Can healthcare costs be made more transparent?

health-care

Listen to a podcast of this blog: How would you feel if, after paying your airfare in advance and enjoying a safe trip to grandma’s for the holidays, you were hit three weeks later with a separate bill from the co-pilot? That’s the scenario concocted by financial analyst John R. Graham in a recent Forbes.com op-ed to illustrate the absurdity of what we go through with healthcare. Costs … Continue reading»

Savage Services employees volunteer at Central Park Community Center in  South Salt Lake,

Maybe it’s no longer a surprise, or even newsworthy, when Utah gets noted as the nation’s most generous state. However, Wallet Hub’s latest ranking of generosity and voluntarism, again ranking Utah No.1, is worth noting mainly because it was such a slam dunk. Utah scored No. 1 for its volunteer rate, for its percentage of income donated, and for the percentage of people who claim to have donated … Continue reading»

Why Americans won’t abandon the penny

pennies

India’s prime minister issued a directive last week that immediately invalidated two of that country’s most popular cash notes. Just like that, the 1,000 and 500 rupee bills were worthless. Meanwhile, in the United States, taxpayers continue to pay the bill for minting pennies no one seems to use. Clearly, Americans are more sentimental about their money than are people in India, or than people just about anywhere … Continue reading»

Marijuana referenda in the West could affect Utah

(Associated Press photo)

Five states will be voting Tuesday on whether to legalize recreational marijuana use among adults. Three of these — California, Nevada and Arizona — are in the West. Together with Colorado, which already legalized the drug, this could serve to almost surround Utah, which likely would result in more of the drug, and its problems, coming into the state. Despite how many Americans seem to be buying the … Continue reading»

Think this election is bad? Remember 1872?

Ulysses S. Grant

Whatever may be said of the dismal choices voters face in this year’s presidential election, at least nobody’s running mate got so drunk at a campaign event that he tried to butter a watermelon. That happened in 1872, which could be a good answer to the question, when have you ever seen such a dismal choice for the White House? Maybe you could argue things weren’t as bad … Continue reading»

How much will you pay in taxes after the election?

taxes

How much would you pay in taxes should either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton become president? The question is, of course, not so simple. Either one would need cooperation from Congress to enact his or her plan, so reality may vary considerably from current campaign promises. However, I came across this nifty calculator, supplied by the non-partisan Tax Foundation, a Washington-based research group. Just plug in your numbers … Continue reading»

homeless

Would Utah benefit from a version of Casey’s Law in Kentucky, which allows people to more easily order involuntary drug treatment for their adult children? Police are in the middle of an ongoing campaign to arrest people causing trouble in the Rio Grande area of Salt Lake City – and area that could compare with any of the most crime-ridden neighborhoods in the country. As of the end … Continue reading»

Utah is a bad state for teachers? Think again

Schoolchildren and their teacher reading in primary class

If you’re used to hearing bad news about public education in Utah — teachers are underpaid and in short supply, classrooms are too crowded, politicians don’t care, etc. — here’s a switch. Wallet Hub just released a study that ranks Utah ninth in the nation on a list of the best states for teachers. Low teacher pay is not unique to Utah. The study ranked the five states … Continue reading»