2007-10-27

materialistic addiction

There's an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called Symbiosis which focuses on a dependent relationship between two neighboring planets. A long time ago, one of the planets (Ornara) became more technologically advanced, while the other (Brekka) languished. Then, a terrific plague struck both planets, and the cure was found in a plant that only grew on Brekka. The Brekkans began manufacturing a cure for the plague, and trading it to the Ornarans in exchange for technology and goods. Then the Brekkans realized that the drug they were making had cured the plague, but that it was addictive and the Ornarans were hooked. They continued to exploit this relationship for 200+ years, all the while becoming rich off the Ornarans' technology.

2007-10-20

ron paul mass donation day

On November 5th, 100,000 people will give Ron Paul $100 each, for a total of $10 million for the campaign. Well, maybe---currently there are fewer than 5000 pledges. But wouldn't that be neat?

http://www.thisnovember5th.com/

2007-10-07

why socialized medicine is wrong, wrong, wrong

5 reasons to reconsider before jumping on the socialized medicine bandwagon.

  1. What if I don't want traditional health care? Traditional health care as I see it: (1) muddle through life, eating doritos, getting minimal exercise; (2) get sick; (3) go to the doctor; (4) doctor prescribes some drug pushed by big pharma, and that probably causes as many problems as it fixes; (5) repeat. What if this is not how I want my health care to be? Maybe instead, my health care program is eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, doing yoga, and getting good amounts of exercise? Is socialized medicine going to pay for my diet, yoga, or gym membership? Where do you draw the line? The problem is, there is no line between health care and other facets of life, such as diet and exercise.

  2. What if I don't want health care? This is just a different take on the first point. Maybe I don't want "health care" (in the traditional sense) at all, because I am skeptical of it's real healing value. Should I still pay for it? Or maybe I'm truly crazy and buying a new kayak is more valuable to me than getting painkillers for my arthritis. In a free system, the choice is mine, in socialized medicine, it's not.

  3. Why should I pay for people who aren't taking care of themselves? I work hard to take good care of myself. I make sacrifices to keep my body in decent shape. If you aren't making those sacrifices, why should I be forced to make further sacrifices to deal with the consequences of your actions?

  4. Where is the incentive to take care of yourself? Under socialized medicine, there's no financial incentive for obvious reasons. You may argue that the incentive is that it sucks to be sick, and that's enough incentive. I'll concede that it's some incentive, though with modern pain and consciousness-reducing drug technology, I'm not even sure how much of an incentive remains..

  5. Giving and receiving. Under a free health care system, those with less may need help with health care. When they get help, it is because some person or community has offered it to them out of compassion. A gift was given and received. Forcing the giver (through taxation) eliminates the act of giving/receiving and replaces it with stealing/welfare. I don't know about you, but I'd rather live in a world with a risk of selfishness and a whole lot more giving and receiving than a world with no giving/receiving and only stealing and welfare.



Ron Paul on health care