Monday, April 25, 2005

But behind that fair façade

Capitalist Lion has an amusingly snarky (and long and detailed!) response to the exasperatingly pigheaded but widespread Canadian belief in the utter sanctity of "free" health care: By far, the majority of Canucks emailing me had but one point to make: The poor get shafted in the US when it comes to health care, while in Canada, they just get shitty care. But at least they can "afford" it. To address this properly, I really need to start off with a fairly macroscopic view of the issue. It's one that many, many Americans understand, and just about all Canadians, Europeans, and Liberals in general do not: It is not okay to be poor. Shocking, I know, but at least read a few more paragraphs before you fire up your email clients. [...] A lot of liberals, europeans, and pseudo-europeans (this means you, Canucks) whine and moan about the poor people who, as they would imply, were hand-selected by the ruling elite to specifically BE poor. This is an unmitigated load of crap. Anyone-- say it with me now: Anyone-- can get a job in this country. Anyone can flip burgers. Anyone can tend bar. Anyone can dig ditches. Anyone can stock shelves. Anyone can bust their asses and earn a living, and use the proceeds of their ass-busting to better their lives. I don't care how deep in the ditch someone is, there's absolutely nothing stopping them from making enough money to put a roof over their heads, food in their gut, and a few night classes at the local community college on the side. Nothing. Not one damn thing. [...] Bottom line here: There is no excuse to be poor. There is no excuse not to be able to shell out a hundred bucks or so a month for decent health care, even if you're flipping burgers for minimum wage, and regardless of the fact that even some of the most menial jobs provide health care or financial assistance of some sort in that way. Read the whole thing. Not that it's a real revelation - I daresay even the most fanatically socialist members of the NDP must understand that our vaunted socialized medicine isn't the Trudeaupian holiest of holies it's reputed to be, every time a federal election rolls around - but it's a very nice conversational precis of the very real advantages of the American health care system.


Blogger Shane said...

Good angle... I have been singing the "Health Care Bugbear" song for years - at least the last two elections... I think I have most of my social circle convinced, but the problem is I don't live in Ontario and that is where the song needs to be played.

They just..........


Get it............

4/25/2005 01:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to mention, for those that are so horribly physically handicapped that they cannot work, there are plenty of charities out there to help them meet their medical bills.

For example, there's a woman that goes to my church with a severely disabilitating disease. She's wheel-chair bound and can't work. So when she's got a medical bill she absolutely cannot pay, through no fault of her own, we take up a collection and make ends meet. It takes about five minutes and doesn't involve taxes or insurance companies or the government or any sort of red tape whatsoever, plus everyone feels great about helping out a friend. (How frequently do people feel great about paying taxes?).

If you have a problem, go to the church down the street--don't go whining to the government. Charity is voluntary; taxes are mandatory. Charity makes people feel good about themselves; taxes make people feel like crap.

Besides, private individuals know the people they're giving to on a personal level, and are better able to judge whether this beneficiary truly deserves the money, or if he will just spend it on cigarettes and booze. I know tons of people that receive government money from faceless bureaucrats who would be much better off with a sharp kick to the pants.

4/25/2005 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger A Hermit said...

I hate to have to point out the obvious, but anyone whose sole income comes from flipping burgers or digging ditches is, wait for it, POOR!

4/27/2005 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Denton said...

Interestingly enough, no one is forcing you to flip burgers or dig ditches forever. It's not that hard or expensive to get a decent education and build skills that are worth more than a minimum wage, in either Canada or the US, and quite a number of those unwilling to make the effort, or demanding the state feed and house them are - wait for it - just plain lazy.

You've obviously missed CapLion's point, which was that being self-sufficient and having a comfortable standard of living (health care included) is a very accessible goal for Americans, through hard work and self-improvement. The able-bodied but feckless don't deserve to be subsidized by the state.

4/27/2005 04:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to mention, if you work hard at flipping burgers for a couple of years, you'll soon find yourself promoted to manager. After that comes regional manager, then Grand Poo-bah of Fry Suppliers. Anyone that gets a minimum-wage job, then stays at that same minimum-wage position for the rest of his life is obviously a very poor employee. There are tons of opportunities to better oneself even in low-paying companies like McDonald's; there are several 20-year-olds at my college that have already worked their way up to store managers in two or three years at one job. So it's not like a poor person's stuck in a poor-paying job for the rest of his life!

4/28/2005 01:43:00 PM  

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