Monday, January 12, 2009


I think I've finally figured out why we don't have either single-payer or some sort of private/public partnership in our health care system. It appears that people in government believe that the reason folks become doctors is so they can make lots of money and not have to work too hard at it. And also to employ lots of folks to handle ridiculous amounts of paperwork.

Here I thought it was so doctors could practice medicine and help people.

Silly me.

I'm sure most actors think (when they're fifteen), "I'm gonna go out and become a movie star!" By the time they're working their fourth restaurant job in a year, they think, "I'm gonna go out to every audition I can in the hopes that I can quit the day job." Sure, some people go into a particular trade to make ridiculous amounts of money (Wall Street, for example, or con games), but some people go into a particular trade because it's a calling.

One of the most irk-inducing traits of the Conservative mindset (note that I didn't use the word Repugnican), is the ingrained belief that people need a profit motive to do whatever it is they do. Making money is nice, I'll grant you that, and true Marxism has never held much appeal to me (and certainly Soviet-style socialism seems like it was a pretty bad idea). Hell, I could always use a few more bucks. But if you look at every job that any person could do, does the profit motive always enter into the picture? I'll grant you, a sanitation worker deserves all the money they'll pay him, but if you're doing something you love, in a nice office, with decent benefits, and the money's OK, would you need more than that? Am I not cynical enough?

So, if the Conservatives need a profit motive, why are they running for office? Is there a profit motive at work in being a Senator? It isn't all, "Ah work for the people of the state of Texas," is it? There's a little "consulting" gig waiting for you when you "retire," isn't there? Or am I being too cynical?

Not that Democrats are any better. There is a certain politician in California that somehow manages to give away more Brioni suits every few years than I would ever be able to buy in a lifetime of graft. He's a great guy, very smart, very up on the issues, and he does good work for the people of his state. And he does pretty well for himself, too.

But the height of cynicism in all of this is the idea that if there isn't money behind it, it's not worth doing, and I'm afraid that's why most politicians are in the trade to begin with. Because there is plenty of extracurricular money to be made by getting elected to do the people's work.

Maybe that's the first thing that needs to change.

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