"I wish they would only take me as I am" - Vincent Van Gogh               "How Can I believe in God when just last week I got my tounge caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?" - Woody Allen              "Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake" - Henry David Thoreau              "I took a speed reading course and read 'War and Peace' in twenty minutes. It involves Russia" - Woody Allen            "When promulgating esoteric cogitations, eschew platitudinous ponderosities" - Mark Rowan, my father            "Up, sluggard, and waste not life, for in the grave there will be sleep enough" - Benjamin Franklin             "What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world." - Albert Einstein            "Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence" - Ronald Reagan            "It's odd that you can get so anesthetized by your own pain or your own problem that you don't quite fully share the hell of someone close to you." - Lady Bird Johnson              "I still want to be the candidate for guys with confederate flags in their pickup truck" - Howard Dean

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Graduate of the University of Oregon, Married for 4-1/2 years to my High School sweetheart. I am currently residing in Cleveland while I attend med school.

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    Sunday, January 21, 2007

    Recent Readings

    I've had a lot to talk about recently, but not a lot of time to do so. But, right now I am making time to write about two books I recently read, and would strongly recommend to anyone else interested.

    The Cure: How Capitalism can save American Health Care was a great read for anyone interested in the American Health care crisis. I am an avid opponent of socialized or single-payer health care for numerous reasons. I am often called stingy, greedy, selfish, or uncompassionate about my stance. However, I feel that strides should be made to empower the uninsured, rather than entitle them. The Cure takes a similar stance, and demonstrates through careful analyses how Health Savings Accounts would be one of the solutions to making health care more affordable. In summary, a free-market system would reduce costs, enabling those who currently can't afford to purchase insurance. In addition, the book debunks several myths about health care. These myths include facts and figures about the number of uninsured, the quality of care in socialized systems, and worries about Health Savings Accounts.

    I also read Who Really Cares by Arthur Brooks. It is a breakdown of the factors that seem to contribute towards who is charitable and who is not. I was skeptical that it would be written with a heavily partisan attitude, but it was nothing of the sort. In fact, the author admits that he was surprised by his own results, but their consistency made him change his opinion. So, what were those results? That conservatives are more charitable than liberals, the religious more charitable than the non religious, and most surprisingly, those who favor a forced income distribution are far stingier than those who believe in the free market! Brooks presents his conclusions with data, and controls for differences in other factors (such as age, income, race, gender, etc...). What I found most interesting is the discussion of causality. Brooks' analysis concludes that not only does an increasing income also increase charitable giving, but charitable giving leads to an increased income! Perhaps its Karma at work.

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