by | Oct 22, 2019

There’s a concept in business called the “decoy effect,” whereby crafty marketers present an unfavorable option to manipulate consumers toward a more profitable one. The classic business-school example is movie theaters providing three sizes of popcorn: the price of the…

by | Jul 5, 2019

Sacramento San Francisco politicians and civic leaders love to think of themselves as cutting-edge free spirits who are so much more tolerant than the rubes found in America’s hinterlands. Hey, we have San Francisco values. We aren’t foolish Puritans when…

by | Mar 21, 2019

Last week Scott Gottlieb announced his resignation as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. Unfortunately and unexpectedly, Gottlieb’s reign was a departure from lessening of government regulations so prevalent in other areas of the Trump Administration. His tenure culminated…

by | Sep 19, 2018

Certain requirements must be met for a public health issue to be classified an epidemic. These include a demonstrable negative health impact — and victims. The flu is a yearly epidemic, and opioid addiction is turning rapidly into a serious…

by | Jul 10, 2018

In the 1990s, more than 40 states sued the major tobacco manufacturers to recoup costs allegedly incurred from treating smoking-related illnesses. After years of courtroom battles, the two sides developed the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA). Under MSA, the companies agreed…

by | Jan 26, 2018

Efforts to prevent smoking have been remarkably successful in the United States, shrinking the number of smokers from more than 60 percent to almost 15 percent of the adult population — but with an estimated 36.5 million Americans still lighting…

by | Dec 15, 2016

Sacramento The nation’s largest state-based pension fund, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), has long been known for using its investment muscle to push for “socially responsible” investments — and for strong-arming private companies to follow its politically correct…

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