Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wake Up America...The Dream Is Over.

I grew up believing that in America you had Freedom and an Inalienable Right to Pursue Happiness. I also grew up believing that these two powers granted us were to be honored and respected...but also to be feared.

These powers are tremendous and led to a Nation of (mostly) highly motivated individuals who worked hard for everything they wanted and had a sense of pride for everything they achieved. People prospered because of their hard work, their ingenuity and there talents. We looked up to the most successful Americans because they were our shining examples of what we can achieve...if we try hard enough... was called The American Dream.

Was it harder for some people to achieve succsess? Did some people start off with disadvantages and did some people have seemingly huge obstacles they had to overcome in order to achieve their dream? Yes, most certainly so but that always made their success all the more inspirational.

Was it fair that some of these obstacles existed in the 1st place? Yes actually, it was. Some specific obstacles were (and are) wrong in a moral sense but simply having a disadvantage of some sort is not an injustice. Actually, the only way to have justice and fairness is to ensure that everyone has obstacles to overcome.

In a Free Society it is simply impossible to remove all of the percieved injustices because the very freedoms we enjoy sometimes create them when they are used for personal gain at the expense of others or when one persons happiness is causing anothers grief.

The American Dream felt like a nightmare to some because they felt it wasn't fair and/or their obstacles seemed too great to overcome, so Liberal Politicians (like Ted Kennedy) stepped in to supposedly "even the playing field" and create fairness where it was percieved to be missing...and now the American Dream has become a Nightmare for us all...isn't fairness and equality wonderful?

Now our society looks at success as somehow evil. If you are successful, you must have hurt many on the way. How many others dreams were squashed so that you could achieve yours? I am poor because you are wealthy. I want what you have. I deserve what you have. It's not fair.

Corporations are evil because they make lots of money.
Small Businesses are evil because they don't pay as well as the larger ones.
Individuals are evil simply because they have things that others do not.

Class Envy and entitlement attitudes have transformed our nation into something I don't recognize as American, nor do I like it very much, nor is it healthy. I may not be the most successful person myself but at least I have always known that my successes and failures have been MINE! I own them and I still own my dreams which I will achieve (or not) because of my own initiative, my own hard work and by overcoming any and all obstacles that may exist or arise.

I don't need Ted Kennedy's (or Obama's) "dream" of government control to achieve my American Dream. I just need to take control of my own life and be responsible to those around me. If we need Governement to force us to be productive, responsible citizens then the American Dream is truly over...

...and the nightmare begins.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Zombie Economics...Part 3: "Righteous Indigestion Over Health Care Reform".

As many who "know" me are aware, I seem to be suffering from some sort of intestinal/abdominal condition which has yet to be diagnosed let alone treated because I am one of the 15-40 million Americans who have no Health Insurance. The company I work for actually does offer insurance to some of it's employees but for some reason not to me (or my direct supervisor either). There does not seem to be any logical criteria for why this is the case and I suspect that some law(s) is being broken in this policy. Legal proceedings perhaps will ensue eventually if I am hospitalized (for lack of care) and it turns out that their practices were illegal.

Now I have no problem getting the Government involved if laws have been broken under Unfair Practice but if it turns out that this company has done nothing (legally) wrong then it is a personal/business issue between me and my employer. They obviously don't value my work, nor my health enough to offer me these benefits and I obviously don't value myself enough to seek better employment. It has been my choice to stay with this company and Hope for Change rather than making my life better for myself and my children.

Now I DO have a problem with Government stepping in and saying, "We are going to give you Health Care and this is what you are gonna get." It's not that I don't want the care...I do...I just don't want it from my Government. No one should be and no one can be in charge of my betterment other than myself. Succede or's up to ME...not Government...not my's all about what choices I make for my life...for better or worse.

Choice is the key thing in not just Health Care but in every aspect of our lives. The more choices we have (more jobs to choose form, more HMO's to choose from, what car to drive, where to live) depends not on a Government to provide but for Private Industry, Business and the Individual Worker to decide, based on Competition, Profit and Individual Talent.

