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The economic impact of the Pill is undoubtedly quite positive. Still unclear from that data whether it needs to be subsidized (and in particular, whether even name brand varieties of whatever type need to be available at zero copay, as opposed to generics or simply offering it over the counter), since it seems like there are substantial private gains.

Has it also played a role in declining fertility? If so, perhaps the long-term effects are still unclear.

Short term, maybe. If evolution is a valid concept, the long term impact may well be negative. The pill is causing more wimpy men to be selected.
Probably the future will be less violent becasue of this, but also less dynamic and lacking animal spirits.

Your preferences may vary.

6. is interesting because the coda of the story demonstrates that the Post is not just reporting the news, but also creating it.

The problem with many of these worthwhile Banking Reform Proposals is that you need to reform other aspects of Govt in order for them to be viable. It's certainly worth trying one of these plans, but, given current political realities, everyone knows the Govt will be a Lender of Last Resort in the event of a Financial Crisis, for example. Without some form of Narrow Banking, maybe it's just better to admit the truth, & hope Crises can be averted by making it clear that the Govt is a LOLR, & will step in to facilitate an Orderly Unwinding from a Financial Crisis. The part about serious legal scrutiny of the Banks is essential, but, again, it's hard to imagine that Banks won't manage to ease constraints put upon them over time, especially if things are going well. Nevertheless, Good Luck!

@4

Something tells me that if access to prostitutes showed the same economic "gains" for men (men can then focus on being productive without worrying about preg--I mean sexual access) as birth control puportedly does for women, the feminist-Jezebel-white knight complez would not be calling for the subsidization for prostitutes for mens.

Kudos to the left on successully imposing the false dichotomy: "you're either for the subsidization of women's lifestyles or you're a misogynist who wants to take away women's rights." The public is buying hook, line, sinker.

*complex, *of prostitutes, not "for". iPhone gets me
everytime

1. I'm glad to see the broker identify the real source of the problem; bots and other tools (like autodialers) that make it virtually impossible for the ticket-buying public to get seats. I don't begrudge a secondary market, but when the brokers get all the tickets, its not really a secondary market. More of a wholesaler/distributor/consumer relationship with the distributor/broker taking a fat cut. Oddly, he doesn't think paperless ticketing is much of a solution. Sadly, states like New York are banning paperless ticket systems.

Meh, he sounds like John Henry complaining about the steam-powered drill.

#4 is a great argument in favor of birth control, but I have no idea why it's supposed to be an argument in favor of forcing private companies to subsidize already cheap birth control:

"Such trends have helped narrow the earnings gap between men and women. Indeed, the paper suggests that the pill accounted for 30 percent – 30 percent! – of the convergence of men’s and women’s earnings from 1990 to 2000."

Sounds like women are internalizing the benefits of birth control, shouldn't they internalize the costs as well? Especially since the benefits are so much greater than the costs? Isn't this a wealth transfer from men and women who use different forms of birth control to women who use the pill?

Precisely. Plus coitus interruptus and abstinence are both free. Condoms are pretty cheap too.

This is about whether or not birth-control-consuming women get their whims paid for by others.

The purpose of insurance is to cover unexpected expenses. Contraception is not an unexpected expense. It makes more economic sense to pay for contraceptives out of pocket than to pay insurance companies to administer predictable expenses. No rational person who could afford contraceptives out of pocket would choose to pay for an insurance policy that covered contraceptives but cost more than the out of pocket costs. Therefore, there is no valid economic argument that insurance should cover contraceptives. There is, however, a strong argument for subsidizing contraceptives for those who cannot afford to pay for them out of pocket. Why don't we admit that that is the debate in question and that it has and should have nothing to do with insurance?

Because innocuous euphemisms allow us to pretend the issue isn't about wealth transference to some women from men and other women.

Jesus Christ you pathetic little whiner. We're all sorry you don't make enough to step up to the plate and handle a little bit of "wealth transference."

