It’s been a while since my last blog. There were too many disruptions that took me away from reflections of a higher order; a plumbing leak, repairs, maintenance, professional work, in essence, the menial realities of life.
We had an election, the result of which underscores how the nation is beyond being divided and on to new territory, one where the years of educational mismanagement and political misbehavior have caught up with our daily struggles to reach a new day. Sadly, an objective observer would be pressed to miss the many forms in which we have become a nation with ignorance, vehemence, and even hatred in our heart.
No longer do we entertain a reasonable exchange of ideas to formulate a coherent set of values. One camp disparages and disdains the other. We’re fractured and apparently deaf to the other side. Each side assumes their point of view as absolute truth. They don’t pause to reflect that our sources of information are biased; they’re swayed by the money that pays for their editorializing to ensure the retention of the status quo, where the present group of powerful individuals control our access to the root of their power, to inhibit a fair access to the opportunities of a free-market.
On the other hand, we saw a splendorous transfer of power. Unlike other nations, we witnessed it without military might rolling through our streets. We didn’t experience violence or fear. Our republic lives.
Despite this positive, when people gather, they bring up a multitude of ills that remain unresolved. Among them, we have a failing health care system, one I blogged about when Obamacare was rammed through the Congress and I perceived its failure from an insurance perspective.
One cannot get insurance for a loss that already occurred. Insurance companies must reserve funds to pay losses. Coming to insure an automobile after a crash is not reasonable. However, Obamacare forces insurance companies to accept people for coverage who for years were uninsured and now with costly diseases come to have their medical expenses paid by the insurance carriers. Further, the healthy remain uninsured until they’re sick.
As I explained then and now repeat, this is a formula for insurance company bankruptcy. Wisely, companies are withdrawing from the market and those still remaining, raise premiums on their risk to sums so high that make everyone insurance-poor. The only group benefiting from this ostensibly flawed legislation is the poor whose premiums are paid by the people and their deductibles reduced for direct access to healthcare. The people who are employed, earning a living to sustain themselves and their family, must jump over the hurdles of high premiums and outlandish deductibles for any access at all at an average cost per family in Miami of $22,000 a year.
Obamacare as our present system fails everyone because it suppresses free-market solutions. As is clear to Libertarians, government meddling inhibits competition. Its disruptive interference skews the market.
Last night at a dinner party, I talked with two supporters of the present intrusive government structure. One works for a company administering over the phone diagnoses for the treatment of disease. This company provides an alternative of care even if remotely and without physical contact with callers who bring their issue to their well-qualified staff. Clearly, their bread is buttered by the current flaws of the system. If these failures were resolved, their business would be severely affected. Not hard to guess that their vehement support for the current inefficient condition was vigorously on display.
The second person I met is a male sports figure, one of those revered athletes whose life is spent exercising, eating healthy, retaining a wholesome profile and earning millions of dollars to keep us entertained on the field and over transmitted broadcasts. He’s one of those lucky individuals getting paid to play and his game is taking a game-ball and move it a few yards down the field, on average under fifteen minutes per game sixteen times in one season. Our culture worships this class of individuals and they’re well-aware of their role in the Coliseum, where their valor and their might retain the attention of the people while the government continues its power-grab, taking more from the people without their notion under the guise of security. Yet in all fairness, this particular individual is generous. He expressed his desire to pay his taxes without flinching. He stated plainly how he does not mind “helping those who need handouts.” He’s a kind-hearted fellow, like Warren Buffett.
I listened carefully, internally horrified with mental images of totalitarian despots handing out scraps and the eager recipients grateful for their generosity. What became of the America where I grew up? What happened to the general desire to be self-reliant, avoiding the need for government assistance at all cost? When did the values that shaped me as an adolescent attending public school evaporate altogether?
In my youth, those who struggled to develop a business away from government handouts were the backbone of American society. The mom and pop stores, the skilled workers, the inventors and the risk-takers who envisioned the mythical better mouse-trap were the source of our national pride and our nation’s wealth. Today, they fight bureaucratic red-tape, and fortunately they coexist with what permeates all around us. We know they’re still there: They turned out to vote in great numbers in November. They joined all the forgotten people who grew tired of empty promises and growing inequality as the by-product of politicians’ greed, their lust for power and their unquenchable thirst for money at the expense of “We, The People.”
There’s hope in sensing that despite pockets of liberalism and unfettered disdain for private enterprise in large clusters of city-dwellers, there remain large numbers of self-motivated people who continue to toil hard to feed their families, educate their children, and house them after the government grabs part of the fruit of their venturous ingenuity. It’s those people who build the better future for generations to come. It’s those people grinding away everyday to end the government’s encroachment in the private lives of free citizens. They are the ones fully aware that a government that gives is powerful to take it all away.
Today, the recipients of the handouts fight hard to retain their easily-begotten spoils. Unwittingly, many of them as fellow-travelers, collude to deceive. It takes determination and a strong will to unmask their mendacity. However, as I like to echo, it’s up to each of us, for liberty is priceless and it must be zealously defended. Without a doubt, everyone’s liberty is under siege.