I’m a big proponent of “big data”, of giving people the option of storing anything and everything about their life digitally as long as it makes their life easier, better, more fulfilling.
Unfortunately, too many people are still scared of giving personal information over to “big business” or “big government”. In my view, that’s like being scared of pulling down your pants during a physical exam.
There are areas of our lives, where keeping a centralized database of personal information can have dramatic effects of the quality of life. One such area is the healthcare system, where many records are still not kept electronically, and those that are, cannot be easily synchronized from one doctor to the next.
You could, of course, pass laws that require health care providers to (1) keep all records electronically and (2) to use the same standard that work with the centralized database. My hope is that companies like Google come out with a solution that seems obviously beneficial.
Unfortunately, Google Health tried to do just that and recently closed down. The reason is unknown, there are many suggestions, but the main reason is probably that it was bad PR. People seem scared of putting their health records online due to privacy concerns, and therefore if Google helps them do it, that somehow automatically make Google evil.
The following is a C-SPAN program on this subject from a while back:
Main point: Democrats raise taxes and overspend. Republicans cut taxes and overspend. The former is at least somewhat more sustainable.
Cutting the top tax rate (currently those making over $370,000) is something that has been promoted by many of the the Republicans currently running for president in the form of a flat tax (or variations of it such as the 9-9-9 plan). There are many arguments for this notion and many against.
It’s possible to point to historical data and claim that such tax cuts either do or do not lead to:
I’m not going to engage in such armchair analysis. I have my opinions, but they are just that, opinions, and are hardly founded in real scientific reasoning.
What I do want to say about it is that human nature and the way that politicians operate makes such tax cuts destructive to our long-term economy. Why? Because they do not pay for themselves in the short term. That means deficits increase. That’s fine, as long as the tax cuts are matched with major cuts in programs. The Republicans talk about cutting “wasteful spending”, but at the end of the day, they cut very little. So if you believe in “small government” you need to wake up a bit and realize that cutting taxes is not the first step to small government. The first step is cutting programs, and 99% of politicians just don’t have the guts to do that.
The problem in a nutshell:
Democrats raise taxes and spend like crazy
Republicans cut taxes and spend like crazy
That’s why I support Democrats that are fine with big government but want to make it more efficient.