Accountable healthcare: a national trend may have just landed in a hospital near you

In July 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare into existence, and handed former President Harry Truman the first Medicare card. There was much celebration. The next day, the struggle began to keep the program solvent. It’s not much of an exaggeration, really. Medicare was less than a decade old when, in efforts to contain…

Justice is Served in Bell

We return our attention to Bell, California. Administrators and council members there paid themselves exorbitant salaries while cutting city services, overcharging taxes and fees, and creating a major municipal revenue source out of a vehicle impounding program. This and more was accomplished in a roughly DeKalb-sized town with per capita income of $24,000. Now, today…

Makers Vs. Takers

The Monkey Cage is a political science blog. One of the topics this week is “makers vs. takers” in the USA. Creating a working definition of takers is tricky. A core conceptual problem is that making versus taking is a matter of degree…nearly all of us are takers to some extent. And nearly everyone contributes…

The Busted Economy as a House Afire

**Update 9/6: Here are a couple charts as visual aids. Approach them cautiously if you’re prone to vertigo.** Over the weekend at CEPR blog, Dean Baker addresses the question, “Are the American people better off than they were four years ago?” The reason we know that the questioners are incompetent reporters is that this is…

Be the First Illinoisan to Fly a Pet Drone!

The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to bring you lists of authorized drone pilots/sites and map their locations. You do not have to be President of the United States to own and fly drones. We are lucky to live in such an egalitarian country! [looking at map] Geez, get with…

Nonpartisan Redistricting Not Quite a Cure-All for Gerrymandering

Pro Publica: How Democrats Fooled California’s Redistricting Commission. Previous redistrictings had been executed by political pros with intimate knowledge of California’s sprawling political geography. The commissioners had little of that expertise — and one of their first acts was to deprive themselves of the data that might have helped them spot partisan manipulation. The law…

Secret Santas

RRStar.com/AP: “Anonymous donors pay off KMart layaway accounts” The benefactors generally ask to help families who are squirreling away items for young children. They often pay a portion of the balance, usually all but a few dollars or cents so the layaway order stays in the store’s system. The phenomenon seems to have begun in…

Real Story on the Drop in Unemployment

One potential cause of a drop in unemployment is a declining labor force. In this case women are dropping out of the labor force in significant numbers — and not household “second earners,” either. I quite recently discovered CEPR Blog and am getting a lot out of it, so have added it to the Public…

What I’m Reading

Daily Chronicle: “Briscoe: Here’s Budget 101 for District 428” The Stephenson Blumdoggle: “The State of Stephenson County: Delusional and Propagandized” (which is also about a budget. I recommend reading a bit further as well, at least to “A Justified Default on $5.5 million”). Capitol Fax.com: “Joe Walsh Tells Candidate He’s Running in Another District” Pro…