On fixing health care

Health care is something that is important to everyone. Right now the news is constantly talking about the Affordable Care Act and its potential replacement, the American Health Care Act. The ACA was introduced during the Obama administration, and had many benefits such as requiring insurance to cover pre-existing conditions and providing affordable health care to many American citizens who were unable to pay for it before. The act also has some controversial points, such as requiring people to have health insurance by imposing a penalty on their taxes if they don't have it.

The ACA became a partisan issue; Democrats were in favor of it and Republicans hated it. Once President Trump was elected, Congress took it upon itself to repeal the ACA and come up with a new health-care plan. This plan, the AHCA, is very similar to the ACA and had some of the key points the ACA had. The AHCA raised taxes for middle-class and working-class citizens while giving upper-class citizens a tax break. This has caused controversy on both sides of the aisle, and forced Republicans to shelve the bill.

I personally feel that the best course of action is for our country to fix the ACA. Many people enjoy their current health-care coverage. Any new bill that is passed might be a detriment to the coverage by increasing the price of health care so that they can no longer afford it.


Little Rock

On climate offenders

Scott Pruitt, one of our most prominent climate deniers, intends to take the U.S. out of the Paris agreement on climate. After gutting the EPA, he cites China as the most grievous climate offender. He probably does not know that China is the world leader in renewable energy, probably because he has been too busy working on expanding oil production.

Rational citizens must defeat this administration.


Mountain Home

See patterns in prices

Economists are always looking at prices. By looking at prices, we can spot trends in markets. I play guitar so I look at the market for guitar strings. Deciding which strings to buy is important. Factors that influence your decision can be how skinny or thick you want the strings, what material the strings are made from, and which brand you prefer. Personally, I pick Ernie Ball Cobalt Slinkys.

This year Ernie Ball decided to shake things up and reveal their new Paradigm strings. They are guaranteed to not break or rust within 90 days. If they do, then Ernie Ball will replace your strings for free. Watching their promo for it was exciting, although I noticed they never gave a price. So as an economist, this got me thinking.

A normal pair of strings from Ernie Ball costs $5 and lasts roughly three weeks. The Cobalt Slinkys that I buy are $10 and they last about 50 days. The trend here is that doubling the longevity of the strings doubles the price. Following the pattern, the Paradigm strings should be $20; they are supposed to last twice as long as Cobalt Slinkys. I ended up buying a pack of the Paradigm strings. They were $20 as I expected.

By looking for patterns in pricing, anyone can make a prediction about prices in any market.



Plan unconscionable

Prior to reading Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson, I did not have a strong opinion about the death penalty. This book chronicles how an innocent man was sentenced to death and what effect that had, not only on the man, but on his family and his community. If even one innocent person is subjected to the anguish of death row and dying for a crime he did not commit, that is one too many. Across the country over 157 people have already been removed from death rows due to evidence of their innocence, and this number continually grows.

In addition to the real possibility of executing an innocent person, also for consideration is the racial and socioeconomic disparity on death row. If you are white, and especially if you have money for your defense, you are less likely to end up on death row no matter what your crime.

I believe Arkansas' current plan to execute multiple human beings due to an expiring drug, because the drug is difficult to obtain, is unconscionable. The fact that drug companies do not want to participate in state-sanctioned killings should be reason enough to pause and consider our plans.

Please, Governor Hutchinson, commute the sentences of all on death row and work with our Legislature to change the existence of the death penalty in our state. Invest the money we're spending on enforcing the death penalty on services that will benefit victims and their families.



Divided into groups

In today's tense political climate, conservative beliefs can be very unpopular. As a 17-year-old, I have found this the case more often than not with my generation.

Our last presidential election was the first time in my life I tried to educate myself in politics because my days of being an adult are approaching fast. Since I chose to support Trump, I have fielded countless insults from my peers even though I'm not one who is overly aggressive in pushing my political agenda. At first, I was shocked at the amount of Democrats in Arkansas, but Pulaski County was one of a mere eight counties that Hillary Clinton won, and the disappointment over the defeat shows. For example, recently at Barnes & Noble, I picked Trump's The Art of the Deal off the shelf, and the young woman in the aisle next to me looked at me as if I held Mein Kampf.

The amount of people at school who identify as Republicans is minuscule, and the few that do are criticized by the "tolerant" left, exposing a liberal hypocrisy among the younger generations. Not to say there are not Republicans out there who are just as bad, but in my few months of experience in politics, I have learned that instead of uniting us under a common government chosen by the people and for the people, it dissociates us into two groups: those who got what they wanted, and those who refuse to accept it.



Editorial on 04/21/2017

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