Most of us recognize that politicians don’t always reveal their true thoughts. We know what they say their priorities are, but only a mind-reader would try to tell us what they really think.
Writing at his regular Beat the Press blog (7/8/09), economist Dean Baker says that the New York Times‘ David Leonhardt “rightly complains that President Obama’s healthcare plan does nothing to change the incentives for doctors to prescribe expensive forms of care, even when there is no evidence that this care will lead to better outcomes.” But “Leonhardt fails to take the extra step and ask why this care is expensive”: In most cases, the care is more expensive because it involves expensive medical equipment and drugs, with a healthy dash of high doctors’ fees as well. The reason that medical […]
While the U.S. economy’s current ills have proven “that the people who run Citigroup, J.P. Morgan, Wells and other major financial institutions may not be the sharpest knives in the drawer,” Dean Baker (Beat the Press, 2/18/09) wants to know, “How much do taxpayers have to cough up to make up for their ineptitude?”: David Leonhardt’s (February 18 New York Times) discussion of housing bailout plans never seems to consider the possibility that we would just let large numbers of foreclosures occur and let the banks eat their losses. Yes, many, if not most, of the banks will go under. […]
Today New York Times business columnist David Leonhardt (12/10/08) weighs in on the $73-an-hour autoworker. His verdict is somewhat mixed–the Big Three do have to pay the so-called legacy costs that are part of this calculation, but it’s misleading to conflate that with current earnings of autoworkers: So what is the reality behind the number? Detroit’s defenders are right that the number is basically wrong. Big Three workers aren’t making anything close to $73 an hour (which would translate to about $150,000 a year). And he adds a little media criticism: The Big Three built up a huge pool of […]