. I encountered it countless times those first few years at LIJ. Colleagues would complain: We are not being allowed to work in a market economy. We are not being allowed to charge what the market will bear, or for what we should be able to charge on the basis of our expenses and our education, thanks to the “price-fixing” that starts with Medicare and trickles down to other insurers.

The End of Accounting and the Path Forward for Investors and Managers (Wiley Finance) by Feng Gu

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active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, double entry bookkeeping, Exxon Valdez, financial innovation, fixed income, hydraulic fracturing, index fund, information asymmetry, intangible asset, inventory management, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, moral hazard, new economy, obamacare, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, value at risk

This, along with our first proposal to avoid the valuation in financial reports of nontraded assets/liabilities, will go a long way to restore the reliability of financial information.30 And now for our third and last proposal. III. MITIGATE ACCOUNTING COMPLEXITY Here is the Lev-Gu law of the dynamics of regulation: Regulatory systems strive to be even more complex than the structures or institutions they were charged to regulate. A race to the bottom, so to speak. If you doubt the universality of our law, think of the 1,990 pages of the original 2009 Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare), ballooning to about 20,000 pages four years later,31 or the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, originally at 848 pages, and mushrooming to 13,789 pages as of July 2013 (and still going strong—the length, we mean).32 And not only in America: No regulatory agency rivals the European Union in scope, intrusion, and complexity of regulation. Accounting is no exception. The organization and operations of business enterprises, particularly the global ones, are obviously quite complex, but the regulations concerning the accounting and reporting on these operations exceed even business complexity.

He proposed providing a triple-column income statement: a column informing on fact-based revenues and expenses, a second to summarize the estimates in revenues and expenses, and a “totals” column, identical to today’s income statement (see Yuji Ijiri, Cash Is a Fact, but Income Is a Forecast, working paper (Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University, 2002)). No doubt, such a clear separation of facts from estimates will be highly informative to investors. 31. The 1,990-page number is from Computational Legal Studies, November 8, 2009. Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC.) speaking on “Fox and Friends” on May 13, 2013, said: “Implementation [of Obamacare] has also become a bureaucratic nightmare, with some 159 new government agencies, boards, and programs busily enforcing the 20,000 pages of rules and regulations already associated with this law.” 32. Joe Mont, “Three Years in, Dodd-Frank Deadlines Missed as Page Count Rises,” Compliance Week (July 22, 2013). 33. A demonstration: Barron’s (July 27, 2015, p. 20) wrote the following about the transportation ticketing company Cubic Corp.: “Earnings are expected to drop 30 percent in the fiscal year ending September . . . .

AARP members, impact 149 Acceleration (operations) 7 Accounting 31–32 advocacy 240 bottom line 116–117 complexity 61 fighting 223–224 mitigation 221–222 reasons 222 complication 61–62 contribution, trivialization 46–47 decline 81 defense 70 estimates domination 95–96 impact 98–100 increase 100–101 problems 79 proliferation, reversal 219–221 reliability, enhancement 98 events 105–107 expenses, breakdown (usage) 175–176 facts 94 absence 79 fairness 35–36 fault 50 fiction 94 graveyards 86 impact, intention 17–18 information (usefulness loss), investor interest 68–70 link, absence 104–105 losses 57–58 procedures, structure (impact) 35 recognition, delay 105–106 records, triggers 79–80 reform agenda 213 regulations, proliferation 56–57 relevance decrease 37, 41, 89f loss 88–90 reporting, direction (change) 214 revitalization 213–214 ROE 22 rules, change (demand) 90 Strategic Resources & Consequences Report issue 197 treatment. See Intangible assets. uncertainty/vagueness, example 94–95 usefulness, quest 62 Accounts receivable 96 Acquired intangibles, certainty 84 Adjusted coefficient of variation (R2 ) 33, 89, 108 Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) 221 Agent-driven policies 152 Agents, importance 152–153 All-in sustaining costs (AISC) 204 Allstate advertising campaign 155 Drive Wise car device 152 online customers 156 rate-increasing policy 151 Alphabet (Google) 120 Amazon, patents 78 247 248 Ambiguity, increase 68–69 American Airlines, balance sheet 87 Amgen, Inc. market share data, inconsistency 169 sales 169 Amortization 95 estimate 79 Analyst forecasts 45, 46f performance-related information source 44 release 46–47 Analysts ambiguity, increase 64f guidance 15–17 impact 62 pipeline questions, Pfizer response 200–201 pipeline-related questions, number/percentage 202f questions 114–115 Annual earnings releases 44 Annual report, extensiveness 5 Apple brand, value 234 car streaming market 140 patents 78 problem 90 Arm’s-length transactions 83–84 Assets amortization 216–217 conceptual assets 82 deployment, outcomes 125 fair valuation 37–38 fair values 61 obsolescence 124 real assets 82 recognition 78 treatment (intangible assets) 214–217 write-downs 109 write-offs 37, 97 AstraZeneca 166 Actavis acquisition 164 drug extension 174 stock price loss 104–105 Auden McKenzie 164 SUBJECT INDEX Bad debt expense 220 Bad-debt reserve 79 Balance sheet 4, 5 corporate balance sheets, recognition 78 distortion 37 usage 7 Bayer, brand (value) 234 Berkshire Hathaway 153 Beta tests 105 Biotech, Strategic Resources & Consequences Report 163 Blackberry patents, problem 90 Blue Book 97 Boeing, innovation strategies 85 Book-to-bill ratio 204 Book value impact 31f investor usage 32–33 problems 34–35 regression 89f relevance-loss 34–35 share 35f Book value of equity (BV) 38 Bottom line 116–117 Brands 234 creation 134 development 153 enhancement 175 British Petroleum (BP) household name 180 problems 189 Buffett, Warren 37, 53, 97, 153 Build-to-order business model 232 Businesses enterprises evolution 53 long-term objective 119–120 failure 90 fundamentals 58 organization, change 6–7 processes 78, 83 IT support 122–123 volatility, decrease 71–73 BV.


pages: 282 words: 80,907

Who Gets What — and Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design by Alvin E. Roth

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Build a better mousetrap, centralized clearinghouse, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, commoditize, computer age, computerized markets, crowdsourcing, deferred acceptance, desegregation, experimental economics, first-price auction, Flash crash, High speed trading, income inequality, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, law of one price, Lyft, market clearing, market design, medical residency, obamacare, proxy bid, road to serfdom, school choice, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, second-price sealed-bid, Silicon Valley, spectrum auction, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, two-sided market

Under the present rules, it is in many ways harder to finance a clinic that educates diabetes patients on diet and other ways to control their disease than it is to finance the vastly more expensive dialysis and kidney transplants that become necessary when the disease progresses out of control. Changing the market for health care is famously difficult; national political campaigns have been waged over it. More than four decades ago, President Richard Nixon tried and failed to set up a nationwide system that would provide health care for all. Only in the past couple of years has another attempt, the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, been enacted, and it is still hotly contested. But if I had to guess where the beginnings of good design might emerge, it would be in the health-care policies of large companies that self-insure their workers. Such companies benefit from keeping their workers healthy, as well as from reducing the costs of caring for them once they become ill. Sitting here in California, another badly designed market whose consequences I see is that for water rights.

See also repugnant markets NEPKE, 8, 37, 38, 42, 44, 49, 50 New England Journal of Medicine, 45 New England Organ Bank, 36 New England Program for Kidney Exchange (NEPKE), 8, 37, 38, 42, 44, 49, 50 New York City school system, 8, 106–10, 112, 122, 153–61 benefits of revised, 160–61 old compared with new, 155–58 preferences in, 153–54, 156–60 New York State attorney general, 86, 88 New York Stock Exchange, 82–83 New York Times, 110 Nguyen, Hai, 38–39 Niederle, Muriel, 75–76, 176–77 Nixon, Richard, 224 nonsimultaneous chains in kidney exchange, 43–46, 49, 51–52, 235 NRMP, 7–8, 146 Obamacare, 224 objectification, 203 Ockenfels, Axel, 118, 120–21 Oklahoma Land Rush, 57–59, 80, 113–14 once-per-second market, 86, 88 OpenTable, 218 operating systems, 21–22 Orange Bowl, 61–62, 66 orthopedic surgeons, 78–80 Ostrovsky, Mike, 86–87 package bidding, 188–89, 225–26 parking decisions, 72–73, 125–26 Pathak, Parag, 107, 126, 149, 153, 165 payment systems credit cards, 23–26 in Internet marketplaces, 24, 104, 117 mobile, 26–27 privacy in, 119 PayPal, 24, 117, 119 Payzant, Tom, 126, 129 peacocks, 177–78 penicillin, 133–34 Peranson, Elliott, 147–48, 157 performance evaluation, 64 political campaign contributions, 203 politics free markets and, 226–28 in kidney exchanges, 49–51 polycystic kidney disease, 38–39 polygamy, 199 Posner, Richard, 91 price and pricing, 9.


pages: 294 words: 82,438

Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World by Donald Sull, Kathleen M. Eisenhardt

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Basel III, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, Checklist Manifesto, complexity theory, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversification, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, haute cuisine, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, Network effects, obamacare, Paul Graham, performance metric, price anchoring, RAND corporation, risk/return, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Startup school, statistical model, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Wall-E, web application, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Hetzel, “Henry Thornton: Seminal Monetary Theorist and Father of the Modern Central Bank,” FRB Richmond Economic Review 73, no. 4 (1987): 3–16. [>] “You have to work: Andy Reinhardt, “Steve Jobs on Apple’s Resurgence: ‘Not a One-Man Show,’” Business Week Online, May 12, 1998, http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/may1998/nf80512d.htm. [>] Much of the complexity: Scott A. Hodge, “Out with the Extenders, In with the New Obamacare Taxes,” Tax Foundation, Tax Policy Blog, December 31, 2013, http://taxfoundation.org/blog/out-extenders-new-obamacare-taxes. [>] A recent study found: Sophie Shive and Margaret Forster, “The Revolving Door for Financial Regulators” (working paper, University of Notre Dame, May 17, 2014), available at Social Science Research Network, http://ssrn.com/abstract=2348968 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2348968. [>] Andy Haldane is: John Cassidy, “The Hundred Most Influential People: Andy Haldane,” Time, April 23, 2014, http://time.com/70833/andy-haldane-2014-time-100/. [>] At a recent conference: Andrew G.


pages: 588 words: 131,025

The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine Is in Your Hands by Eric Topol

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23andMe, 3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Anne Wojcicki, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, bioinformatics, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, commoditize, computer vision, conceptual framework, connected car, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, dark matter, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Firefox, global village, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, lifelogging, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, phenotype, placebo effect, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, Snapchat, social graph, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing test, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize

In 2014, the Institute of Medicine issued a report on medical education, assessing the physician workforce with a key conclusion about the looming shortage: “does not find any credible evidence to support such claims.”106e Echoing this conclusion, a most unlikely bipartisan combination of authors—Scott Gottlieb and Ezekiel Emanuel—representing extreme views of the Republican and Democratic parties, respectively, wrote a pointed piece, “No, There Won’t Be a Doctor Shortage.”107 While acknowledging the aging of the population and the increased demand related to thirty million newly insured Americans via the Affordable Care Act, they declared: “The road to Obamacare has seen its share of speed bumps, as well as big potholes. But a physician shortage is unlikely to be one of its roadblocks.”107 Beyond echoing the use of nurses, pharmacists, dieticians, health aides, and other nonphysicians, and the profound waste in American health care (as reviewed in Chapter 8), they aptly point out: “Innovations, such as sensors that enable remote monitoring of disease and more timely interventions, can help pre-empt the need for inpatient treatment.”107 And that is just the beginning of how innovative technology and unplugged medicine can markedly improve the efficiency of physicians.

., “Teaching Residents to Provide Cost-Conscious Care: A National Survey of Residency Program Directors,” JAMA Internal Medicine 174, no. 3 (2013): 470–472. 83. R. Srivastava, “How Can We Save on Healthcare Costs If Doctors Are Kept in the Dark?,” The Guardian, March 14, 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre/2014/mar/14/how-can-we-save-on-healthcare-costs-if-doctors-are-kept-in-the-dark/print. 84. J. H. Cochrane, “What to Do When ObamaCare Unravels,” Wall Street Journal, December 25, 2013, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304866904579265932490593594. 85. M. J. DeLaMerced, “Oscar, a New Health Insurer, Raises $30 Million,” New York Times, January 7, 2014, http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/01/07/oscar-a-new-health-insurer-raises-30-million/. 86. “The Geek Guide to Insurance,” The Economist, April 5, 2014, http://www.economist.com/node/21600147/print. 87.

McLeod, “New Outpatient Treatment Paradigm Spurs Construction of ‘Bedless Hospitals’; Trend May Reshape Clinical Pathology Laboratory Testing,” Dark Daily, April 1, 2013, http://www.darkdaily.com/new-outpatient-treatment-paradigm-spurs-construction-of-bedless-hospitals-trend-may-reshape-clinical-pathology-laboratory-testing-40113#axzz3Arr352HN. 29. F. Palumbo et al., “Sensor Network Infrastructure for a Home Care Monitoring System,” Sensors 14 (2014): 3833–3860. 30. G. Orwell, “How the Poor Die,” 1946, accessed August 13, 2013, http://orwell.ru/library/articles/Poor_Die/english/e_pdie. 31. “Hospital Operators and Obamacare: Prescription for Change,” The Economist, June 29, 2013, http://www.economist.com/node/21580181/print. 32. D. Chase, “What’s the Role of a Hospital in 10 Years?,” Forbes, July 24, 2013, http://www.forbes.com/sites/davechase/2013/07/24/whats-the-role-of-a-hospital-in-10-years/print/. 33. T. C. Tsai and A. K. Jha, “Hospital Consolidation, Competition, and Quality: Is Bigger Necessarily Better?


pages: 452 words: 134,502

Hacking Politics: How Geeks, Progressives, the Tea Party, Gamers, Anarchists and Suits Teamed Up to Defeat SOPA and Save the Internet by David Moon, Patrick Ruffini, David Segal, Aaron Swartz, Lawrence Lessig, Cory Doctorow, Zoe Lofgren, Jamie Laurie, Ron Paul, Mike Masnick, Kim Dotcom, Tiffiniy Cheng, Alexis Ohanian, Nicole Powers, Josh Levy

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4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Bernie Sanders, Burning Man, call centre, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, hive mind, immigration reform, informal economy, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, liquidity trap, Mark Zuckerberg, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, peer-to-peer, Plutocrats, plutocrats, prisoner's dilemma, QR code, rent-seeking, Silicon Valley, Skype, technoutopianism, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

Over the last decade, pharmaceutical interests have spent almost two billion dollars lobbying U.S. government branches to meet commercial goals, such as preventing drug price negotiations and new importation laws to lower domestic prices. Additionally, the Obama administration made a deal with the pharmaceutical industry; the administration would drop its tacit support of drug importation in exchange for industry support of Obamacare and modest price rebates to government health care programs. Had SOPA become law, search engines, domain registrars and registries, credit card companies, payment processors and advertisers would be encouraged to refuse their services to safe online pharmacies. Supporters of SOPA obtusely pointed to the bill’s language on online pharmacies to argue that the bill was not only about protecting intellectual property and copyrights but protecting lives.

