Howard Steven Friedman

Howard Steven Friedman
New York, New York, USA
June 10
Howard Steven Friedman works as a statistician and health economist for the United Nations. He has been a lead modeler on a number of key United Nations projects including the ICPD @ 15 Costing, High Level Task Force on Innovative Financing, and the Adding It Up reports. He is credited with being the lead developer of the tool used for costing the health-related Millennium Development Goals. He is also an adjunct professor at School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. Prior to joining the United Nations, Howard ran Analytic Solutions LLC, which provides consulting services in designing, developing and modeling data. This work also included teaching data mining and modeling techniques for major international corporations and foreign governments. Prior to that, he was a Director at Capital One, where he led teams of statisticians, analysts and programmers in operations and marketing. Howard is the author of over 35 scientific articles and book chapters in areas of applied statistics, health economics with recent publications in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, Current Medical Research & Opinion, Clinical Therapeutics, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy, Clinical Drug Investigation and Value in Health. Howard Friedman received his BS from Binghamton University in Applied Physics and a Masters in Statistics, along with a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. Please note that all comments on this blog reflect the opinions of the author and not those of the United Nations or Columbia University

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MARCH 14, 2012 12:58PM

Consistency, Consistency, Consistency

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"Anyone getting unemployment benefits should be tested for drugs before they receive benefits. They are benefiting off of my hard-earned tax dollars and the government shouldn't give my tax money to any crack addict."

"How about politicians? Shouldn't they get tested? After all, they are paid using those same tax dollars."

"Yeah, test the politicians. Everyone in their staff too."

"People in our armed forces? What about people in civil service? They are also paid using tax money. Do you want to test everyone in the military, the police, fire department, transportation department also?"

"Sure, but make sure you include teachers as well. I don't want my money going to some pothead teaching my little Johnny."

"How about our senior citizens receiving Medicare?"

"Definitely. Everyone in the nursing home is hooked on painkillers and senior junkies shouldn't get a dime of my money."

"People receiving disability payments?"

"We may feel a little bad but we need to be consistent. Test them."

"So let me summarize. Anyone who receives benefits from the government needs to have a drug test. All Medicaid, Medicare, disability and unemployment beneficiaries must get tested. All politicians. Everyone in the armed forces. Everyone in a police department, fire department, transportation department, public education or any other function where the salary comes from taxes has to get tested."

"Exactly. Everyone who benefits from the government must get a drug test. We'll need to add in everyone who lives in Alaska since they get an oil dividend payment every year just for being an Alaska resident."

"Speaking about being consistent, students often get grants and loans from the state and federal government."

"No student loans without drug tests. Anyone benefiting from government policies needs to have a drug test. Consistency, consistency, consistency."

"What if, instead of the government writing a check, the government reduced someone's debt by giving a tax credit?"

"No different. The government giving a credit that lowers those people's tax bills is no different from the government writing them a check. Test them. Remember, consistency, consistency, consistency."

"Homeowners get a major tax subsidy due to the mortgage interest deduction. In fact, this tax subsidy costs the federal government nearly $100 billion a year. People who rent aren't eligible to receive it, only homeowners. In order to be consistent, should we also list homeowners as people benefiting from government policies, after all they are getting special treatment compared to renters? I know you want to be consistent, so please urinate into this little cup here before we begin processing your tax statement. Once you've done that, we'll be happy to process your mortgage interest deduction and give you that refund I know you've been looking forward to."

"That's an invasion of my privacy. How dare you ask me to take a drug test? It's illegal. It's immoral. It's a violation of my rights. It's unconstitutional. It's... it's..."



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