Month: February 2013

  • Is parsimonious medicine only about avoiding wasteful care?

    Jon Tilburt and Christine Cassel make a distinction between parsimonious medicine and rationing: parsimonious medicine is not rationing; it means delivering appropriate health care that fits the needs and circumstances of patients and that actively avoids wasteful care—care that does not benefit patients. I agree with Tilburt and Cassel that parsimonious care is ethical care. […]

  • AIDS, Science, and the Well-Being of the Poor

    Science reports on the startling increase in life expectancy in southern Africa accomplished through programs that supplied highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) to HIV-infected residents. This began in 2004 (see Figure). Since then, life expectancy at age 15 for the affected countries has increased by more than 10 years. Everyone: please stop what you are doing […]

  • Converging Income Inequality in Brazil and the United States: Some Uncomfortable Realities

    Professor Fernando Luiz Lara from the University of Texas at Austin discusses the political and social dimensions of changing income inequality in Brazil and the United States. The US will become as unequal as Brazil.  And that bothers both societies. As we watch president Obama’s second inauguration is hard not to to notice that, once again, Latin […]

  • Liberté, egalité, randomiser! On Obama’s Pre-K Initiative

    The standout policy announcement in President Obama’s State of the Union address was his commitment to implement universal pre-kindergarten education. This is wonderful, but everything depends on how it is implemented. What I want to see is a further commitment from the President to implement this program through a continuous on-going series of randomized trials.

  • Everyone’s a little bit sexist sometimes

    Everyone’s a little bit sexist sometimes

    Going back over the Inequalities archives (a fine way to spend one’s time I can assure you…), I noticed that, although our discussions have ranged quite widely, we haven’t really talked much about gender. So today, I’m going to address that (erm…) inequality. Right now the British newspapers are full of opinions about the potential […]

  • ‘Existential Risk’ as hysterical rhetoric?

    I claim that global warming should be viewed as an existential risk to humanity. The trajectory of global temperature is headed to a region where the consequences to humanity are uncertain, but have a large probability tail that includes true catastrophe. But there is an obvious and deflationary objection to this. ‘Existential Risk’ is hyperbolic […]

  • Solving the High School Graduation Puzzle

    Going back at least as far as the landmark 1966 Coleman Report, social scientists and policymakers have debated how much educational achievement gaps reflect the influence of families and social norms on the one hand, and differences in the quality of schools in disadvantaged areas, on the other hand. As Richard Murnane describes in a […]