The New York Times, May 10, 2013

From time to time I stand accused of injecting humor into my public presentations on health policy in the United States. As a German-born economist, I find it hurtful. Germans pride themselves on their lack of humor. Economists, for their part, pride themselves on being practitioners of the dismal science. We are the professional buzzkills who put caveats on any good news. Now imagine both traits packaged into one human being: you have yours truly. It is not that I inject humor into our otherwise august debate on health policy. Rather, the health system in the United States is in many ways so risible that it comes across as droll even when a dour German-born economist describes it.

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