Friday, November 06, 2009

Free knocks on the head...

When I was first married, I worked at a local retailer where I became more acquainted with quality items. I learned that it's OK to purchase lesser quality when buying something that will be a short lived trend.. Your leg warmers and parachute pants don't require the attention to detail and grade of excellence that your navy blazer with brass buttons does.
In visiting with a co-worker with many years of retail experience, I was taught about the points of excellence. He showed me the details that made a piece of clothing beautiful and classic. He would rather have worn the same suit every day as long as that suit was a fine piece of tailoring. He often regretted aloud that my generation seemed more interested in what was cheap and free than in what was excellent and lasting. He never purchased any parachute pants.
I started to take more notice of this trend toward getting something for nothing. I remember one morning at 5AM getting ready for work as I listened to talk radio banter.. with over-caffeinated morning enthusiasm DJs repeatedly announced that there would be free mammograms at a gas station far on the west side of town.. the first 50 women there would "win".
Several thoughts went through my mind.. Surely they are not giving mammograms AT the gas station.. right?!? Surely they are giving out some kind of pass to a medical clinic of some kind. The details were never mentioned.
I have kept these things in mind as I paint. It takes time to make something that is both lovely and lasting. I take care in the materials I select; brushes, paints, glitter, finishes, wax and wood all must have certain qualities in order to make something that will last.
On the other hand, my children love to choose a toy from the dollar store. Easily procured, easily broken. I am often concerned about the materials.. Does the paint on this car have lead in it? We don't know. These toys are made so far away. They are made as quickly as possible with as little cost as possible. There is no attention to detail and the product is not made to last. It is often broken and ruined that very day.
I'm afraid that this trend has run into government. The people scream that something must be done and that "change" must happen. Our health care system, which is the envy of the world (when you look beyond fallacious/misleading WHO statistics) is about to be completely tossed out. Not tweaked, not reformed... junked. The word is that the House of Representatives vote is Saturday.
There are so many problems with this bill, I don't know where to begin. But, it has the worst qualities of government programs and managed care on steroids. No one really knows what it will cost but, it's government and so we know it will cost more and net less. It will hurt the very people it claims to help. It will stifle and strangle innovation and advances in medicine. It will discourage the best and the brightest from entering medical practice. It will cause shortages of doctors and hospitals and then procedures and medicines.
In an age when Americans, who love to be different and individual, can make so many different choices in phone and computer plans and in options and applications, clothing, work, transportation and almost everything you can think of.. in this kind of age... we are being shoved and forced into a highly ruled and overly regulated one-size-fits-all model full of "no" and "don't".
My husband has often said there are some people who would stand in line for free knocks on the head. With health care, this is exactly what we are doing.
This bill is now over 2,000 pages. It is doubtful that all those who will be expected to vote on Saturday have even had a chance to read the entire thing let alone study it. It is supposed to provide something "free", but we know that nothing in life worth having is really free. It always costs and this time, the cost is not just money.. it is something more valuable... This bill is going to cost a great deal in liberty.
This is so important. It is 1/6 of our nation's economy and yet it has been boiled down to nightly news sound bites and Daily Show sarcasm. But, this issue is worth doing some digging. This is worth some study from a reputable source. THIS is a good place to begin.
Please contact your congressman and ask them to vote "NO!" on Saturday.