April 15th is tax day, a day many people dread. Economists believe most people are rational calculating machines, but many of us don’t behave rationally about filing our taxes. Instead, most of us wait until the very last minute. Figures from the end of March suggest roughly 50 million or 1/3 of all this year’s individual tax returns in the US will be filed between the end of March and the middle of April. This is NOT a good idea for most of us. Continue reading
Front page stories in many newspapers today reported the death of Thomas E. Duncan, the USA’s first Ebola virus victim. Mr. Duncan lived in Liberia and had recently come to Texas to rekindle an old love interest. Unfortunately for Mr. Duncan, he became infected with Ebola a few days before getting on the plane to fly to the USA. The episode triggered panic in Texas and hysteria among fellow passengers on his United Airlines flights. It also showed the USA health care system is not ready to deal with Ebola since the first time Mr. Duncan went to the hospital he was sent home, even after telling staff he was from Liberia, the center of the epidemic. How can we stop, or at least slow down, infectious viruses from spreading around the world?
The answer is to change airline policies when a potential pandemic arises. Continue reading