NX – Why everything goes back to economics

Health Care: Keeping health care costs down is one of the biggest discussions going on right now, which means extemp questions about Medicare/Medicaid are likely. They just turned 50, and these two stories discuss the ‘why’ behind the programs. Note the civil rights component. (The stories cover a lot more than the titles indicate.)

50 Years Ago, Medicare Helped To Desegregate Hospitals

Meet The California Family That Has Made Health Policy Its Business

Campaign Financing: Is this the democracy we want? Will any tournaments not have this topic area as a NX question?

A wealthy oligarchy of donors is dominating the 2016 election

Poverty: I like articles with analytical frameworks that help break down a topic. How does the answer to the housing question impact other topics, like police-minority interactions and education?

Edsall – Where Should a Poor Family Live

Infrastructure: Tom Friedman isn’t just international relations.

Friedman – My Question for the Republican Presidential Debate – gas tax and infrastructure

Everything: Really.

The Kansas Experiment

The last two articles have in common questions about the state of the Republican party (center-right vs far-right). If you haven’t been watching Kansas, and their governor’s experiment with conservative purity, you should be. As the last article shows, state budgets can impact pretty much everything a state is supposed to do for its residents, and is another example (see the Venezuela article in the previous FX – Latin America post) of the conflict between ideology and reality. Are conservative purists really any different from socialist/communist purists in terms of their answer to the ideology/reality conflict?  Note the reliance in Kansas on regressive taxation (sales taxes) over progressive taxation (graduated income taxes), a choice that has a significant impact on those at the lower end of the economic scale. (The Kansas article would be an interesting one to drop on your school’s Government teacher.)

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