Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cato Institute & Immigration Papers

Cato Institute has put out papers analyzing immigration (including illegal) to the U.S.

Immigration & Crime:

In general, we know that illegal immigrants do not exhibit violent resistance when
apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol Agents. In more than 10 million apprehensions since
2000 we have not seen much evidence of those entering illegally to work in the U.S. arming themselves to fight Border Patrol Agents. However, individuals linked to organized crime rings are likely to be armed, given their involvement in drug or human smuggling and the money involved.  In the case of immigration, the lack of temporary work visas and the increased difficulty of entering illegally due to increased enforcement have compelled more illegal immigrants to turn to coyotes—middlemen who guide illegal immigrants across the border to
evade the Border Patrol. “According to U.S. and Mexican police, this is partly an unintended

consequence of a border crackdown. Making crossings more difficult drove up their cost,
attracting brutal Mexican crime rings that forced the small operators out of business.”9
Much of the lawlessness and the violation of the rights of property owners could be
eliminated with the introduction of increased legal means of entry for the foreign-born to
work in the U.S. Foreign-born workers do not wish to cross hazardous terrain or risk kidnapping
at the hands of smugglers any more than an American would. The best way to reduce lawlessness along the border is to put in place a work visa law that removes the profits from smugglers and thereby reduces the risks faced by would-be foreign workers and U.S. property owners.

A Look at the Senate Democratic Proposal for Immigration Reform: Is the Glass Half Empty, Half Full or Shattered on the Ground? 

The best way to reduce illegal immigration is to provide more legal avenues to work in the United States.

Overall, the Democratic proposal represents a signal to both supporters and opponents. To supporters who value legalizing the status of those in the country illegally, the proposal would fulfill such desires if it became law. To supporters who wish to establish a commission or other mechanisms to restrict employer-sponsored temporary visas or green cards, then the proposal
fulfills their wishes as well. 

Opponents of the measures would fall into different categories. Anti-immigrant organizations and a large bloc of members of Congress will oppose the legalization of those in the United States illegally, labeling it amnesty no matter what conditions are
established. Employers should be wary of even positive reforms offered in the proposal, since members of a commission eager to show their relevance to immigration policy could override such reforms. Whether the Democratic proposal should be viewed as a glass half empty or half full—or a glass shattered in pieces on the ground—must await the arrival of legislative language.

Do Gaps in E-Verify Justify a National ID? 

U.S. legislators rarely abandon programs that don’t work well, despite the costs or the impact on law-abiding individuals.

When it comes to illegal immigration, policymakers often present conflicting narratives. Elected officials cannot decide whether the problem is that employers are unscrupulous or that they are honest but unable to verify documents. Most of the recent rhetoric emanating from Washington,
D.C., indicates elected officials think most employers are cheats. 

But if employers are dishonest, then the easiest way to beat E-Verify, a National ID card, or any other combination of systems and documents is simply not to use them, hiring workers “under the table.” The costs and burdens then would fall on those who obey the law, not on those who break the law.

Few are asking the more obvious question: Wouldn’t the issue of unauthorized workers be resolved if employers were simply given access to a legal supply of workers who are willing and able to work in the United States? If a robust temporary visa program were operating, almost all employers would hire only legal and available workers. Such a policy is far preferable to requiring 97 percent of the population—legal immigrants, native-born and naturalized citizens—to carry National ID cards to make it more difficult for 3 percent of the population to work in the United States. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

