ViaMeadia // The Miracles Wrought by Price Transparency

Read more at: The Miracles Wrought by Price Transparency

A surgery center in Oklahoma has started a bidding war by offering drastically lower prices than other providers and posting them online. The center describes itself as “free-market loving”—an unorthodox but welcome branding for a health care provider. The evidence of its success, however, is eye-popping. Where some hospitals charge more than $16,000 for a breast biopsy, Oklahoma Surgery Center charges $3, 500, according to a local Oklahoma news station. And that’s just one of many impressive examples.

Read more at: IndyStar: Abdul: Why our health-care system needs a single-payer – you

The recent move by the Obama administration to delay implementation of the employer mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act means this is the perfect time to have a grown-up discussion about how we deliver health care in this country. As a free market-conservative, social-libertarian political pundit, I am convinced more than ever that it is time in this country for a single-payer health care system.

Get rid of employer ‘health insurance’ go with health savings plans and catastrophic medical insurance AND PUBLISHED PRICING then we at least know what the real price is and stop paying for so many empty suites…

On a very related note, at least in my mind: There is a great debate about the collapse of the demand for lawyers and the issues with ‘Higher Ed’ payoff vs price in general outside of core STEM. But as a practicing engineer, business development type I have to tell you that one of the most pernicious problems in today’s world is an over supply of pure play MBA’s, business school PhD’s, Operations consultants, etc, etc, et-bloody-cettera. I’m not saying that the tech types know all, do all, but when they are ignored the company ( practice, clinic,….. ) in which they work becomes a zombie…and as we all know zombies can win in the short run, even proliferate, but in the end they either rot out or pull down the society (economy) around them.

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Rudimentary Liver from Stem Cell, 3D Printed Ear and 3D Printed micro Battery ? What does the future hold

Theres a huge amount of research going on in fields that don’t at first appear to have much to do with each other that could in the next few years to few decades lead to a world where the possibility of building new organs either as replacements or upgrades is possible, even common.

Read more at: MIT TR // A Rudimentary Liver Is Grown from Stem Cells
Read more at: Princeton Nano Letter // 3D Printed Bionic Ears
Read more at: MIT TR // A Battery and a “Bionic” Ear: a Hint of 3-D Printing’s Promise
From ViaMeadia:

Those worried about the future of employment in America—for themselves or for the country as a whole—should look to this data. As of now, many of the jobs of the future are going to be health care jobs, and that will only become more true if Obamacare stands and the pool of insured patients expands dramatically. To understand what the jobs of the future will be (or to land one), go where the money is: services, and especially, according to this data, health services.
For those unlikely to take up health jobs, this graph might seem discouraging. After all, more doctors and health workers points to more health care costs, in a system that’s already vastly too expensive. As the Atlantic points out on its piece on the graph, “There are a couple stories that branch off from this graph. One is the unchecked growth in health care prices over the last few decades, which has made the medical industry the one truly recession-proof job engine of the economy.”
But there’s also a case of optimism here. The Atlantic notes that the two kinds of health care jobs most likely to grow in coming decades are personal health aides and home health workers. This is good news even on its own; achieving a better balance between hospital care and home care is an important task for health care reformers. Moreover, it means there’s a lot of room for entrepreneurial individualse to come up with new and creative ways to cater to a growing demand for personalized health care.

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Read more at: Jobs of the Future in One Astounding Graph

Motley Fool // Is Sony the Next Apple?

Is Sony the Next Apple?
By Leo Sun – June 26, 2013

There is a lot of evidence suggesting that Cook doesn’t know where to go from here – Apple’s stock buyback, dividend, and bond sale all indicate that the company could become a slow-growth tech stock like Microsoft and IBM. The iPad Mini and iOS 7 also suggested to investors that the road ahead would be reactionary, rather than revolutionary.

… Sony has expanded into is the phablets category, … a 6.4-inch screen …seriously pushing the acceptable size limit of a smartphone.

Although the Ultra seems like a goofy attempt to capture some of the phablet market from Samsung, I believe that it could gain some serious ground when used in tandem with the SmartWatch 2 and a Bluetooth headset. Many consumers could stow the Ultra in a bag, while using the SmartWatch to check on basic information and tasks while using a Bluetooth headset to make calls or listen to music. To view movies, make video calls or games, the Ultra could be brought out and used like a normal tablet.

I’m no sure Apple has lost it’s mojo but I agree there is evidence of it.

I think that the latest iteration of blue tooth and general tech advances definitely plays to the padPhone+smartWatch+headSet combo and maybe, maybe Apple missed it.

Apple IMO also has missed the stylus revolution, pads of all sizes need sophisticated hand writing, sketch, art input capability to jump another level of ubiquitous usefulness.

I hope Apple is looking at things like 3D Printing, scanning and model manipulation and creation, in the same way they took on the 2D Printing world, there would be a real break out stroke.

Syria, the ugly truth is its not going to get better

Syria (like Egypt) as presently constituted simply is not viable as a country. Iraq might be viable, because it has enough oil to subsidize a largely uneducated, pre-modern population. As an economist and risk analyst (I ran Credit Strategy for Credit Suisse and all fixed income research for Bank of America), I do not believe that there is any way to stabilize either country

Read more @:http://pjmedia.com/spengler/2013/06/05/muslim-civil-wars-stem-from-a-crisis-of-civilization

Entrepreneurial Drought Limiting job and wealth creation

20130604-210243.jpgWhere are the entrepreneurs? More evidence the very heart of the US economy is failing
James Pethokoukis | June 3, 2013

In my opinion the culprits are easy to discern…..

  1. Uncertainty
  2. Regulation
  3. Taxes
  4. intellectual property law breakdown ( too much, too long, too easy)
  5. Healthcare
  6. Retirement
  7. Risk aversion by banks

I am also thinking that:

  1. the informal economy is more active than is accounted for
  2. people who are paid can in fact support more hangers on than one might expect
  3. especially away from the ‘urbs’
  4. significant numbers are hidden on disability of one sort or another

Which may be hiding lots of small scale entrepreneurial efforts.

But in the main what we are seeing is the aggregate effect of the first list which significantly suppresses the urge to grow. Many commentators miss that the way so much regulation is structured once you reach a certain size it suddenly becomes asymptotically more difficult / expensive / stressful to operate. This makes even starting much less attractive. It also means that we are suppressing companies just as they start to kick up into a realm where they could potentially quickly accelerate out of small business land into middle sized and become more consequential.

This is a socio-economic problem that has to be solved on a broad scale:

  1. Lower but still progressive taxes
  2. Brute simple tax code
  3. Individual focused health care
  4. Individual focused retirement
  5. Small business non interference focus in government rules setting
  6. Standards setting and supporting organizations for: health, safety, financial stability, etc, instead of regulatory administrations
  7. Return IP law to its small creator anti monopoly roots
  8. Support a couple of ‘international’ banks but return banking to moderate scale focus
  9. Eliminate subsidies
  10. Continue deep and wide science support with focus on stimulating commercial support like NASA’s ISS assured access program.

Both main parties need to develop their versions of this list, the massive scale, top down, big corporation supporting model both have devolved into has come to the end of its efficacy and we need to go back to our roots. Those roots are individuals acting on, in and through the small scale collective, which both Dem and Rep should be able to support. Of course the downside is that large scale pandering and petty corruption are less hide-able in such a polity.