2016: the greatest year ever

Let us begin with poverty. At the time, 2015 was an astonishing year. The global target had been to cut extreme poverty in half from the 1990 level, which was 37%. The actual level fell below 10% for the first time in history: little more than a quarter of the 1990 level. This was a […]

Regenerating our future

Robert A Heinlein’s predictions for the year 2000 make fascinating reading. Written in 1952 he was spot on with some and way off with others. His contemporaries might have thought the suggestion that people would have had personal phones they could fit in a handbag and home phones that could take messages far less likely […]

The Tobacco-Stained Torch of Liberty: Libertarians and the Smoking Ban

During debates on the smoking ban, freedom is often evoked by both sides. On the one hand, your smoker or smoking-supporter argues that surely they should have the freedom to smoke wherever they like. On the other, supporters of the ban counter that it is unfair to subject non-smokers to tobacco smoke, and all its inherent risks, against […]

Reimagining healthcare

The two biggest problems in American healthcare are the linkage with employment and the third party payer system. It is time to address them both. People are caught without insurance because insurance is linked to their job. If they lose their jobs they lose their insurance. Getting a new job means a new insurance policy which doesn’t cover pre-existing […]

Marijuana – Er, Performance-enhancing Drug?

Among the Drug War’s finer ironies is the treatment of marijuana by the world of sport, which has taken a deliciously schizophrenic view on the miracle/devil plant: It’s a gateway drug that dooms its users to a lifetime of apathy, ignorance, and nonproduction. It’s also a performance-enhancer, in the same category as steroids, and subject […]

War on Drugs

The “War on Drugs” as it relates to marijuana is a fool’s errand. Legalizing marijuana would solve many current problems and actually create some benefits for the public good. Certainly the current way the government deals with this problem only prolongs the problem. Marijuana never should have been included on the list of dangerous drugs. […]

Riding Healthcare To Victory?

Republicans seem to be pressing the issue of healthcare in the run up to November’s congressional elections. With the majority of the primaries now contested, there seems little doubt that promising to repeal Obamacare will be a major priority for Republican candidates this year. Why should that be? The most obvious, short-term, answer is that […]

Men: the Stronger Sex? Yeah, right!

We learn that men are the stronger sex. It is suggested by experience and reinforced by culture. Yet: ● He lives for a shorter time: The average life expectancy of a British is 5 years less than for a girl: 76 for him but 81 for her. To make matters worse, the average man can expect to […]