Thursday, September 10, 2009


I like free market principles. Here in America they've done a wonderful job of stopping inflation dead in its tracks. With so many people out of work, no one except the richest 12% can afford to buy anything. That definitely keeps prices in check. And wages too.

Let's see: the free market (i.e. unbridled greed) has brought us outlandish CEO benefits and income, the Savings and Loan mess, the bust, the great Depression and current great Recession, bank failures galore, exploding gold values (for those who can afford gold), the collapsing dollar, corporate corruption, corporate ownership of the Republican part of the US Congress (think Tom Delay and his K Street project), a widely increasing gap between the richest Americans and the poorest, a continually shrinking middle class, the outsourcing of our entire manufacturing base (in search of profits first) along with its good-paying jobs, mortgage failures, the destruction of unions by which working men and women used to have some say about their pay rather than being totally dependent on what their bosses want to pay them (except when Dems manage to raise the minimum wage), financial collapse, cheap come-on printers with expensive ink, ownership of much of America by China and other big investors. Yes, the one thing we do not want is for we voters to have any control whatsoever over the economic forces that dominate our lives.

As to private health care insurance—haven't we seen where that takes us? The public option for health insurance is just that, an OPTION. No one has to use it, so let's try it out and see what happens. If we don't like it after 5 years or so, we can change it, drop it or keep and expand it. It's optional for Pete's sake. What's to fear? Only those who know it might succeed as well as Medicare to hold costs in check fear the public OPTION.

Another thing about private insurance with many competing plans. We've seen how the financial industry has bamboozled the average American with small print and hidden clauses and devious practices when it comes to credit cards. They have no scruples when it comes to profits. To make correct health care choices, one even now has to be an insurance whizzbang to always make the correct choices, and the insurance industry will do everything in its power to fool and trick the average American who, every year, becomes less literate and less able to inform himself by carefully reading the small print. We already have much anecdotal evidence about health insurance surprises for people who did not know exactly what they were getting when they tried to save money on health insurance. I've had occasion to appeal a health insurance claim. Talk about devious decisions and lawyer-like ways to use language to obfuscate an issue! They're masters at it already.

I'll tell you this, when I see widespread honesty at the highest levels of corporate life and a desire to balance profits with social responsibility, then I'll turn my economic welfare over to unregulated, free market capitalism. I can at least vote for change when it comes to politicians and a public OPTION in health care insurance.

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