Dear Lady at the Park

Posted on Posted in Ethics, liberal/conservative, Political Philosophy, Politics, Uncategorized, United States

I was at a park with my with and daughter. We were eating cupcakes. You and your daughter were in same vicinity as us. Your daughter was quite interested in our cupcakes. We offered to give her one but you declined. I overheard your telephone conversation which went something like this:

We’re hoping Joe gets a $5,000 christmas bonus. Last year he got $3,000 plus $500 in cash and an iPad. We got a $3,800 tax return but we made a bit more this year so I don’t know how much we’ll get back. Hopefully we’ll be okay this year. . . At least we get to keep our insurance for another year. Then it is going to go up. Joe says he doesn’t even want to work if other people are going to get free health care. . . . Well that’s socialism for you.”

The part that really got me was the phrase “Hopefully we’ll be okay this year.”

I wanted to say to her “Do you know how good your life is? You’re hoping to get a 5000 christmas bonus! Plus a tax return of several thousand dollars. Which together is more than money than several billions of people around the world earn in a year!”

And  that “Socialism is not subsidized medical care for those that can’t afford it!”

All politics aside, it is so important really think about the human costs of these issues. There are people out there with no health insurance, without jobs, financial security, not able to pursue their dreams, in pain because they can’t go to the doctor, hungry because they can’t afford food, unhealthy because they can’t afford healthy food. There is so much suffering that can be prevented and we are failing to do it.

The Affordable Care Act is far from perfect but it is a tremendous step in the right direction and one that will make a huge positive difference in the lives of millions of people.

2 thoughts on “Dear Lady at the Park

  1. Completely agree! It drives me insane when critics of Obamacare complain “oh woe is me, the cost of my insurance has gone up, so Obamacare has failed in its stated goals”. These people seem to think that Obamacare was passed to make healthcare less expensive for everyone — if they were more informed they would know that it is only meant to make healthcare more affordable to those that couldn’t formerly afford it! That in itself is a goal worth pursuing. The selfishness of some of these characters is beyond belief; they seem to subscribe to the very opposite of Rawls’ maximin principle.

  2. Thanks for the comment! Unfortunately most people have never heard of Rawls, what to speak of having any idea what Rawls’ maximin principle is. As a society we’ve become hyper-materialist and hyper-individualistic and almost totally lacking in any conception of moral obligations to society based on our membership in society.

    I guess there’s lots of work out there for us philosophers.

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