Beyond Labels

A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues

Scott Miller

Heath Education in the U.S.

It seems that one of the major drivers of increasing US healthcare costs is the American lifestyle, which (arguably) is skewed toward poor diet, lack of exercise, etc.  So improved health education may be one of the keys to managing costs and improving heathcare “outcomes” metrics (life expectancy, infant mortality, etc.).

  • What sort of heath education will improve results?
  • Where (in school, in home, via media, via heath professionals (doctors/nurses)?
  • Who should pay for it?  How (taxes, health insurance, other?)

Affirmative Action: A concept whose time has come and gone?

This topic was discussed on November 18, 2013.

  • Are affirmative action programs inherently discriminatory?
  • Have they successfully served their original purpose?
    • If not, what criteria should be applied in determining when to end these programs?
  • How should the Supreme Court have ruled in the University of Texas case (if not sent back on narrow procedural grounds)?  Why?
  • On what basis (if any) should affirmative action be applied?
    • Race?
    • Gender?
    • Economic status?
  • What does this imply about the notion of “disparate impact” (in which no intent to discriminate is proven, only an adverse statistical relationship) in applying civil rights law?

Here is a recent NYT article on at least one aspect of the issue:

20131113 Texas University’s Race Admissions Policy is Debated Before A Federal Court (NYT)

The Zimmerman Trial and Racism in America

This topic was discussed on July 15, 2013

  • To what degree did race play a role in the Zimmerman trial?
  • Would/should the outcome have been different if the roles were reversed?
  • Was the prosecution case effective or defective?
  • To what degree was the outcome defined by which side “put on a better show” for the jury?  What might that say about the concept of a jury of peers vs. a decision by a judge (who might be less swayed by a “show”)?
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