Saturday, April 15, 2017

Healthcare, Universal Suffering

iCanada’s Single-Payer Health Care System: A Cautionary Tale | National Review:

Healthcare is one of the most frustrating things to talk about. Some of the reasons include:

  • We all have to use it, and none of us really want to use it, let alone pay for it. It is like having to fix your roof, plumbing or siding, only WORSE because it lets you feel your own mortality and vulnerability while spending money you would prefer not to spend. This sort of situation plays very well into our immature natures to throw up the hands and say "I just want this taken care of by SOMEBODY!".
  • When we fall into the compliant "JUST FIX IT!" mode, politicians and other charlatans rub their hands with glee. The rubes are filing in the pen to be sheared -- there may be a lot of bleating as their funds are taken for little result, but when you are in the shearing of freedom and funds from the masses business, it doesn't really get any better than this!
  • Like inflation, healthcare is tailor made for government control. They control all the statistics on costs and results, so unsurprisingly, they end up looking pretty darned good. (Hey, there is no inflation, so we don't need to give you a COLA on your FICA, nor any inflation adjustment on your "inflation protected bonds" ... trust us!) They will give you PLENTY of statistics to show you "beyond all shadow of doubt" how good a deal you are getting and how great the results are.  Go online for "rankings" and you will find "the gospel truth" from "non-partisan sources" like the Commonwealth Fund!
One primary factor that could start the journey back to America from BOistan is the old motto of IBM; "THINK!", or as put by Henry Ford "Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably why so few engage in it!"

Thinking about things that are HARD, and do not agree with our idea of pleasure, or even being on the PATH to pleasure, is especially difficult. When the majority of those around you decide to write off personal freedom and responsibility in favor of the herd, that can make it even tougher.

The two articles linked at the top provide some alternative views which I suspect we all know to be true if we just THINK rather than "feel or hope" for a few minutes ... here are the highlights. 

  • The Canadian system has loads of problems, is way more expensive than is realized, and only really works because those that can afford it can go south -- Mayo in Rochester is one of the places they go. Canadian healthcare is trending just like BOistan FICA.
  • Like in virtually everything else in the world, Switzerland is really number 1, and nobody on the left really wants to talk about that model very much ... lots of individual responsibility kinds of stuff. 
The Godzilla in the room that neither of the articles covers is the plight of the black population in the US. Essentially, they are living in the 3rd world, while the white population enjoys being essentially in Switzerland or Norway. I could also spend a lot of time on the fact that infant mortality is one of the big measures used for quality of healthcare, but it is also one of the areas where there are HUGE differences in how the statistics are done. This is an EXCELLENT article that points out those difficulties, however if you have already made up your mind for Universal Suffering, reading it would be too painful -- better to write it off. 

Oh, and in the interests of how bad being "taken care of by the government" works no matter what your race, it turns out that there is an epidemic of poor white people dying. Broken families, loss of community, leaving religion, welfare, not being employed, etc is just as as terminal if you are white as if you are black -- only time will tell if orientals have a stronger resistance! 

The bottom line here, that I really think we all know to be true if we calmly THINK for a few minutes is essentially this: 

  • "Someone" is going to pay, and "someone" is going to decide on healthcare choices. Most of us are willing to keep up our homes and cars on our own dime and understand that the consequences of not doing so are grave. Inherently, we actually DO understand that health care is NO DIFFERENT, we just don't want to accept it!
  • The majority of my acquaintances have not decided to hand over ALL of their retirement finances to the government ... nor their housing, transportation, food provisions, etc. That more of them are considering handing over their healthcare to the government is a strong sign that our ability to self govern is perilously low. In our hearts, we know that "outsourcing" really doesn't solve the problem, we just WISH it would.
  • "Everyone else is doing it" is the saddest "argument" of all. In a nation that is supposed to rule itself, one of the reddest of red herring arguments would never be proffered by someone with over an 8th grade education. "Bandwagon argument", "Argumentum ad populum" -- it is such an obvious fallacy that it's use is mostly a marker for the sadness of the intellectual state of our nation. "97% of scientists agree" ... when even the fallacies become popular, you truly know that intelligent dialogue is dead.
  • It has been often said that if you are not a liberal at 20 you have no heart, but if you are not a conservative by 40 you have no brain. A better way of looking at is that life used to tend to school people in reality a lot more than it does now. If you didn't work, things REALLY sucked, there were more accidents, diseases, etc that impinged on rosy views of reality -- at one time, almost everyone had to deal with the death of a child.

    In this vale of tears, EVERYTHING of mans creation has a dark side (not everything created by man has a light side though). Not having to live with as much pain is what we all desire, however as we are discovering with the immune system, not having to deal with as many pathogens as child results in a weaker immune system. Nietzsche was overboard on "That which does not kill you makes you stronger", but there is a nugget of real truth there. Without the struggle of escaping from the cocoon, the moisture is not worked out of the wings of the butterfly and they are unable to fly. Much of this world depends on struggle.

    Can human beings actually mature without adversity? Humans have both hearts and brains, and maturing both takes effort. To wish it were otherwise is to fail to understand our condition.
In my current line of work, one of the biggest mantras is NO FIXING. Our mental health system is loaded with people that have lost their ability to think independently. They have been so "fixed" by doctors, institutions, family and government that they no longer  believe they have any personal power remaining. They have stopped struggling. 

For most of those that read this blog, the struggle will not be given up -- yet. We will continue to live in private housing, tend our retirement funds, keep up our private transportation, and if the suffering of healthcare becomes "universal", we will opt out of that for a much more expensive private option as long as we can. 

Some of us may feel positive about that -- much like choosing to feel positive about paying into the giant FICA ponzi scheme in the same manner as the optimistic man having fallen off a 100 floor building yells out to the person on the 20th floor, "all good so far"! 

Does anyone with over a 100 IQ NOT understand all this? I personally don't believe that. I believe that in our bones, we totally "get it", just like we understand that we and our loved ones most certainly will die! However, we are masters of compartmentalization and when the whole government, media, education and entertainment is marketing to us to just settle back and enjoy the ride on the gravy train, it is EASY to do. 

It is easy, but of course it is deadly -- to people, to families, to nations, to civilizations. 

It certainly happens to companies -- IBM was spiraling down in the late '80s, Gerstner leveled it off and gave a little uptick in the mid '90s, but the bureaucratic forces were too strong and all that remains is the corpse of a once great company. Much like here in BOistan, the corpse of something big can hang around a long while -- sure it stinks, but much like pumping hog manure, most people get used to it!

As we say in DBT, pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. By accepting basic truths like "80-90% of people have to pull their own weight in EVERYTHING ... food, shelter, transportation, clothing, healthcare, entertainment, etc" or the system is going to break at some point., we deal with the "pain" of that truth, but we avoid the suffering of the disaster when the truth is ignored. 

When systems go the way of the US and Europe, they become corrupt as more and more seek rent from the transfer of funds from the makers to the takers and the ranks of the makers dwindle while the takers swell. Naturally, the folks doing the transfers become greedy/wealthy, so they demand that their wealth rise (see Davos, Wall Street, 4 wealthiest counties in the US suburbs of DC), thus there is less and less for the swelling ranks of the takers, while the take from the makers has to ever rise ... thinning their ranks and making their lot less and less palatable. 

Universal Suffering -- the inevitable outcome of socialism of all types in all times and places. 

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