AZ News & Blogs 6/25/2010

Oh, Politics!
  • WSJ: “JD Huckster” 
    • The Wall Street Journal has weighed in on the reality of JD Hayworth.  Not the spin, not the shiny object, revisionist history campaign fluff…the real story.  This reality is best personified in the portion of the infomercial  starring the “former member of the powerful Weighs and Means Committee” where he uses the trust of the people who elected him to sway the hearts and minds of others into a complete and total scam.
  • Why Jim Deakin Should Support JD Hayworth for the US Senate 
    • If anything, he brings lack of experience.
    • My thoughts:  The one good thing.
  • What’s this? NRA rejects own board member Buz Mills, endorses Brewer 
    • Arizona gubernatorial candidate Owen “Buz” Mills, a honcho with the National Rifle Association (NRA), got a rear-end full of buckshot as the organization endorsed his adversary, Gov. Jan Brewer.
    •  Listen to Ernest Hancock talk on the corrupt NRA with Sheriff Mack.
  • Jan Brewer's new motto: "Damn the facts, full distort ahead!" 
    • The example he cited involved her saying, during a debate between the R candidates for governor that the majority of undocumented immigrants were engaged in narcotics trafficking and extortion and that they are responsible for a massive crime wave in Arizona.
    • As this Think Progress piece from writer Andrea Nill points out, during a period in Arizona's history that has seen an increase in undocumented immigration, there has been an actual decrease in crime in AZ.
Oh, Politicians!  Time to get rid of the welfare state!
  • Sells Islands? 
    • On the surface it seems shocking that a nation would sell off parts its physical environment because of public sector debts. But this has been going on for a long time in impoverished nations. First profligate nations are lent a lot of money by private sector banks. Then the nation becomes over-extended revenue-wise. Finally the IMF is called in to provide a "loan" that must be paid back. The impoverished nation cuts its bloated public sector, raises taxes and sells of chunks of its public portfolio, maybe to the fraternity of banks that lent it money in the first place.
    • My thoughts:  Et tu Arizona?
  • Living on (a Lot) Less 
    • I spent last weekend at a lake house in Maine with a broken water pump. For three days, we had no running water. Being beside the lake gave us ample access to water, but nothing flowed from the taps.
    • It turned out that five of us could live pretty comfortably on about five gallons of water a day.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

AZ News & Blogs 6/19/2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

AZ News & Blogs 6/15/2010

  • Discussing Private Management of Public Parks 
    • Coyote blog discusses private management of state parks, a way to keep them open.
  • Immigration Debate May Get Uglier (and Nuttier) Here in Arizona 
    • But that was 1868. Today, Pearce says the 14th Amendment has been “hijacked” by illegal immigrants. “They use it as a wedge,” Pearce says. “This is an orchestrated effort by them to come here and have children to gain access to the great welfare state we’ve created.” Pearce says he is aware of the constitutional issues involved with the bill and vows to introduce it nevertheless. “We will write it right.”
  • Economic News From Far Away to Close to Home 
    • Over in Mesa, the last citrus packing plant is shutting down due to reduced volumes. Fruit will now have to be trucked to Yuma at considerable expense to be processed. This will shut down most of the remaining groves in the area.
    • Finally, Arizona has sold the state Supreme Court building among others to raise $300 million in cash to help fund the budget. The state will buy the buildings back over the next 30 years.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

AZ News & Blogs 6/12/2010

  • Police and Accountability 
    • I have written before that the inexpensive handheld video camera is perhaps the most important innovation in police accountability in my lifetime.  So of course, the police want them banned.
  • Clean Elections Candidates Advised to Return Public Subsidies 
    • At an emergency meeting Wednesday, the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission declared that taxpayer-funded candidates who have accepted campaign subsidies cannot withdraw from the Clean Elections system and run with private fundraising. But the Commission is wrong, according to the lead attorney who convinced the U.S. Supreme Court to block the use of matching funds at this point.
    • “There is nothing in the law that prohibits withdrawal from the Clean Elections system – provided taxpayer-funded candidates return their government subsidies and run with private financing,” said Nick Dranias, the Goldwater Institute’s director of constitutional studies. “No provision in the Citizens Clean Elections Act addresses the issue of voluntary withdrawal from the system. And no rule prohibits the Commission from allowing candidates to withdraw from the system if they return their subsidies.”
  • Strange bedfellows 
    • Mills' attorney told the commission that it should reject a request from Gov. Jan Brewer's campaign to invoke an emergency clause and release publicly funded candidates to raise private dollars. It's needed, Brewer's crew argued, because of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that bars the distribution of matching funds to publicly funded candidates.
  • Worries increase along with Arizona's debt 
    • Paying off that debt will strain state budgets for years to come. For the fiscal year that starts July 1, the state must make a $232 million debt payment out of its general fund.
  • Abramoff Released From Prison; close ties to Hayworth linger in the minds of voters 
    • This cannot be a good week for Team Hayworth, with reports his campaign is losing steam and this ugly little reminder of just how low some people will go.  You would think after the whole Abramoff “thing”, taking a closer look at folks would have been a good idea.  But, then…I guess some people never learn.   