Seriously, for a guy who so obviously worships at the altar of that big talker with the face of a troll - Roissy - you're very beta.

Ah, the ad hominems come out. Would you like some napkins for that frothy mouth of yours? Maybe insurance will cover them.

Believe it or not, Roissy isn't the only person in the world with a passing interest in the intersection of economics and anthropology.

Laughing hysterically that either he or you is interested in anthropology.

You're both interested in an 'up-with-men' movement because you can't handle this world we're living in. You reek of 'beta-tude.'

Ha, someone's projecting. Whatever you need to tell yourself to help you sleep at night, internet tough guy.

funny how feminists used to shriek like banshees about getting the government out of their bedrooms, but now that the scent of free gimmedats are in the air the tune has changed to getting the government into their bedrooms.

ps we're all sorry you don't make enough to buy your own contraceptives. woman up.

Another wuss speaks up. I'm male, you pube.

coulda fooled me.

Hardly an accomplishment.

The argument against that is that contraceptives are not just that. They help prevent a bunch of expensive to treat diseases, and can be used to treat some as well. So what proponents are saying is that it's cheaper to pay for contraceptives than not to do so, because the long-run expenses will be lower.

I have no idea if the numbers actually work out that way, but while it is not insurance, there are certainly conditions under which it makes sense for insurance providers to provide non-insurance items.

It makes more economic sense to pay for contraceptives out of pocket than to pay insurance companies to administer predictable expenses. No rational person who could afford contraceptives out of pocket would choose to pay for an insurance policy that covered contraceptives but cost more than the out of pocket costs. Therefore, there is no valid economic argument that insurance should cover contraceptives.

I get your point, but you overlook a couple of things.

First, it might well make sense to pay for such a policy if the insurance company is able to get a better price for the pills than individuals. In effect, the buyer is paying to join a buying cooperative.

More important, the valid economic argument that insurance should cover contraceptives is that it can be cheaper than not covering them. If the expenses of pregnancy, childbirth, and post-natal care are large enough, on average, to outweigh the cost of contraception then overall costs are reduced, not increased, by covering contraception. You can't just look at the cost of the pills themselves. My insurer pays for my flu shot once a year, like clockwork. Why is that?

Obviously that's not an argument for compelling insurers to cover it

You're right that "you can’t just look at the cost of the pills themselves." You also can't simply compare those costs to the benefits and assume that provides a justification for insurance covering contraception. You have to also consider the tendency of women (especially middle- and upper-class women) to pay for contraception themselves precisely because the benefits are large. It's not "cost neutral" for insurance companies to cover something that people would buy without coverage.

Mandating that private insurance companies cover birth control amounts to nothing more than a tax subsidy for middle-class women to buy something most of them would buy anyway. You can find plenty of health economists, including Jonathon Gruber, who would tell you that such subsidies are a bad idea.

You have to also consider the tendency of women (especially middle- and upper-class women) to pay for contraception themselves precisely because the benefits are large. It’s not “cost neutral” for insurance companies to cover something that people would buy without coverage.

Mandating that private insurance companies cover birth control amounts to nothing more than a tax subsidy for middle-class women to buy something most of them would buy anyway.

First of all, whatever it is, it's not a tax subsidy. Second, you really can't make the claim you make without knowing how many women would buy the pills themselves. Some would. Some wouldn't. I note you refer only to middle and upper-class women. Besides, health insurance pays for lots of things people, especially middle to upper-class people, would pay for themselves if insurance didn't. So you're applying your principle rather selectively, I'd say.

And while you're complaining about subsidies, think about this. There are many behaviors that affect our health and our medical bills. To the extent that health insurance pays the bills for the consequences of behavior, rather than for random bad luck, it's full of subsidizations.

