If you’re a liberal upset at your insurance premiums rising under PPACA, fortunately you have dKos contributors to tell you how stupid and ungrateful you are.

Right now, all of the talk is about how PPACA will affect individual coverage. The other side of the coin is that it will affect group coverage, as well.

The story of the octopus that almost ate Seattle is interesting on a number of levels. Steve touches on the more interesting angles.

How a non-consensual rat/duck tryst created a flesh-eating platypus that terrorized Australia.

Hold on tight, we may be about to undergo a Sriracha shortage.

A lot of smartypantses have been pointing out that there was no mass panic over the War of the Worlds broadcast. A world in which that did occur is more interesting than a world in which that did not occur, so I choose to ignore them.

The Dutch welfare state is getting some increased scrutiny. The King says it’s over.

The remarkable story of Megabus, the unsubsidized bus system that appears to be making a lot of gains fast.

Young entrepreneurs, meet the tax-collectors. (Kids told they have to explain why they don’t owe $200 on $14 they made at a craft sale.)

Darius Tahir argues that we should lift doctor-licensing restrictions. While opposition to this is always chalked up as financial – and often is – I’ve heard pushback on this even from doctors who genuinely want the shortage alleviated. There are other factors at play, both bad (professional arrogance) and good (concern over care).

That different country called the past: Rebecca Rosen unearth the internal memo that allowed IBM’s female employees to get married.

Category: Newsroom

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12 Responses to Linkluster Ways To Make Change For a Dollar

  1. Peter says:

    Megabus’s success is not altogether surprising. Intercity buses can survive without subsides. Unlike city buses, they’re not required to operate on lightly traveled routes, and unlike commuter buses, they don’t have to deal with rush hour “peaking.” Not to mention the fact that they often don’t have to use expensive union labor.

  2. As somebody notes, it’s pretty easy to run a model where you fill up the buses with yield demand pricing, don’t pay for rental space in bus terminals, pay your drivers lower wages, and have your costs spread against other non-users.

    In other words, the bus can do well because there’s plenty of untapped demand, and the bus doesn’t pay the full operating costs of designing, building, operating, and maintaining the roadway network. Amtrak, OTOH in the Northeast, has to pay not just to maintain its trains, but it’s entire infrastructure along with the employees needed to do that. The bus companies get to share that cost with other motorists.

    • trumwill says:

      Which is one of the great advantages of buses generally (public and private lines). They can utilize existing infrastructure, instead of requiring their own.

      • WillD says:

        So long as the Federal Highway system recovers less than 47% of its income from tax revenue and makes up the difference with funding from the general tax fund it is at best misleading to claim any intercity bus provider is “unsubsidized”. Highways are naturally occurring and their maintenance is not free. Thus infrastructure may exist at the moment, but it will not do so forever. The not insignificant cost for that maintenance is born largely by the taxpayers and the highway system, along with every user, receives a direct subsidization from the general fund of more than 50% their cost to utilize the highway.

        • trumwill says:

          Meh. The roads are there for everybody to use and the roads would be there – as would the vast, vast majority of costs incurred – with or without the buses. We really ought to reconfigure the highway funding model so that drivers pay a lot more of the load than they do. That’s on us, though, and not users of the road. We prefer it this way.

  3. says:

    I remain unconvinced that a blanket national doctor shortage exists. The existence of regional shortages varying by specialty is more likely. You know what’s coming, but I’ll type it again anyway. I work in a specialty with a physician surplus leading to the consequence that jobs are hard to find and the likelihood of being forced to live in undesirable areas or of being underemployed for long periods is high. I’ve been one of the relatively lucky ones in finding a job, yet even so I would argue that my outcome hasn’t been worth the tuition cost, the time and misery reflected in training (which took roughly a decade after college), and the opportunity cost of pursuing this path in life. Tahir (and ? you) wants every physician in the U.S. to experience this outcome or worse. It’s not at all worth it. Moreover, it’s totally unfair. A U.S. physician can’t just pick up sticks and re-establish his practice in many other countries, but Tahir wants to allow foreigners to do that here.

    • trumwill says:

      I think you’re absolutely right about blanket national doctor shortages. It’s really a matter of region and specialties. A lot of regions, though, and some pretty significant specialties.

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