I have no idea whether the recently passed health-care bill will be a solid contribution to our society or a weight to drag it down. But I do know one thing: In general, private corporations were not taking care of the problems of adequate medical care. All of this talk about the advent of a “nanny state” (parens patriae—the government as a parent) seems like nothing more than nay-saying. Are we going to leave the pharmaceutical companies alone to do what is best for us or are we going to have some government oversight? Are we going to allow Wall Street to do what is right for us or are we going to have some government regulation? And so on, add infinitum. Sure, we might have some independent entity, another business (think Consumer Reports, etc.), to comment on business practices, but where is the power of law in that? And if you want to argue that we don’t need the power of law, only the power of consumers, then I presume you’re okay with the sub-prime mortgage debacle that was driven by the “power” of consumers. Let the buyer beware, eh?
This part is easy: Sometimes government, sometimes private industry. Duh. In the always category: Always an interface between the two—a pathway to move towards one or the other as necessary. Yep, there’s the rub—how do we know?
And that’s where it is easy to identify the idiots: They’re the ones espousing one or the other—government or the private sector. Some of the smarter idiot-pundits have learned their economic bottom line is improved if they give a teeny nod to the other side of what they’re espousing—that makes them and their listener/readers feel like they’ve got balanced logic. The problem is that if people are left to their own devices, enough of them will take advantage of others to the point that the majority need the rule of law (assuming the law is itself based on sound reasoning—admittedly a rather big assumption). In fact, some of these idiot-pundits are taking advantage of others, but we’ve got freedom of speech as a law and we have little or nothing that regulates the molestation of awareness. Let the reader/listener beware, right?
It’s funny (not) that so much is presently being made of the health-care bill as an example of government taking over our lives, yet nothing is being said about how much government can and does contribute to our lives. As I’ve written before, most individuals cannot afford to build their own highway. Not only that, but we cannot individually become experts in building highways. We not only have highway timeshares, but we have expert timeshares (yes, some not so much) to design and maintain those highways. We contribute to have those highways and those experts. Don’t like the highway analogy? Plug in medicine. Most of us are not medical doctors or physical therapists or doctors of pharmacology, etc. In fact, one of the problems of medicine is how little patients question their care—we defer to “experts.” How about food sources? Do you want to grow your own food? If not, do you want some entity with the power to act watch over the process? Why? Because we can’t individually do everything, so we have niche-based existences. Look around at life and notice how entire ecologies are made up of individual niche-based lives. The difference in human existence and the symbiotic relationships of other flora and fauna on the planet is that we are the regulatory agency.
It is interesting to me that the Obama administration is being lambasted for government takeovers when government stepped in to pick-up the mess of unregulated—actually unfettered—financial institutions. It is interesting to me that little to nothing is being said about the profits the government made by “investing” in some of the financial institutions to keep them afloat or how control was returned to those companies after they regained their financial footing. Yes, the financial bailout still cost us money, but I wonder how much it would have cost to not intervene. It is interesting to me how lambasted the Obama administration is for its stand on health care. As I said, how were we really doing in the first place? And I’m not ignoring the fact that almost no one thinks the health-care system was sufficient, but does government step aside and let private industry work it out? That wasn’t happening, despite some major signs of success in a few areas. It is interesting to me how lambasted the Obama administration is when it comes to letting space exploration go private. Too much government or too little? I’ll bet that space exploration is exactly a place that will thrive via private industry, at least for awhile. Start-ups can be very creative. But the health-care system is not a start-up enterprise and neither is Wall Street. And yep, like the airline industry, there will eventually need to be lots of government regulation about space exploration by private industries.
Again, I don’t know how this current situation will turn out, but I do have some idea about how bumpy life would be without government. And I have some idea about how bumpy life would be if the private sector alone was responsible for regulating themselves.
In order to get the individual musicians in our country’s band together, we might consider the extinction of the philosophy of individual over society, just as some people need to consider the extinction of the philosophy of society over the individual. We need a few new associations, like individual expertise is needed to have an orchestra’s expertise. We might need to allow the idea to go extinct that the job of the minority or the majority is to create division, that the purpose of conflict is to stand out and get elected, rather than to create an orchestra that brings us to our feet in adulation rather than jeers.
Sometimes the reigning ecology needs to become extinct. In this we do not need to stand solely on the past as our guide, but in what we really want to create. That creation is not solely about niches, niches will be by virtue of the fact that each individual occupies a different space and hence a different perspective. And creation is not solely about the power of the whole, that will be in any case by virtue of the fact that what is separate is also linked together in a network of symbiosis of one kind or another. Let’s let the idiocy of separate singularities battling each other for dominance die. The real dominant idea is of cooperation, that is where the strong survive. This does not mean that social programs usurp individual effort and creativity, it means both society and individuality are strengthened when we learn to contribute something besides “us and them” rhetoric. Yep, I think the real set-up is we can have our cake and eat it too.