I seem to recall a paper linked here earlier, hhttp://www.psc.isr.umich.edu/pubs/pdf/rr11-737.pdf the final paragraph of which was:

Our results suggest that the enactment of the Deficit Reduction Act and the consequent
increase in the price of the Pill on college campuses did have an effect on the contraceptive
choices of college women, primarily by reducing Pill usage in populations that are likely to be
financially constrained, but did not increase the rates of unintended pregnancy or sexually
transmitted infections for most women.

Women are quite aware of the costs of having a child, and they are capable of choosing whether or not to do so. Paying for contraception simply shifts some of the costs of avoiding motherhood away from the women using them.

Also, the focus on middle class women is because they are the women primarily affected by a rule requiring employers to buy health insurance policies that cover birth control. Poor women have access to government provided options and contraception is a trivial expense for upper class women.

"Besides, health insurance pays for lots of things people, especially middle to upper-class people, would pay for themselves."
- Routine dental visits is a good example. In that case, I've assumed the insurance companies are pulling a fast one on people by not providing more options. I'm sure that I'm getting ripped off in the long run by paying for dental insurance that pays for routine visits that I would otherwise pay for out of pocket -- but what choice do I have if I want to be covered for something more serious? The insurance plan at my company doesn't give me that option. What would an economist call that? It's not exactly a monopoly, since my employer could shop around for other plans if they felt it mattered enough to their employees to do so. But from my perspective as an individual, the insurance company has some monopoly-like power by not offering options that the most rational person would choose. -- Another argument for why insurance should be separated from employment.

"And while you’re complaining about subsidies"
- I realize you're talking to the other guy/girl about this, but realize that your statement makes it sound as if that person were complaining about any subsides, when their specific complaint was about subsidies for the "middle class". Does anyone think a sub-group of the middle class should be subsidized for anything? I can't even think of a hypothetical example that makes any economic, social or moral sense for subsidizing anyone in the middle class for anything. (Alas, it makes political sense for politicians.)

Yet if the public debate were: Should we subsidize contraceptives for poor people? I would emphatically answer yes. But neither pundits on the right or left will let us have *that* debate.

Lower class women, who presumably need the subsidy more, are less likely to be covered.

Isolating consumers from the cost coupled seems likely to boost costs. Since all insurance must now cover, it seems plausible higher overall costs will be passed back and distributed across all insurance consumers.

It seems more plausible that the rule was passed to benefit either pill producers or health clinics needing business (also now covered I presume), with the assumption that if the pills were not free, many women would choose alternatives such as condoms.

Alternatively, it may have simply been a political ploy to make those of us griping about dictatorial government edicts appear anti-women (as opposed to anti-statist). After all, it gets solar panels off the front page.

Scalpers? So what? They buy something, wait until it is more valuable then sell it.

the oed tells me that there was once a town in warwickshire called Schitewellemor. also, that skidbrooke in lincolnshire used to be called Schytebroc... for reasons i needn't elaborate.

I think 3 really is important and striking. The conjunction of limited liability legislation and skyrocketing equity payments to executives has caused problems, and led to this response. I decided to post about it here:
http://richaelmussell.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/capitalism-challenged-uk-bank-reform.html

5) ...and here comes the next crash...

On #4, were there cost controls built into the mandate? (seriously, I dont know)

I havent heard of any, so I've been assuming it looks like this:
1.) Big Pharma donates gobs of money to Obama.
2.) As a kickback, Obama admin writes a mandate that allows price-unrestricted consumption of a product of Big Pharma.

To me this looks like in-your-face corruption, what am I missing?

6. While I am all about getting rid of offensive naming sometimes it leads to idiocy, for example look up "Naughty Girl Meadow" in Oregon.

But othertimes it is offensive on its own, once they started renaming everything named Negro, suddenly they started changing Spanish toponyms too. Often in Southwest a Negro Peak or Negro Hill is a half translation of Pico Negro or Cerro Negro, or such. And this sort if placename can exist from Oregon through Colorado and into Florida and all points South.

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