Specifically, government guarantees of health care—a Medicare-for-all program, more efficient than the private insurance system—and pensions more robust than Social Security—would give Americans some assurance that they wouldn’t starve. They’d enable entrepreneurship, as health care access is a concern that forces people to scurry towards and hold onto jobs they don’t want 94 L abor S ides w ith the B osses instead of starting their own shops (though this predicament will be somewhat improved under Obamacare). The appropriate societal response to hard economic times and workers’ desires for portable retirement plans isn’t to convert traditional pensions into 401(k)s—rather, it’s to institute a robust federal pension system. A step between here and there would be to adopt the plans most Europeans have access to—much more robust even under austerity than the crumbs we toss at American seniors. Such programs would also relieve employers of the burdens of carrying the cost of benefits and would generate economies of scale from which society doesn’t benefit at present.

For example, some Pentagon officials might want to discredit those sharing information about how the American public were misled into believing Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke might seek to prevent exposing the role of the Federal Reserve in bailing out up both American and European banks. Some supporters of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare”) might want the government’s fact checkers to discredit those who expose how the pharmaceutical industry and the insurance lobby provided sought to enrich themselves by supporting the bill. Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize a propaganda machine designed to keep them from knowing the truth about their government. 276 THE BATTLE FOR INTERNET FREEDOM IS CRITICAL Proposals to use the power of the government to discredit and marginalize those who use the Internet to disseminate information are not the only threat to Internet freedom.


pages: 363 words: 92,422

A Fine Mess by T. R. Reid

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Sanders, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, centre right, clean water, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, game design, Gini coefficient, High speed trading, Home mortgage interest deduction, Honoré de Balzac, income inequality, industrial robot, land value tax, loss aversion, mortgage tax deduction, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Tesla Model S, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, Tobin tax, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks

The whole thing is so complicated that the error rate is 27%, which means one out of four filers, and the IRS, have to spend even more time trying to get it right. This has prompted a mini-industry of tax fraud, with shysters going door-to-door in low-rent neighborhoods offering to fill out the EITC forms (for a fee, of course) whether the client actually qualifies or not. Similarly, the tax credits for people buying health insurance on the ObamaCare exchanges are generally aimed at low-income taxpayers and are also ridiculously complicated. There’s another significant cost as well to all this complexity. A tax code so byzantine that people can’t understand how much they have to pay badly undermines the spirit of voluntary payment that is essential to a successful tax regime. Economists talk about a concept called “tax morale,” which means people’s willingness to pay for the services government provides.

The most fully developed was a classic value-added tax put forth by the Texas senator Ted Cruz, who offered himself as the most conservative of all the sixteen Republican hopefuls. Cruz, of course, did not use the tainted words “value-added tax.” He called his plan, alternately, the “simple flat tax” or the “16% business flat tax” (BFT). He promised that his new tax would eliminate the corporate income tax, the estate and gift tax, the ObamaCare taxes, and the payroll taxes that pay for Social Security and Medicare (“while maintaining full funding for Social Security and Medicare”). He insisted that his plan would allow Washington to set everybody’s personal income tax rate at 10%—a major tax cut for most Americans—while maintaining the tax deductions Americans like best. To do all that, Cruz proposed a 16% value-added tax on businesses.


pages: 437 words: 105,934

#Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media by Cass R. Sunstein

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Sanders, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, Donald Trump, drone strike, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, friendly fire, global village, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, obamacare, prediction markets, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, stem cell, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds

An especially interesting line of research explores how members of Congress are using hashtags, often framing issues in their preferred ways and promoting echo chambers that serve their interests.29 A central finding is that while Democrats and Republicans discuss overlapping issues, they use notably different hashtags. Among Democrats, the most popular issues in the relevant period include health care (#ACA, for the Affordable Care Act), student loans (#DontDoubleMyRate), and employment (#JOBS). The Republicans’ top issues are not so different: employment (#4jobs), themselves (#tcot), and health care (#Obamacare). But the two parties do use radically different frames. The term #ACA, preferred by Democrats, has a positive or neutral valence about the Affordable Care Act, whereas #Obamacare and #Fullrepeal, favored by Republicans, are clearly meant to be negative. Like political activists, members of Congress can be seen as hashtag entrepreneurs. They choose a particular frame: #AllLives Matter, #TheSystemIsRigged, or #CorruptHillary. They hope that it will attract widespread interest, helping to construct both emotions and beliefs.


pages: 559 words: 169,094

The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bank run, big-box store, citizen journalism, cleantech, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, East Village, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, family office, financial independence, financial innovation, fixed income, Flash crash, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Neil Kinnock, new economy, New Journalism, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, Richard Florida, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, smart grid, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, too big to fail, union organizing, urban planning, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, white flight, white picket fence, zero-sum game

We had never had a voice and we were starting to create our own voice.” They were people like her—not country club Republicans, just people who felt something was wrong. And she had brought them together. That was the beginning of Karen Jaroch’s life in politics. Summer brought Obamacare and a nationwide rebellion. On August 6, Tampa’s Democratic congresswoman, Kathy Castor, held a town hall meeting in a room that was far too small for the fifteen hundred people trying to get in. Things descended into chaos when members of the 9/12 Project, enraged by Castor, enraged by Obamacare, enraged that the doors to the jammed room had been shut on hundreds of protesters, started shouting, “You work for us! You work for us! Tyranny! Tyranny!” until Castor gave up trying to speak and had to be escorted out. Karen was there, and the next afternoon she received a call from a producer at CNN.

It was a better America back then. If he could have grown up at any time it would have been in the fifties, which was the last great time in America. He hated to say it but it was true. Dean tried to do anything he could for Matt, but after Matt went five months without being able to pay his rent, Dean had to ask him to move out. The Andy Griffith Show was still popular in the region (even after Andy made an ad for Obamacare), with reruns every afternoon, because the original for Mayberry RFD was the town of Mount Airy, up at the Virginia border—now just another hard-hit textile town trying its best keep up a quaint appearance on Main Street for the sake of the tourists, shop windows displaying posters and photos and memorabilia with those goofy, reassuring, all-white faces from the show. At the end of July, a few days after his bankruptcy hearing in Greensboro, Dean made the hour’s drive to Mount Airy to see a woman on the city commission.


pages: 441 words: 136,954

That Used to Be Us by Thomas L. Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Andy Kessler, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, centre right, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, full employment, Google Earth, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), job automation, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, mass immigration, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, obamacare, oil shock, pension reform, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, WikiLeaks

The voter sent the following note out to his Christmas card list: “Senator Bennett has been our friend for a long time, and he set the record straight, and I want everybody to know that these are the facts.” The correction had little effect. Repeatedly during the campaign voters came up to him at rallies, Bennett said, and grilled him: “‘You voted for ObamaCare.’ ‘No, I didn’t.’ ‘Yes, you did. I read it on the Internet. ’ ‘You voted for ObamaCare.’ ‘You voted for the stimulus.’ ‘You voted for TARP.’ I said, ‘Look, I am the guy who changed the proposed law from $700 billion to two tranches of $350 billion, because I wanted to see if it worked before I voted for the second, and I voted against the second $350 billion because of the way the first $350 billion was headed.’ ‘No, no, you wasted $700 billion.


pages: 478 words: 126,416

Other People's Money: Masters of the Universe or Servants of the People? by John Kay

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, call centre, capital asset pricing model, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, cross-subsidies, dematerialisation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial thriller, fixed income, Flash crash, forward guidance, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, Irish property bubble, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, loose coupling, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, market design, millennium bug, mittelstand, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shock, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Piper Alpha, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, railway mania, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, regulatory arbitrage, Renaissance Technologies, rent control, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the market place, The Myth of the Rational Market, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, Yom Kippur War

‘No man is an island … therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.’33 Decent societies do not give people the option of being unable to afford necessary medical treatment, or of finding themselves destitute in old age, even if these options have in some sense been chosen by the individuals themselves. Or at least enough people feel that way to make it impossible, even if it were practicable, to implement solutions to the challenges of everyday risk based exclusively on personal choices and market solutions. ‘Obamacare’ – President Obama’s scheme for universal health provision in the USA – is the last skirmish in the battle to provide universal healthcare throughout the developed world. In other countries this issue is no longer contested, although the precise mechanisms and the levels of provision vary. Private health insurers, where they exist, are generally either social agencies or organisations that pool risks on behalf of employers.

