Thursday, August 28, 2008

Keeping Up With Current Events

I haven't been writing too much lately, even though I probably have a couple of worthwhile things to write that I've just neglected to get to, I suppose because I've been busy with things in the non-cyberspace world. I've also had a lot of tiny observations, mostly just "I told you so's" regarding things I've noticed going on, and little confirmations like that, that I just haven't been motivated to post (although maybe they would be a good idea to post, even though to me they seem trfling, since a little more thorough commentary from me might help more people see the light and get on the ball).

But along those lines, I thought I'd just "check in" today. I'm getting the sense that a lot of things that are going on may be effectively confirming stuff out there that I pointed out (for example, about how corrupt the media is and how one-sided our politics are)-- that is, that it's getting to the point that without my narration, a lot of other people are noticing this stuff more than they used to. I myself haven't actually been watching the convention. What should I watch it for? To get confirmation of things I am already totally aware of, like how corrupt the media is and how compromised the Dems are? I am already very familiar with this, and with the kinds of events and behavior these conditions will create. As long as other people are starting to "get it" on their own, that's good. But anyway, Steve Benen writes today that supposed "divisions within the Democratic Party" have "for most of the convention [] been the media's favorite topic of conversation" and this is just what I would expect. You may also recall that yesterday I speculated that Steve Benen is a propagandist, and Steve's writing this is totally consistent with what I wrote-- it's just that he can't avoid making observations like this if he is going to retain his credibility in the eyes of a lot of people.

Steve also writes posts like this one today which really victimizes his more ignorant readers. If you just read Steve's post, and if you are unfamiliar with whether poor people "already get all their health care for free" you may be really fooled about the facts of the situation because of the way he describes it. You really have to click on and read his comments to get a clearer picture.

Steve's post makes it sound as if the current system doesn't really leave people untreated, and that the issue is all about efficiency-- which isn't the case. While it may theoretically be true that everybody can go and get emergency-room treatment if they want to go and ask for it, not having nationally-provided health care in practice probably discourages a lot of uninsured people from getting treatment at all, or from seeking treatment before their condition degrades to a point where treatment is worth a lot less to them. So the problem is not just about efficiency: (1) It's about people not getting treated before the problem becomes bad at all, (2) it's about efficency, and (3) it's about people getting financially ruined (because not having insurance and not paying their medical bills ruins their credit and saddles them with a large debt for a long time) over something that shouldn't be denied to anybody.

The real general answer to most of America's problems, not limited to health care, is that the rich should pay taxes. No person needs more than the mansion/Mercedes/summer home lifestyle. The idea that individuals need be able to own lots of properties (like John McCain), lots of cars, or to have hundreds of millions of dollars is absolutely absurd. People should be thankful just that this country gives them the opportunity to get a huge house, an expensive car, and a time-share or summer home. The excess money should be the small price they have to pay to take advantage of the opportunities this country affords to allow a person to obtain that totally sufficient lifestyle. If we were properly taxing the rich and huge corporations, it would be very easy to see that problems like how to provide health care are not big problems for an extremely rich nation like ours at all, and things like proper medical care are "peanuts," cheap investments that we should feel totally happy and not burdened in the least to provide as a matter of course for free to all our citizens.

I'm not saying, of course, that taxes should pay for all sorts of cosmetic and unnecessary care. Nor am I saying that our system should be 100% public (in the sense that we shouldn't consider whether nationally-provided health care would work is we also allowed people to become "high class," non-public doctors who the rich could pay for supposedly "better" treatment if they wanted to opt out of the system in some particular case of illness or injury). But if we were working everything out right, our system would even be able to afford to pay for cosmetic surgery for people-- like a young woman who has almost no breasts, and is consequently very depressed about it, or a person who is not quite disfigured, but is very unhandsome, and is very depressed about it-- who we all might agree need the procedure if we had to be the ones to walk a mile in their shoes. It would just require a recommendation from a treating psychologist / psychiatrist.