Home Authors Posts by Dawn Allen
While it's understandable that businesses would prefer to keep certain trade secrets and proprietary formulations under wraps, matters of food safety should be considered in a different light. If brands feel like they would lose market share to competitors who hadn't sold or distributed dangerous products, perhaps that fear should be realized for the good of consumers everywhere. This is the problem of information asymmetry; that is, when buyers and sellers have different levels of information about a product that lead to different decision-making capabilities.
While President Trump might not have realized how complex fixing healthcare could be, pretty much everyone else had some idea. What people may not fully realize is that the private sector isn't as virtuously free of the kinds of waste, fraud, and abuse that are typically attributed only to government. Putting a dent in these money pits would go a long way towards bringing cheaper healthcare to desperate people.
Almost everyone interprets the Matrix and Hunger Games as metaphors which obviously endorse the same truths that they, themselves, accept. It's more difficult to accept that people whose agendas counter our own rarely believe themselves to be the bad guys.
Every day, Americans seem to grow more and more politically polarized. Hypotheses abound as to why this happens. Some credit the Internet for serving up fake news that tickles our confirmation bias. Others blame our self-selected echo chambers, from our chosen media outlets to our red and blue geographical enclaves. Deregulation of the media and failure to enforce the Fairness Doctrine may even play a part. However, the root cause may run still deeper. Perhaps the real differences have been inside of us all along. Can we bridge the partisan divide when we do not even share basic assumptions about the way the world works?
Have you ever known someone who promises one thing and delivers another? It's pretty disappointing, isn't it? You wouldn't buy a bag of chips expecting to find it full of leaves when you get home. Most folks would go back and demand a refund if that happened. Yet, this is exactly what is happening with some legislation working its way through Congress. Compared to what people really want, what our legislators deliver leaves much to be desired. It's enough to make one wonder who really employs Congress: people like you and me, or corporations and big money?
With Trump riding the electoral college into office and the political Left in a bit of disarray, what happens next? We can protest to our heart's delight, but unless it influences actual policy, naught will come of it. Preaching to the choir means the Left sings louder, but a popular vote win means little to the electoral college. We, as progressives, must find ways to regain more of the red votes out in Middle America, but how? And who shall we throw under the bus in order to capture those votes?
How many people are scammed every day by drug copay clawbacks? When you take your doctor's prescription to a pharmacy to be filled, you're probably thinking mostly of your health. However, behind the scenes, questionable pricing practices may take advantage of people who want to stay healthy or get better when they're sick.
Do you really own what you buy? If you own something, you should be able to do pretty much anything you want to do with it, like repair it, sell it, or set it on fire (safely and legally, of course). It's that first one that we'll consider at here. Some items, such as clothing or older cars, you can repair yourself (or have your agent do so). Others, such as iPhones, are practically impossible. Certain manufacturers have a monopoly on fixing items they manufacture and sell. Currently, eight states are considering right-to-repair legislation that would require electronics manufacturers to make spare parts and manuals available to repair shops and the public. Right-to-repair bills are part of a larger trend towards self-reliance and do-it-yourself venues such as Maker spaces and repair cafes.
Texas has a problem with feral hogs. Pigs, originally imported by the Spanish, escaped from farms or allowed to roam freely by settlers, have now gone wild. This plague of swine causes considerable damage to property, including agricultural fields and domestic livestock. They breed quickly. Difficult to eradicate, invasive pigs cause headaches not only for farmers, but for state officials. Charged with controlling the feral hogs, Texas Agricultural Commissioner Sid Miller turned to a controversial remedy: warfarin. But is this really the best answer to an intractable problem?
Conservatives have a knack for phrasing issues in a way that leaves the opposition appearing to hate families and children. Progressives must learn to defuse and reframe the issues in ways that expose the Republican agenda for what it is. What will become of the children if we fail?