15 December 2009

politically naive

i think i am politically naive. actually, i know i am, probably because i think politics are stupid and that we need to abolish the current party system (waits patiently for the FBI). in this country's 200-something year history, we've done little more than step on the people with the least power. we did that with the native americans, we did that with quakers, with africans, and with the poor. now we're doing it to people without health insurance.

like i said, i'm politically naive. however, when my attention span allows me to watch shows like larry king or anderson cooper, because i refuse to watch fox (which might also make me biased), and there's the person or panel of people discussing the healthcare reform bill, all i can think is that this is a group of people who probably haven't had to live without health insurance. more than likely, they graduated college straight into work via interning. some of us weren't even that lucky.

***as a side note, when the hell did penn jillette become a legit political analyst?***

i lived a grand total of two months without health insurance. my dad's was able to cover me until the calendar end of the year i graduated, but after that i was on my own. luckily, i had already worked through the first third of getting my benefits (60 days to go after that), but the fear that i would be involved in an accident or fall extremely ill (which i'm still prone to every so often) loomed over my head every day. i work 30-35 hours a week if i'm lucky, so what i bring home is barely enough to keep a roof over my head and pay the bills. adding any medical bills to that, or meds or anything, would not bode well for me. that was just two months of my life. i know people who have lived for YEARS without health insurance. they had to choose between healthcare and groceries, healthcare and gas, healthcare and bills. THAT is unfair and unAmerican. why the hell should people have to pick and choose if they can cover themselves and their families should something go awry? it's really sad that in the centuries we've inhabited this land and have developed one of the most well-known (and complex) governmental bodies on the planet, we haven't yet come to an agreement on the best way to care for the people as a whole.

to me, this is one of the points where capitalism fails.

capitalism dictates every part of our lives. it creates socio-economic classes. it creates the "great divide" between poor and rich. it dictates what kind of house you live in, what kind of furniture you have, how big your yard and car are if you have one at all. only the people with lots of money can afford the nice houses, cars, and clothes. they have more than they need. that's the dream of capitalism--to have more than you need. maybe not the purpose, but the dream. the purpose of capitalism, supposedly, was freedom from the feudal system, or the ability to change one's social standing from poor to rich. and that's exactly what's happened. some empires were built by poor immigrants who refused to stay poor. ironically, those
empires now crush others who want to improve their standings as well and they make it more difficult for entrepreneurs and small-business owners to make their livings. everyone knows about the Wal-Mart effect, so there's no need to beat a dead horse, but think about it. this is what capitalism has brought us: the few crushing the many.

http://www.zpub.com/un/bill/gateshse4.jpg

the above is a link to a picture of bill gates' house, a "40,000-square-foot mansion on a wooded five-acre compound in the moneyed Seattle suburb of Medina." bill gates is worth $18 BILLION, which is DOWN from $40 BILLION. he has three kids. don't know the ages. i make $20,000 a YEAR (in a good year). i'd have to work roughly 900,000 years to make that much money if i did that correctly. not like anyone's going to check my math.

pre-tax evasion nicolas cage owned:
***More than a dozen homes, including a castle in England, an 11th-century estate in Germany, and two entire Bahamian islands
***An untold number of cars, new and classic. He once paid $500,000 for a Lamborghini previously owned by the shah of Iran, nearly $300,000 more than its value. “He didn’t care,” says a friend. “Nic at an auction is dangerous.”
***A collection of pets one friend describes as “basically a zoo,” including two albino king cobras; he keeps antivenom nearby
***A dinosaur skull
***A collection of shrunken heads

He also made a $1 million donation to the Red Cross, and a $2 million contribution to Amnesty International

the guy makes like, $20 million a film. if i can budget less than $1000 a month, then how can he not live on that much money? seriously. and tax evasion? COME OOOON. if i can pay my taxes, he can pay his. simple as that.

i say that to say this:

as of 2009, forbes magazine counted 359 billionaires in the US and 23 in Canada. they counted 214 in Europe. there are 308,156,478 people living in the US. there are 731,000,000 in Europe. doesn't something seem off? maybe it's because i've been up too long.... but anyway, where i was going with this was to here.

http://dll.umaine.edu/ble/U.S.%20HCweb.pdf

the US healthcare debate is about more than insuring all americans. it's about maintaining that 17% of our GDP. we basically live in a country that's willing to exploit every facet of our lives to turn a buck.

i'm tired. time to finish up my work crap.

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