Tag: Dubious statistics

Financialization of the U.S. Pharmaceutical Industry

Yves here. This article is a bit geeky but very much worth your attention. It shows how pharmaceutical companies are flat out lying when they say they need higher drug prices to support R&D. Their profits go almost entirely to buybacks and dividends. And this analysis does not incorporate another unflattering fact: that Big Pharma […]

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Opening of Formerly Secret FDA Database Exposes Medical Device Failures, Spurring Lawsuits

Yves here. I am appalled by the anodyne tone of this Kaiser Health News article. I know their house style is “just the facts, ma’am,” but they are averting their eyes from an outrage. Who at the FDA allowed certain medical device-makers to shunt reports of product defects into a database hidden from the public […]

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Decrying ‘Utterly Inadequate’ Efforts to Tackle Climate Crisis, UN Chief Declares ‘Our War Against Nature Must Stop’

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer at Common Dreams. Originally published at Common Dreams On the eve of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres decried the “utterly inadequate” efforts of governments to curb planet-heating emissions and called for “a clear demonstration of increased ambition and commitment” from world leaders to tackle the […]

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Are Evidence-Based Decisions Impossible in Politics?

Yves here. Even though the author unwittingly demonstrates the very syndrome he is lamenting in his set-up regarding Trump (a President actually has to have done something bad in office before he can be impeached, and you need enough Congresscritters in the House and Senate to be of that view for it to take place), […]

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New Report Finds Costs of Climate Change Impacts Often Underestimated

Yves here. Steve Keen provided a ferocious debunking of William Nordhaus’ remarkable claims on how modest the cost of climate change would be. This post is a more polite rendering of some of the arguments Keen made. By Dana Nuccitelli. Originally published at Yale Climate Connections Climate economics researchers have often underestimated – sometimes badly […]

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New Paper Reveals Rail Industry Was Leader in Climate Denial Efforts

By Justin Mikulka, s a freelance writer, audio and video producer living in Trumansburg, NY. Originally published at DeSmogBlog A recent paper analyzing the major players in the organized efforts to attack climate change science and delay action had a surprising revelation — the biggest contributing industry/sector was not oil and gas but rail/steel/coal with the […]

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Millennials’ Health Deteriorating, Projected Mortality Rates Higher Than GenX; “Deaths of Despair” a Major Culprit

You thought deaths of despair were an affliction of deplorables. Silly you. In case you weren’t paying attention, young people are under a lot of stress too and many don’t have reason to think their state will get much better. Short job tenures and the rise of McJobs mean not just uncertain incomes, which are […]

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HHS Investigates Google-Ascension Secret Medical Records Project for Millions of Patients; Concrete Evidence of HIPAA Violations

Google and Ascension look to be in boatloads of hot water over their secret patient medical data sharing project that involves “ten of millions” of patients. A day after the Wall Street Journal published its expose, which we discussed yesterday, the normally complacent Department of Health and Human Services roused itself to open an investigation. […]

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How Misleading Economic Analysis Is Corrupting Our Democracy

Yves here. This post provides some live examples from campaigning in the UK elections to show how think tanks cook their findings to push their political agenda. One way these economic studies fall short of the low standard of business analysis is the use of single point estimates. The public is treated as too stupid […]

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Carbon Taxes and Carbon Pricing Are Not Solutions to the Climate Crisis

Yves here. There is yet another reason why carbon taxes and pricing are not good ways to combat climate change. Economist Martin Weitzman developed a framework for how to deal with externalities like pollution. Andrew Haldane’s summary: In making these choices [between taxation and prohibition], economists have often drawn on Martin Weitzman’s classic public goods […]

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Uber Loses Another $1.2 Billion, Stock Dives Again

Yves here. Consistent with Hubert Horan’s extensive analysis of Uber’s economics, the local transportation company’s losses widened, again demonstrating it has no path to profitability. By Wolf Richter, editor of Wolf Street. Originally published at Wolf Street Burning cash is easy; It’s quite flammable and just goes up in smoke. Here it is in a […]

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Why Did Isaac Newton Lose His Shirt in Financial Speculation? Author Alex Pollock Explains.

By Lynn Parramore, Senior Research Analyst at the Institute for New Economic Thinking. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking In a conversation with the Institute for New Economic Thinking, author Alex J. Pollock explains why our flawed thinking leads us into financial and economic error. His new book, Finance and Philosophy: Why […]

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What Randomised Control Trials Can and Cannot Do: The 2019 Nobel Prize

Yves here. This year’s “Nobel” award for “randomized control trials” or in Brit-speak, “randomised control trials” has generated more pushback, some of the polite throat-clearing sort, others more frontal, than I can ever recall for a past decision. Note that this post includes a brutal critique, then backs off from it by throwing bouquets. Other […]

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The Oil Mystery Undermining An Aramco IPO

Lambert here: Hard to imagine buying an enormous store selling hard goods without taking a physical inventory, it is true. Over-simplified? By Kurt Cobb, a freelance writer and communications consultant who writes frequently about energy and environment. His work has also appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, Resilience, Le Monde Diplomatique, TalkMarkets, Investing.com, Business Insider […]

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Why Have Facebook and Other Tech Giants Gotten Away With Gobbling Up Competitors?

By Mark Glick, Professor, University of Utah and Catherine Ruetschlin, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Utah. Originally published at the Institute of Economic Thinking website The Big Tech companies, including Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple, have individually and collectively engaged in an unprecedented number of acquisitions. In a new paper, Big Tech Acquisitions and […]

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Impoverished Economics? Unpacking the Economics Nobel Prize

Yves here. Even thought the mainstream media, as usual, duly applauded the winners of this year’s “Nobel” prize in economics, there’s been less attention paid to the recipients than usual and far more criticism, some very measured, others more critical. The winners helped develop and promote an approach to development economics they called “randomized control […]

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A Bitter(Sweet) Pill: The Impacts of Private Provision of Medicaid

Yves here. The authors of this study get points for finding a natural experiment on privatizing Medicaid, namely Texas starting in 2007. Although the findings and detail are valuable, I have doubts about the way they framed one of their conclusions. One reason privatized Medicare delivered better results in Texas than the old government-run version […]

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Making Profit Should Not Now Be the Primary Goal of a Business: Being Net-Zero Carbon Should Be

By Richard Murphy, a chartered accountant and a political economist. He has been described by the Guardian newspaper as an “anti-poverty campaigner and tax expert”. He is Professor of Practice in International Political Economy at City University, London and Director of Tax Research UK. He is a non-executive director of Cambridge Econometrics. He is a member of […]

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California’s New Transparency Law Reveals Steep Rise In Wholesale Drug Prices

Yves here. If you still don’t believe that drug companies are price-gouging in America, the figures in this story should convince you. The counterargument, as you will see below, is that the wholesale prices don’t reflect what various end customers pay due to the presence of various other middlemen. However, the distribution system is so […]

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