“I hate word problems!” – a phrase often heard expressing a child’s frustration in many an Elementary School math class. It wasn’t a personal bugaboo of mine however. In Word Problems you’d take a verbal proposition and convert it to a mathematical formula in order to solve it. For example:
Marsha had seven apples. John stole two.
How many apples did Marsha have left?
Answer: 7 – 2 = 5
The word “universal” contained in the expression “universal healthcare” implies 100%. The Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, Ben Bernanke says a healthy economy has a surplus of labor (Unemployment) of 6%. That would work out to: 100 – 6 = 94%. On its face, the Government Policy of maintaining a surplus of labor in conjunction with universal healthcare implies that the working 94% pays for the remaining 6%.
But things are rarely as simple as that. Civilization is a pyramid scheme. This pyramid has a lucky few fabulously-wealthy people on the top and the bulk of the working people fabulously-poor on the bottom. This basal population can never keep up with the ever-rising cost of health insurance.
But the principalities want to have their cake and eat it too. An accurate figure would be hard to come by but it may well be that less than 50% of the top wage earners pay for the coverage for more than the bottom 50%.
In my experience the ever-rising cost of healthcare and petroleum (gasoline and other fuels, home heating) are the two price leaders; the leading causes of creeping inflation.
Health Care. You should have thought about it when you were young.
The factors involved in the universal healthcare dilemma are several:
The Fear of Death. If you fear death you are forgiven, because it is, after all, only natural that you do so. But this might lead to:
Hysteria. Despite its roots, men are just as susceptible to bouts of hysteria as women. Hysteria is irrational thinking and behavior and not a good state of mind in which to make tough economic or medical decisions. And hysteria might lead to:
Suggestibility. When old or sick you become not only physically vulnerable but also mentally vulnerable. Suggestibility would include wishful thinking. Being suggestible you might fall victim to advertising:
Advertising. The hyperbolic advertising of patent medicines has a long and sorry history, too often promising miraculous cures. It hasn’t really changed much in the last 100 years – just slicker sophistry. And of course the hyperbole is in direct proportion to the greed and hysteria of the doctors and scientists themselves. They apparently don’t want to die either.
One should not make promises one cannot keep.
Politicians routinely make lots of promises; lots and lots of promises. They do so just to stay in office. It is not beneath them to sell you on immortality, a fistful of Magic Beans washed down by the healing waters of the Fountain of Youth. There is an undercurrent of extortion involved in the whole issue of universal healthcare, pharmaceuticals and medical research.
Fear and Promises
The Mortality Tables don’t lie. The Statistics won’t budge.
The three-score-and-ten as stated in the Bible as the natural lifespan of a man hasn’t really changed in over 5000 years.
Doctors today have far more wealth, status and power than they really deserve or ever will deserve – this labcoat aura. It’s been pointed out that in professional sports players will come and will players go, in a few years there is a complete change of personnel so ultimately you’re just cheering for the team uniform and logo. Some folks are in absolute awe of the lab coat.
In order to at least save face, Congress should just get out of the Magic Beans business altogether. Social Security was never meant to make one immortal. Unfortunately, Congress more closely resembles an auction house than a rational, deliberative body.
Back to word problems:
Some words have quantitative or mathematical equivalents:
universal = 100%
all = 100%
everyone = 100% (of the people)
half = 50%
a quarter = 25%
none = 0 (zero)
a pair = 2
a dozen = 12 (a baker’s dozen = 13)
a gross = 144
and = Add or Plus
without = Subtract or Minus
double = x2 (multiplied by two)
more = Add (amount greater than that which is stated)
less = Subtract (amount lesser (smaller) than that which is stated)
The list goes on . . . . and you’re more than welcome to add to it.
Unemployment (-6%) + Universal Health Care (100%) = Deficit.