Thursday, June 10, 2010

AZ News & Blogs 6/10/2010

  • Clean Elections could allow emergency fundraising (Subscibers)
    • The Citizens Clean Elections Commission may consider enacting an emergency clause that would allow publicly funded candidates to raise additional campaign cash, a change that Gov. Jan Brewer's campaign is hoping can alleviate the sudden loss of matching funds. The commission will hold a special meeting at 2 p.m. June 9 to discuss the ramifications and ...
  • Munger: No regret on ending gov campaign 
    • Tucson attorney John Munger says he doesn’t regret his decision to drop out of the governor’s race now that the U.S. Supreme Court has blocked matching funds for publicly funded candidates....And Munger says he’s not changing his mind now. He says he’s already laid off campaign staff and canceled fundraising events.
  • Ernest Hancock Interviews Shawn Dow of CameraFraud.com 
    • The politicians are out to get us.  What they do when we're not watching.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

AZ News & Blogs 6/9/2010

  • U.S. Supreme Court Blocks Release of Campaign Matching Funds 
    • In a major victory for free speech, the U.S. Supreme Court this morning blocked the use of taxpayer money as campaign "matching funds." The Court will decide whether to review a ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
    • Cato Institute Reactions 
      • When taxpayers underwrite the campaign expenses of candidates for public office, serious questions arise: Not least, why should taxpayers subsidize candidates or ideas they oppose? But when taxpayers subsidize only one side in a campaign, there should be outrage. Perhaps there was at the Supreme Court this morning, when the Court blocked an appalling opinion out of, not surprisingly, the oft-overturned Ninth Circuit.
    • Coyote Blog Reactions 
      • I find many of the uses politicians make of the money they take from me to be irritating.  But perhaps the worst of them all is to use my money to fund their own election campaigns when they can’t get enough people to voluntarily contribute.  Which is why I am happy to see the Supreme Court put a injunction on Arizona’s politicians take tax money to re-elect themselves law.
  • Why We Need Fewer Public School Jobs, Not More 
    • The first [of two charts] shows that employment has grown 10 times faster than enrollment over the past 40 years.  The second chart shows how the total cost of sending a single child through the public school system has changed over the years, along with trends in student achievement.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

AZ News & Blogs 6/5/2010

  • AZ Does Financial Gimmickry for Elections 
    • This means that the state is spending a lot of overtime money shifting income by 21 days just to make its current period look better — just like RJR or any other dynsfunctional [sic] private company....But what makes this even more short term is that it only works once — the first time.  It will make the first year this trick is applied look better, but then every year after will go back to being the same, with July losses to the prior year offset by June gains from the forthcoming year.
    • My Thoughts:  Fascinating article on the shenanigans of AZ policy, it's definitely worth reading the whole article.  It would be nice to have real leadership in the AZ legislature.
  • White House Gibbs wants the old John McCain back 
    • “John McCain was very instrumental in getting immigration reform to the point that it was in 2005, 2006 and 2007,” he told reporters during Thursday’s briefing. “I doubt we’re going to get comprehensive immigration reform if we don’t have John McCain doing — doing what he believed in, in those years.”
    • Memo to Robert Gibbs: The White House will get the old John McCain back if he gets re-elected.
  • Early History of the Prescott Arizona Elks Opera House 
    • My Thoughts:  Interesting 7 part series on Elks Opera House (up to part 3 is finished)
  • Arizona sets 2nd phase in sale of buildings 
    • More state buildings go up for sale next week, as officials hope to raise $300 million by selling and then leasing back the schools for deaf and blind children, more state prisons and other structures.
    • My Thoughts:  More financial gimmickry by our state.  According to Goldwater Institute this is illegal, i.e., it's against the AZ constitution which states AZ can't go into too much debt.
  • The Dark Heart of the US Government: Did McCain Betray 600 POWs? 
    • Six days ago, we released our cover story presenting Sydney Schanberg's stunning account of the American abandonment of hundreds of POWs in Vietnam, their presumed later death at Communist hands, and the decades-long governmental cover-up which thereafter ensued.
    • See also commentary by the Southern Avenger 

