Archive for February, 2009

Stimulus Stamps - Alternative Currency

Friday, February 27th, 2009 by Grady Cash

Last year, consumers received a tax refund to stimulate spending, but much of the funds were saved, so the desired impact was not achieved. This effect could be eliminated by issuing an immediate tax refund to all adults of $1,000 that would not be a check, but a form of alternative currency that I’ll refer [...]

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Replacing Protectionism with “Informationism”

Monday, February 23rd, 2009 by Al Lewis (alewis)

Food labels have listed ingredients for decades.  Some people ignore them while others read them before making a purchase decision.   No one questions the value of the information to the consumer, though.
Appliances have been sporting Energy Star labels for two decades too.  Once again, some people ignore them while others don’t, but no one questions [...]

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Eco friendly alternative to bottled water

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009 by jc2hughes

Bottled water has become a fact of life, but the evironmental cost is high. From the materials used to manufacture the bottles to the consumption of gas in the trucks used to ship it to stores, bottled water is an environmental disaster.
But there is a simple solution. Instead of selling bottled water, stores and restaurants [...]

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Reducing the Cost of Being Poor

Friday, February 20th, 2009 by Al Lewis (alewis)

Imagine a way to stimulate the economy and put more money into the hands of both the working poor and small businesses, while reducing both the foreclosure rate and the federal deficit, all without raising taxes.
Economic alchemy, you say?   Read on.
Chances are, if you in the demographic which reads these essays, you have never applied for, [...]

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New Hampshire Can Please Gays and Straights in their Marriage Debate

Saturday, February 7th, 2009 by Al Lewis (alewis)

Why are there only two options — gays get to marry, like straight couples, or they don’t? We propose that a new word be created to cover marriage between gays OR between straights, with exactly the same rights as a regular marriage. Gays use the new word and straights can use it if they want. But — respecting the opinions of those who think that traditional marriage should only be between a man and a woman — the regular word “marriage” is reserved for straights. Sort of like the word “Ms.” was created to allow both unmarried and married women to use if they want, but they can still use the other words if they like.

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Saving Medicare Advantage

Friday, February 6th, 2009 by Al Lewis (alewis)

Member acquisitions costs can approach 10% of fees in Medicare Advantage HMOs. By making Medicare Fee For Service an “opt out” rather than

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Protecting Ourselves from Dirty Bombs

Friday, February 6th, 2009 by wtobey

Why Do We Have a Better System for Disposing of Bottles than for Radioactive Material?
The Problem
Radiological sources have many beneficial uses.  Among other things, they help us to diagnose and treat disease, avoid crop damage without using pesticides, search for oil, and ensure that food supplies are pure.  In the wrong hands, however, they can [...]

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For Universities Only: A Stimulating Thought on Stimulus Economics

Thursday, February 5th, 2009 by Al Lewis (alewis)

Whoever reads this first from a university, wins.  That’s how obvious the idea is.  The previous post calling for a new branch of study, Stimulus Economics, left out the obvious benefit to whichever university reads this posting first:  Money.  The university which is first to establish a sub-department of “Stimulus Economics” will find that this [...]

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We Need a New Branch of Economics: Stimulus Economics

Monday, February 2nd, 2009 by Al Lewis (alewis)

I put the term “stimulus economics” in my category list last week, covering several postings aimed at getting people to spend more money. In my naivete I thought the field already existed as an academic discipline, but it doesn’t.

It is not macroeconomics, which studies the effect of fiscal and monetary policy.  Stimulus Economics is [...]

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