An Act Of Compassion
“President Obama your agenda is not new it is not change and it is not hope. Spending a nation into generational debt is not an act of compassion.” – Rush Limbaugh
Actually, I believe a lot of people are pinning a lot of hope that Mr. Obama is able to change things. With extreme economic conditions that have been inherited from the previous administration that spent the last eight years trying to stimulate the economy with massive tax cuts and uncontrolled spending and deregulation, the global economy has been dragged into conditions of unprecedented financial collapse. Unfettered capitalism has seen a lot of people get richer while the larger share of the population stagnate or even economically regress.
In order to compensate for salaries and wages that cannot compete with the ever increasing cost of living, most turned to whatever credit mechanism they could find. You could borrow against your house, your car, your future earnings, your future equity, your name, somebody else’s name, and whatever else you can think of. That bubble of credit has collapsed and like the individual who has borrowed and can’t pay it back, America the collective has borrowed and now we cannot pay it back.
In this economic environment we are spending a lot of money on helping corporations survive. A lot of people say these corporations are too big to fail. In order to save the economy we have to give various financial institutions billions and billions of dollars to keep them solvent. The same people would rather cut off an arm than give a dime to a manufacturer that employs union labor and blue collar jobs. While financial institutions are too big to fail, the individual is too small to help. It’s okay that corporations earn record profits per month while individuals struggle to keep their budgets intact paying record prices for food, fuel, healthcare and just about anything else you can think of.
For years we have seen healthcare cost balloon despite our less than best efforts to control healthcare cost. We were told that the problem with health insurance is that the courts want to punish doctors and health providers for malpractice. Tort reform would save insurers money which would save doctors money which would save the individual money. Yet, even in the states where tort reform has significantly limited malpractice liabilities, healthcare costs continue to rise while health insurers continue to earn eye popping profits.
I think the unlimited potential for earning near unimaginable profit is the largest problem here. It’s easy to say the problem is greedy lawyers or the problem is greedy corporations or the problem is greedy so and so. But the root problem in all circumstances is the need to feed greed and how we want to protect that need at the cost of our community.
We can implement more band aids to dodge the root problem. We can implement electronic medical record systems and other such nonsense in order to minimize cost. The system is more efficient which means people who use to do the labor intensive work of maintaining medical records will lose their jobs and lose their health coverage. And the cycle starts all over again. How will these newly unemployed people maintain the cost of their medical coverage?
Nevertheless, people who think that a new nationwide electronic medical recording system is going to reign in medical cost are akin to people who joust with windmills. People refuse to acknowledge the real problem of people wanting profit. There is no magic bullet. We are either going to become more socially responsible and create a system that allows all of us to benefit, or we are going to allow people to continue the practice of transferring wealth from the poor and the middle class to the rich who want to build the zeroes in their bank accounts on the backs of people just trying to get by.
It is this environment that will lead to the development of a more socially aware culture where everyone has access to healthcare, educational opportunities, and a minimum of what’s needed to get by. Some people call this socialism. They say the word as if it’s a curse from the deepest pit of perdition. But if people will actually take a moment to think about what socialism means, how these days a lot of people need help to get back to where we were, we would realize it is not the blight we have been programmed to think it is.
More people are more comfortable with allowing our government to spend our collective hard earned tax dollars to develop cutting edge, state of the art, nuclear weapon delivery systems with accuracy that can ram a forty megaton bomb up a bee’s ass rather than develop a health care network that would assure everyone, even the homeless, adequate health services. That doesn’t sound very compassionate at all. In fact, it sounds very negative, destructive, and diabolical. Something is very wrong with that picture.
And this is the picture that we are now beginning to see. Now that the fog of consumption for the sake of consumption is being lifted, we should take a moment to realize our priorities. To continue business as usual and pretend that everything is okay while the rich continue to get richer, the poor continue to get poorer, healthcare cost rising everyday, the list of preexisting conditions grows longer with just about each and every claim, fuel cost getting out of hand, and global conglomerates laying people off on a daily basis as they scour the globe for the cheapest labor available, is madness. Logic says we should be at the very beginning of a long overdue cultural revolution.
Unfortunately, not everyone is onboard with this idea. People who are doing well, who are able to provide for their families, who have the resources to do anything their heart desires because they are one of the few sitting at the top of the wealth accumulation pyramid that represents America. It is no wonder such a selfish person would promote the status quo and hatred for more socially responsible policies. Despite the fact that many people need help in this environment, doing anything to help more people afford to do more for his/her self is perceived as the horror of horrors. Some refer to it as a transfer of wealth.
But the news flash is that we’ve been living under a system of wealth transfer for years. It’s just that it goes from the poor to the rich. A lot of people are hoping that this system that continues to exclusively look out for the rich and the well to do will come to an end. I know I do. I hope Mr. Obama tears down the walls of economic exclusion so that this economic system opens up so that all can benefit. That would be the greatest act of compassion in a very long time.