    Friday, June 4, 2010

    AZ US Senate Primaries

    • Reports used for national politicians
      • The Freedom Index 
        • "The Freedom Index" rates congressmen based on their adherence to constitutional principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and a traditional foreign policy of avoiding foreign entanglements.
      • Congressional Scorecard 
        • We conducted a comprehensive examination of each lawmaker’s record on pro-growth policies and computed an Economic Growth Score on a scale of 0 to 100. A score of 100 indicates the highest support for progrowth policies. Those lawmakers scoring 90 or higher receive the Defender of Economic Freedom award.
    • Republican Candidates
      • Jim Deakin 
        • Deakin hasn't worked as a public employee so I will look at his issues to see how he appears.
          • Interstate Commerce
            • It appears he is for limiting the powers of congress with regards to the interstate commerce clause which has been abused by congress in the past.
          • Pro-life
            • It appears he would like to get the federal government out of abortion funding.
          • Limited government
            • It appears he is for congress only operating in its limited realm.
          • America is not a conquering nation and our forces should only be used to protect our interests and direct threats against our allies.  We are not the world police and we need our men and women to protect our freedom.
          • Native Americans
            • Sovereignty and Freedom do not belong only to the immigrants of this continent. Native American Tribes can control their own trust funds and lands. They do not need our federal government interfering with their lives and traditions.
          • Taxes
            • Simplification of the tax laws must be a priority. One example is the Fair tax and repeal of the 16th amendment to the Constitution. Other options are possible, the goal is to simplify the taxing process and empower states by giving control of cash flow to State Government.
          • Immigration
            • We have so much opportunity that immigrants from all over the world have flocked to our shores. All of that changed starting in 1965 with the Immigration and Naturalization Services Act. The failed policies must be revoked.
          • Health Care
            • Federal Government should be hands off. The current federal regulations restrict the rights and freedoms of state regulatory agencies, individual insurance providers and individuals. Federal Government interference is the cause of the problems.
      • J.D. Hayworth 
        • Freedom Index
          • 110th Congress (January 3, 2007, and January 3, 2009)
            • 40% Vote Record, 40% Score 
            • 110th Congress was used since it reflects the beliefs of the congress person during a republican president, which shows their true colors, not their bipartisanship.
        • Congressional Scorecard
          • 2005/2006
            • Rank 40/30 Score 86/81 
            • 2005/2006 was used since those years covered Hayworth also (for some reason Hayworth doesn't appear in the other years. 
      • John McCain (Incumbent)
        • Freedom Index
          • 110th Congress (January 3, 2007, and January 3, 2009)
            • 60% Vote Record, 44% Score 
            • 110th Congress was used since it reflects the beliefs of the congress person during a republican president, which shows their true colors, not their bipartisanship.
        • Congressional Scorecard
          • 2005/2006
            • Rank 29/29 Score 76/76 
            • 2005/2006 was used since those years covered Hayworth also (for some reason Hayworth doesn't appear in the other years.
            • It should be noted for 2009 McCain had a perfect record.  It could be because he knew he was coming up for election and an unpopular (for republicans) democratic president was elected.
      • My Thoughts:
        • From looking at the data it appears John McCain and J.D. Hayworth are pretty much the same.  Their freedom indexes are both poor.  I wouldn't want either of these guys to represent me.
        • Jim Deakin seems to be the most pro freedom candidate.  Unless someone can give me good reason not to vote for him then I'm for Deakin.

    Thursday, June 3, 2010

    Upcoming Elections

    • August 24, 2010 - Primary Election 
      • Candidate filing window: April 26-May 26 (Analysis will be done after May 26th)
      • The date for candidate filings has passed and the Secretary of State website has the final people that will be in the primary elections.  Nows the time to start figuring out who you are going to vote for.  I will be going over the Republican primary candidates since CD1 leans mostly Republican.  Tomorrow I will post on US Senator and work my way down the list after that.
    • November 2, 2010 - General Election

    Tuesday, June 1, 2010

    Regulation and the State Part 1

    This was originally aired by Stefan Molyneux on his Sunday Show podcast FDR1663 this transcript starts at [15:03].  Note, this has been edited for language and content.

    [T]his idea that we need control over private capitalist organizations is so completely irrational that...this is why i started looking at family stuff.  [Since] there's just no way that anybody can look at a logical diagram and say the following, "We need control over social institutions and so let's a create one social institution arm it to the...teeth, have it be able to steal at will and imprison the population and the population has zero control economically at least over this entity and so we need to create an entity that is completely involuntary and is all powerful and has complete control over the citizenship and we need to create this entity because there are social agencies that the citizens are afraid of not having control over."  I mean that is that is so completely insane that no rational human being with more than 4 1/2 brain cells to rub together would ever come up with that solution.  It's like saying I’m afraid of dating so i want to get raped, i mean that just makes no sense at all, right?  

