Recently, I received the following “forwarded e-mail.” It is, in my opinion, an attack ad on our current administration. After the quoted e-mail, I give my response. I realize the e-mail is a metaphor explanation and mine is specific to health care. I hope this stimulates good thought.
“An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had once failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer. The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan”. All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little. The second test average was a D! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.
All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed. Could not be any simpler than that.”
Regarding the e-mail on socialism, much has been said about how Obama’s approach to health care is socialism. Since I don’t know exactly what the professor is referring to, I have chosen health care as a topic to consider. First, let me state that I personally believe that good reasonable health care for every American citizen is not a reward or a grade for what the citizen knows or can do, but instead, is a right of citizenship.
I think it is a right and should not be based on decisions made for increasing the profit of shareholders. I know many are saying that somehow this amounts to socialism. I disagree and frankly, think many who say it is socialism, don’t know what socialism is. Here is a place to start when considering socialism. The next step (using the metaphor in the e-mail) for anyone wanting to learn more about socialism, is to study, take tests and know, up front, that all grades will be averaged. Etc., etc. But, who decides what socialism is? By the way, “what is a reasonable and clear definition of Obama’s Socialism?”
Of course, we already have “socialized” healthcare for one segment of our society; it’s called Medicare. I know many people who want and get more than the coverage that Medicare offers. Some of these financially fortunate people are able to buy the services of a boutique/designer doctor. Some, because they were gainfully employed and earned enough money, are now able to have both, Medicare coverage and the services of a boutique doctor. The result is they have “better” health care than those who are only on Medicare. If this is an example of “socialized” medicine, I fail to see how socialism is such a bad concept.
I want something similar to Medicare for friends and relatives of mine who are not old enough to qualify for Medicare and do not have health care. They do not have jobs that provide reasonable health care and do not make enough money to afford to buy it on their own, therefore they do not have health care. When they get sick they go directly to the emergency room or sit at home and hope they get better. Is this an example of a good health care system for the “greatest nation on earth?”
My wife and I are both retired and not old enough to be on Medicare and we had to pay 15% of our entire (gross) income on insurance premiums last year. And of course, we have co-pays for everything. The bottom line is that last year we paid over 22% of our (gross) income for health care AND we weren’t really sick!
Socialism is not a good or bad word, anymore than democracy or capitalism are good or bad words. There has been many bad “so called” capitalistic systems. Perhaps the past American slave trade is one bad “so called” capitalistic system. There has been many good “so called” socialistic systems. Perhaps, Medicare is one of the good “so called” socialistic systems. ????
Smile, if you have reasonable health care. :-) Frown, for those who don’t. :-(