.: Hyperion 220 Loomis, Carol 108 lotteries 65, 66, 68, 72 Lucas, Robert 40 Lynch, Dennios 108 Lynch, Peter 108, 109 M M-Pesa 186 Maastricht Treaty (1993) 243, 250 McCardie, Sir Henry 83, 84, 282, 284 McGowan, Harry 45 Machiavelli, Niccolò 224 McKinley, William 44 McKinsey 115, 126 Macy’s department store 46 Madoff, Bernard 29, 118, 131, 132, 177, 232, 293 Madoff Securities 177 Magnus, King of Sweden 196 Manhattan Island, New York: and Native American sellers 59, 63 Manne, Henry 46 manufacturing companies, rise of 45 Marconi 48 marine insurance 62, 63 mark-to-market accounting 126, 128–9, 320n22 mark-to-model approach 128–9, 320n21 Market Abuse Directive (MAD) 226 market economy 4, 281, 302, 308 ‘market for corporate control, the’ 46 market risk 97, 98, 177, 192 market-makers 25, 28, 30, 31 market-making 49, 109, 118, 136 Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MIFID) 226 Markkula, Mike 162, 166, 167 Markopolos, Harry 232 Markowitz, Harry 69 Markowitz model of portfolio allocation 68–9 Martin, Felix 323n5 martingale 130, 131, 136, 139, 190 Marx, Groucho 252 Marx, Karl 144, 145 Capital 143 Mary Poppins (film) 11, 12 MasterCard 186 Masters, Brooke 120 maturity transformation 88, 92 Maxwell, Robert 197, 201 Mayan civilisation 277 Meade, James 263 Means, Gardiner 51 Meeker, Mary 40, 167 Melamed, Leo 19 Mercedes 170 merchant banks 25, 30, 33 Meriwether, John 110, 134 Merkel, Angela 231 Merrill Lynch 135, 199, 293, 300 Merton, Robert 110 Metronet 159 Meyer, André 205 MGM 33 Microsoft 29, 167 middleman, role of the 80–87 agency and trading 82–3 analysts 86 bad intermediaries 81–2 from agency to trading 84–5 identifying goods and services required 80, 81 logistics 80, 81 services from financial intermediaries 80–81 supply chain 80, 81 transparency 84 ‘wisdom of crowds’ 86–7 Midland Bank 24 Milken, Michael 46, 292 ‘millennium bug’ 40 Miller, Bill 108, 109 Minuit, Peter 59, 63 Mises, Ludwig von 225 Mittelstand (medium-size business sector) 52, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172 mobile banking apps 181 mobile phone payment transfers 186–7 Modigliani-Miller theorem 318n9 monetarism 241 monetary economics 5 monetary policy 241, 243, 245, 246 money creation 88 money market fund 120–21 Moneyball phenomenon 165 monopolies 45 Monte Carlo casino 123 Monte dei Paschi Bank of Siena 24 Montgomery Securities 167 Moody’s rating agency 21, 248, 249, 313n6 moral hazard 74, 75, 76, 92, 95, 256, 258 Morgan, J.P. 44, 166, 291 Morgan Stanley 25, 40, 130, 135, 167, 268 Morgenthau, District Attorney Robert 232–3 mortality tables 256 mortgage banks 27 mortgage market fluctuation in mortgage costs 148 mechanised assessment 84–5 mortgage-backed securities 20, 21, 40, 85, 90, 100, 128, 130, 150, 151, 152, 168, 176–7, 284 synthetic 152 Mozilo, Angelo 150, 152, 154, 293 MSCI World Bank Index 135 muckraking 44, 54–5, 79 ‘mugus’ 118, 260 multinational companies, and diversification 96–7 Munger, Charlie 127 Munich, Germany 62 Munich Re 62 Musk, Elon 168 mutual funds 27, 108, 202, 206 mutual societies 30 mutualisation 79 mutuality 124, 213 ‘My Way’ (song) 72 N Napoleon Bonaparte 26 Napster 185 NASA 276 NASDAQ 29, 108, 161 National Economic Council (US) 5, 58 National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) 255 National Institutes of Health 167 National Insurance Fund (UK) 254 National Provincial Bank 24 National Science Foundation 167 National Westminster Bank 24, 34 Nationwide 151 Native Americans 59, 63 Nazis 219, 221 neo-liberal economic policies 39, 301 Netjets 107 Netscape 40 Neue Markt 170 New Deal 225 ‘new economy’ bubble (1999) 23, 34, 40, 42, 98, 132, 167, 199, 232, 280 new issue market 112–13 New Orleans, Louisiana: Hurricane Katrina disaster (2005) 79 New Testament 76 New York Stock Exchange 26–7, 28, 29, 31, 49, 292 New York Times 283 News of the World 292, 295 Newton, Isaac 35, 132, 313n18 Niederhoffer, Victor 109 NINJAs (no income, no job, no assets) 222 Nixon, Richard 36 ‘no arbitrage’ condition 69 non-price competition 112, 219 Norman, Montagu 253 Northern Rock 89, 90–91, 92, 150, 152 Norwegian sovereign wealth fund 161, 253 Nostradamus 274 O Obama, Barack 5, 58, 77, 194, 271, 301 ‘Obamacare’ 77 Occidental Petroleum 63 Occupy movement 52, 54, 312n2 ‘Occupy Wall Street’ slogan 305 off-balance-sheet financing 153, 158, 160, 210, 250 Office of Thrift Supervision 152–3 oil shock (1973–4) 14, 36–7, 89 Old Testament 75–6 oligarchy 269, 302–3, 305 oligopoly 118, 188 Olney, Richard 233, 237, 270 open market operations 244 options 19, 22 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 263 Osborne, George 328n19 ‘out of the money option’ 102, 103 Overend, Gurney & Co. 31 overseas assets and liabilities 179–80, 179 owner-managed businesses 30 ox parable xi-xii Oxford University 12 P Pacific Gas and Electric 246 Pan Am 238 Paris financial centre 26 Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards 295 partnerships 30, 49, 50, 234 limited liability 313n14 Partnoy, Frank 268 passive funds 99, 212 passive management 207, 209, 212 Patek Philippe 195, 196 Paulson, Hank 300 Paulson, John 64, 109, 115, 152, 191, 284 ‘payment in kind’ securities 131 payment protection policies 198 payments system 6, 7, 25, 180, 181–8, 247, 259–60, 281, 297, 306 PayPal 167, 168, 187 Pecora, Ferdinand 25 Pecora hearings (1932–34) 218 peer-to-peer lending 81 pension funds 29, 98, 175, 177, 197, 199, 200, 201, 208, 213, 254, 282, 284 pension provision 78, 253–6 pension rights 53, 178 Perkins, Charles 233 perpetual inventory method 321n4 Perrow, Charles 278, 279 personal financial management 6, 7 personal liability 296 ‘petrodollars’ 14, 37 Pfizer 96 Pierpoint Morgan, J. 165 Piper Alpha oil rig disaster (1987) 63 Ponzi, Charles 131, 132 Ponzi schemes 131, 132, 136, 201 pooled investment funds 197 portfolio insurance 38 Potts, Robin, QC 61, 63, 72, 119, 193 PPI, mis-selling of 296 Prebble, Lucy: ENRON 126 price competition 112, 219 price discovery 226 price mechanism 92 Prince, Chuck 34 private equity 27, 98, 166, 210 managers 210, 289 private insurance 76, 77 private sector 78 privatisation 39, 78, 157, 158, 258, 307 probabilistic thinking 67, 71, 79 Procter & Gamble 69, 108 product innovation 13 property and infrastructure 154–60 protectionism 13 Prudential 200 public companies, conversion to 18, 31–2, 49 public debt 252 public sector 78 Q Quandt, Herbert 170 Quandt Foundation 170 quantitative easing 245, 251 quantitative style 110–11 quants 22, 107, 110 Quattrone, Frank 167, 292–3 queuing 92 Quinn, Sean 156 R railroad regulation 237 railway mania (1840s) 35 Raines, Franklin 152 Rajan, Raghuram 56, 58, 79, 102 Rakoff, Judge Jed 233, 294, 295 Ramsey, Frank 67, 68 Rand, Ayn 79, 240 ‘random walk’ 69 Ranieri, Lew 20, 22, 106–7, 134, 152 rating agencies 21, 41, 84–5, 97, 151, 152, 153, 159, 249–50 rationality 66–7, 68 RBS see Royal Bank of Scotland re-insurance 62–3 Reagan, Ronald 18, 23, 54, 59, 240 real economy 7, 18, 57, 143, 172, 190, 213, 226, 239, 271, 280, 288, 292, 298 redundancy 73, 279 Reed, John 33–4, 48, 49, 50, 51, 242, 293, 314n40 reform 270–96 other people’s money 282–5 personal responsibility 292–6 principles of 270–75 the reform of structure 285–92 robust systems and complex structures 276–81 regulation 215, 217–39 the Basel agreements 220–25 and competition 113 the origins of financial regulation 217–19 ‘principle-based’ 224 the regulation industry 229–33 ‘rule-based’ 224 securities regulation 225–9 what went wrong 233–9 ‘Regulation Q’ (US) 13, 14, 20, 28, 120, 121 regulatory agencies 229, 230, 231, 235, 238, 274, 295, 305 regulatory arbitrage 119–24, 164, 223, 250 regulatory capture 237, 248, 262 Reich, Robert 265, 266 Reinhart, C.M. 251 relationship breakdown 74, 79 Rembrandts, genuine/fake 103, 127 Renaissance Technologies 110, 111, 191 ‘repo 105’ arbitrage 122 repo agreement 121–2 repo market 121 Reserve Bank of India 58 Reserve Primary Fund 121 Resolution Trust Corporation 150 retirement pension 78 return on equity (RoE) 136–7, 191 Revelstoke, first Lord 31 risk 6, 7, 55, 56–79 adverse selection and moral hazard 72–9 analysis by ‘ketchup economists’ 64 chasing the dream 65–72 Geithner on 57–8 investment 256 Jackson Hole symposium 56–7 Kohn on 56 laying bets on the interpretation of incomplete information 61 and Lloyd’s 62–3 the LMX spiral 62–3, 64 longevity 256 market 97, 98 mitigation 297 randomness 76 socialisation of individual risks 61 specific 97–8 risk management 67–8, 72, 79, 137, 191, 229, 233, 234, 256 risk premium 208 risk thermostat 74–5 risk weighting 222, 224 risk-pooling 258 RJR Nabisco 46, 204 ‘robber barons’ 44, 45, 51–2 Robertson, Julian 98, 109, 132 Robertson Stephens 167 Rockefeller, John D. 44, 52, 196 Rocket Internet 170 Rogers, Richard 62 Rogoff, K.S. 251 rogue traders 130, 300 Rohatyn, Felix 205 Rolls-Royce 90 Roman empire 277, 278 Rome, Treaty of (1964) 170 Rooney, Wayne 268 Roosevelt, Franklin D. v, 25, 235 Roosevelt, Theodore 43–4, 235, 323n1 Rothschild family 217 Royal Bank of Scotland 11, 12, 14, 24, 26, 34, 78, 91, 103, 124, 129, 135, 138, 139, 211, 231, 293 Rubin, Robert 57 In an Uncertain World 67 Ruskin, John 60, 63 Unto this Last 56 Russia defaults on debts 39 oligarchies 303 Russian Revolution (1917) 3 S Saes 168 St Paul’s Churchyard, City of London 305 Salomon Bros. 20, 22, 27, 34, 110, 133–4 ‘Salomon North’ 110 Salz Review: An Independent Review of Barclays’ Business Practices 217 Samuelson, Paul 208 Samwer, Oliver 170 Sarkozy, Nicolas 248, 249 Savage, L.J. 67 Scholes, Myron 19, 69, 110 Schrödinger’s cat 129 Scottish Parliament 158 Scottish Widows 26, 27, 30 Scottish Widows Fund 26, 197, 201, 212, 256 search 195, 209, 213 defined 144 and the investment bank 197 Second World War 36, 221 secondary markets 85, 170, 210 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) 20, 64, 126, 152, 197, 225, 226, 228, 230, 232, 247, 292, 293, 294, 313n6 securities regulation 225–9 securitisation 20–21, 54, 100, 151, 153, 164, 169, 171, 222–3 securitisation boom (1980s) 200 securitised loans 98 See’s Candies 107 Segarra, Carmen 232 self-financing companies 45, 179, 195–6 sell-side analysts 199 Sequoia Capital 166 Shad, John S.R. 225, 228–9 shareholder value 4, 45, 46, 50, 211 Sharpe, William 69, 70 Shell 96 Sherman Act (1891) 44 Shiller, Robert 85 Siemens 196 Siemens, Werner von 196 Silicon Valley, California 166, 167, 168, 171, 172 Simon, Hermann 168 Simons, Jim 23, 27, 110, 111–12, 124 Sinatra, Frank 72 Sinclair, Upton 54, 79, 104, 132–3 The Jungle 44 Sing Sing maximum-security gaol, New York 292 Skilling, Jeff 126, 127, 128, 149, 197, 259 Slim, Carlos 52 Sloan, Alfred 45, 49 Sloan Foundation 49 small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs), financing 165–72, 291 Smith, Adam 31, 51, 60 The Wealth of Nations v, 56, 106 Smith, Greg 283 Smith Barney 34 social security 52, 79, 255 Social Security Trust Fund (US) 254, 255 socialism 4, 225, 301 Société Générale 130 ‘soft commission’ 29 ‘soft’ commodities 17 Soros, George 23, 27, 98, 109, 111–12, 124, 132 South Sea Bubble (18th century) 35, 132, 292 sovereign wealth funds 161, 253 Soviet empire 36 Soviet Union 225 collapse of 23 lack of confidence in supplies 89–90 Spain: property bubble 42 Sparks, D.L. 114, 283, 284 specific risk 97–8 speculation 93 Spitzer, Eliot 232, 292 spread 28, 94 Spread Networks 2 Square 187 Stamp Duty 274 Standard & Poor’s rating agency 21, 99, 248, 249, 313n6 Standard Life 26, 27, 30 standard of living 77 Standard Oil 44, 196, 323n1 Standard Oil of New Jersey (later Exxon) 323n1 Stanford University 167 Stanhope 158 State Street 200, 207 sterling devaluation (1967) 18 stewardship 144, 163, 195–203, 203, 208, 209, 210, 211, 213 Stewart, Jimmy 12 Stigler, George 237 stock exchanges 17 see also individual stock exchanges stock markets change in organisation of 28 as a means of taking money out of companies 162 rise of 38 stock-picking 108 stockbrokers 16, 25, 30, 197, 198 Stoll, Clifford 227–8 stone fei (in Micronesia) 323n5 Stone, Richard 263 Stora Enso 196 strict liability 295–6 Strine, Chancellor Leo 117 structured investment vehicles (SIVs) 158, 223 sub-prime lending 34–5, 75 sub-prime mortgages 63, 75, 109, 149, 150, 169, 244 Summers, Larry 22, 55, 73, 119, 154, 299 criticism of Rajan’s views 57 ‘ketchup economics’ 5, 57, 69 support for financialisation 57 on transformation of investment banking 15 Sunday Times 143 ‘Rich List’ 156 supermarkets: financial services 27 supply chain 80, 81, 83, 89, 92 Surowiecki, James: The Wisdom of Crowds xi swap markets 21 SWIFT clearing system 184 Swiss Re 62 syndication 62 Syriza 306 T Taibbi, Matt 55 tailgating 102, 103, 104, 128, 129, 130, 136, 138, 140, 152, 155, 190–91, 200 Tainter, Joseph 277 Taleb, Nassim Nicholas 125, 183 Fooled by Randomness 133 Tarbell, Ida 44, 54 TARGET2 system 184, 244 TARP programme 138 tax havens 123 Taylor, Martin 185 Taylor Bean and Whitaker 293 Tea Party 306 technological innovation 13, 185, 187 Tel Aviv, Israel 171 telecommunications network 181, 182 Tesla Motors 168 Tetra 168 TfL 159 Thai exchange rate, collapse of (1997) 39 Thain, John 300 Thatcher, Margaret 18, 23, 54, 59, 148, 151, 157 Thiel, Peter 167 Third World debt problem 37, 131 thrifts 25, 149, 150, 151, 154, 174, 290, 292 ticket touts 94–5 Tobin, James 273 Tobin tax 273–4 Tolstoy, Count Leo 97 Tonnies, Ferdinand 17 ‘too big to fail’ 75, 140, 276, 277 Tourre, Fabrice ‘Fabulous Fab’ 63–4, 115, 118, 232, 293, 294 trader model 82, 83 trader, rise of the 16–24 elements of the new trading culture 21–2 factors contributing to the change 17–18 foreign exchange 18–19 from personal relationships to anonymous markets 17 hedge fund managers 23 independent traders 22–3 information technology 19–20 regulation 20 securitisation 20–21 shift from agency to trading 16 trading as a principal source of revenue and remuneration 17 trader model 82, 83 ‘trading book’ 320n20 transparency 29, 84, 205, 210, 212, 226, 260 Travelers Group 33, 34, 48 ‘treasure islands’ 122–3 Treasuries 75 Treasury (UK) 135, 158 troubled assets relief program 135 Truman, Harry S. 230, 325n13 trust 83–4, 85, 182, 213, 218, 260–61 Tuckett, David 43, 71, 79 tulip mania (1630s) 35 Turner, Adair 303 TWA 238 Twain, Mark: Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar 95–6 Twitter 185 U UBS 33, 134 UK Independence Party 306 unemployment 73, 74, 79 unit trusts 202 United States global dominance of the finance industry 218 house prices 41, 43, 149, 174 stock bubble (1929) 201 universal banks 26–7, 33 University of Chicago 19, 69 ‘unknown unknowns’ 67 UPS delivery system 279–80 US Defense Department 167 US Steel 44 US Supreme Court 228, 229, 304 US Treasury 36, 38, 135 utility networks 181–2 V value discovery 226–7 value horizon 109 Van Agtmael, Antoine 39 Vanderbilt, Cornelius 44 Vanguard 200, 207, 213 venture capital 166 firms 27, 168 venture capitalists 171, 172 Vickers Commission 194 Viniar, David 204–5, 233, 282, 283, 284 VISA 186 volatility 85, 93, 98, 103, 131, 255 Volcker, Paul 150, 181 Volcker Rule 194 voluntary agencies 258 W wagers and credit default swaps 119 defined 61 at Lloyd’s coffee house 71–2 lottery tickets 65 Wall Street, New York 1, 16, 312n2 careers in 15 rivalry with London 13 staffing of 217 Wall Street Crash (1929) 20, 25, 27, 36, 127, 201 Wall Street Journal 294 Wallenberg family 108 Walmart 81, 83 Warburg 134 Warren, Elizabeth 237 Washington consensus 39 Washington Mutual 135, 149 Wasserstein, Bruce 204, 205 Watergate affair 240 ‘We are the 99 per cent’ slogan 52, 305 ‘We are Wall Street’ 16, 55, 267–8, 271, 300, 301 Weber, Max 17 Weill, Sandy 33–4, 35, 48–51, 55, 91, 149, 293, 314n40 Weinstock, Arnold 48 Welch, Jack 45–6, 48, 50, 52, 126, 314n40 WestLB 169 Westminster Bank 24 Whitney, Richard 292 Wilson, Harold 18 windfall payments 14, 32, 127, 153, 290 winner’s curse 103, 104, 156, 318n11 Winslow Jones, Alfred 23 Winton Capital 111 Wolfe, Humbert 7 The Uncelestial City 1 Wolfe, Tom 268 The Bonfire of the Vanities 16, 22 women traders 22 Woodford, Neil 108 Woodward, Bob: Maestro 240 World Bank 14, 220 World.Com bonds 197 Wozniak, Steve 162 Wriston, Walter 37 Y Yellen, Janet 230–31 Yom Kippur War (1973) 36 YouTube 185 Z Zurich, Switzerland 62


pages: 510 words: 120,048

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, automated trading system, barriers to entry, bitcoin, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, delayed gratification, digital Maoism, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, packet switching, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

The key reason to avoid acknowledging that there’s real skill in doing what robots can’t do—and hiring people for real jobs—will not be to keep the immediate expenses low, but to reduce the amplified liabilities of the network age. So there will be plenty of dead-end jobs without security or benefits.* This will be despite the fact that the humans in the caregiving loop might be absolutely essential to the well-being of those being cared for. *This is being written in America, in advance of the 2012 election. It is possible that “Obamacare” will stand or fall, but in either case, the larger pattern described here will persist unless it is addressed more fundamentally than by health-care finance reform. Meanwhile, the programming of caregiving robots will be utterly dependent on cloud software that in turn will be dependent on observing millions of situations and outcomes. When a nurse who is particularly good at changing a bedpan feeds data to the clouds—such as a video that can be correlated to improved outcomes, even if the nurse never is told about the correlation—that data might be applied to drive a future generation of caregiving robots so that all patients everywhere can benefit.