    So that's the first thing I would say [the] citizens have no control over the all powerful government so the idea that we create a government in order to control dangerous social institutions like free market companies is insane.  [T]he huge difference between me dealing with some local grocery store is that if I don't like that grocery store I don't have to do [a] thing, I don't have to get off the couch, I don't have to take my finger out of my nose or my other hand off the remote let's say.  I don't have to move a muscle or take a breath if I don't like the grocery store down the road because I just won't go there so an action going about my day everything that you do in a free market that is not involved in giving money or time or services to a particular organization is a complete vote against every other corporation in the world, right?  

    So if I go out and buy an iPad that is a vote against every other $600 worth of consumption that I could have made so if I am voting for an iPad I’m voting against every other possible use of that money including saving it…. I don't have to do anything if I don't approve of a particular corporation.  On the other hand, with the government, if you don't agree with what the government does your [screwed].   If you don't like what the government does what are you going to do?  Well you have to go marching, you have to try to get into office, you have to spend a lot of money, you have to risk going to jail if you don't want to pay your taxes.  In other words, the government compels you to obey and the cost of disobedience is unbelievably high to the point most people, and I think reasonably so, won't risk it.

    On the other hand, if I don't agree with what some corporation is doing I don't have to do anything.  I can just sit there and suck up the Doritos dust from my chest as I continue watching another season of “Lost.”  I don't have to do anything.  [T]his difference between positive and negative action is something that people don't understand.  The idea of creating a monopoly of violence in order to solve a multiplicity of voluntarism is completely mad….

    [Also, it has to do with] this bizarre belief that corporations have something to do with the free market.  That corporations exist somehow wildly independent of the government and that corporations are the spawn of the free market, they are the spawn of voluntarism, and they are controlling the government and bribing the government and influencing the government and all this that and the other and that is all complete ahistorical propagandized nonsense.  [C]orporations are state created and state controlled ways of avoiding legal liability for your economic decisions.  

    So if you have a corporation and your corporation does well you take all the money if you have a corporation and your corporation does something stupid or illegal or dangerous or harms people then the corporation gets sued and you don't get touched.  So for instance, this terrible gulf oil spill or this oil leak that is going on at the moment.  That is just completely disastrous and is going to have effects on the ecosystem of the gulf for probably years if not decades to come…. 

    [W]hy are they… drilling 400 miles below the earth below the surface of the sea?  Because, according to environmental regulations, they are really not allowed to drill on land.  Also, why we are we still so dependent on oil?  It's because the U.S. government spends so much money propping up corrupt dictatorships in return for oil.  [H]ow many tens of thousands of troops stationed in Saudi Arabia propping up that dictatorship to get access to oil.  If none of that was occurring the price of oil would be higher or there would already have been reforms in Saudi Arabia and other countries that they prop up through U.S. militarism.  There would have been reforms that would have lowered the price of oil by introducing more competition.  [By] propping up oil based dictatorships, the U.S. is artificially driving up the price of oil and is reducing the incentives for other people to drill….  Now the government does not require the backup systems that might have contained this spill….

    Do you think...that one oil executive is going to lose his house over this I mean if I crash into someone’s car without insurance I’m going to lose my house, assuming they get injured, they're going to take my house I don't think that's unfair but these oil executives hide behind these legal shields called corporations and they don't get any personal exposure to the actions of that corporation you can't go after their houses you can't go after their assets.  So when they are weighing the calculations about whether to spend another 1/2 million dollars because they're drilling at the bottom of the ocean because of all the other government regulations, they're weighing that decision there's no personal stake in that decision.  [T]hat's a bit of an overstatement they may want to keep working, they may want to keep their jobs, they might lose their jobs but their personal assets [won’t be lost].  The people at the top pool making these decisions are already making millions of dollars, have more than enough money to live on for generations.  If they want, and there's no personal stake in any of that, so they make these decisions knowing that if there is a catastrophe it's not going to affect their personal wealth.  

    It's completely insane.  It's like I have a fictional friend and if I do anything good I get all the benefits and if I do anything bad it's my fictional friend who goes to jail and I just get to make up another fictional friend if I want to. [I]f you could just invent your own personal alternate corporation hand puppet and if anything went wrong you said, “No, no, talk to the hand puppet.”  [W]e wouldn't have a functioning system at all.  If that's how it worked at a personal [level nothing would work].  But this how it works at a corporate level.  [I]t has nothing to do with the free market.  I guarantee you there would be no such thing as a corporation in the free market.  A corporation is an entirely state generated entity and it's a way the government buys the votes of rich people and gets their donations by giving them legal immunity from the negative consequences of their bad decisions.  [T]hat's what a corporation is.  It's a bribe to the upper classes to excuse them from the liability of doing disastrous things like screwing up the entire ecosystem of the gulf with 12 billion barrels of oil...