Government Programs by design do not offer choice but rather limit it, or take it away completely. Government Programs also by design give too much power and control over our lives to the Government. This is never a good thing. The possibilty for coersion, rationing and corruption becomes all the greater when Government is put in control.

This is what many of the protestors are balking at and yes even shouting about. "We are NOT going to give you control over our lives by placing the condition of our health into your hands!"
That is simply too much power for any Government to have over it's citizens. Now, I am not one of those saying that old people and the chronically ill will be the 1st ones to be Euthanised under a Government Program, but what I am saying is this..."You have to recognize that that possibillty exists because you have given the Government that power over you (should they decide to utilize it).

Think back to George W. Bush getting the ok to utilize wiretaps to "gather intelligence" on possible terrorists. I agreed with the Left on this one in that it grants too much power to the Government to monitor and perhaps infringe upon Free Speech. I was terrified of future attacks and evil plans in the making, but I said then that it is foolish to give that kind of power to Government because who knows how it could be used in the future. Look at what we have now...our current President wants us to report on our fellow citizens for "fishy" speech. Can I now expect my phone to be tapped because this blog was flagged by someone as "fishy"?

What is that old saying that "the road to ruin is paved with good intentions". Health Care is a prime example of that. I understand the compassion of the Left to want to provide service to everybody, I truly do...and I think most Conservatives and Libertarians do also but there is a right way to go about it and a wrong way...and the Wrong Way is most definately Government Provided and/or Government Controlled.

Ok, so what is the "Right Way"? I don't really know but I do have an idea for consideration (which is probably full of holes but here goes anyway)...

The Federal Government could pass a law that states that Health Insurance MUST be provided by every business to every employee without exemptions (pre-existing conditions, part-time, etc.) and also Deregulate the Insurance Industry to allow National Coverage as opposed to State-by-State coverage. This deregulation and subsequent competition would drive down the overall costs for everyone...worker, business owner and Insurer. Would some Insurance Companies fail because they can't compete? Yes, most certainly..and as it should be. Could one company gain a monopoly? No, because there are already laws preventing that.

(now try to stay with me because I know you're worried about cost for small business owners)

Every business whether small or large will be given a Tax Credit based on what they are paying in Health Benefits. This money can then be used (must be used actually)to reinvest in the company to grow, sell more widgets hire more employees...whatever it takes to be more succesful (and wealthier) thereby improving the overall economy.

(but that's still alot of investment by the Federal Government, I know...hear me out. ;>)

Along with the Tax Credit for all businesses comes a "slight" tax increase on profits. The more money the business makes, the more money the Government gets to fund the Health Care Tax Credits. However, the tax increases would be on a gradual system based on how much profit is being made above the cost of the Health Care Benefits. If no profit can be made then the business gets a one-time-pass untill they restructure so profits can be made (or go out of business because the owners suck). Would some people lose their jobs in the restructurings? Yes, probably so.

(but what about the Unemployed? Now they're out of work AND have no Insurance.)

1st off..not to sound too uncaring or unfeeling but if I am let go from my job because of cost cutting measures...well the company obviously didn't deem me worthy of keeping around which is likely my fault and I am probably better off going elsewhere anyway.
2nd...the Federal Government (and/or State) CAN offer Catastrophic Coverage for the interim unemployed...No Doctor Visits but Emergency Room Coverage for...well..emergencies. If someone remains unemployed for an absurd amount of time, then quite frankly they are not looking hard enough and maybe they should be the first ones euthanised. (just kidding) ;>P

When I am rehired at my old job or hired at a new one, I will once again be on the Basic Health Care Package but with the option of increasing my coverage (a PPO instead of a HMO) through payroll withholdings. If I can't afford better coverage than I need a better job. Every worker would have this option for increased coverage either out of their own pocket or through contract negotiations with their employer.

Could this plan work and could it pay for itself while business thrives and people still have choices? I don't know. I am not an economist, nor a politician nor a business owner. I am just a simple working man with cronic indigestion who would like to see a better/fairer system but I say NO! with righteous indignation to Government Control.

That is why I have Righteous Indigestion.