27 January, 2008

Let's look at it for What it is..

For those who still think that universal health care is the way to go, here are a couple of ways to put in perspective.

I'm not going to go into how it is failing in other countries that have it, because most Americans don't care what happens elsewhere.

Look at it this way. When was the last time you went to the DMV? Do you remember waiting in line for an extended length of time for a simple transaction? How difficult was it to do something a bit more complicated? Have you ever filled out the wrong form? or the right form, wrong?

Why would anyone think that government run health care is going to be any different than government run auto licensing agencies?

You are taken to the ER after a car accident, or a heart attack, or whatever, and the nurse says 'Take a number' (unless of course you are an illegal alien, then you get right to the front of the line).

And do you want to see how well the government runs health systems? I have 2 words for you: Walter Reed. Do we all remember how well that worked? The patients there are American Heroes. If that's how the government will take care of their own possessions (remember, they consider soldiers property of the government), how well do you think schlub citizens like you and I will be cared for?

I have only heard one argument that was even slightly logical in favor of universal health care. It wasn't enough for me to turn, but it is worth bringing up. A teacher I had at college brought it up.

The argument goes as so: As the world evolves into more of a global economy, companies who operate in countries that have universal health care (i.e. Japan) have an inherent advantage over companies that operate in countries that don't (i.e. US). For example, Toyota employees in Japan have health care coverage paid for by Japanese tax payers, not by their employer. As such, Toyota does not have the expense of paying health care premiums for employees, and can invest the capital in other areas of the business (i.e. R&D). GM on the other hand, spends more annually on health care for it's employees and retirees than it does for steel, will not be able to compete in the long run with Toyota. This is not a completely apples to apples comparison, because Toyota doesn't have to deal with the UWA, but that's a completely different conversation that I am not going to get into here. Those who know me, know where I stand on unions and what they are doing to our economy.

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Is it Big Brother?

A friend of mine sent me a link to an article that is very 1984ish.

It talks about AT&T and alleged plans they have to monitor and sensor the internet traffic that travels over their networks. According to the article, the network giant is planning on blocking material that is potentially copyrighted and other violations of intellectual property laws.

At first thought, one might think this is a violation of the 1st amendment, but I would have to disagree. The 1st Amendment protects us from government censorship. It isn't designed for a private entity (i.e. AT&T) to monitor and regulate what happens on its privately owned assets (i.e. their network). It would be the same as a mall regulating the objectionable activities in its halls.

I'm not sure where I come out on this. Should they be allowed to do so? The capitalist in me says yes, the concerned citizen in my says no.

I understand that Federal law protects network owners from liability in patent infringement cases. But lets be serious.. in today's increasingly litigious society, it makes sense to take as many safeguards as possible to protect yourself. Especially when it costs so much to defend yourself in a lawsuit, even one that has little to no merit.

It brings me back to 'If you aren't doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about'. I know that sounds like a cop-out, but it's true.

You can read the posting here.

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