Sunday, April 20, 2008

Government in action: Oil, traffic, and organs

Its overcast but sunny today - kind of like the clouds are blanketing the sky, but thin enough that the sunlight shines through... It's Sunday, and the town is half-dead. Maybe I should have gone to find the Magic tournament. Instead, I'm staying in my room and reading - which means analysis of news.. lol.

From the US presidential race, some analysis of how gas tax cuts could lead to demand increase leading to increase in prices to erase the tax cut.

Milan put in place an EcoPass system, similar to ERP, with very impressive results.

Iran doesn't have a transplant kidney shortage. Apparently, in 1988 organ vending was legalized, and in 1999 the waiting list for kidneys was eliminated. It's got government paying vendors cash plus 1 year of limited health insurance coverage, and charitable organizations and transplant recipients can chip in at the sidelines. The policy analysis, complete with ungated pdf, is available online. Some problems highlighted include: apparently lower efficacy of the transplant (it doesn't survive as well as organs from donors), questions about long-term health of the vendors, reduced donation rates from biologically-related donors. The analysis also includes an interesting short philosophical discourse on whether an organ market would be "coercive" to poor people. Good reading!

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