Tag Archives: Les Schreiber

Think Competition Isn’t Important?

The recently shuttered Westbury Pharmacy was a compounding pharmacy. These institutions make up drugs per the instructions of a doctor when a special medicine is needed for an unique problem. A member of my family was a patient and the charge was $200 per refill. Now that Westbury is out of business, South River Compounding Pharmacy charges $550 for exactly the same  prescription. Competition is important.

– Les Schreiber

The New Republican Wardrobe for Spring: Wooden Shoes and White Sheets

As I was researching the N Y Daily News web site yesterday, for a reason why the Yankees keep winning with a line up of virtual unknowns, I ran across an interesting article: Geert Wilders has been invited to speak at a G.O.P. event in Palm Beach Florida.  For those who don’t follow Dutch politics, Wilders is an openly pro gay man who is head of the Dutch Party for Freedom.  Their interest in economics is negligible, however they support strong measures to restrict and  hinder the practice of Islam in Holland.  Many commentators of European politics compare them to the racist National Front once led by the bigoted, anti-semitic Jean Marie Le Pen of France.

Today, the Times Dispatch informs us of a Facebook post by Republican delegate from Hanover, indicating that recent protesters in Baltimore should have been subjected to police dogs similar to those experienced by Civil Rights protesters in the 1960’s.  “Buddy” should resign immediately.  The G.O.P’s tolerance of this type of politics speaks more for their values than any platform ever will.

Les Schreiber

You Must Be Joking

The RTD reports today that the city of Richmond will PAY the Redskins about $250,000 for having summer camp in the city. Is this true or did the newspaper publish the April Fools edition a month early?

– Les Schreiber

“Putinomics” Comes to Virginia

Several weeks ago, I was shocked to read a story in the TD that Dominion, Virginia’s dominant electric monopoly, was suing several land owners as a result of their refusal to allow a survey team to access their land to measure for a potential pipeline that Dominion and several other firms want to build.  The land is privately held, i.e. not in the public domain, private property and privacy are essential elements of a democratic and capitalistic society.  I was later informed that 10 years ago, the Virginia legislature in effect granted the right of eminent domain to Dominion, a private corporation.  Conceptually, eminent domain is used by governments to obtain property for public use such as schools, highways, and hospitals.  This is a prime example of anti-capitalist behavior on the part of Dominion and all of those “capitalists” in the General Assembly.

Today,  the TD reports that the electricity monopoly is playing accounting games with the legislature in an attempt to pass on inflated costs to its customers as it closes older power plants. Companies depreciate capital investments over a number of years.  Dominion failed to mention the original costs of these plants and that the charges that they have taken to their profits as legitimate depreciation.  The present book value can not be the same as replacement costs.  These costs are amortized over many years.

Perhaps Dominion should take the approach utilized by Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs to justify taking part in the huge A.I.G. bailout.  Lloyd said: “We do God’s work.” Vladimir Putin could not have said it better.

– Les Schreiber

This Brat is the Worst

In one week the voters of the 7th district will send a self-styled “economist” named David Brat to the House of Representatives.  I am amused that Mr. Brat advertised himself as an economist but advocates policies that have already been tried and have proven to be at best ineffective and at worst disastrous.

When running in the primary, Mr. Brat advocated auditing the Federal Reserve.  Perhaps this self-styled economics wizard has missed the years of debate concerning the Federal Reserve’s policy of buying Treasury and mortgage-backed securities.  The numbers are available for all to see who have any interest, on the Fed’s website.  Perhaps Dave’s real problem is that he believes that the black helicopters that the United Nations will use to institute “world government” are secretly hidden in the basement of the New York Federal Reserve on Liberty Street in downtown NYC.

Of course Brat wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but offers no reasonable alternative.   Dave wants to allow sales of health insurance across state lines, but this would only encourage a race by insurance companies to the bottom of the insurance barrel.  I wonder how all of those folks from Hartford Connecticut and Manhattan will adjust to life in Mississippi?

Dave wants to have a self-styled balance-budget amendment.  This guy really live in a Disneyland bubble.  For instance, a recent article in the Journal of Post-Keynesian Economics strongly makes the case that more deficit spending in the wake of the 2008-2009 financial crisis would have led to a much stronger recovery. Brat’s policy of supporting a balanced-budget amendment strongly echoes the restraints placed on European governments by the Treaties of Maastricht and Amsterdam that are currently supported by the Germans.  This extreme-type of infallible austerity has led to levels of unemployment in the Euro zone that are often at 10% for the general population and youth unemployment that approaches 50% inGreece, Portugal and Spain.  It is unbelievable to me that a serious student of economics would loo0k at this unsustainable crisis and advocate the policies that brought it on.

– Les Schreiber