...becuase I'm a simple man. A man of of the land. A moron.
I've been quiet about all of the debate on health care up here in the Land of the Free, mostly because I don't know of a good solution to the problem. Like most problems, it doesn't have a single 'solution', rather a series of actions would be necessary for a 'solution'.
Oh, I've heard all of the crap from both sides on it, though, with no thought given to any pretense of civility or logic.
First off, let's talk a bit about civility, shall we? I know what you're thinking-"Not again, YD. We went through this all before." Then it's time for a refresher course.
We seem to be losing the ability to have constructive debate on any issue here in this country anymore. I hear a lot of people on talk radio, and the gist of what I'm hearing is 'I don't want the government meddling in my affairs! Make sure my Social Security check gets here on time, my roads are plowed and patched, and the mail gets here before my naptime. When's Glenn Beck on?'
To be fair (and balanced), people couldn't wait to pick apart Mr. Bush's every move and call him every name in the book when he was Boss, so neither side can claim innocence.
Polarization will not bring about anything productive. (Yankeedog said, into the wind for all the good it will do).
I've read the last few issues of Fortune magazine, and they've had some profiles of successful CEO's in them. What struck me as interesting is that a lot of them talked about gaining their success by being deft in negotiations. They aimed whenever possible to create situations where everybody got something in a given deal. Everybody chalks a win and no one one walks away empty-handed.
Let's consider a few prominent Americans for a bit.
1) Ted Kennedy, the 'Liberal Lion', late senator from Massachusetts. While not the ablest of the Kennedys, he had friends (or whatever passes for friendship among pols) on both sides of the aisle and at the other end of the political spectrum. I don't what morals he had (not good, I suspect), but he seemed to follow that classic saying-'It's ain't personal. It's just business.'
2) William F. Buckley, Jr., late 'spokesman' for the conservative movement. Buckley could verbally rend someone-or take them apart with surgical precision. He was also known for having dinner parties featuring prominent liberals on the guest list.
It ain't personal. It's just business.
3) I'd make a case for Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant. After the Civil War, they had the opportunity (and military strength) to utterly crush the Confederate States, execute the leaders of the Rebellion, and exact reprisals on everyone that served in the Confederate forces. Instead, the Confederates were given as good as could be expected. The officers were allowed to keep sidearms, and any soldier with a horse or mule was allowed to take it home (to help with the harvest). Most of the common soldiers had only to sign an oath not to take up arms against the Union. Indeed, many former Confederate military served in the postwar US military, and one Confederate general served in the US Army during the Spanish-American War.
Perhaps honor meant more then than now. At any rate, showing the opponent some dignity in defeat in this case may have saved countless years in guerilla actions in the South. There were enough problems there at any rate.
I digress, since none of you probably wanted a history lesson. The point and common theme was that the people mentioned above knew and practiced civility (or mastered the art of the deal-perhaps they're one and the same) to their ideological opposites. Evidently this method does, on occasion, work.
Well. Don't reckon there'll be a change anytime soon.
As for health care here-I'm firmly on the fence. Like I said, I don't have an answer. People don't want to pay the cost (real and/or perceived) of a government-run system. There's been a lot of talk of 'rationed care' and 'death panels'. But the system we have now doesn't run all that well either.
Let's compare and contrast a few things:
-A panel of government bureaucrats decides that you're too old and unproductive to expend heroic measures to keep you alive.
-A panel of insurance company bureaucrats decides that you're too high risk to carry, so they deny payment for heroic measures to keep you alive.
-Under a government health care plan, you won't get to use the physicians you want.
-Under the current system, the insurance company will pay benefits only to physicians in their plan. You don't get to use the physicians you want.
-Government health care means 'rationed care'.
-The current system doesn't pay for certain services, so you pay out-of-pocket. Or more likely, don't get them.
-Recently the VA sent 4300 letters to patients informing them that they had ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). It was an error by the government medical bureaucracy.
-Recently here in the QCs a local hospital failed to inform the county Health Department that there was a person in hospital with Hepatitis B from contamination from a local restaurant. It was an error by the private medical bureaucracy.
The question, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, is-
What the hell's the difference?
When someone can answer that, then I'll jump both feet into one side or the other. Show me one system is better than the other based on the arguments here (That's a rhetorical question I'm asking my hardcore fellow citizens-you visitors that have your own health-care setup are exempt from answering).
We aren't anywhere close to getting the health-care thing solved. But we'd better start pulling on the same side of the rope a bit more often on issues, or the country's screwed. There are times I despair for us now.
Ending on a better note, we're working 40 hours again, at least for a bit. We've had an influx of orders-and good projects, at that.
Barkeep! Steins of your finest Keystone Light all around!!