It’s creeping ever more deeply into the Progressive-Democratic Party’s psyche and ideology. It’s an idea that was first dreamed up in the ’70s, and it remains an idea that can only fail were it to be implemented.
Giving everyone a basic income won’t improve anyone’s income; it’ll only incentivize employers to pay a wage diminished by the amount of the guaranteed government payment. But the failure runs much deeper than that.
Such a scheme is inflationary: the outcome can only be a spike in inflation followed by price stabilization at a higher price level.
Russia and Ukraine have agreed a new natural gas transit arrangement to facilitate Russian natural gas through Ukraine to Europe. The EU was in on the negotiations, and it’s pleased. Maros Sefcovic, who was Vice-President of the European Commission for the Energy Union until last January and who then transitioned to Vice-President of the European Commission for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight, led the EU’s part of the negotiations. He now says,
Russia remains a reliable supplier to European markets and Ukraine maintains its role as a strategic transit country.
The subheadline on a Sunday Wall Street Journalarticle says it all.
European voters have viewed the process so negatively that even EU-skeptic parties have mostly dropped talk of leaving the bloc or the euro
That was the entire motive for Brussels’ extended bad faith pseudo-negotiations with Great Britain after those uppity citizens voted to go out from the European Union. To be sure, Brit politicians, who insisted they Knew Better than their subordinate citizens, contributed to the mess with their own combination of arrogance and incompetent negotiating, but they just played into Brussels’ hands, they did not create the chaos.
Not because they mistakenly sold, though, rather because they’re being blocked from selling. The People’s Republic of China’s telecom company Huawei is suing over an FCC ruling that prevents American rural wireless telecom companies from using Federal dollars to buy Huawei equipment.
Huawei executives have long hung their hats on this bit as their primary reason for being allowed into our national communications networks:
Huawei has long said that it is owned by its employees, operates independently of Beijing and would never spy on behalf of any government.
Hospitals have filed their initial suit to prevent the Trump administration from promulgating a rule that would require hospitals to make public the secret rates they agree with insurers. Their argument centers on this:
The burden of compliance with the rule is enormous, and way out of line with any projected benefits associated with the rule[.]
It’s hard to understand the degree of burden in simply publishing the agreed rates. Paper and ink aren’t expensive, and electrons are even cheaper. Beyond that, the benefits are enormous: it would allow patients and prospective patients to know which hospital charges what for a given procedure, so the patient could determine—under his own imperatives—which hospital has the most cost effective procedure.
Simon Johnson, of the MIT Sloan School of Management and an “informal” advisor to Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate and Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D, MA) presidential campaign, thinks her Medicare for All scheme is the cat’s meow. It would, he claims
cut costs by reducing inefficiency, eliminating predatory pricing (for example, for prescription drugs) and using the purchasing power of a single-payer system. Her plan would also constrain the growth rate of underlying medical costs.