Much has been said about healthcare in the last few months. It seems there is nothing more to talk about. I mean come one we’re headed towards National Socialism or Communism (interesting how one policy can lead to wildly divergent political outcomes eh?), we’re going to kill grandma, we’re going to ration healthcare, we’re going to take healthcare decisions out of the hands of patients and put it in the hands of bureaucrats (a dramatic shift, no doubt, from my insurance company denying any and every treatment I’ve ever needed until I called in to bust some balls). Well this post is about absolutely none of those things, so I’d appreciate it if we could avoid such silliness.
No, this post is about the costs to our healthcare that arise from our social isolationism. Okay, so the title is a bit misleading, it says individualism, but I tend to not see a dramatic difference. Individualism encourages us to look to no one but ourselves for our necessities, which when taken to its logical endpoint, means we become more isolated. Semantics aside, my argument is pretty simple: our isolationism is costing us in our healthcare spending – and big time.
The economic slump got you down? With recent economic news, it’s awful hard to see how much worse things can get. Taxes are going up, spending is down, revenue is down, employment is down, unemployment is up. Is there any bright spot in all this? Yes indeedie doo there is!
Well, first off let’s get on the table that this won’t fix all of your problems, but it’s a start.
Sick of paying high property taxes? Taxes that pay to send her kids to school? His golf course that you never use? The library with the musty books? That black hole of a mass transit district?
The plan: Incorporate your own low-tax municipality! Within months you’ll see business flock to you and residents clamor for housing and you can sit back and bask in the fact that your property taxes are 20, 30 or 50% lower than that guy in that place. Just follow these easy steps!
Mythos. A mythos is a system or body of myths, folklore, legends that constitute a self-contained system which explains the nature of the world and humanity. At its heart a mythos is a constellation of first principles which serves as the foundation for morality, normative judgment, and explanations for how the world (and people) work. A mythos is composed of two principle characteristics: 1) it is self-evident and 2) it is true. Oh perhaps you don’t believe it, but to those who adhere to that system it is true and needs no further explanation other than itself. that is to say that a mythos appears to be tautalogical to the outside observer.
I’m quite literally dropping a very short policy paper on the balance between individual transportation and mass transit alternatives.
Urban transportation involves highly complex and interrelated systems which people use as a means to accomplish a variety of ends. Transportation in urban areas can take the form of pedestrian traffic, bicycling, private automobiles, buses, and railways. Each of these forms has its functional purpose as well as limitations. This paper will focus primarily upon the use of private automobiles and mass transit systems (buses and railways) in urban areas as well as their benefits, problems, and potential solutions to those problems.
- A magnetic levitation train
When I first wrote for Urbanagora, I had full administrative privileges, including the ability to delete comments. In one of my first articles someone posted a completely off-topic troll response and I deleted it. I remember someone coming to me and explaining to me the benefits of not doing such things. He told me that this was to be a place of free and open speech and that even unpopular ideas should be voiced. The unpopular or flatly stupid ideas would be duly deconstructed and free speech would reveal a higher truth. His name was Billy Joe Mills.
Ah the postwar boom. America’s Golden Era . . .
Several years ago I learned that the United States government carried out a program of forced sterilization on Puerto Rican women during the post-World War II era. Initially, I was shocked and appalled. Why would the government of Puerto Rico with the support of the U.S. government force sterilization on women?
The primary motivation behind this was eugenic. Puerto Rico was overpopulated (it still is) and birth rates were high. The government couldn’t get people to emigrate fast enough and Uncle Sam was worried about another few million people in one of its colonies. Basically what happened is what happens in China today: poor women were tricked or coerced into having abortions or being sterilized. Sometimes it was the only family planning option offered. At others there was no consent.
This came crashing down to me about fifteen minutes ago when I got a call from my father. My grandmother, his mother, died about a year ago. My father had always been very close to her and so, when she died, he took some of her personal effects, mostly letters, back to California with him from New York. He was nearly in tears and bitterness clung to every word. He skipped pleasantries and simply began speaking.
“Sometimes” he said “I am so pissed off at what the government has done.”
Earlier this month president-elect Barack Obama announced that he intends to enact a new economic stimulus package to create 2.5 million jobs and help stabilize our flagging economy. This stimulus package is on a truly massive scale. Initial numbers ran in the $700 billion range, but more recent reports suggest $775 billion or eventually $1 trillion.
So the government is about to spend a gajillion dollars and the transition team is probably thinking up how to target the investments to get the most bang for the buck. Many have suggested using a chunk of it to help states or to fund proposed and planned infrastructure projects. Funding infrastructure projects has the benefit of putting large numbers of people directly to work in construction. Indirectly it will stimulate demand and create jobs in other sectors that supply materials as well as in service sectors as people spend the money they’re earning with their nifty construction jobs.
We have been hearing a lot lately about how “Real Americans” think and what is going on in the “Real America.” Most of this has been coming from the Republican party and its supporters. The idea is that somehow they are genuine and their opponents are fake. They are honest and their opponents are deceptive. They are from small towns and their opponents are from big cities. They are hard working and their opponents are welfare queens. They are good god-fearing Christians and their opponents are Atheistic Socialists. They are white and their opponents are not…ok well that last one may have something to it.
So yesterday marked a hilarious (for me at least) point in the campaign. Amid the Obama lovefest and Hillary-supporters-are-pissed news, a somewhat obscure, but ultimately awesome political news event occurred. John McCain garnered the endorsement of Puerto Rican reggaeton star Daddy Yankee. This is huge. Ok, seriously, the man is a music god on the island and I can only assume that McCain will, by virtue of the endorsement, get a lot of attention. The only problem is that well Puerto Ricans can’t vote for president. In fact, no one living in Puerto Rico except military personnel can vote for any national office. Actually, I don’t even think Daddy Yankee can vote for John McCain.
Now I understand where the endorsement comes from. McCain has been a fierce advocate of immigration reform that isn’t mouth-foaming or unworkable. I don’t love it, but I can see where people would respect it. In fact, that was the primary reason for the endorsement. While I read a few articles about it, I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone told him what the guy’s songs are actually about. From casual sex in “Lo que paso paso” to thinly veiled references to muscle cars and sex in “Gasolina,” I think it’s a rather odd fit. McCain is (other than that little divorce remairrage soon after thing) a pretty straight-laced guy partnered with a guy advocating some rather un-family values.
When I think about the contrast combined with the fact that the endorser probably can’t even vote (no, I couldn’t find his official address, so I’m not 100% sure), it seems about a good as an endorsement from Gary Glitter. :-D. Hey, maybe “Gasolina” is about energy independence…Anyway, McCain apparently likes Daddy Yankee’s gasolina…just don’t tell him what that means (chances are McCain’s staff has no idea either).