Monday, September 30, 2013

WSJ on how Obamacare affects people

Here's a helpful article from the Wall St. Journal on how tomorrow's rollout of Obamacare's insurance exchanges and other aspects will affect people. I admit I was dazzled when I tried picking through the White House's website for details. Frankly, the Wikipedia page was more clear, and there's also a PDF from July 2012 from the Kaiser Family Foundation that explains things in plain language.

I think a big surprise is going to be felt in 2018, when "Cadillac" plans with high premiums begin to be taxed.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sachs on poverty and public/private

Jeffrey Sachs argues global poverty is in decline, as measured by shares with less than $1.25 per day, and he highlights contributions by private and public sectors to achieve growth. In particular, he writes about cellphones and malaria eradication as using both types of inputs.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Lomborg on climate change and variability

Bjørn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist (the book has its own Wikipedia page!), provided a very nice op-ed recently in the Washingon Post that debunks the often-heard claim that global warming is associated with increased weather volatility. In his recounting, higher average temperatures have occurred alongside no clear trend in the variability of temperatures. And in some cases, the outcomes triggered by weather extremes, deaths due to cold snaps or heat waves for example, may have actually been dampened by the increase in average temperatures.

I know part of my own perception of this has stemmed from discussions about hurricane intensity and (average) temperature, such as on this NOVA page. And Tom Friedman's use of "global weirding," which sounds like it's referring to variance but might not be after a closer look.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Geographer on carrying capacity

Today in the New York Times there is a fun op-ed about the earth's carrying capacity of humans, which references the great Danish economist Esther Boserup (1910-1999) and her revisiting of Malthusian population theory.