Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Rant About Government-Run Healthcare

There is a discussion at the Berlin website forum about healthcare. The system is having real problems processing my full comment. I have spent nearly a day now trying to post this response. It has taken some of it, broken into small pieces. Anyway, the complete response is here:


Those with real money have always known that war is profitable. They have always enjoyed having a good war, knowing that war is expensive. Both sides go into debt to buy weapons to destroy things. Later, when peace breaks out, there is money to be made rebuilding things.

However, in the wake of the Great Depression, this point was really driven home. World War II really got the world out of the Depression and into an economic boom.

Those that run things never forgot that lesson.

But, the war ended too soon.

So, along came Vietnam - a high-tech war, and one with no clear objectives, so day for day, battle for battle, the price would be far higher, and no one would ever be able to declare victory, like they did in World War II.

Trouble was, the folks back home decided they had had enough.

Then, the Cold War ended, too. Bad for business.

But, no big deal. We now have a War on Terror. We are waging war against an abstract noun, so there is no way it will ever end. Were we not told so by our Decider-in-Chief? This war would be unlike any other war, and would not end in our lifetimes. Big bucks to be had fighting the war, providing contract support to the military, rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan... and this is one war we will not soon get tired of, because of how it started, and in any case, protests will be kept under control - they have a far better system to monitor us now; the Patriot Act was just the icing on the cake.

And don't think it ends there.

The education industry in this country functions similarly. It is a de facto government monopoly. Oh, you can open a private school, you can even send your kids to a private school; but first, you will contribute to the government-run school, whether or not you send your kids there, whether or not you even have kids. Imagine if some other industry worked like that: You WILL buy these tires, whether or not you put them on your car, whether or not you even have a car!

No matter how bad the government-run school system works, there is a lobby that has a death grip on it, and will not let go, because big money is to be made trying to educate "the masses". By the way, that is how they think of us: not as people, but as "the masses". They fan the flames of propaganda, making sure more and more money gets thrown at the problem, because no politician wants to be the one who left some child behind.

There is not a lot of money to be made winning a war compared with how much can be made TRYING to win it year after year. Similarly, there is not a lot of money to be made by the education industry and its lobbyists in actually educating American kids compared to what can be made by trying year after year to educate them and failing miserably; the failure is spun into a call for more resources, so more money gets poured down the gopher hole.

The US spent $9,138 per student in 2006. The least amount spent per pupil is in Utah, at $5,257, and the most is in New York, at $14,119 [source].

What do we get for this money? Kids that aren't ready for college, who can often not read adequately, who are not prepared in history or geography; our country's students flat out suck in math and science. Of course, there are exceptions, but too many kids learn that they are owed something, and they learn to not appreciate opportunities they are offered.

By the way - one added plus to our government-run education system is that it graduates people woefully inadequate to the responsibilities of citizenship in a free country. That's great, because they don't want us to think for ourselves and question what we're told.

If I wanted to destroy the United States, I couldn't think of a better way of doing it than going after our educational system and turning it into what it has become - though Osama bin Laden's strategy of bankrupting us in war is working like a charm.

Our current national debt is nearly $13,000,000,000,000; that's almost $42,000 per person. That's not per family, that's per person. A kid born today in the US has that debt hanging over her or his head at birth. Since a newborn can't pay that off, interest will be charged until this young person graduates from our sucky school system and gets a low-paying job in the service industry to start paying on that debt. If it ever gets paid off, it will cost at least three quarters of a million dollars to pay that.

Fantastic Shannon, I don't have that kind of money. Do you? Terri, do you have that kind of money to throw away?

Now, guess what! The guys who brought you all this are now in charge of health care. Just like with national security, where the money is to be made by the process of fighting and rebuilding, not winning the war - just like with government education, where the money is to be made having schools that fail, not in actually graduating people ready to be effective citizens and workers in a high-tech industrialized world... Now, the money is to be made not in having people healthy or cured of diseases, but rather in treating diseases of people who are sick.

That is, until it gets to be too much of a "burden on society", and they start rationing healthcare. Some countries with wonderful socialized medicine now refuse to treat the obese or smokers. I am not a smoker, I find smoking disgusting; but, it is legal, and is it not someone's right to smoke? However, smokers have become a politically compromised group, whose rights can be trodden upon when convenient. Who will argue that scarce medical resources should go to a smoker who isn't trying to quit?

In Nazi Germany, those who held no political power at first were the incurably insane. It took valuable resources to keep them alive - resources that could go to healthy people. So, the incurably insane were "euthanized". They were the first victims of the Holocaust. Sure, later the Nazis went after the Poles, the Gypsies, the Jews, and everyone else - but it started with the incurably insane.

And don't for a moment think this government takeover of medicine won't lead to government rationing. And from there, where? The road to Auschwitz and Buchenwald is very much shorter than we may think.

Now, ready for the punchline? The money that gets used to pay for all this... we pay interest just to have the money in existence. The Federal Reserve is a private corporation; it is no more "federal" than Federal Express. They charge us interest just to have money in circulation - money which they are able to create at no cost, because most of the US dollars in circulation are just some digits in an electronic ledger somewhere.

This healthcare won't be free, or cheap, or universal. With the government in charge, it will get more and more expensive, and more and more scarce for those of us who aren't the "elite", and the money we have available to pay for it with will be less and less - and we will continue to pay interest on that little bit of money.

Now, someone - please prove me wrong.


UPDATE: I was finally able to post something else at the forum, so I posted a link back here.

I'm not trying to take anyone's traffic away, just trying to participate in the discussion, which I applaud Terri Nunn for having. Though I disagree with her viewpoint, I admire that she is getting involved in this political mess by voicing a public opinion, even though doing so may alienate some fans.

Please check out the Berlin Website, and check out the music of Terri Nunn and Berlin - it's awesome!

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