The Locker Room

February 28, 2005

Obvious proof that we need socialized medicine in this country

Posted by Jon Sanders at 10:50 PM

Per CNN: "Average life expectancy in the United States rose to a record 77.6 years in 2003 from 77.3 years in 2002, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

Now, I was going to compare the U.S. life expectancy rate with that of other nations, so I went to the World Health Organization to see what they had. Here is WHO's top 10 countries by life expectancy:

1. Japan 75.0

2. San Marino 73.4

3. Sweden 73.3

4. Switzerland 73.2

5. Monaco 72.9

6. Iceland 72.8

7. Italy 72.7

8. Australia 72.6

9. Spain 72.6

10. Andorra 72.2

Problem is, WHO's statistic for the United States is markedly different that the U.S.'s we come in 29th at 69.3 years.

Frankly, however, I leave this exercise somewhat disappointed. I don't know how trustworthy any of those statistics are. (What a choice the federal government's stats vs. one-world-government-dreaming busybodies' stats!) I think that we have an excellent system for obtaining timely, superior medical treatment in this nation, and objective statistics would bear that out. But where to find them, when this is one issue that cuts across ideological lines?

You'll note, for example, that I wrote "obtaining timely, superior medical treatment" instead of "health care system" that's because socialists and those in favor of federalizing health care as they do in Canada (72.0 years life expectancy per WHO) and Cuba (clocking in barely beneath the U.S. at 68.3 years) use the latter to fudge the issue of costs. Costs are not only monetary. Socialists allege that (monetary) costs prevent American from having the same access to health care that folks have in Canada or even Cuba. They would rectify this problem by socializing medicine as in Canada and Cuba. This would merely shift the costs from monetary ones to ones of time and quality. It's one thing to wait several hours in line for a socialist state's bread ration; it's even more dire when life and limb are at stake. Time is of the essence, and quality matters.

I have more to say on this matter, but I think I'll open it now to the rest of the 'room.

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All She Wants To Do is Arrange Flowers for a Living

Posted by Donna Martinez at 4:20 PM

This weekend I picked up Liberty & Law, the magazine from the Institute for Justice and saw that the back cover contained an ad about an IJ case I referenced last year in a commentary about ridiculous regulations and licensing requirements. The IJ case is about a lady who simply wants to arrange flowers but hasn't been able to pass Louisiana's licensing test. You probably won't be surprised to learn that North Carolina imposes its own array of licensing requirements -- and fees that go with them -- on people who want to earn a living in particular fields.

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How Does Chapel Hill Define "Economic Distress?"

Posted by Donna Martinez at 4:05 PM

Chapel Hill's budget saga continues to provide a fascinating look at how liberals view economics. As I've previously blogged, unchecked spending by the town is finally coming home to roost. The town manager, Cal Horton, has warned that a tax increase -- perhaps adding up to 11 cents to the property tax rate -- will be necessary to pay for all the goodies. On Friday, the Raleigh News & Observer reported that Mayor Kevin Foy said that, if the town has to cut positions, it will cut vacant ones and no employees will lose their jobs. "Unless you're in some sort of economic distress, you don't just randomly cut," Foy said. On that point, the mayor and I agree. The town needs to prioritize and then cut. But what amazes me is that the mayor evidently doesn't think the potentially huge tax increase facing residents qualifies as "economic distress." Well then, what does? Locusts?

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Re: gas wars

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 1:43 PM

One of the stations on the link that Hal posted, PK's, which is selliing for $1.62.9 offers a special deal. They also have a grill which serves breakfast including great biscuits. If you want to eat and fill up your tank all you have to do is pull up in front and go in. While you eat they will fill your tank and park your car.

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Re: Gas wars

Posted by Hal Young at 11:56 AM

This site reports gas in Fuquay ranging from $1.58 to $1.62, at least until you start out of town. As soon as you get to Garner it hops to $1.75 between 401 and the Beltline; BJ's "members only" price didn't even make the list. Of course, the wealthy class living in North Raleigh can go as high as $1.93. I saw they're charging as much as $2.06 in Lexington this morning.

What other commodities show that kind of range in such a small region?

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A good old fashioned gas war

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 09:37 AM

How much did you pay for gas the last time you filled your tank? $1.85? $1.80? Maybe you got a good deal and found a station with a price of $1.75? Well this morning, like I do every morning on my way to work, I drove through the small southern Wake County town of Fuquay-Varina and at least 4 gas stations were selling gas for $1.59.9 a gallon--and this is down from $160.9 on Friday and $1.62.9 on Thursday.

This all started a little over a month ago when a new mega gas station/convenience mall opened up under a brand I never heard of before called "Sheetz." Sheetz opened with a price of $169.9 with other stations in the area matching the price, and it's been all down hill from there. I have no idea where it will end but we customers are loving it and enjoying the ride while it continues.

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Educational choice on the sports page

Posted by Hal Young at 07:12 AM

How else can you explain this quote from this morning's Washington Post, under the headline
"Terps, Hoyas get some home schooling"


Georgetown has kids with no practical experience at dealing with the madness of March. "For this group," Thompson said, "we're in unchartered waters."

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