., 75, 91, 266–67 New York Times, 109 Nobel Prize, 40, 118, 143n nodes, network, 156, 227, 230, 241–43, 350 “no free lunch” principle, 55–56, 59–60 nondeterministic music, 23n nonlinear solutions, 149–50 nonprofit share sites, 59n, 94–95 nostalgia, 129–32 NRO, 199–200 nuclear power, 133 nuclear weapons, 127, 296 nursing, 97–100, 123, 296n nursing homes, 97–100, 269 Obama, Barack, 79, 100 “Obamacare,” 100n obsolescence, 89, 95 oil resources, 43, 133 online stores, 171 Ono, Yoko, 212 ontologies, 124n, 196 open-source applications, 206, 207, 272, 310–11 optical illusions, 121 optimism, 32–35, 45, 130, 138–40, 218, 230n, 295 optimization, 144–47, 148, 153, 154–55, 167, 202, 203 Oracle, 265 Orbitz, 63, 64, 65 organ donors, 190, 191 ouroboros, 154 outcomes, economic, 40–41, 144–45 outsourcing, 177–78, 185 Owens, Buck, 256 packet switching, 228–29 Palmer, Amanda, 186–87 Pandora, 192 panopticons, 308 papacy, 190 paper money, 34n parallel computers, 147–48, 149, 151 paranoia, 309 Parrish, Maxfield, 214 particle interactions, 196 party machines, 202 Pascal, Blaise, 132, 139 Pascal’s Wager, 139 passwords, 307, 309 “past-oriented money,” 29–31, 35, 284–85 patterns, information, 178, 183, 184, 188–89 Paul, Ron, 33n Pauli exclusion principle, 181, 202 PayPal, 60, 93, 326 peasants, 565 pensions, 95, 99 Perestroika (Kushner), 165 “perfect investments,” 59–67, 77–78 performances, musical, 47–48, 51, 186–87, 253 perpetual motion, 55 Persian Gulf, 86 personal computers (PCs), 158, 182n, 214, 223, 229 personal information systems, 110, 312–16, 317 Pfizer, 265 pharmaceuticals industry, 66–67, 100–106, 123, 136, 203 philanthropy, 117 photography, 53, 89n, 92, 94, 309–11, 318, 319, 321 photo-sharing services, 53 physical trades, 292 physicians, 66–67 physics, 88, 153n, 167n Picasso, Pablo, 108 Pinterest, 180–81, 183 Pirate Party, 49, 199, 206, 226, 253, 284, 318 placebos, 112 placement fees, 184 player pianos, 160–61 plutocracy, 48, 291–94, 355 police, 246, 310, 311, 319–21, 335 politics, 13–18, 21, 22–25, 47–48, 85, 122, 124–26, 128, 134–37, 149–51, 155, 167, 199–234, 295–96, 342 see also conservatism; liberalism; libertarianism Ponzi schemes, 48 Popper, Karl, 189n popular culture, 111–12, 130, 137–38, 139, 159 “populating the stack,” 273 population, 17, 34n, 86, 97–100, 123, 125, 132, 133, 269, 296n, 325–26, 346 poverty, 37–38, 42, 44, 53–54, 93–94, 137, 148, 167, 190, 194, 253, 256, 263, 290, 291–92 power, personal, 13–15, 53, 60, 62–63, 86, 114, 116, 120, 122, 158, 166, 172–73, 175, 190, 199, 204, 207, 208, 278–79, 290, 291, 302–3, 308–9, 314, 319, 326, 344, 360 Presley, Elvis, 211 Priceline, 65 pricing strategies, 1–2, 43, 60–66, 72–74, 145, 147–48, 158, 169–74, 226, 261, 272–75, 289, 317–24, 331, 337–38 printers, 90, 99, 154, 162, 212, 269, 310–11, 316, 331, 347, 348, 349 privacy, 1–2, 11, 13–15, 25, 50–51, 64, 99, 108–9, 114–15, 120–21, 152, 177n, 199–200, 201, 204, 206–7, 234–35, 246, 272, 291, 305, 309–13, 314, 315–16, 317, 319–24 privacy rights, 13–15, 25, 204, 305, 312–13, 314, 315–16, 321–22 product design and development, 85–89, 117–20, 128, 136–37, 145, 154, 236 productivity, 7, 56–57, 134–35 profit margins, 59n, 71–72, 76–78, 94–95, 116, 177n, 178, 179, 207, 258, 274–75, 321–22 progress, 9–18, 20, 21, 37, 43, 48, 57, 88, 98, 123, 124–40, 130–37, 256–57, 267, 325–31, 341–42 promotions, 62 property values, 52 proprietary hardware, 172 provenance, 245–46, 247, 338 pseudo-asceticism, 211–12 public libraries, 293 public roads, 79–80 publishers, 62n, 92, 182, 277–78, 281, 347, 352–60 punishing vs. rewarding network effects, 169–74, 182, 183 quants, 75–76 quantum field theory, 167n, 195 QuNeo, 117, 118, 119 Rabois, Keith, 185 “race to the bottom,” 178 radiant risk, 61–63, 118–19, 120, 156, 183–84 Ragnarok, 30 railroads, 43, 172 Rand, Ayn, 167, 204 randomness, 143 rationality, 144 Reagan, Ronald, 149 real estate, 33, 46, 49–52, 61, 78, 95–96, 99, 193, 224, 227, 239, 245, 255, 274n, 289n, 296, 298, 300, 301 reality, 55–56, 59–60, 124n, 127–28, 154–56, 161, 165–68, 194–95, 203–4, 216–17, 295–303, 364–65 see also Virtual Reality (VR) reason, 195–96 recessions, economic, 31, 54, 60, 76–77, 79, 151–52, 167, 204, 311, 336–37 record labels, 347 recycling, 88, 89 Reddit, 118n, 186, 254 reductionism, 184 regulation, economic, 37–38, 44, 45–46, 49–50, 54, 56, 69–70, 77–78, 266n, 274, 299–300, 311, 321–22, 350–51 relativity theory, 167n religion, 124–25, 126, 131, 139, 190, 193–95, 211–17, 293, 300n, 326 remote computers, 11–12 rents, 144 Republican Party, 79, 202 research and development, 40–45, 85–89, 117–20, 128, 136–37, 145, 154, 215, 229–30, 236 retail sector, 69, 70–74, 95–96, 169–74, 272, 349–51, 355–56 retirement, 49, 150 revenue growth plans, 173n revenues, 149, 149, 150, 151, 173n, 225, 234–35, 242, 347–48 reversible computers, 143n revolutions, 199, 291, 331 rhythm, 159–62 Rich Dad, Poor Dad (Kiyosaki), 46 risk, 54, 55, 57, 59–63, 71–72, 85, 117, 118–19, 120, 156, 170–71, 179, 183–84, 188, 242, 277–81, 284, 337, 350 externalization of, 59n, 117, 277–81 risk aversion, 188 risk pools, 277–81, 284 risk radiation, 61–63, 118–19, 120, 156, 183–84 robo call centers, 177n robotic cars, 90–92 robotics, robots, 11, 12, 17, 23, 42, 55, 85–86, 90–92, 97–100, 111, 129, 135–36, 155, 157, 162, 260, 261, 269, 296n, 342, 359–60 Roman Empire, 24–25 root nodes, 241 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 129 Rousseau humor, 126, 129, 130–31 routers, 171–72 royalties, 47, 240, 254, 263–64, 323, 338 Rubin, Edgar, 121 rupture, 66–67 salaries, 10, 46–47, 50–54, 152, 178, 270–71, 287–88, 291–94, 338–39, 365 sampling, 71–72, 191, 221, 224–26, 259 San Francisco, University of, 190 satellites, 110 savings, 49, 72–74 scalable solutions, 47 scams, 119–21, 186, 275n, 287–88, 299–300 scanned books, 192, 193 SceneTap, 108n Schmidt, Eric, 305n, 352 Schwartz, Peter, 214 science fiction, 18, 126–27, 136, 137–38, 139, 193, 230n, 309, 356n search engines, 51, 60, 70, 81, 120, 191, 267, 289, 293 Second Life, 270, 343 Secret, The (Byrne), 216 securitization, 76–78, 99, 289n security, 14–15, 175, 239–40, 305–8, 345 self-actualization, 211–17 self-driving vehicles, 90–92, 98, 311, 343, 367 servants, 22 servers, 12n, 15, 31, 53–57, 71–72, 95–96, 143–44, 171, 180, 183, 206, 245, 358 see also Siren Servers “Sexy Sadie,” 213 Shakur, Tupac, 329 Shelley, Mary, 327 Short History of Progress, A (Wright), 132 “shrinking markets,” 66–67 shuttles, 22, 23n, 24 signal-processing algorithms, 76–78, 148 silicon chips, 10, 86–87 Silicon Valley, 12, 13, 14, 21, 34n, 56, 59, 60, 66–67, 70, 71, 75–76, 80, 93, 96–97, 100, 102, 108n, 125n, 132, 136, 154, 157, 162, 170, 179–89, 192, 193, 200, 207, 210, 211–18, 228, 230, 233, 258, 275n, 294, 299–300, 325–31, 345, 349, 352, 354–58 singularity, 22–25, 125, 215, 217, 327–28, 366, 367 Singularity University, 193, 325, 327–28 Sirenic Age, 66n, 354 Siren Servers, 53–57, 59, 61–64, 65, 66n, 69–78, 82, 91–99, 114–19, 143–48, 154–56, 166–89, 191, 200, 201, 203, 210n, 216, 235, 246–50, 258, 259, 269, 271, 272, 280, 285, 289, 293–94, 298, 301, 302–3, 307–10, 314–23, 326, 336–51, 354, 365, 366 Siri, 95 skilled labor, 99–100 Skout, 280n Skype, 95, 129 slavery, 22, 23, 33n Sleeper, 130 small businesses, 173 smartphones, 34n, 39, 162, 172, 192, 269n, 273 Smith, Adam, 121, 126 Smolin, Lee, 148n social contract, 20, 49, 247, 284, 288, 335, 336 social engineering, 112–13, 190–91 socialism, 14, 128, 254, 257, 341n social mobility, 66, 97, 292–94 social networks, 18, 51, 56, 60, 70, 81, 89, 107–9, 113, 114, 129, 167–68, 172–73, 179, 180, 190, 199, 200–201, 202, 204, 227, 241, 242–43, 259, 267, 269n, 274–75, 280n, 286, 307–8, 317, 336, 337, 343, 349, 358, 365–66 see also Facebook social safety nets, 10, 44, 54, 202, 251, 293 Social Security, 251, 345 software, 7, 9, 11, 14, 17, 68, 86, 99, 100–101, 128, 129, 147, 154, 155, 165, 172–73, 177–78, 182, 192, 234, 236, 241–42, 258, 262, 273–74, 283, 331, 347, 357 software-mediated technology, 7, 11, 14, 86, 100–101, 165, 234, 236, 258, 347 South Korea, 133 Soviet Union, 70 “space elevator pitch,” 233, 342, 361 space travel, 233, 266 Spain, 159–60 spam, 178, 275n spending levels, 287–88 spirituality, 126, 211–17, 325–31, 364 spreadsheet programs, 230 “spy data tax,” 234–35 Square, 185 Stalin, Joseph, 125n Stanford Research Institute (SRI), 215 Stanford University, 60, 75, 90, 95, 97, 101, 102, 103, 162, 325 Starr, Ringo, 256 Star Trek, 138, 139, 230n startup companies, 39, 60, 69, 93–94, 108n, 124n, 136, 179–89, 265, 274n, 279–80, 309–10, 326, 341, 343–45, 348, 352, 355 starvation, 123 Star Wars, 137 star (winner-take-all) system, 38–43, 50, 54–55, 204, 243, 256–57, 263, 329–30 statistics, 11, 20, 71–72, 75–78, 90–91, 93, 110n, 114–15, 186, 192 “stickiness,” 170, 171 stimulus, economic, 151–52 stoplights, 90 Strangelove humor, 127 student debt, 92, 95 “Study 27,” 160 “Study 36,” 160 Sumer, 29 supergoop, 85–89 supernatural phenomena, 55, 124–25, 127, 132, 192, 194–95, 300 supply chain, 70–72, 174, 187 Supreme Court, U.S., 104–5 surgery, 11–13, 17, 18, 98, 157–58, 363 surveillance, 1–2, 11, 14, 50–51, 64, 71–72, 99, 108–9, 114–15, 120–21, 152, 177n, 199–200, 201, 206–7, 234–35, 246, 272, 291, 305, 309–11, 315, 316, 317, 319–24 Surviving Progress, 132 sustainable economies, 235–37, 285–87 Sutherland, Ivan, 221 swarms, 99, 109 synthesizers, 160 synthetic biology, 162 tablets, 85, 86, 87, 88, 113, 162, 229 Tahrir Square, 95 Tamagotchis, 98 target ads, 170 taxation, 44, 45, 49, 52, 60, 74–75, 77, 82, 149, 149, 150, 151, 202, 210, 234–35, 263, 273, 289–90 taxis, 44, 91–92, 239, 240, 266–67, 269, 273, 311 Teamsters, 91 TechCrunch, 189 tech fixes, 295–96 technical schools, 96–97 technologists (“techies”), 9–10, 15–16, 45, 47–48, 66–67, 88, 122, 124, 131–32, 134, 139–40, 157–62, 165–66, 178, 193–94, 295–98, 307, 309, 325–31, 341, 342, 356n technology: author’s experience in, 47–48, 62n, 69–72, 93–94, 114, 130, 131–32, 153, 158–62, 178, 206–7, 228, 265, 266–67, 309–10, 325, 328, 343, 352–53, 362n, 364, 365n, 366 bio-, 11–13, 17, 18, 109–10, 162, 330–31 chaos and, 165–66, 273n, 331 collusion in, 65–66, 72, 169–74, 255, 350–51 complexity of, 53–54 costs of, 8, 18, 72–74, 87n, 136–37, 170–71, 176–77, 184–85 creepiness of, 305–24 cultural impact of, 8–9, 21, 23–25, 53, 130, 135–40 development and emergence of, 7–18, 21, 53–54, 60–61, 66–67, 85–86, 87, 97–98, 129–38, 157–58, 182, 188–90, 193–96, 217 digital, 2–3, 7–8, 15–16, 18, 31, 40, 43, 50–51, 132, 208 economic impact of, 1–3, 15–18, 29–30, 37, 40, 53–54, 60–66, 71–74, 79–110, 124, 134–37, 161, 162, 169–77, 181–82, 183, 184–85, 218, 254, 277–78, 298, 335–39, 341–51, 357–58 educational, 92–97 efficiency of, 90, 118, 191 employment in, 56–57, 60, 71–74, 79, 123, 135, 178 engineering for, 113–14, 123–24, 192, 194, 217, 218, 326 essential vs. worthless, 11–12 failure of, 188–89 fear of (technophobia), 129–32, 134–38 freedom as issue in, 32–33, 90–92, 277–78, 336 government influence in, 158, 199, 205–6, 234–35, 240, 246, 248–51, 307, 317, 341, 345–46, 350–51 human agency and, 8–21, 50–52, 85, 88, 91, 124–40, 144, 165–66, 175–78, 191–92, 193, 217, 253–64, 274–75, 283–85, 305–6, 328, 341–51, 358–60, 361, 362, 365–67 ideas for, 123, 124, 158, 188–89, 225, 245–46, 286–87, 299, 358–60 industrial, 49, 83, 85–89, 123, 132, 154, 343 information, 7, 32–35, 49, 66n, 71–72, 109, 110, 116, 120, 125n, 126, 135, 136, 254, 312–16, 317 investment in, 66, 181, 183, 184, 218, 277–78, 298, 348 limitations of, 157–62, 196, 222 monopolies for, 60, 65–66, 169–74, 181–82, 187–88, 190, 202, 326, 350 morality and, 50–51, 72, 73–74, 188, 194–95, 262, 335–36 motivation and, 7–18, 85–86, 97–98, 216 nano-, 11, 12, 17, 162 new vs. old, 20–21 obsolescence of, 89, 97 political impact of, 13–18, 22–25, 85, 122, 124–26, 128, 134–37, 199–234, 295–96, 342 progress in, 9–18, 20, 21, 37, 43, 48, 57, 88, 98, 123, 124–40, 130–37, 256–57, 267, 325–31, 341–42 resources for, 55–56, 157–58 rupture as concept in, 66–67 scams in, 119–21, 186, 275n, 287–88, 299–300 singularity of, 22–25, 125, 215, 217, 327–28, 366, 367 social impact of, 9–21, 124–40, 167n, 187, 280–81, 310–11 software-mediated, 7, 11, 14, 86, 100–101, 165, 234, 236, 258, 347 startup companies in, 39, 60, 69, 93–94, 108n, 124n, 136, 179–89, 265, 274n, 279–80, 309–10, 326, 341, 343–45, 348, 352, 355 utopian, 13–18, 21, 31, 37–38, 45–46, 96, 128, 130, 167, 205, 207, 265, 267, 270, 283, 290, 291, 308–9, 316 see also specific technologies technophobia, 129–32, 134–38 television, 86, 185–86, 191, 216, 267 temperature, 56, 145 Ten Commandments, 300n Terminator, The, 137 terrorism, 133, 200 Tesla, Nikola, 327 Texas, 203 text, 162, 352–60 textile industry, 22, 23n, 24, 135 theocracy, 194–95 Theocracy humor, 124–25 thermodynamics, 88, 143n Thiel, Peter, 60, 93, 326 thought experiments, 55, 139 thought schemas, 13 3D printers, 7, 85–89, 90, 99, 154, 162, 212, 269, 310–11, 316, 331, 347, 348, 349 Thrun, Sebastian, 94 Tibet, 214 Time Machine, The (Wells), 127, 137, 261, 331 topology, network, 241–43, 246 touchscreens, 86 tourism, 79 Toyota Prius, 302 tracking services, 109, 120–21, 122 trade, 29 traffic, 90–92, 314 “tragedy of the commons,” 66n Transformers, 98 translation services, 19–20, 182, 191, 195, 261, 262, 284, 338 transparency, 63–66, 74–78, 118, 176, 190–91, 205–6, 278, 291, 306–9, 316, 336 transportation, 79–80, 87, 90–92, 123, 258 travel agents, 64 Travelocity, 65 travel sites, 63, 64, 65, 181, 279–80 tree-shaped networks, 241–42, 243, 246 tribal dramas, 126 trickle-down effect, 148–49, 204 triumphalism, 128, 157–62 tropes (humors), 124–40, 157, 170, 230 trust, 32–34, 35, 42, 51–52 Turing, Alan, 127–28, 134 Turing’s humor, 127–28, 191–94 Turing Test, 330 Twitter, 128, 173n, 180, 182, 188, 199, 200n, 201, 204, 245, 258, 259, 349, 365n 2001: A Space Odyssey, 137 two-way links, 1–2, 227, 245, 289 underemployment, 257–58 unemployment, 7–8, 22, 79, 85–106, 117, 151–52, 234, 257–58, 321–22, 331, 343 “unintentional manipulation,” 144 United States, 25, 45, 54, 79–80, 86, 138, 199–204 universities, 92–97 upper class, 45, 48 used car market, 118–19 user interface, 362–63, 364 utopianism, 13–18, 21, 30, 31, 37–38, 45–46, 96, 128, 130, 167, 205, 207, 265, 267, 270, 283, 290, 291, 308–9, 316 value, economic, 21, 33–35, 52, 61, 64–67, 73n, 108, 283–90, 299–300, 321–22, 364 value, information, 1–3, 15–16, 20, 210, 235–43, 257–58, 259, 261–63, 271–75, 321–24, 358–60 Values, Attitudes, and Lifestyles (VALS), 215 variables, 149–50 vendors, 71–74 venture capital, 66, 181, 218, 277–78, 298, 348 videos, 60, 100, 162, 185–86, 204, 223, 225, 226, 239, 240, 242, 245, 277, 287, 329, 335–36, 349, 354, 356 Vietnam War, 353n vinyl records, 89 viral videos, 185–86 Virtual Reality (VR), 12, 47–48, 127, 129, 132, 158, 162, 214, 283–85, 312–13, 314, 315, 325, 343, 356, 362n viruses, 132–33 visibility, 184, 185–86, 234, 355 visual cognition, 111–12 VitaBop, 100–106, 284n vitamins, 100–106 Voice, The, 185–86 “voodoo economics,” 149 voting, 122, 202–4, 249 Wachowski, Lana, 165 Wall Street, 49, 70, 76–77, 181, 184, 234, 317, 331, 350 Wal-Mart, 69, 70–74, 89, 174, 187, 201 Warhol, Andy, 108 War of the Worlds, The (Wells), 137 water supplies, 17, 18 Watts, Alan, 211–12 Wave, 189 wealth: aggregate or concentration of, 9, 42–43, 53, 60, 61, 74–75, 96, 97, 108, 115, 148, 157–58, 166, 175, 201, 202, 208, 234, 278–79, 298, 305, 335, 355, 360 creation of, 32, 33–34, 46–47, 50–51, 57, 62–63, 79, 92, 96, 120, 148–49, 210, 241–43, 270–75, 291–94, 338–39, 349 inequalities and redistribution of, 20, 37–45, 65–66, 92, 97, 144, 254, 256–57, 274–75, 286–87, 290–94, 298, 299–300 see also income levels weather forecasting, 110, 120, 150 weaving, 22, 23n, 24 webcams, 99, 245 websites, 80, 170, 200, 201, 343 Wells, H.


