Archive for September, 2013

Health Care Choices

Monday, September 16th, 2013

I know that the go-to argument against moving to single payer health care in this country (for those of us who aren’t elderly, poor, or veterans, anyway) is “Do you really want the DMV handling your health insurance?”

After sitting through another benefits meeting, filled with acronyms and conditionals and seemingly arbitrary numbers, it doesn’t sound that bad compared to the situation we’ve got now. I’d give anything for a health care system as efficient and transparent as the DMV.

“Your family deductible is X per person, capped at three family members, while your HRA isn’t capped! But the HRA is only for medical, not other expenses like dental or vision, which have to come out of an FSA or an HSA that you’ve rolled over from a previous plan!”

Oy.

Bikewash

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

An Italian company has released a $2000 self-contained cabinet unit designed for use as a bike wash.

And here I am, riding through the Delta Sonic like a sucker.

Cars Cars Cars

Friday, September 6th, 2013

An interesting article over at The Atlantic on the role of the automotive industry in our economic recovery.

But this time, cars are leading houses, thanks to a surprising source: older Americans. “[Demand] is coming from an increased buying rate of people over 55,” McAlinden said, “which is scary because we don’t have a lot of repeat sales left in us.”

Young people are essentially locked out of the car market, just as they have been locked out of the housing market — and the labor market…

Young vs. old might not be the most important binary for cars right now. That would be rich vs. poor. The U.S. is beginning to look like the aristocratic auto market we’re used to seeing in Europe, McAlinden said, where the top 25 percent buys most of the new cars and the bottom 75 percent only buys old and used. “Seventy-five percent of households here are relying on used cars, thinking ‘I hope that rich guy is done,'” he said.

Educational Shifts

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

In Sunday’s paper, there was an interesting article about foreign exchange students coming to Buffalo. Apparently, the American educational system provides a more flexible experience than those of many Asian countries, with less of an emphasis on testing and more diverse subject matter and extracurriculars.

In this morning’s paper? A front-page story on Common Core, which will provide a narrower, more rigid curriculum and an emphasis on rigorous standardized testing.

So, why are we rushing to implement an educational system that the rest of the world is trying to shake off?