Monday, May 30, 2016

EHRs are ruining the physician-patient relationship

Article from Medical Economics

As you probably know by now, I wrote my SIP about electronic medical records. I am super interested in the intersection of medical technology and the economy. EMR systems supposedly have the capability to save the federal government billions of dollars while simultaneously improving the quality of health care.

"The EHR has changed the physician-patient encounter—it has become the physician-EHR-patient encounter (PEP). The EHR may seem to improve the business of medicine, but what is its role in the caring for the patient?"

Have you personally had a particularly positive or negative experience with electronic health/medical records?

Would a health care system that was more automated be better for public health?

Sunday, May 29, 2016

BernieOrBust has a message for the establishment


"But he [Trump] is also much more of a corporatist and a hawk than Hillary is. He says he wants a $0 federal minimum wage. He wants to end Dodd-Frank and repeal all estate and corporate taxes. And he plans to slash income taxes for the rich."

This is a really cool blog post because the author has inserted helpful links so that readers can from their own decisions about the things mentioned. 

Evaluate the author's claim that Trump is more of a "corporatist and a hawk" than Clinton.  

Are the two candidates really that different when it comes to their plans for the economy? 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Long-Suffering Michigan is Finally Enjoying Below-Average Unemployment


Take a look at the figures in this article and talk about why you think Michigan is experiencing such low unemployment. Are manufacturing jobs a thing of the past in the midwest, or is there a chance that the Rust Belt could once again become a hub of production in the United States?

Alternatively, pick a company/business in Michigan and talk about why they deserve special recognition for their contributions to the local economy and low unemployment rate.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Most Americans Don’t Know About Ride-Sharing and the ‘Gig Economy’

"Not only have most Americans never used Uber or Lyft, a majority are unaware of the debate over how to regulate the services, though the users of the services closely follow the debate."

There is significant opposition to ride sharing services from taxi unions. In certain cities, services like Uber and Lyft are banned altogether. My first experience with opposition to Uber occurred when I was abroad in Madrid. The taxi union there ran a campaign to oust Uber, and they were successful! 

What is your opinion to unions that arise out of situations similar to this one? Are these types of unions beneficial or harmful to the economy? Do Uber and Lyft deserve this opposition, even though many say they simply cater to a niche market?

Were you aware of the term "gig economy" prior to reading this article?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Democrats used to be more like Republicans

a bit of history:

(Non-)monetary incentives and the meaning of work

 Excerpts from: link here

"Several findings in the recent economics and psychology literature document that workers and employees don’t care only about earning (more) money in their job, but that other, non-monetary motives play a similarly important role at the workplace."

 "One possible explanation for this finding is image-motivation theory (Bénabou and Tirole 2006). To see this, suppose that both recognition and work meaning provide positive (social) image value. That is, if a worker is publicly recognised by the organisation for his performance, his or her social image increases. Similarly for meaning – if a worker works on a meaningful task, this raises his social image."

I thought it would be interesting for everyone to weigh in on a topic that is so relevant to our lives.

Feel free to comment on the article itself and/or the psychology behind the reasoning, or give your own take on the subject.

For your first job out of college, which is more important, a job that pays well, or a job that makes you feel good?

Does capitalism allow for all people to have both well-paying and satisfying jobs, or is this a fantasy?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Kickstarter’s Biggest Shitshow Somehow Got Even Messier

Take a look at this article from early last month concerning one of the most popular Kickstarter campaigns ever. 
It seems that the company producing the "Coolest Cooler" is running into some issues, and their customers are pretty irate. "Kickstarter and Coolest are quick to say that when you invest in a Kickstarter, you’re merely funding an idea and that you’re not actually entitled to a product on any sort of timeline." What do you think of this statement? Is this any way to run a business? Should the original funders be compensated for waiting so long? 

Feel free to leave any other comments you have on Kickstarter. What are your opinions on the role of websites like Kickstarter for start ups?

Some problems are real.....

 There is, for example, the Lake Chad Basin in Africa, which is probably
where our next humanitarian disaster is about to happen. Nine million
people live in the region, which also happens to be where Boko Haram has
been on the rampage, slaughtering people and burning people out of
their homes. And Boko Haram is only one of the existential problems that
exist in that piece of the planet.  

Crisis in Lake Chad Basin - Boko Haram, Climate Change, Poverty Intersect

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

How Much are Young Americans Paying a Month on Student Debt? Less than You Think

A typical borrower between ages 20 and 30 pays $203 a month toward student debt

Many Americans are struggling under huge monthly student-debt bills. But they are a sizeable minority, not the norm.
That’s the conclusion of research from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. The typical borrower between ages 20 and 30 pays $203 a month toward student debt. Three-quarters of borrowers pay no more than $400 a month, the study shows.

They’re largely doing this by enrolling in income-based repayment plans, which cap borrowers’ monthly payments at 10% or 15% of their discretionary incomes (as set by a formula). While this lowers their payments significantly–by hundreds of dollars in many cases–it also means, for many, that balances grow. Payments under income-driven repayment often don’t cover interest. The government promises to forgive any amount remaining after 20 or 25 years, but that amount will be taxed as ordinary income.
And, of course, a $400 or even $200 payment is high if the borrower is unemployed or stuck in a low-level job. Indeed, borrowers who are the most behind on payments typically have balances in the low end–under $9,000–mostly because they never finished school.
The upshot is that many borrowers are doing just fine–some are even buying homes. But there are big variations from the norm that can’t be ignored. 

Do you think you will be paying more or less than $203 a month toward your tuition debt after graduation?