pages: 466 words: 127,728

The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System by James Rickards

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, complexity theory, computer age, credit crunch, currency peg, David Graeber, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, Edward Snowden, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, fixed income, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, G4S, George Akerlof, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invisible hand, jitney, John Meriwether, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, labour mobility, Lao Tzu, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market design, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, reserve currency, risk-adjusted returns, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, Stuxnet, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, working-age population, yield curve

Loan proceeds remaining after tuition are spent directly by the students. Annual borrowing in all undergraduate and graduate student loan programs surged to over $100 billion per year in 2012, up from about $65 billion per year at the start of the 2007 depression. By August 2013, total student loans backed by the U.S. government exceeded $1 trillion, an amount that has doubled since 2009. A provision contained in the 2010 Obamacare legislation provided the U.S. Treasury with a near monopoly on student loan origination and sidelined most private lenders who formerly participated in this market. This meant that the Treasury could relax lending standards to continue the flow of easy money. The student loan market is politically untouchable because higher education historically produces citizens with added skills who repay the loans and earn higher incomes over time.

., 220 Morgan Stanley, 32–33, 262 Morocco, 152, 153 Mourdock, Richard, 205 M-Subzero, 280, 283–84 Mubarak, Hosni, 156 Mulheren, John, 18–19, 32–33 Mundell, Robert, 125 Mussolini, Benito, 294 Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD), 46, 63 Mutual Assured Financial Destruction, 46 “Myth of Asia’s Miracle, The” (Krugman), 94 M-Zero (M0), 280 Nakamoto, Satoshi, 254 Napoleon Bonaparte, 114 Napoleonic Wars, 115 NASDAQ Stock Market closure, August 22, 2013, 60, 296–97 National Defense University, 59 National Journal, 63 National Security Agency (NSA), 53 negative real interest rates, 183–84 neofascism, 294–95 Netherlands, 233 New Scotland Yard, 37 New York Times, The, 39, 51, 55, 133, 144 9/11 attacks continuity of government operations, failure of, 63 as failure of imagination, 256, 257 9/11 attacks, and insider trading, 17–28, 63 Mulheren’s opinion of, 18 9/11 Commission’s failure to find connection between, 21–22, 23, 25–27 Poteshman’s statistical analysis of, 22–23 signal amplification and, 24, 25, 26, 27 social network analysis of, 19–20, 25 Swiss Finance Institute study of, 23 9/11 Commission, 21–22, 23, 25–27 9/11 Truth Movement, 27 Nitze, Paul, 43 Nixon, Richard, 1, 2, 5, 58, 85, 209, 220, 235, 252, 285 Nolan, Dave, 32–33 numeraire, gold as, 219–20 Obama, Barack, 37, 57, 129, 156, 202–3, 206, 252–53 Obamacare legislation, 247–48 offensive aspects of financial war, 46 Office of Tailored Access Operations (TAO), 53–54 Oman, 152 one-child policy, China, 95, 102 O’Neill, Jim, 139–40, 146, 150 Operation Duplex-Barbara, 59 Otto I, Emperor, 114 Outline of Reform (C-20), 235 Pakistan, 30, 151, 156 panic dynamic, 62 Panic of 1907, 198 Panic of 2008, 46, 47, 52, 76, 77, 170, 188, 196, 201–2, 211, 296 panics, 224 paper gold transactions, 275–76, 284–86 Paulson, Hank, 206 Pei, Minxin, 106 permanent disability, 246 Peterson, Peter G., 51 Petraeus, David, 37 Pettis, Michael, 108–9 phase transitions, 172, 265, 289–90 Ph.D. standard, 177 physical targets, in financial war, 46 piecemeal engineering, 292 piggyback trading, 24 Plaza Accord, 1985, 118–19 Pleines, Günter, 277 Poland, 200, 233 Ponzi scheme, in wealth management products (WMPs), 102–3 Popper, Karl, 292 Portugal, 128, 200 Poteshman, Allen M., 22–23 pound sterling, 157, 161, 209 price discovery, 68 primary deficit sustainability (PDS) framework, 177–83 Project Prophesy, 28–34 Pufeng, Wang, 44, 45 Putin, Vladimir, 151 Qatar, 152 Qiao Liang (Unrestricted Warfare), 44–45 Qin Dynasty, 90 Qing Dynasty, 90, 91 quantitative easing (QE), 159–61 end of, implications of, 297 by Federal Reserve, 184–85 in Japan, 160–61 in United Kingdom, 160 quantity theory of credit (creditism), 168 quantity theory of money (monetarism), 168–69 Quantum Dawn 2, 54 Rajoy, Mariano, 134 Ramo, Joshua Cooper, 120 random numbers, 268–69 Rauf, Rashid, 37 Ray, Chris, 35–36, 38, 40 Raymond, Lenny, 35 Reagan, Ronald, 2, 63, 118, 166, 176–77, 210 Reagan administration, 235 real incomes, decline in, 78–79 regime uncertainty, 84–87, 125–26 regional trade currency blocs, 255–56 regression analyses, 4–5 Reinhart, Carmen, 182, 183 repatriation of gold, 40, 231–34 Republicans, 175–76, 179, 180, 205, 294 Reserve Bank of Australia, 52–53 revolution in military affairs (RMA), 43–44 Rise of the Warrior Cop (Balko), 294 risk financial, 85, 268–70 gold as risk-free asset, 219 investments and, 218–19 systemic, 11–12, 81, 188, 249–50, 251, 259, 270 uncertainty distinguished, 85, 268 Risk, Uncertainty and Profit (Knight), 268 Roett, Riordan, 192 Rogoff, Kenneth, 182 Rollover (film), 1, 3 Roman Empire, fall of, 5 Roosevelt, Franklin D., 85, 295 Rothschild, Nathan, 216 Rouhani, Hassan, 57, 152 Rubin, Robert, 177, 195, 196 rule-of-law society, 166–67 Russia, 139, 151, 152, 233.


pages: 395 words: 116,675

The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge by Matt Ridley

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, altcoin, anthropic principle, anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Columbian Exchange, computer age, Corn Laws, cosmological constant, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of DNA, Donald Davies, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Edward Snowden, endogenous growth, epigenetics, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, falling living standards, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, George Santayana, Gunnar Myrdal, Henri Poincaré, hydraulic fracturing, imperial preference, income per capita, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, land reform, Lao Tzu, long peace, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Necker cube, obamacare, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, price mechanism, profit motive, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, smart contracts, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, women in the workforce

This was the moment, he himself had said in June 2008, when ‘the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal’. He was going to ‘heal this nation’, close Guantánamo Bay, reform healthcare, bring peace to the Middle East. He was given the Nobel Peace Prize simply for having been elected. Amid such expectations he could not, poor chap, fail to disappoint. As Andrew Bacevich, a political scientist at Boston University, commented in 2013, amid the disappointments of Obamacare’s launch, ‘Obama himself may have turned out to be something of a dud, but the cult of presidential personality that has dominated American politics for decades now still persists.’ Doomed every four years to disappointment when a demigod turns out to have feet of clay, when the most powerful man in the world turns out not to have much power to change the world, the American people none the less never lose faith in the presidential religion.


pages: 160 words: 46,449

The Extreme Centre: A Warning by Tariq Ali

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, bonus culture, BRICs, British Empire, centre right, deindustrialization, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, full employment, labour market flexibility, land reform, light touch regulation, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, North Sea oil, obamacare, offshore financial centre, popular capitalism, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system, Wolfgang Streeck

And now he has gone off to join the very health care companies that he helped to build up. That is the tragedy. When that bill was going through Parliament to abolish the NHS, many of the peers and many of the MPs had conflicts of interest. They actually had interests in the health care companies that they were establishing. TA: It is outrageous, really. Just like the lawyer of the largest insurance company in the US who drafted the Obamacare Bill. And Alan Milburn is one of them! AP: Yes, it’s a travesty as far as democracy is concerned. It really is, and as a public health doctor it is an absolute catastrophe, because at the moment we know there are people of all ages with serious mental illnesses who cannot get access to health care; people with stroke, people with chronic illnesses, chronic diseases who are increasingly being denied access to health care.


pages: 181 words: 50,196

The Rich and the Rest of Us by Tavis Smiley

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, back-to-the-land, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Buckminster Fuller, Corrections Corporation of America, Credit Default Swap, death of newspapers, deindustrialization, ending welfare as we know it, F. W. de Klerk, fixed income, full employment, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, income inequality, job automation, liberation theology, Mahatma Gandhi, mass incarceration, mega-rich, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, traffic fines, trickle-down economics, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, white flight, women in the workforce, working poor

If you’re not a property owner, you know, I’m sorry but property owners have a little bit more of a vested interest in the community than non-property owners.”52 On the surface it might seem odd that a leader of a so-called populist movement would side with the elite. However, when we peek behind the curtain, we see who’s spiking the tea and the motivations behind their actions. The New Yorker and several other reputable media outlets have already exposed the ultra-conservative moguls and ultra-rich foundations that fund Tea Party candidates, campaigns, and propaganda. The party’s rebel yell against “big government,” “wasteful spending,” “Obamacare,” and other sensationalized issues has been scripted, packaged, and bankrolled by rich moguls like the Koch Brothers and foundations such as Freedom Works—an organization run by former GOP Congressman Dick Armey and funded by the tobacco giant Phillip Morris.53 Writing in the October 14, 2010, edition of Rolling Stone magazine, Matt Taibbi shared interesting insights about the Tea Party and the corporate insiders who created it.


pages: 198 words: 52,089

Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do About It by Richard V. Reeves

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, assortative mating, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, circulation of elites, cognitive dissonance, desegregation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, full employment, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, helicopter parent, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, knowledge economy, land value tax, mortgage tax deduction, obamacare, Occupy movement, Plutocrats, plutocrats, positional goods, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, working-age population, zero-sum game

The work of organizations like Upstream training providers in states including Ohio, New York, Texas, and Delaware is extremely promising.7 Other steps can be taken to broaden access, including ensuring sufficient supplies in health clinics, simplifying billing procedures, and providing same-day service. It is worth noting, too, that if all states implemented Medicaid expansion—at a cost to the federal government of around $952 billion over ten years—millions more low-income women would be able to access family planning services more easily.8 It is worth noting that Vice President Mike Pence, as governor of Indiana, was one of ten Republican governors accepting Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. Concerns about access to LARCs, especially among conservatives, typically center on moral issues. Many conservatives have authentic, deep, often religiously based views about sex and contraception. But I fear that they are out of step. Most Americans under the age of thirty-five agree with the following statement: “It is all right for unmarried eighteen year olds to have sexual intercourse if they have strong affection for each other.”9 The key is to ensure that the liberalization of attitudes toward sex does not lead to a liberalization of attitudes toward the moral responsibility to plan when, how, and with whom we bring children into the world.


