So a colleague of mine calls because he is offended by crass comments by an attorney whose office is down the hall. Apparently, the two were observing President Obama discussing a bi-partisan collaboration on the latest healthcare reform proposal. He called and asked my opinion on the opposing viewpoints at hand.
“Economics”, I said. “Economics…actually, socio-economics rather”.
This instance is not about Republicans versus Democrats for political ideals and whether to provide for sick and elderly people…well not primarily.
If one politician were to stand up and explain the mechanics between “haves” and “have nots” with differing views on this sensitive topic, it would likely leave a majority of citizens absolutely dumbfounded.
“Haves”, like the colleague-office neighbor of my friend, will generally prefer not co-financing everyone else’s healthcare in the form of nationalized or socialist systems.
Reason being is economics, not necessarily political values or personal viewpoints.
That “have” can afford to have his teeth cleaned and penicillin for the family during flu season. Why should he have to ante up for the bill to cover a stranger’s family is his argument.
The “have not”, on the contrary, differs. An individual with tooth decay, diabetes and no health coverage has nothing to lose of course, therefore, such an individual will be likely to vote in favor of a program to “pool together” benefits of a revamped healthcare system.
Someone with nothing to lose and minimum earning powe usually will support a tax increase. Again, basic economics; a hierarchy of needs at hand.
The media and other such spheres of influence are the ones turning this into a political and personal show down. What probably stings the most is this: For figures within the elite socio-economic circles, those either practicing politics professionally or as a hobby…many are wealthy and can therefore remain virtually unaffected, financially, regardless of outcome.
Tax hikes will be annoying at worst for such an individual, as lack of affordable healthcare is not a threat. It is easier for a wealthy individual to enjoy the luxury of not having to play economics.
For example, a Kennedy running for office knows, much like corporate strategists, the majority of a population is comprised of “have nots” as a rule of thumb. Statistically, the population of those in the “have not” category overshadow the “haves” almost universally. The prudent political campaign, therefore, must satisfy the concerns of the “haves” while still leaving the majority, the “have nots”, with hope.
This potentially accounts for the grandiose promises a political campaign would typically make which, to most, such as in the case of the Palm Beach attorney we began with. It is fairly natural to comment in frustration at a healthcare program designed to accommodate a majority. These are, however, more economic concerns than social class or personal insensitivity as those on television hosting talk shows often depict.
In my friend’s case, we both concluded the gentleman’s comments were likely not a byproduct of his lack of compassion for healthcare to those less fortunate, but rather the degree to which he would be find himself fiscally affected by new legislation.
Economics. Most members of Congressional committees and those in various political offices with differing opinions are likely the same as my friend and his colleague. They both agree as to the importance of an efficient healthcare system and sincerely mean to harm. The economic impact of financing it is another story.