Shanghai Meets Obamacare

For the past weeks, Shanghai has been enveloped in a choking toxic smog.   This is a tremendous embarrassment to China, so two official news agencies responded by attempting to find the figurative silver lining in the literal cloud:

In online articles, state broadcaster CCTV and the widely read tabloid the Global Times, published by the Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, tried to put a positive spin on the smog problem.

The Global Times said smog could be useful in military situations, as it could hinder the use of guided missiles – giving the example of smoke used by Serbian forces against Nato airstrikes in the Kosovo war.

Meanwhile, broadcaster CCTV listed five “unforeseen rewards” for smog, including helping Chinese people’s sense of humour.

This came to mind when reading this NYT article which makes every excuse possible for the next predictable failure of Obamacare: the dropping of group coverage by small business, resulting in turning over millions of employees to the tender mercies of The Website From Hell, Medicaid, or, if they’re lucky, the government approved Junk Insurance Plans that would be unconscionable if an insurance company sold them to you (according to Obama, anyways).

All in all, I find the Chinese propaganda more amusing and plausible than the NYT’s.

About Craig Pirrong 228 Articles

Affiliation: University of Houston

Dr Pirrong is Professor of Finance, and Energy Markets Director for the Global Energy Management Institute at the Bauer College of Business of the University of Houston. He was previously Watson Family Professor of Commodity and Financial Risk Management at Oklahoma State University, and a faculty member at the University of Michigan, the University of Chicago, and Washington University.

Professor Pirrong's research focuses on the organization of financial exchanges, derivatives clearing, competition between exchanges, commodity markets, derivatives market manipulation, the relation between market fundamentals and commodity price dynamics, and the implications of this relation for the pricing of commodity derivatives. He has published 30 articles in professional publications, is the author of three books, and has consulted widely, primarily on commodity and market manipulation-related issues.

He holds a Ph.D. in business economics from the University of Chicago.

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