pages: 261 words: 64,977

Pity the Billionaire: The Unexpected Resurgence of the American Right by Thomas Frank

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, big-box store, bonus culture, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, financial innovation, housing crisis, invisible hand, money market fund, Naomi Klein, obamacare, payday loans, profit maximization, profit motive, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, strikebreaker, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, union organizing, Washington Consensus, white flight, Works Progress Administration

These are important developments in the grand, historical sense, but to a struggling small-business owner they might seem completely irrelevant. It’s hard to convince a man sweating over a fifty-page income-tax return that the state has gone away or that markets are now in charge. And after 2008 there were some good reasons to believe—to fear—that the regulatory state was back, most obviously the universal health-care law signed by President Obama in 2010. Not only did Obamacare contain a—yes—burdensome provision that would have required businesses to issue 1099 forms for nearly every expenditure they made (it was promptly repealed in early 2011), but it required businesses with fifty or more employees to provide health insurance for workers, possibly stripping away one of the greatest competitive advantages that such firms possess.* If “capitalism” is the system in which you eke out a living installing plumbing or selling farm equipment, it is understandable that you feel that government interferes enough in capitalism already.


pages: 192 words: 72,822

Freedom Without Borders by Hoyt L. Barber

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, banking crisis, diversification, El Camino Real, estate planning, fiat currency, financial independence, fixed income, high net worth, illegal immigration, interest rate swap, money market fund, obamacare, offshore financial centre, passive income, quantitative easing, reserve currency, road to serfdom, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), too big to fail

Politicians like using cashbasis accounting when talking about the deficit, which reflects only this year’s obligations, rather than accrual accounting, which would disclose the total sum owed by the government, including all monies due to holders of notes, bonds, and bills from the past, as well as our current liabilities and all future commitments. This would include Social Security, representing 40 Freedom Without Borders $63 trillion of the total, and which pays out retiree pensions, and health care benefits to Medicare recipients. These facts are part of why the total figure sounds so high, but imagine what the deficit will look like after Obamacare kicks in? Further, illegal immigrants also contribute to the rising deficit. Should this deficit double again in four years, as it did in the previous four, we’ll be looking at $260 trillion in national debt. What comes after trillion? Europe is in bad shape, as well, with the sovereign debt problems of at least a half a dozen countries threatening the entire European Union, including Europe’s ability to keep it together.


pages: 252 words: 80,636

Bureaucracy by David Graeber

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3D printing, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, Albert Einstein, banking crisis, barriers to entry, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, collateralized debt obligation, Columbine, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, David Graeber, George Gilder, High speed trading, hiring and firing, Kitchen Debate, late capitalism, means of production, music of the spheres, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Parkinson's law, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, price mechanism, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, transcontinental railway, union organizing, urban planning, zero-sum game

In a way, the famous TV character of Archie Bunker, an uneducated longshoreman who can afford a house in the suburbs and a non-working wife, and who is bigoted, sexist, and completely supportive of the status quo that allows him such secure prosperity, is the very quintessence of the corporatist age. 19. Though it is notable that it is precisely this sixties radical equation of communism, fascism, and the bureaucratic welfare state that has been taken up by right-wing populists in America today. The Internet is rife with such rhetoric. One need only consider the way that “Obamacare” is continually equated with socialism and Nazism, often, both at the same time. 20. William Lazonick has done the most work on documenting this shift, noting that it is a shift in business models—the effects of globalization and offshoring really only took off later, in the late nineties and early 2000s. (See, for example, his “Financial Commitment and Economic Performance: Ownership and Control in the American Industrial Corporation,” Business and Economic History, 2nd series, 17 [1988]: 115–28; “The New Economy Business Model and the Crisis of U.S.


pages: 304 words: 82,395

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, Kenneth Cukier

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23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Black Swan, book scanning, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, dark matter, double entry bookkeeping, Eratosthenes, Erik Brynjolfsson, game design, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, lifelogging, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, obamacare, optical character recognition, PageRank, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Post-materialism, post-materialism, random walk, recommendation engine, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Because of the effort needed to compile and update the dictionary, Microsoft Word’s spell check was available only for the most common languages. It cost the company millions of dollars to create and maintain. Now consider Google. It arguably has the world’s most complete spell checker, in basically every living language. The system is constantly improving and adding new words—the incidental outcome of people using the search engine every day. Mistype “iPad”? It’s in there. “Obamacare”? Got it. Moreover, Google seemingly obtained its spell checker for free, reusing the misspellings that are typed into the company’s search engine among the three billion queries it handles every day. A clever feedback loop instructs the system what word users actually meant to type. Users sometimes explicitly “tell” Google the answer when it poses the question at the top of the results page—“Did you mean epidemiology?”


pages: 280 words: 79,029

Smart Money: How High-Stakes Financial Innovation Is Reshaping Our WorldÑFor the Better by Andrew Palmer

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, algorithmic trading, Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, availability heuristic, bank run, banking crisis, Black-Scholes formula, bonus culture, break the buck, Bretton Woods, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edmond Halley, Edward Glaeser, endogenous growth, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, family office, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, income inequality, index fund, information asymmetry, Innovator's Dilemma, interest rate swap, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, money market fund, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Myron Scholes, negative equity, Network effects, Northern Rock, obamacare, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, railway mania, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, transaction costs, Tunguska event, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, Vanguard fund, web application

And before you object that this rise was caused by the need to save the banks and the economies they wrecked, the financial crisis explains only some of this hike: on average, around half of these rises took place before the start of the crisis.2 As populations age, the chunk of public spending that is growing fastest is on such entitlements as pensions and health care. The Congressional Budget Office in the United States reckons that the total cost of entitlements such as Social Security (pensions), Medicare (health care for the elderly), Medicaid (health care for the poor), and the subsidies involved in Obamacare will rise inexorably over the coming years, from 9.8 percent of GDP in 2013 to 13.6 percent by 2035.3 The problem for democratic governments is that cutting back on entitlements is both the most obvious fiscal fix and the least attractive politically. The easier option, as the name suggests, is to try to reduce the pot of money for “discretionary programs,” where the state will not have to renegotiate guaranteed commitments to its citizens.


pages: 239 words: 70,206

Data-Ism: The Revolution Transforming Decision Making, Consumer Behavior, and Almost Everything Else by Steve Lohr

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23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bioinformatics, business intelligence, call centre, cloud computing, computer age, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, data is the new oil, David Brooks, East Village, Edward Snowden, Emanuel Derman, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Google Glasses, impulse control, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of writing, John Markoff, John von Neumann, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, natural language processing, obamacare, pattern recognition, payday loans, personalized medicine, precision agriculture, pre–internet, Productivity paradox, RAND corporation, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, The Design of Experiments, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Take a hypothetical but plausible example: a company’s call-center reports, customer data, and social-media tracking show that single Asian, black, and Hispanic women with urban zip codes are most likely to complain about the quality of products and service. But Asian women whose complaints are resolved become some of your most valuable customers. Should Asians get preferred treatment over black and Hispanic women when resolving complaints? Or a health insurer is seeking to grow by enrolling previously uninsured Americans. Under the Obamacare legislation, an insurer cannot discriminate against people with preexisting conditions. But applying data science to health blogs, browsing habits, social media, and profiles from data brokers can identify people most likely to have diabetes or depression. Do you systematically exclude those people from your marketing? Discrimination, as a legal concept, focuses on the treatment of people in groups, by ethnicity, gender, or age.


pages: 255 words: 75,172

Sleeping Giant: How the New Working Class Will Transform America by Tamara Draut

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, always be closing, battle of ideas, big-box store, blue-collar work, collective bargaining, creative destruction, David Brooks, declining real wages, deindustrialization, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, ending welfare as we know it, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, full employment, immigration reform, income inequality, invisible hand, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, mass incarceration, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, occupational segregation, payday loans, pink-collar, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Powell Memorandum, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trickle-down economics, union organizing, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, white flight, women in the workforce, young professional

The real power is that through union dues, the labor movement can amass significant resources to engage in voter turnout, agenda setting, and issue advocacy, all on behalf of ordinary Americans. It’s that amassing of political power that is so threatening to conservatives and corporate America. After all, big labor has been responsible for advances in our day-to-day lives that still make conservatives livid: Medicare, Medicaid, and, yes, Obamacare too; unemployment insurance; Social Security; the forty-hour workweek; pensions (what’s left of them, anyway), and the minimum wage. These are just the greatest hits; many other humane advances in our lives owe their existence to labor unions. Power in America might be thought of as being historically represented by two scales. On the left is labor and on the right is capital. When one side loses political clout, the other side gains it.


pages: 281 words: 78,317

But What if We're Wrong? Thinking About the Present as if It Were the Past by Chuck Klosterman

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a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, British Empire, citizen journalism, cosmological constant, dark matter, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, George Santayana, Gerolamo Cardano, ghettoisation, Howard Zinn, Isaac Newton, non-fiction novel, obamacare, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, the medium is the message, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, Y2K

[5]I am of the opinion that Barack Obama has been the greatest president of my lifetime, and by a relatively wide margin. This, I realize, is not a universally held position, and not just among the people who still think he was born in Kenya. With a year remaining in Obama’s tenure, New York magazine polled fifty-three historians about his legacy, most of whom gave him lukewarm reviews. Several pointed to his inability to unite the country. Others lauded ObamaCare while criticizing his expansion of the Oval Office itself. But those critiques remind me of someone looking at the career of Hank Aaron and focusing on his throwing arm and base running. It’s not merely that Obama was the first black president. It’s that he broke this barrier with such deftness and sagacity that it instantaneously seemed insane no black person had ever been elected president before.


pages: 223 words: 77,566

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, blue-collar work, cognitive dissonance, late fees, medical malpractice, obamacare, payday loans, Peter Thiel, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, unbiased observer, upwardly mobile, working poor

Many in the white working class believe the worst about their society. Here’s a small sample of emails or messages I’ve seen from friends or family: •From right-wing radio talker Alex Jones on the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, a documentary about the “unanswered question” of the terrorist attacks, suggesting that the U.S. government played a role in the massacre of its own people. •From an email chain, a story that the Obamacare legislation requires microchip implantation in new health care patients. This story carries extra bite because of the religious implications: Many believe that the End Times “mark of the beast” foretold in biblical prophecy will be an electronic device. Multiple friends warned others about this threat via social media. •From the popular website WorldNetDaily, an editorial suggesting that the Newtown gun massacre was engineered by the federal government to turn public opinion on gun control measures.


pages: 827 words: 239,762

The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite by Duff McDonald

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Madoff, Bob Noyce, Bonfire of the Vanities, business process, butterfly effect, capital asset pricing model, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, deskilling, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Donald Trump, family office, financial innovation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job-hopping, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Menlo Park, new economy, obamacare, oil shock, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit maximization, profit motive, pushing on a string, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, random walk, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, union organizing, urban renewal, Vilfredo Pareto, War on Poverty, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, Y Combinator

Management engages in continuous problem solving to come to terms with each group in a coherent fashion, consistent with the long run well being of the constituents and the corporation.”1 After acknowledging the emerging squabble between the three systems, he then looked to the future. “Perhaps the easiest coalitions to form will be those that merge parts of the capitalistic and managerial; the most difficult probably will be efforts to bridge between socialism and capitalism.” He was right about that last point—to this day, the tension between capitalism and socialism continues to be a vexing one for the country. Consider the passage of Obamacare. But he was dead wrong about the former—capitalism and managerialism did not form a coalition; capitalism chewed managerialism up and spit out the bones. In defense of Michael Jensen, then, it is somewhat of an overstatement to suggest he participated in the murder of managerialism, because by the time he was spreading his ideas about corporate and managerial purpose, managerialism was already dead.

., 77 Morgan Stanley, 455, 460 Morgens, Howard, 190–93, 195 Moriarty, Rowland, 332 Morison, Elting, 244 Morrison, Roger, 202 Moss, David, 249 Motivation, Productivity, and Satisfaction of Workers, The (Zaleznik et al), 308 Munger, Charlie, 480, 482 Murphy, Kevin, 371, 375 Murphy, Liam, 540 Murphy, Tom, 51, 76, 163, 169, 170–71, 172 “Musings on Management” (Mintzberg), 483 “Myth of the Well-Educated Manager, The” (Livingston), 290–92 My Years with General Motors (Sloan), 194, 245 Nader, Ralph, 523 Nakamura, Kaneo, 153–54, 157 Nanda, Ashish, 235–36, 521–22 Nash, Laura, 436 National Football League (NFL), 403 National Research Council, 80, 83 Nature Conservancy, 561 “Nature of Man, The” (Meckling and Jensen), 368 Networks and Organizations (Nohria), 559 “Never Overestimate the Power of the Computer” (Lewis), 296 Nevin, John, 493–94 “New Capitalism” movement, 87 New Enterprises and Small Business Management (Day and Donham), 326 Newhall, Chuck, 322 New Industrial State, The (Galbraith), 342 New Jersey Bell Telephone, 111 New Yorker, 516–17, 534; article on MBAs in consulting firms, 212 New York Stock Exchange, 469, 476 New York Times: article on Ackman, 480; article on Romney, 507; Bok looking for new dean, 337, 338; on Burke, 526; Cabrera in, 551; Clark quote, 500; conflict-of-interest policies, 404–5; David’s statement, 141; exposé of Amazon, 90; Frei on women MBA students, 569–70; gender equity at HBS, 570, 571; HBS as a golden passport, 1; HBS grading differential, 241; HBS online learning articles, 572–73; on HBS’s TUP, 160; Jensen interview, 381; Khurana in, 550; Kristof report, 166; LeBoutillier editorial, 435; Leonhard’s article, 494–95; on Levitt, 263; Martin article, 461; Material Service bribing of state officials, 346; on MBAs at McKinsey, 210; McArthur cancels interview, 341; Mintzberg interview, 485; Morgens in, 191–92; Porter’s article, 362; Shad op ed, 431–32; Stahlman’s article, 301; Tufano on Enron, 520 New York Times Magazine, 345, 360 Nixon, Richard, 354, 469, 507 Nohria, Nitin (dean), 17, 51, 52, 157–58, 194, 261, 331, 350, 408, 559, 564–74, 577 ; board memberships, 574; case method and, 565–66; digital learning, 571–74; fund-raising, 532, 533, 535, 536; inclusion as goal of, 241; “It’s Time to Make Management a True Profession,” 306, 439, 566; MBA Oath, 565, 567–68; salary of, 532; women at HBS and, 569–71 Norquist, Grover, 505–6 Norton, David S., 44, 444 Noyce, Bob, 320 Obama, Barack, 238; Obamacare, 384 Ochs, Adolph S., 105 O’Donnell, Joseph, 162 Official MBA Handbook, The, 461 “Of Harvard, Elitism, and Amorality” (LeBoutillier), 435 Olsen, Kenneth H., 126 Olsen, R. Paul, 283 O’Neal, Stan, 548 One Market Under God (Frank), 57, 161, 490 Organization Man, The (Whyte), 144, 184, 350 Orth, Charles, 398 Orwell, George, 379–80 Osgood, Mary Elizabeth, 237 O’Toole, James, 224 Overdorf, Michael, 303 Ovitz, Michael, 371 Paine, Lynn Sharp, 437 Palepu, Krishna, 408–9, 521 Palihapitiy, Chamath, 329–30 Palmisano, Sam, 404 Pareto, Vilfredo, 78, 81, 111, 112, 113, 244 Parker, Dorothy, 23 Parks, Sharon, 437 Parsons, Talcott, 356–57, 244 Pascal, Amy, 534 Patton, Arch, 538–39 Paulson, Hank, 74, 466, 475–77, 561; financial crisis of 2007–10 and, 548; Goldman Sachs and, 477–78; HBS given $400 million, 478; Paulson Institute, 561 Paulson, John, 68, 466, 477–79, 531, 533, 535 Pechter, Richard, 468 Peck, Gregory, 186 Pellegrini, Paolo, 478 Perkins, Donald, 106, 332 Perkins, Thomas, 120, 127, 322 Pershing Square Capital Management, 466, 479, 481 Person, Harlow, 38 Pestillo, Peter, 163 Peters, Tom, 417, 513 Petriglieri, Gianpietro and Jennifer, 311, 313 Pfeffer, Jeffrey, 314, 317, 424 Pickens, T.


