ProPublica: A New Way Insurers are Shifting Costs to the Sick.
“Health insurance companies are no longer allowed to turn away patients because of their pre-existing conditions or charge them more because of those conditions. But some health policy experts say insurers may be doing so in a more subtle way: by forcing people with a variety of illnesses — including Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and epilepsy — to pay more for their drugs.” Aha. I wondered why some rudimentary generic drugs had gone exponential in price.
The Atlantic: The Last Refrigerator.
Annals of Family Medicine: The Cost of My Mother’s Cardiac Care in the US and India.
New Statesman: The new Luddites: why former digital prophets are turning against tech.
SciAm: We Now Have the Cure for Hepatitis C, but Can We Afford It?
PS Mag: For-Profit Colleges Are Equivalent to High School.
“Community colleges, in other words, open just as many doors to possibility as for-profit ones.” Not surprised. Talked to one for-profit grad who ‘majored in Powerpoint’. Yeah! That holds up well against this.
BoingBoing: Customer fined $250 for complaining, told “You are playing games with the wrong people”.
Read this one. Wow.
Coolist: NASA Space Launch System Is The Biggest Rocket Ever.
“Is the?” Will be. If/when built.
Cool Tools: Car2Go.
A step on the way to self-driving cars (eliminating the ‘ownership’ mentality).
Hyperallergic: Marfa’s Art World Gentrification Is Pushing Out Long-Time Residents.
“Move to Marfa today and you can purchase a five-bedroom home that Judd once owned for $735,000; though cheaper than a New York brownstone, it’s astronomical by West Texas standards. Several homes in Marfa are priced above $350,000, and many more are in the $200,000 range, according to the newspaper. That’s significantly higher than the $22,000 that Hughes paid for her house 14 years ago; it’s now worth $120,290.” Time for the residents to get together, move and take over a town nearby, and name it “Old Marfa” just to mess with some heads. If they do it right, they might even cause another gentrification, and make double the cash on their homesteads.
Bloomberg: The 1% are more affluent than we think.
“Failure to get a better handle on the actual amount of wealth and income means economists and policy makers don’t have a proper understanding of the degree of disparity, which represents a hurdle in addressing it. ”
The Economist: Dress codes - Suitable disruption.
“A slicked-up entrepreneur is inevitably a salesman trying to compensate for an inferior product.” Later in the article, another pullquote: “When everyone wears a T-shirt to lectures and board meetings, how do you tell who is truly innovative and who is just posing?”
Answer: I have no flippin’ idea. Other than those who have creations to show, and those who have only rhetoric.
naked cap: New Oil and Gas Drilling Financed Largely With Debt.
“Through the various peculiarities of the tax code, oil and gas companies already pay a much lower effective tax rate than the statutory 35 percent. ExxonMobil for example, paid a 19.3 percent effective tax rate between 2009 and 2013. But by deferring taxes, oil and gas companies can wind up paying even less than that. But the heady days of drilling might be drawing to a close.”
NY Times: A Resurgence in Inequality and Its Effects on Culture.
“What makes the middlebrows so contemptible? Woolf’s tautological response is their very middleness, their inability to be either one thing or another, and their habit of ‘indistinguishably and rather nastily’ mixing up art and life (the pure, complementary pursuits of the high and the low) with things like ‘money, fame, power or prestige.’” Perhaps, but who wants to be a lowbrow ‘dancing monkey’ for the higbrows? The ‘affinity’ of the high and low could only be expressed in such terms by the highbrow urbanity of the NY Times; happy to look down upon their readership.
nakedcap: How Fracking Is Blowing Up Balance Sheets of Oil and Gas Companies.
“It’s a horrendous treadmill. Just to maintain production, companies have to drill more and more and incur more and more debt, even as revenues are disappointing.” Fracking is the methamphetamine of the oil and gas industry.
Vox: The median household is 20% poorer than in 1984.
Unsurprising. What’s surprising is the lack of will to do anything about it.
Pacific Standard: California’s Lax Policing of the Fracking Industry.
“The problem is that at least 100 of the state’s aquifers were presumed to be useless for drinking and farming because the water was either of poor quality, or too deep underground to easily access. Years ago, the state exempted them from environmental protection and allowed the oil and gas industry to intentionally pollute them.” !^$%$^@#^%!%$ [Holding my hand to my throat, practically strangling myself, so I don’t start shouting again.] There is no such thing as a useless resource.
The Atlantic: Why Do Other Rich Nations Spend So Much Less on Healthcare?
OneHeadlightInk: Turns out movies DO make money for New Mexico.
NY Times: Rich People Shrug Off High Taxes.
“Despite the common political argument that local governments need to coddle high earners with low taxes, lest they take their wealth elsewhere, rich New Yorkers, at least, seem to accept with equanimity the burden of contributing to civilization.” OK, that’s it. We can end the tax cut insanity then?
Neatorama: “Human Props” Who Stay in Luxury Homes But Live Like Ghosts.
The trick is, one must be ready at all times to vacate the premises completely at the drop of a hat.
The Atlantic: Turbulence Ahead - The Coming Pilot Shortage and How It Came to Be.
“The First Officers I flew with at American Eagle came there with over $200,000 in debt for a job that pays $22,914 per year, to start.” Becoming a pilot used to be a virtual guarantee of a high-paying job; the industry was ‘Napstered’ even before Napster existed.
The Dish: Tax Cuts Don’t Pay For Themselves.
How many goddamn times need it be said? Reagan/Contract with America/Bush II/today … we need to put a stake through the zombie’s heart, immolate the corpse and forget the location.
Guardian.UK: US drought to deplete Lake Mead to levels not seen since 1930s.
“California, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming wouldn’t see direct cuts in their share of river water, but officials have acknowledged there would be ripple effects.” Water wars are gearing up. Just wait.