Friday, December 18, 2009

Where to Buy Evaporated Cane Juice

Many visitors arrive to this blog asking "Where can I buy Evaporated Cane Juice?". One easy answer: Amazon. While Amazon has always been known for new books, many people are unaware of the extensive selection of other goods. From electronics to food, cosmetics to toys, one can find just about anything. Along the left margin of my blog, one can find my list of recommended products. I also recommend checking out their selection of used books for out of print volumes and a more economical way to build a library.

Buy Evaporated Cane Juice Crystals

Other Sugar posts:
Evaporated Cane Juice: Part I
Evaporated Cane Juice: Part II
Caramel Apples
Sugar and the Environment
Alternative Sugar Names


Monday, December 14, 2009

Joe Says No?

It is being extensively reported that Joe Lieberman and other centrist Senators are pulling support for a deal that would expand Medicare, creating a de facto "public option".

Both Snowe and Lieberman have said they opposed the proposal to allow some Americans ages 55 to 64 to buy into the federal Medicare program.

Nelson, who tried unsuccessfully to amend the bill with tougher restrictions on federal funding for elective abortions, said on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that he considered the Medicare proposal to be "the forerunner of single-payer, the ultimate single-payer plan."
Let's hope the moderates continue to oppose these measures that would only exacerbate the health care industry's current ills.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Whole Foods Health Care

Here is a more in-depth look at the health reform ideas of Whole Foods CEO John Mackey. It highlights the disconnect and distortions of some people who equate reform only with a very narrow set of policies, normally based on a single-payer, government run public option. There are other, free-market, options to the current system that will make things better for the majority, most of which are discarded in the current legislation under debate. Instead, anyone not blindly signing up for even more socialist-style medicine is labeled against "reform" and thus, by default; unsympathetic to the poor, evil, racist, out-of-touch with reality, stupid, bought off by big business, and/or just plain insane.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

U.S. Unemployment: 2007-2009


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

De Facto Public Plan

There has been talk about scrapping the "public option" in the current Senate bill with the "compromise" of extending Medicare/Medicaid coverage. Let's try to suspend disbelief for a moment and forget the fact that these programs are already speeding towards bankruptcy, inefficient, and one of the main causes of increasing health care costs. One suggestion was to increase Medicaid coverage to 300% of the poverty level. What is 300% of poverty level, you ask?

From the HHS:

The 2009 Poverty Guidelines for the
48 Contiguous States and the District of Columbia

Persons in family Poverty guideline 300% of Poverty
1 $10,830 $32,490
2 $14,570 $43,710
3 $18,310 $54,930
4 $22,050 $66,150
5 $25,790 $77,370
6 $29,530 $88,590
7 $33,270 $99,810
8 $37,010 $111,030

A 2007 study from the Tax Foundation reveals that nearly 50% of all Americans fall within 300% of the poverty level. Add a reduction of eligibility age for Medicare, and you see that a compromise of this sort removes the "public option" in name only.

“Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state wants to live at the expense of everyone.” - Frederic Bastiat


Happiness in Hyperbole

From Las Vegas Sun:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid fired off the first flinty round when he compared opponents of health care reform to those who fought the end of slavery.

“Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all Republicans can come up with is this: Slow down. Stop everything. Let's start over,” Reid said.

“If you think you have heard these same excuses before, you are right. When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said: Slow down. It is too early. Let's wait. Things aren't bad enough.”

The "slavery" argument is certainly an interesting one...but I find it surprising that it is being leveled by the side that claims some men have the right to others' lives..."from each according to his ability, to each according to his need".


Saturday, December 5, 2009

North Korean Currency Grab

To act on the belief that we possess the knowledge and the power which enable us to shape the processes of society entirely to our liking, knowledge which in fact we do not possess, is likely to make us do much harm.
- F.A. von Hayek

North Korea's shock currency revaluation has sparked anger and frustration in the isolated communist state as citizens see much of their savings wiped out, reports and observers said Wednesday.

The sudden revaluation angered market vendors and others.

"I worked like a dog for two months for the winter, but the money became useless paper overnight," Good Friends quoted a Sinuiju resident as saying.

DailyNK said security forces mounted extra street patrols and imposed a curfew in North Hamkyung province in the northeast.

"After 10:00 pm all movement is prohibited. Offenders must be strictly regulated," it quoted the curfew notice as saying.

All shops, markets and stores remained closed due to a temporary ban on trading during the week-long exchange of bills, it added.

Any activities requiring monetary payments were being suspended until new currency is legally circulated, Good Friends reported.

"The purpose of the currency revaluation is to crush private commercial activities, considered to promote anti-socialism," said Good Friends.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fourth-Party Payer?

A look at one of the problems at the heart of rising medical costs that is often neglected - employer-provided coverage.

Three-fifths of Americans, the share with employer-provided health insurance, are in the same situation. Since someone else buys insurance for them, using money they would otherwise receive as wages, they are in no position to shop around and typically do not know the true cost of their coverage. This disconnect between payment and consumption is one of the central problems with the health care system, contributing to insecurity, rapidly escalating costs, and the general lack of choice and competition. Yet both Democrats and Republicans insist on preserving it.

Yet it’s the tax-free status of those benefits that favors them over cash compensation, maintaining a bizarre system in which most Americans get their health insurance—unlike their car, life, or homeowner’s insurance—through their employers. As a result, they are insulated from the actual price of their insurance and are more likely to have plans with low deductibles that cover routine medical expenses as well as large, unpredictable costs. In choosing among providers, drugs, and treatments, they have little incentive to economize and usually do not even know the relative costs of their options.
So we have the first party (individual), second-party (doctor), third-party (insurer) and a fourth-party (employer) all paying portions of the bill. No wonder it is so difficult to determine the costs, let alone rein them in.

Don't forget, the plan currently being debated by the Senate will increase the linkage of employers and health insurance by requiring them to provide it or pay a fine.

Laissez faire, morbleu! Laissez faire!!