pages: 261 words: 103,244

Economists and the Powerful by Norbert Haring, Norbert H. Ring, Niall Douglas

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, bank run, barriers to entry, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, central bank independence, collective bargaining, commodity trading advisor, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, diversified portfolio, financial deregulation, George Akerlof, illegal immigration, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, law of one price, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, new economy, obamacare, old-boy network, open economy, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, Ponzi scheme, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, Renaissance Technologies, rolodex, Sergey Aleynikov, shareholder value, short selling, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, ultimatum game, union organizing, Vilfredo Pareto, working-age population, World Values Survey

On the other hand, dividing the market between several or many competitors has the disadvantage that administrative and marketing costs per customer rise. As insurance is all about administration and marketing, this can be a very important drawback (Kirchgässner 2007). Many other kinds of insurance, including health insurance, are likely to exhibit similar patterns. Thus there might be good reasons in this particular case for a government endorsed monopoly. Indeed, even though the US Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act 2010 (“Obamacare”) is badly designed, if implemented correctly its fundamental economic principles are sound. Ireland, which is one of the few countries in Europe to have a fully privatized health care system, is introducing compulsory health insurance from 2014 as a means of saving public money and achieving universal coverage, exactly as the US should have. Instead of pouring public subsidies directly into the pockets of hospitals and consultants as was previously the case, the Irish are reallocating the same public expenditure directly to the population in the form of income-dependent insurance subsidies.


pages: 316 words: 91,969

Gray Lady Down: What the Decline and Fall of the New York Times Means for America by William McGowan

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, corporate governance, David Brooks, East Village, friendly fire, haute couture, illegal immigration, immigration reform, liberation theology, medical residency, New Journalism, obamacare, payday loans, postnationalism / post nation state, pre–internet, uranium enrichment, yellow journalism, young professional

An editorial headlined “The Cairo Speech” maintained that eight years of George Bush’s “arrogance and bullying” had made the country unrecognizable. “His vision was of a country racked with fear and bent on vengeance, one that imposed invidious choices on the world and on itself. When we listened to President Obama speak in Cairo on Thursday, we recognized the United States.” The Times’ infatuation with Obama continued in its support for his health care agenda, popularly known as “Obamacare.” To be sure, the Times had its truck with the effort. But its criticism did not focus on the shadowy horse-trading behind the bill, nor on how it would affect the deficit, nor on the constitutional issue of the federal government forcing citizens to buy insurance or face a penalty. Its major criticism came from Obama’s left, especially when he backed away from the so-called “public option,” and seemed to be dragging his feet in using his bully pulpit to lobby lawmakers, particularly Democratic representatives who might lose their seats in the midterm elections.


pages: 284 words: 85,643

What's the Matter with White People by Joan Walsh

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, banking crisis, clean water, collective bargaining, David Brooks, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, full employment, global village, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, impulse control, income inequality, invisible hand, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, mass immigration, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, upwardly mobile, urban decay, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, white flight, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

I didn’t know whether my mother or my cousin’s wife was personally prochoice; they were just good Catholics who knew the issue wasn’t as simple, morally, as bullies such as O’Reilly tried to make it seem. She died three weeks later. At her funeral, my cousin told me it was the last phone call she had made. Other than that, no one in my family mentioned the O’Reilly segment at all. • • • The political bullying continued. By August, the Tea Party movement exploded into congressional town halls, where raging protesters shouted down Democrats and Republicans alike, demanding that they block “Obamacare.” Hundreds descended on a Tampa Democrat’s meeting, and a local newspaper described the event as “more like a wrestling cage match than a panel discussion on national policy.” Maryland representative Frank Kratovil was hung in effigy, Long Island representative Tim Bishop needed a police escort from an angry town hall to his car, and North Carolina representative Brad Miller reported death threats.


pages: 385 words: 111,807

A Pelican Introduction Economics: A User's Guide by Ha-Joon Chang

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, discovery of the americas, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global value chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Gunnar Myrdal, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, income inequality, income per capita, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, liberation theology, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open borders, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, post-industrial society, precariat, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, working-age population, World Values Survey

The ‘one-dollar-one-vote’ rule of the market drastically constrains the ability of those with less money to refuse undesirable options given to them by the underlying distribution of income and wealth (recall my criticism of Paul Krugman on low wages in Chapter 4). Moreover, we can be susceptible to beliefs that go against our own interests (‘false consciousness’ from Chapter 5). This tendency makes many losers from the current system defend it: some of you may have seen American pensioners protesting against ‘Obamacare’ with placards saying ‘Government hands off my medicare’ when medicare is – well, let me put it delicately – a government-funded and -run programme. Acknowledging the difficulties involved in changing the economic status quo should not cause us to give up the fight to create an economy that is more dynamic, more stable, more equitable and more environmentally sustainable than what we have had for the last three decades.


pages: 317 words: 100,414

Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction by Philip Tetlock, Dan Gardner

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, availability heuristic, Black Swan, butterfly effect, cloud computing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, drone strike, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, forward guidance, Freestyle chess, fundamental attribution error, germ theory of disease, hindsight bias, index fund, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Arrow, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, obamacare, pattern recognition, performance metric, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, placebo effect, prediction markets, quantitative easing, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

And they always judge the same way: they look at which side of “maybe”—50%—the probability was on. If the forecast said there was a 70% chance of rain and it rains, people think the forecast was right; if it doesn’t rain, they think it was wrong. This simple mistake is extremely common. Even sophisticated thinkers fall for it. In 2012, when the Supreme Court was about to release its long-awaited decision on the constitutionality of Obamacare, prediction markets—markets that let people bet on possible outcomes—pegged the probability of the law being struck down at 75%. When the court upheld the law, the sagacious New York Times reporter David Leonhardt declared that “the market—the wisdom of the crowds—was wrong.”15 The prevalence of this elementary error has a terrible consequence. Consider that if an intelligence agency says there is a 65% chance that an event will happen, it risks being pilloried if it does not—and because the forecast itself says there is a 35% chance it will not happen, that’s a big risk.


pages: 484 words: 104,873

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, artificial general intelligence, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, debt deflation, deskilling, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, Freestyle chess, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gunnar Myrdal, High speed trading, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour mobility, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, McJob, moral hazard, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, optical character recognition, passive income, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post scarcity, precision agriculture, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, reshoring, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, strong AI, Stuxnet, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, very high income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce

Consolidate the Industry and Treat Health Insurance as a Utility One of the primary messages that leaps out from an analysis of the prices charged by providers is that Medicare—the government-run program for people aged sixty-five and over—is by far the most efficient portion of our health care system. As Brill writes, “Unless you are protected by Medicare, the health care market is not a market at all. It’s a crapshoot.” The implementation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) will certainly improve the situation as far as individuals who previously lacked insurance are concerned, but it does relatively little to actively rein in hospital costs; instead, the inflated costs will be shifted to insurers and then ultimately to taxpayers in the form of the subsidies that were put in place to make health insurance affordable to people with moderate incomes. The fact that Medicare is relatively effective at controlling most patient-related costs, while spending far less than private insurers on administration and overhead, underlies the argument for simply expanding the program to include everyone and, in effect, creating a single-payer system.


pages: 322 words: 84,752

Pax Technica: How the Internet of Things May Set Us Free or Lock Us Up by Philip N. Howard

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, Brian Krebs, British Empire, call centre, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, digital map, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Julian Assange, Kibera, Kickstarter, land reform, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, national security letter, Network effects, obamacare, Occupy movement, packet switching, pension reform, prediction markets, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, spectrum auction, statistical model, Stuxnet, trade route, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks, zero day

Incapacitating your opponents’ information infrastructure in the hours before an election has become part of the game, though there have been a few criminal convictions of party officials caught working with hackers to attack call centers, political websites, and campaign headquarters. Republican National Committee official James Tobin was sentenced to ten months in prison for hiring hackers to attack Democratic Party phone banks on Election Day in 2002. Partisans continue to regularly launch denial-of-service attacks; attackers consistently target Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) websites, for example. If an aggressive move with technology provides some competitive advantage, some campaign manager will try it. So the question is not whether political parties in democracies will start using bots on one another—and us—but when. They could be unleashed at a strategic moment in the campaign cycle, or let loose by a lobbyist targeting key districts at a sensitive juncture for a piece of legislation.


pages: 440 words: 108,137

The Meritocracy Myth by Stephen J. McNamee

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, collective bargaining, computer age, conceptual framework, corporate governance, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, demographic transition, desegregation, deskilling, equal pay for equal work, estate planning, failed state, fixed income, gender pay gap, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, helicopter parent, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, job automation, joint-stock company, labor-force participation, low-wage service sector, marginal employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, occupational segregation, old-boy network, pink-collar, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, prediction markets, profit motive, race to the bottom, random walk, school choice, Scientific racism, Steve Jobs, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, white flight, young professional

This may be due in part to higher stress levels among the poor and less control over that stress. Cumulative wear and tear on the body over time occurs under conditions of repeated high stress. Another reason for the health-wealth connection is that the rich have greater access to quality health care. Even with the recent passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act in 2010 (more commonly referred to as Obamacare), access to quality health care in America is still largely for sale to the highest bidder. Under these conditions, prevention and intervention are more widely available to the more affluent. Finally, not only does lack of income lead to poor health, but poor health leads to reduced earnings. That is, if someone is sick or injured, he or she may not be able to work or may have limited earning power.


pages: 391 words: 97,018

Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Decline . . . And the Rise of a New Economy by Daniel Gross

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset-backed security, Bakken shale, banking crisis, BRICs, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, creative destruction, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, demand response, Donald Trump, Frederick Winslow Taylor, high net worth, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, illegal immigration, index fund, intangible asset, intermodal, inventory management, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, LNG terminal, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, money market fund, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk tolerance, risk/return, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, the High Line, transit-oriented development, Wall-E, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game, Zipcar

According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, if we pursue the “do-nothing option”—if Washington remains gridlocked over vital policy issues—the Bush-era tax cuts on income, investments, and estates will expire; the payroll tax holiday will end; the alternative minimum tax will hit ever larger numbers of taxpayers; spending cuts in Medicare passed in 1997 will finally take hold; the automatic sequestration of spending for defense and social programs envisioned in the Super Committee gambit will take place; and Obamacare will be implemented. All told, the combination of higher taxes and spending that is now the default, no-action option would reduce deficits by $7.1 trillion over ten years.4 The trade deficit, which peaked in 2006 at $753 billion, shrank to $381 billion in 2009, and started to grow again as the economy recovered, to $500 billion in 2010 and $558 billion in 2011. But here too existing trends contain the seeds of progress.


pages: 306 words: 85,836

When to Rob a Bank: ...And 131 More Warped Suggestions and Well-Intended Rants by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbus A320, airport security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, feminist movement, food miles, George Akerlof, information asymmetry, invisible hand, loss aversion, mental accounting, Netflix Prize, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, Pareto efficiency, peak oil, pre–internet, price anchoring, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, Richard Thaler, security theater, Ted Kaczynski, the built environment, The Chicago School, the High Line, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, US Airways Flight 1549

(In a nutshell, we joked with Cameron about applying the same principles he espoused for health care to automobiles; it turns out you don’t joke with prime ministers!) That story has riled up some people, including an economics blogger named Noah Smith, who rails on us and defends the NHS. I should start by saying I have nothing in particular against the NHS, and I also would be the last one to ever defend the U.S. system. Anyone who has ever heard me talk about Obamacare knows I am no fan of it, and I never have been. But it doesn’t take a whole lot of smarts or a whole lot of blind faith in markets to recognize that when you don’t charge people for things (including health care), they will consume too much of it. I guarantee you that if Americans had to pay out of their own pockets the crazy prices that hospitals charge for services, a much smaller share of U.S.


pages: 327 words: 88,121

The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community by Marc J. Dunkelman

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, Broken windows theory, call centre, clean water, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Brooks, delayed gratification, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global village, helicopter parent, if you build it, they will come, impulse control, income inequality, invention of movable type, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Khyber Pass, Louis Pasteur, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Nate Silver, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Richard Florida, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban decay, urban planning, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

Canby, “First Baby Boomers Turn 65, but Are They Ready to Retire?” Metro West Daily News, October 24, 2011. 19Peter Orszag, “Pension Funding Scare Won’t Frighten All States,” Bloomberg View, October 23, 2012. 20Binyamin Appelbaum and Robert Gebeloff, “Even Critics of Safety Net Increasingly Depend on It,” New York Times, February 12, 2012. 21Glenn Kessler, “Sarah Palin, ‘Death Panels’ and ‘Obamacare,’ ” Washington Post, June 27, 2012. 22Christine Montross, “The Woman Who Ate Cutlery,” New York Times, August 3, 2013. Chapter 15: The Marshmallow Test 1Paul Tough, How Children Succeed (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012), 62. 2Walter Mischel, Yuichi Shoda, and Philip K. Peake, “The Nature of Adolescent Competencies Predicted by Preschool Delay of Gratification,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 54, no. 4 (1988): 688–89. 3Yuichi Shoda, Water Mischel, and Philip K.


pages: 375 words: 106,536

Lost at Sea by Jon Ronson

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Columbine, computer age, credit crunch, Douglas Hofstadter, Downton Abbey, East Village, Etonian, false memory syndrome, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, late fees, Louis Pasteur, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Saturday Night Live, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Skype, telemarketer

I ask them if they feel worse off than they did a few years ago. Rebecca says, “Yes, a little. The cost of everything, like health insurance, gas, and groceries, has been going up by leaps and bounds. Some things have even seemed to double. Versus our income not changing that much.” I tell them about the health system in my native UK—free health care for everyone. I say I remember Glenn Beck trying to scare America by saying that if Obamacare went through, things would end up like Britain, with a savage, failing, socialist health-care system. “But it’s not failing,” I say. “It’s great. And nobody has to pay anything.” (Actually, it’s funded by national taxation, and some parts of it work more efficiently than others, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a Brit who doesn’t feel essentially proud and defensive of the system.) Dennis and Rebecca look at me warily, as if I might be pretending for some nefarious European socialist reason that the UK National Health Service is a functional thing.


