The Anti Science Party

Could everyone in America live above the poverty line if only employers were less greedy? Bernie Sanders thinks that. He also thinks that Medicaid, Food Stamps and other poverty programs are subsidizing corporate greed — because they make it possible for employers to pay low wages. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) calls the federal minimum wage of $2.13 an hour for people with tip income “indentured servitude.” What’s her answer? The government should force employers to be more generous. More.

Kotlikoff: Social Security is defrauding people

In his latest column on the subject, Prof. Kotlikoff says Social Security underpaid close to 10 thousand widow(er)s now over age 70 some $130 million and is underpaying each new cohort of widow(er)s reaching age 70 roughly $10 million. More.

Goodman: Why the left doesn’t understand health care

In one case, an insurer prevented a woman from getting a CT scan her doctor ordered. In another, a mother couldn’t afford the full regimen of special bags needed to clear her cancer-stricken daughter’s lungs. In a third case, a woman lost her health insurance and could not afford end-of-life chemotherapy. These examples come from National Nurses United, the country’s largest nurses’ union. To prevent further incidents like these, the union favors a universal, government-run health care system. A lead editorial in the New York Times last week appeared to endorse their thinking. Here is what these folks are missing.

Goodman: Why the left has no new ideas

At first glance you might think that the Democratic presidential campaign is boiling over with one new idea after another. Free health care. Free education. No more carbon emissions. There have been so many pronouncements, it’s hard to keep track of them. But that’s just at first glance. If you delve deeper, you will discover these are not ideas at all. They are feelings. Strongly held feelings, mind you. But feelings, nonetheless.

Kotlikoff: Social Security’s deficit just rose by $9 trillion

Kotlikoff: Social Security is Broke

Social Security’s annual Trustees Report just came out and it shows that Social Security ran a gigantic $9 trillion deficit between last year and this year. The system’s long-term unfunded liability is now $43 trillion, up from $34 trillion last year. More.

Why Employers Pay Too Much for Health Care

Employers are paying hospitals more than twice as much as what Medicare pays. At some hospitals they are paying four times as much. So, who’s to blame? John Goodman says employers are to blame. More.

Wedekind on Trump’s Reform of Medicare

Accountable Care Organizations are President Obama’s attempt at stealth privatization — 10.4 million people think they are in a fee-for-service system, when in reality their doctors have economic incentives to reduce care. And it has been illegal for doctors to inform their patients of this fact. John Goodman and Laurence Wedekind explain the development and what Medicare director Seema Verma is doing about it.
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Kotlikoff: Optimal Retirement Planning

Breakthrough in Retirement Planning

Why do people save for retirement? Or buy life insurance? Or home owners and other kinds of insurance? In all cases the objective is the same: to smooth out life time consumption. We don’t want our normal consumption of goods and services to be interrupted by retirement or the myriad accidents that could befall us.

In the face of cash constraints, job market uncertainty and other uncertainties planning is very difficult, however. And it isn’t helped much by conventional financial advice. New breakthroughs in computer programming by Prof. Laurence Kotlikoff help solve these problems. More.