    ...But if it was a free market how would they be regulated?

    ...In a DRO society if I wanted to go drill at the bottom of the ocean the DRO would have…insurance….  I would have to be able to prove in order to get that insurance…to whatever organization that would be responsible for paying out that insurance…that it is safe as humanly possible.  [T]he gulf wasn't even remotely safe as humanly possible.  BP is going to have to pay 1 1000th of the cost of the clean up.  [N]o executives, I guarantee you, no executives will be personally liable one dime of that catastrophe.  It will all get stuck on the tax payers.  That would never happen in the free market because there are no tax payers in the free market.

    ...So you’re just changing the checks and balances from the government to the Dispute Resolution Organizations (DROs) ...

    There are no checks and balances in the government, there's only excuses and predations....


    The Daily Bell Interviews Dr. Wakefield

    Read the whole interview.

    Firstly there is no ethical basis for mandatory vaccination at all. Ethics, the fundamental core of ethics, is fully informed consent; you cannot provide fully informed consent if your information is derelict; if your information is inadequate; and if the information you are providing is wrong. And in the case of the vaccines all three of those pertain.

    I will give you a very recent example of this kind of problem. It was recently reported that a vaccine was found to contain two pig viruses, fragments of two pig viruses, one which caused a wasting-disease in pigs. This vaccine should have been withdrawn from the market immediately and indefinitely until the problem had been resolved. That the vaccine was allowed to be used on the market is absolutely unacceptable because the consequences are unknown. I am afraid that is the kind of extraordinary attitude towards safety that pervades the vaccine policy makers in this country at the moment.

    Well certainly immunity can occur in other ways, through natural exposure. Vaccines are effective and I am in no way anti-vaccine. Again, I reiterate that I am for a safety-first vaccination policy.

    There are certain vaccines which I see no use for whatsoever. They are purely there for commercial reasons, and in fact they have done more harm than good. We are in a state of some confusion because the safety studies have not been done properly from the onset. And by safely, what I mean is whether vaccines can be given in combination with the rest of the vaccine schedule – or whether they interact with or potentiate the reactions of those vaccines.

    My thoughts:  It makes it hard to know what to believe when science isn't based on science.

    Soaring costs force Canada to reassess health model

    Read the whole article.

    Pressured by an aging population and the need to rein in budget deficits, Canada's provinces are taking tough measures to curb healthcare costs, a trend that could erode the principles of the popular state-funded system.

    ...British Columbia is replacing block grants to hospitals with fee-for-procedure payments and Quebec has a new flat health tax and a proposal for payments on each medical visit -- an idea that critics say is an illegal user fee.

    And a few provinces are also experimenting with private funding for procedures such as hip, knee and cataract surgery.

    "...We can't continually see health spending growing above and beyond the growth rate in the economy because, at some point, it means crowding out of all the other government services.

    "At some stage we're going to hit a breaking point."

    "...Many of the advances in healthcare and life expectancy are due to the pharmaceutical industry so we should never demonize them," said U of T's Golden. "We need to ensure that they maintain a profitable business but our ability to make it very very profitable is constrained right now."

    Scotia Capital's Webb said one cost-saving idea may be to make patients aware of how much it costs each time they visit a healthcare professional. "(The public) will use the services more wisely if they know how much it's costing," she said. 

    "If it's absolutely free with no information on the cost and the information of an alternative that would be have been more practical, then how can we expect the public to wisely use the service?" 

    My thoughts:  Yes, a freer market would lower costs.  A completely free market would make it really inexpensive.

    But change may come slowly. Universal healthcare is central to Canada's national identity, and decisions are made as much on politics as economics. 

    "It's an area that Canadians don't want to see touched," said TD's Burleton. "Essentially it boils down the wishes of the population. But I think, from an economist's standpoint, we point to the fact that sometimes Canadians in the short term may not realize the cost."

    My thoughts:  No one is going to be willing to give up what they get for "free."  Just witness the recent 1 cent sales tax increase in AZ.  People don't want to give up their cash cow (i.e., pay check from the state) and "free" education.  Socialism just doesn't work.