The title can be translated as “Obesity and taxation. Why it is necessary an education and not a taxation”
Massimiliano Trovato groups in this book for IBLLibri (the publishing entity of the Istituto Bruno Leoni) a series of contributes on the subject of the policies to solve the problem of a population that shows behaviors that put under pressure the public healthcare system.
The title references the policies against obesity as the core focus, but the book includes contributes that analyze also past and current policies aimed at stopping other personal behaviors (tobacco and alcohol consumption) that have a similar effect on the healthcare system but a longer history of policies aiming at stopping them.
In several cases the taxation had no measurable effect on the consumption of the undesired products and in some had negative effect not foreseen.
The authors of the contributes include: William Shughart II, Randall Holcombe, Gordon Tullock, Edward Glaeser, Richard Tiffin and Mattew Salois, Franco Sassi, Richard Williams and Katelyn Christ, Scott Drenkard, Alberto Alemanno and Ignacio Carreno.
Edward Glaeser essay on “Paternalism and psychology” deserves a special mention because the issue of the risks associated with use of soft paternalism are not limited to the specific subject of obesity and consumptions disincentives.
Soft paternalism is used more and more by the governments of the western world to shape the behavior of the population in all aspects of public and private life as it seems less invasive than hard paternalism, but it’s easily useable as a lock pick to ease the introduction of hard paternalism later down the road without facing a strong opposition.
I liked the entire book and recommend it.
Given the low quality of the cover is not a book that can witstand many reads: it’s one of the few cases when I’d suggest an electronic version instead of the printed one.
Lately the media, at least in Italy, are full of news about a new crisis of Alitalia and the not-so-creative approach of the government to the problem of the (again) substantially bankrupt company.
This book was written after the very long process that transformed Alitalia, the main italian airline, from a state-owned company into a (supposedly) public one 2009.
It details all the political decisions that impacted an operation that was supposed to be made according to market rule and ended up to have very little free market in the actual decisions.
The book is missing the recent evolution of Alitalia due to the fact that was published in 2009, but provides all the elements needed to read the new wave of announcements of solutions for the problems of the company.
To read it today is a little depressing because the risks foreseen have become a reality and the inefficiencies appear to be still in place, both in the company vision and in the way the politic is attempting to fix the situation.
I fear that Alitalia’s problem will find a (temporary) solution like in the previous crisis: using money from the pockets of the citizens.
Some time ago I posted briefly about a book with the very same title.
While searching for it in my preferred online bookstore I happened to get La Capria’s book in the list of results and on the basis of the short excerpt available I decided to take it.
I could have used a better criteria to select a book.
I’ve found the book fairly boring, self-centered to the point of being irrelevant for the reader.
The only positive thing is that it a very light load for the brain and take little time to read.
Do yourself a favor and save your money or, if you own it already, save at least your time.
I’ve posted in the past here about my positive experience when eating at Akai Hana in Rancho Bernardo.
When reading some negative comments I was very surprised as they were not matching my experience and I was unable to imagine how it was possible.
This changed one day last July that I was there alone, but accepted a table anyway contrary to my habitude of eating at the sushi bar.
I ordered a few of my preferred types of sushi and because I had no one distracting me from the food I had the time to focus on it.
I noticed several differences in the cutting and the assembly of the sushi compared to the way I was used to in that place, and the taste was not matching what I had just a day before.
I guess that the large difference is tied to the way the food is prepared in a Japanese restaurant compared to Italian restaurants where I’ve never experienced such a major swing in the taste of the food with the exception of changes of ownership.
While in a large Italian restaurant you find a number of people working in the kitchen the preparation of an individual dish is seldom a one-man process end-to-end and the chef supervises the activity of all the cooks so that the end result for a given dish is always the same.
This likely is not the way it works in the kitchen of a large japanese restaurant due to the nature of the sushi preparation.
For sure this is not happening when eating at the sushi bar where the cook is preparing the sushi and sashimi (and several other dishes) end to end without external collaboration.
Lesson learned: I’ll keep waiting for Hiro-san when eating at Akai Hana: they are very kind and let me have my hot tea while waiting.
I suggest that anyone going there gives them a second chance if not satisfied with the dinner at the table and wait for the sushi bar with my preferred cook.
I’m not a big fan of watches and I can live without one most of the time when I’m home.
I can check the current hour on the computer screen, on the alarm clock in the bedroom, in the car dashboard, on my mobile and so on.
There it is a situation where I don’t have access to any of them: when I fly.
For most people this is relatively infrequent but for me it’s the opposite, so I feel the need of a wristwatch and it has to be the least intrusive possible: the thinner the better, the lighter the better, no need to remove it when taking a shower. Not too costly is another nice addition.
The Swatch skin was a good fit for my needs and when I started with my current job I swapped the battery of an old one that was in a drawer for a few years and started using it.
The watch was working ok for a while until one day it started to get water in and then the front glass (plastic actually) unglued completely.
I believed that this was due to the fact that it was pretty old and the plastic and glue likely degraded.
After a few months I was in Amsterdam at the airport with some time to kill and there was a Swatch shop with a few skin available: I picked up one and took my airplane to go back home happy with my purchase.
The happiness lasted only a few months as the watch soon demonstrated the same problem with the front plastic popping out: I contacted the Swatch assistance in Italy and found out that they were not planning to support under warranty my watch purchased in another EU country.
The almost new skin went to the trashcan and I decided to never purchase a Swatch again in the future.
I learned to be careful when purchasing outside my country: even if on the paper the international warranty is provided if the item is of limited value the effort to get the item serviced may be worth more than the item itself.
Unfortunately I was left with the issue of getting a new watch and after a bit of research I decided to try a Skagen Titanium without date.
It’s a bit thicker and heavier than the skin but still very light especially considering that it has a real glass and is completely made of metal.
After six months of continued use it’s still like new (actually better as the wristband is now more flexible) and I’m quite happy with it.
Funny enough I paid less for it in Italy than I was asked for in Denmark where the swatch is produced.
It’s a light and easy book about the life of a wife and a normal, albeit famous in Italy, husband.
While the episodes appear often paradoxical and excessive it’s actually very close to the reality of a normal family.
At least of an italian one.
I’ve read loud to my wife several pages and she found them very amusing.
Book strongly recommended (if you speak Italian)
Last weekend I was looking for a relaxing reading and picked up this old classic.
I was lucky to find an old edition (Neri Pozza editore, 1968) with an introduction written by Carlo Diano and that was worth reading.
The story in itself is well-known and can be easily found online.
But the most interesting elements reside in the details of the dialogues of Adameto with his father and with Hercules and the actual reading is needed to fully appreciate them.
If you’re looking for a quick read (it took me only a couple of evenings) it’s a good alternative to recent instant books that it’s not difficult to read but still provides some food for thought