pages: 401 words: 112,784

Hard Times: The Divisive Toll of the Economic Slump by Tom Clark, Anthony Heath

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, British Empire, Carmen Reinhart, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, deindustrialization, Etonian, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, full employment, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, interest rate swap, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, mortgage debt, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, quantitative easing, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, unconventional monetary instruments, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor

On the politicking that compromised the stimulus, see Ryan Lizza, ‘The Obama memos’, New Yorker, 30 January 2012, section 2, at: www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/01/30/120130fa_fact_lizza?printable=true&currentPage=all For the resulting technical design flaws of the package, see Joseph E. Stiglitz, Freefall: America, free markets, and the sinking of the world economy, Norton, New York, 2010. 24. Table 1 of the Congressional Budget Office's revised and final ‘Estimates for the insurance coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare] updated for the recent Supreme Court decision’, at: www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43472–07–24–2012-CoverageEstimates.pdf 25. Ryan Lizza, ‘The second term’, New Yorker, 18 June 2012, at: www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/06/18/120618fa_fact_lizza?printable=true 26. Jack Grovum, ‘States make “disturbing cuts” to unemployment benefits’, USA Today, 11 July 2013, at: www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/07/11/stateline-unemployment-benefits/2508115/ 27.


pages: 414 words: 119,116

The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World by Michael Marmot

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active measures, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, Bonfire of the Vanities, Broken windows theory, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, centre right, clean water, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Doha Development Round, epigenetics, financial independence, future of work, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, illegal immigration, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, Kenneth Rogoff, Kibera, labour market flexibility, lump of labour, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, New Urbanism, obamacare, paradox of thrift, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, RAND corporation, road to serfdom, Simon Kuznets, Socratic dialogue, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, The Spirit Level, trickle-down economics, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working poor

In the US much of the discussion of ‘disparities’ – the American term for health inequalities or health inequity – is indeed about health care. Such concern is hardly surprising given that although the US spends more on health care than any other country, about one-sixth of its population lack health insurance, and hence have had difficulties in access to care. This should change with the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare. Well-meaning US colleagues have urged me not to talk about social determinants of health in the US because it might detract attention from inequities in access to care. An example of why they might be concerned was given to me by a US colleague. Medicaid pays for health care for the poor. Its director in one US state said he was against expansion of Medicaid coverage because insurance was less important than social determinants of health like income, education and housing conditions.18 As the colleague who sent me this remarked wryly: the devil can always quote the scriptures for his purposes.


pages: 464 words: 121,983

Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing Out of Catastrophe by Antony Loewenstein

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chelsea Manning, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, Corrections Corporation of America, Edward Snowden, facts on the ground, failed state, falling living standards, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, full employment, G4S, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Julian Assange, mandatory minimum, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, open borders, private military company, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, Scramble for Africa, Slavoj Žižek, stem cell, the medium is the message, trade liberalization, WikiLeaks

Occasionally, mainstream politicians criticized Serco, G4S, and other providers, but they did little to enforce greater accountability.20 Founded in 1929, Serco has been ubiquitous in British life, running ferries, London’s Docklands Light Railway, the National Physical Laboratory, prisons, defense contracts, education authorities, waste management, and a host of other operations. It has over 100,000 employees globally and controls prisons in Australia, New Zealand, and Germany. It operated with a $1.25 billion contract from the Obama administration to implement Obamacare, despite a Serco whistle-blower having alleged that its staff had “hardly any work to do” during a botched program. Both Serco and G4S were complicit in overcharging by tens of millions of pounds for the electronic tagging of prisoners—some of whom were found to have been dead at the time—from the 2000s onwards. The Serious Fraud Office was tasked in 2013 with investigating, and in late 2014 Serco was forced to reimburse the Ministry of Justice to the tune of £68.5 million.


pages: 373 words: 112,822

The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World by Brad Stone

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, Burning Man, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, collaborative consumption, East Village, fixed income, Google X / Alphabet X, housing crisis, inflight wifi, Jeff Bezos, Justin.tv, Kickstarter, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Necker cube, obamacare, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, race to the bottom, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zipcar

Three weeks later, Uber invited various media executives and journalists to an off-the-record dinner at Manhattan’s Waverly Inn. Kalanick sat on one side of the long table and, after dinner, gave a short speech and answered questions. Emil Michael sat on the other side, across from New York Daily News publisher Mort Zuckerman and Arianna Huffington. Next to them sat Ben Smith, the editor in chief of BuzzFeed, who asked Kalanick in the Q-and-A session how he felt about the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. When the table returned to private conversations, Michael asked Smith why he had posed a political question, and Smith volunteered that he was hoping that Kalanick would give an answer that revealed libertarian leanings. That led to a broader conversation about the news media and its scruples, the exact content of which would become a topic of blistering controversy. Michael’s recollection of the discussion is that he told Smith that it bothered him when the press made personal accusations without evidence.


India's Long Road by Vijay Joshi

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Basel III, basic income, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business climate, capital controls, central bank independence, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, colonial rule, congestion charging, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Doha Development Round, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, failed state, financial intermediation, financial repression, first-past-the-post, floating exchange rates, full employment, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, hiring and firing, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, Induced demand, inflation targeting, invisible hand, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Martin Wolf, means of production, microcredit, moral hazard, obamacare, Pareto efficiency, price mechanism, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, school choice, school vouchers, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, special drawing rights, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, universal basic income, urban sprawl, working-age population

In Canada and many Northern European countries, the choice has been to offer a uniform state health insurance package to all, but to allow public as well as private providers of care; private insurance markets are purely supplementary. In contrast, the United States relies mostly on private insurance markets, which is why there are large numbers of uninsured people, a situation which the recent introduction of ‘Obamacare’ has begun to correct.36 [ 190 ] Stability and Inclusion 191 India has begun to introduce a state insurance system for secondary care, viz. the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) scheme, which takes roughly a single-​payer, Canadian–​North European track.37 The scheme covers those below the poverty line (BPL) as defined by the Planning Commission, i.e. around 60 million families (300 million individuals).


pages: 433 words: 129,636

Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones

1960s counterculture, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, British Empire, call centre, centralized clearinghouse, correlation does not imply causation, crack epidemic, deindustrialization, feminist movement, illegal immigration, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, obamacare, zero-sum game

Because tar is a semiprocessed, less-filtered form of heroin, the impurities that remain in the drug clogged addicts’ veins when injected. Unable to find veins, addicts shoot it into muscles. “Muscling” black tar heroin, in turn, leads to infections, rotting skin, botulism, even gangrene.) In the 1970s, East Coast heroin dealers, mostly blacks by then, began printing brands on glassine bags broadcasting the supposed potency of the drug inside, or the headlines of the day: brands like Hell Date, Toxic Waste, Knockout, NFL, Obamacare, Government Shutdown. Over the decade the drug that square America despised became the choice drug of despised America: urban outcasts, wandering con men, homosexuals, pickpockets, artists, and jazz musicians populated the early heroin world. Underground classics such as William Burroughs’s Junky described its nonconformist denizens, and mesmerized later generations intent on rebellion. But heroin was never about the romantic subversion of societal norms.


pages: 580 words: 168,476

The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future by Joseph E. Stiglitz

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dava Sobel, declining real wages, deskilling, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Flash crash, framing effect, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invisible hand, jobless men, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, London Interbank Offered Rate, lone genius, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, medical bankruptcy, microcredit, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, obamacare, offshore financial centre, paper trading, Pareto efficiency, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, very high income, We are the 99%, wealth creators, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

See Suzanne Mettler, “Reconstituting the Submerged State: The Challenges of Social Policy Reform in the Obama Era,” Perspectives on Politics 8, no. 3 (2010): 803–24. This partially accounts for the quandary that states that are the largest recipients of federal assistance tend to be most against government programs. See also the anecdote described below, in the next section, involving the elderly objecting to Obama-care because it threatened to socialize Medicare. 5. See Michael I. Norton and Dan Ariely, “Building a Better America—One Wealth Quintile at a Time,” Perspectives on Psychological Science 6, no. 1 (2011): 9–12. 6. See the survey on the perception of inequality in the world, conducted by the Fondation Jean-Jaurès, available at (in French) http://www.jean-jaures.org/Publications/Dossiers-d-actualite/Enquete-sur-la-perception-des-inegalites-dans-le-monde (accessed March 4, 2012). 7.


pages: 677 words: 206,548

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman

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23andMe, 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, lifelogging, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, Parag Khanna, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

In the future, would-be bio-assassins need only recover some genetic material left behind on a fork or spoon at a restaurant, perhaps from a high-profile politician or celebrity, to create a bespoke weaponized virus. Though one might think such scenarios are relegated solely to the realm of science fiction, news broke as part of the WikiLeaks scandal that the U.S. government had allegedly sent diplomatic cables to its embassies overseas instructing personnel to attempt to collect the DNA of world leaders—presumably not to enroll them in Obamacare. While most bio-hackers today are hacking for good, among the masses will undoubtedly be a number of bad apples and even criminal elements. Over time, there will be biological equivalents for all major categories of computer crime today. For example, hacking your genetic information may well be the identity theft of tomorrow—especially as DNA becomes widely used for authentication. Indeed, the ultimate form of identity theft is human cloning, and the number of technical barriers to making it a reality are falling quickly, an eventuality for which police and society are entirely unprepared.


pages: 743 words: 201,651

Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World by Timothy Garton Ash

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Ayatollah Khomeini, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Clapham omnibus, colonial rule, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, don't be evil, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Etonian, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, financial independence, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, George Santayana, global village, index card, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, megacity, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Snapchat, social graph, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War

Rather it was the private power of a handful of big cable and phone companies, including Comcast, Verizon and AT&T, which had spent hundreds of millions of dollars in lobbying, so that they could make hundreds of millions more dollars by charging other big companies, such as Netflix, for speeding their content down a fast lane.29 These companies, their lobbyists and their supporters in the US Congress argued that the profits made would help companies provide better internet access for all Americans. They also invoked the freedom of the market against some leftist, egalitarian version of free speech. (Republican senator Ted Cruz called net neutrality ‘Obamacare for the internet’.30) But this was not persuasive. The whole history of information and communications businesses, especially in the United States, suggested a tendency towards monopoly, or at least oligopoly, with a concentration of economic power in the paws of a few big cats. What was needed was actually more effective freedom of the market: that is, a well-regulated level playing field, so that new, agile entrants could sharpen the competition.


pages: 772 words: 203,182

What Went Wrong: How the 1% Hijacked the American Middle Class . . . And What Other Countries Got Right by George R. Tyler

8-hour work day, active measures, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Black Swan, blood diamonds, blue-collar work, Bolshevik threat, bonus culture, British Empire, business process, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate personhood, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Diane Coyle, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, income inequality, invisible hand, job satisfaction, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, lake wobegon effect, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, minimum wage unemployment, mittelstand, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, performance metric, pirate software, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, reshoring, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

Jeffrey Smith, “DeLay Trial a Window Into Influence,” Washington Post, Dec. 1, 2010. 17 Justin Fox, “What the Founding Fathers Really Thought about Corporations,” HBR Blog Network, Harvard Business Review, e-mail exchange between Justin Fox and Brian Murphy, April 1, 2010, http://blogs.hbr.org/fox/2010/04/what-the-founding-fathers-real.html 18 John Kay, “Beware the Bailout Kings and Backbench Barons,” Financial Times, May 20, 2009. 19 Luke Mitchell, “Understanding Obamacare,” Harper’s Magazine, December 2009. 20 Hedrick Smith, Who Stole the American Dream (New York: Random House, 2012). 21 Charles Morris, “A Recession Can Clear the Air,” Washington Post, Nov. 16, 2008. 22 Northeast Public Power Association (NEPPA), “Deregulation Continues to Impact Retail Electric Prices in Region,” NEPPA News Line, vol. 43, no. 12, December 2007. David Cay Johnston, “Unregulated Electricity Costs More, Studies Say,” NewYork Times, Nov. 6, 2007.


pages: 790 words: 253,035

Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood's Creative Artists Agency by James Andrew Miller

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bonfire of the Vanities, business process, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Donald Trump, family office, interchangeable parts, obamacare, out of africa, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, traveling salesman, union organizing

If I were to give it a headline, I would say we invest in change. We find companies or industries going through a moment of evolution, and we put our capital and creativity to work to help them through that period of time. This theme runs through a whole series of different types of investments—from Uber to turning around Continental Airlines, to our investments in health care after the passage of Obamacare. And it’s this idea of change that was one of the governing principles in our appearance as an investor in CAA. DAVID BONDERMAN, Co-Chairman, TPG Capital: The long and short of it is, the entertainment industry has been totally dislocated by what’s going on around it, and any time you have dislocation like that, you have opportunity. We’ve been in and out of the media business since the mid-’80s.


Eastern USA by Lonely Planet

1960s counterculture, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, bike sharing scheme, Bretton Woods, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, collective bargaining, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Donald Trump, East Village, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, immigration reform, information trail, interchangeable parts, jitney, license plate recognition, Mason jar, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, the built environment, the High Line, the payments system, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Political Fraction With lost jobs, overvalued mortgages and little relief in sight, the conditions were ripe for the Tea Party. Named after the infamous 1773 event in Boston, during which patriots dumped British tea to protest the government’s tax on it, today’s Tea Party is a populist movement of politically conservative republicans who decry high taxes and federal spending. Government bailouts (the banking and auto industries) and President Obama’s healthcare reform (derisively named Obamacare) particularly capture their ire. »Household income New Hampshire (2008-2010): $66,300 »Household income Mississippi (2008-2010): $36,850 »Population density New York City: 27,530 per sq mi »Population density Maine: 43 per sq mi »Cheese produced annually Wisconsin: 2.4 billion pounds »Number of vacant homes in Florida (2010): 1.5 million The Tea Party and fellow republicans have made inroads into traditionally liberal regions of the East.


USA Travel Guide by Lonely, Planet

1960s counterculture, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, big-box store, bike sharing scheme, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Burning Man, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, edge city, El Camino Real, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, global village, Golden Gate Park, Guggenheim Bilbao, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, immigration reform, information trail, interchangeable parts, intermodal, jitney, license plate recognition, Mars Rover, Mason jar, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, Menlo Park, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, off grid, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, stealth mode startup, stem cell, supervolcano, the built environment, The Chicago School, the High Line, the payments system, trade route, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional, Zipcar

People were upset and gathered in big numbers to voice their anger. This in turn gave birth to the Tea Party (www.teapartypatriots.org), a wing of political conservatives who believed that Obama was leaning too far to the left, and that government handouts would destroy the economy and thus America. High federal spending, government bailouts (the banking and auto industries) and especially Obama’s healthcare reform (‘Obamacare’) particularly captured their ire. Healthcare for All For democrats, however, Obama’s healthcare bill, which became law in 2010, was a victory in bringing healthcare coverage to more Americans, lowering the cost of healthcare and closing loopholes that allowed insurance companies to deny coverage to individuals. Critics from both sides reined down blows – from the right: ‘this is socialism!’