The curious nature of the American electorate once again fascinates me. The ongoing discussion of health care coverage and delivery is schizophrenic at best. The most recent pools show a population in need of health care coverage but the same group most highly skeptical of the most recent attempt to improve their ability to access coverage. Furthermore those who are most in need, and treated the most poorly by the current system are still willing to hold onto the failed system. It is unfortunate but the same the tactics developed and used by the cigarette industry to convince us that cigarettes are safe are being used to undermine the ACA. Many are against the ACA without investigating the potential benefits.
The cable talking heads have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They have so muddled the facts that it seems no one has a grasp of the services that will be improved. The problem with that assumption is that it is far from being a fact. The data are there if we as consumers would only look beyond the imbeciles on cable T.V. The problem is that our attention is firmly planted on the imperfections and not the goals. We are not being true to the fundamentals of American cultural strength, the belief that we can do it if we want to. I can only suggest that the opponents do not want Americans to succeed. The success of American Corporates is not the same as the success of Americans.
The intellectual dishonesty of the talking heads and those in charge of the news media is disheartening. They have no regard for the uninsured. The consequence is that the people who need help the most have been convinced that there is no help to be had. The truth is not deceptive nor is it hidden. The ACA is good for Americans. The ACA aka Obama Care is good for American business and will be a success. Success will not be achieved overnight, but will be a long hard fight. The fight is against those who do not believe that government has any part to play in the delivery of services and those who do. The battle is against the deceitful. The battle is against the business lobby. The battle is primarily against the ignorance that parades in fine suits on 24 hour cable T.V.
Those of us objectively looking on need to not only look but need to shout down the liars and the dishonest. How do we inform those that need the information the most? I would suggest a grassroots election style campaign. We need to start by informing ourselves. Each of us needs to study the benefits and pitfalls of the law. Without in dept knowledge we cannot be effective advocates. Go advocate, it is our moral duty.
As a society we have and continue to be beset by many addictions. Some of these are more problematic than others. The essential question is what constitutes a tolerable addiction. I suggest that we have a highly immortal relationship with addicts and addiction in general. I further suggest that if we truly examine the definition of addiction we would quickly reconsider our methods. I hope you will at least consider a re-examination of our cultural stand.
The essential addiction of affluent societies is affluence itself and the indulgences that are attendant. The most problematic of which is our addiction to poor food choices. We all know what best food practice is but we have not organized our cultures to make those choices palatable or convenient.
The road to affluence is paved by a brisk market of buyers and sellers that provides goods and services at optimal times, place and cost. The pressure to succeed in the marketplace can led to dubious choices, both from the point of view of the producer and consumer. Market pressure has not so far encouraged the easy and convenient availability of healthy choices. The problem here is that the market is about maximum profit, not healthy choices. Furthermore, the consumer does not know how to influence the availability of better options. This juxtaposition of circumstances has led to the situation we are in today.
We are indulgent to the death of us. We eat poorly and excessively. These choices are not accidental. We continue to consume excessively in spite of the consequences of obesity and poor health. This is the definition of addiction. I suggest that out most problematic addiction is to food. Let’s start addressing this addiction by closing our mouth and using our dollars more prudently.
Humans are curious creatures. We do not seem to see the conflict in our nature. We want all the best things without putting in the required effort. We answer the hard questions with easy platitudes and self-serving mumble-jumble. The essentials are ignored for the comfortable. The danger is that those answers will and have started to create a false uncertainty. There is no uncertainty. We know what needs to be done.
Do you know what needs to be done for a healthy life? Many of us will answer no, but that is an intellectually dishonest answer. Most of us know what needs to be done but we have refused to do the heavy lifting. Furthermore we have created a society where doing the correct thing is not rewarded. Poor choices are praised and the better choices are stigmatized. The bulk of our daily routine encourages mediocrity.
A recent study has quantified the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. The behaviors that define a healthy lifestyle were defined as daily exercise, low body weight, low alcohol intake, not smoking and a healthy diet. How difficult is that? We have known the necessary ingredients for a long time. Our question is, when will we adopt and internalized what we know to be correct?
One of the most expensive projects in US history was the highway system. Could you live without it? Do you think the US economy would have been as robust over the last 70 years if there was no easy way to move between large population centers? What do you think of railroads? Do you think it is a great idea for government to not invest in the country? Lets be thankful for the past investments and continue to support great projects for the future.
Let’s stop complaining about the Chinese owning everything and start making the hard decisions and invest in the infrastructure that will create long-term jobs. Short-term profits are great, except when it blinds you to long-term failure.
As we have celebrated Thanksgiving we must remember that great challenges were surmounted to produce this experiment we call America. We need to be thankful for the efforts and for the challenges. We need to be reminded that keeping a country together is hard work. We need to be thankful that we have had leaders with vision. We are great not because “God” ordained it, we are great because we believe in hard work and dedication to task. We will continue to be great if we continue to remember that hard work is the basis of success.
Let us celebrate our similarities and acknowledge our differences as we give thanks.