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Politics and economics

I thought a lot about political and economic issues today. (What is wrong with me?)

I spent some time reading and posting in the libertarianism community.

I spent a lot of time scouring the Internet looking for people who believe that insurance companies, even when they are behaving within the law, create more misery than they relieve because they inflate the cost of everything that is insured. (Ever question the cost of auto body work that is covered by insurance?) There's almost nothing out there. I got a few hits with the search phrase "insurance is gambling" but some of those led to religious zealots who think gambling is a sin. I got a few more hits by coupling the key phrase "mandatory insurance" with "libertarian." Looks like I am going to have to write my radical anti-insurance essay mostly from scratch.

Finally, I took the SelectSmart.com Presidential Candidate Selector. As a libertarian, my #1 outcome was predictable. I was intrigued by the high placement of Democratic Senator Russ Feingold. On the other hand, it was scary to see Al Sharpton so high up on the list.

1. Libertarian Candidate (100%) http://selectsmart.com/president/Browne.html
2. Feingold, Senator Russ, WI - Democrat (69%) http://selectsmart.com/president/Feingold.html
3. Green Party Candidate (69%) http://selectsmart.com/president/Nader.html
4. Sharpton, Reverend Al - Democrat (65%) http://selectsmart.com/president/Sharpton.html
5. Leahy, Patrick Senator, Vermont - Democrat (64%) http://selectsmart.com/president/Leahy.html
6. Kucinich, Cong. Dennis, OH - Democrat (60%) http://selectsmart.com/president/Kucinich.html
7. Daschle, Senate Minority Leader Tom, SD - Democrat (56%) http://selectsmart.com/president/blank.html
8. Dean, Gov. Howard, VT - Democrat (54%) http://selectsmart.com/president/Dean.html
9. Kerry, Senator John, MA - Democrat (54%) http://selectsmart.com/president/Kerry.html
10. Bayh, Senator Evan, IN - Democrat (53%) http://selectsmart.com/president/Bayh.html
11. Gephardt, Cong. Dick, MO - Democrat (53%) http://selectsmart.com/president/Gephardt.html
12. Clinton, Senator Hillary Rodham, NY - Democrat (52%) http://selectsmart.com/president/Clinton.html
13. Jackson, Cong. Jesse Jr., IL - Democrat (51%) http://selectsmart.com/president/Jackson.html
14. Lieberman Senator Joe CT - Democrat (49%) http://selectsmart.com/president/Lieberman.html
15. Edwards, Senator John, NC - Democrat (48%) http://selectsmart.com/president/Edwards.html
16. Moseley-Braun, Former Senator Carol IL - Democrat (45%) http://selectsmart.com/president/Moseley-Braun.html
17. Buchanan, Patrick J. ­ Reform/Republican (45%) http://selectsmart.com/president/blank.html
18. Phillips, Howard - Constitution (45%) http://selectsmart.com/president/Phillips.html
19. Kaptur, Cong. Marcy, OH - Democrat (43%) http://selectsmart.com/president/Kaptur.html
20. Feinstein, Senator Dianne, CA - Democrat (42%) http://selectsmart.com/president/blank.html
21. Graham, Senator Bob, FL - Democrat (41%) http://selectsmart.com/president/Graham.html
22. Biden, Senator Joe, DE - Democrat (39%) http://selectsmart.com/president/Biden.html
23. Dodd, Senator Chris, CT - Democrat (39%) http://selectsmart.com/president/Dodd.html
24. Bush, George W. - US President (34%) http://selectsmart.com/president/Bush.html
25. Gore, Former Vice-President Al - Democrat (34%) http://selectsmart.com/president/blank.html
26. Bradley, Former Senator Bill NJ - Democrat (28%) http://selectsmart.com/president/blank.html
27. Socialist Candidate (27%) http://selectsmart.com/president/blank.html
28. McCain, Senator John, AZ- Republican (20%) http://selectsmart.com/president/blank.html
29. Hagelin, John - Natural Law (19%) http://selectsmart.com/president/blank.html
30. Hart, Former Senator Gary, CO - Democrat (11%) http://selectsmart.com/president/Hart.html
31. Vilsack, Governor. Tom IA - Democrat (8%) http://selectsmart.com/president/Vilsack.html
32. Clark, Retired Army General Wesley K "Wes" Arkansas - Democrat (-5%) http://selectsmart.com/president/Clark.html
33. LaRouche, Lyndon H. Jr. - Democrat (-7%) http://selectsmart.com/president/LaRouche.html