Thursday, September 06, 2007
How Quickly They Forget!
After recently blogging the phenomenon of "concierge medicine", I ran across an item in a local leftist news and entertainment weekly that, predictably, slammed the practice.
And yet, it was still worth reading for the following quotes:
[Dr. Shannon Ray] Schrader's "a greedy jerk...You do the math: 600 x $1,500 = $900,000 for Schrader without even depressing one tongue," says one activist, who worries about whether Houston's AIDS-treatment facilities can handle a sudden influx of patients.When Ayn Rand called the physician the "forgotten man of socialized medicine", she wasn't whistling Dixie. Notice how the needs of the patient cause the AIDS activist to damn Dr. Schrader for seeking higher pay, and the author of the piece to even call into question this physician's right to a sane work pace and a decent personal life!
[But t]he patient who couldn't scrape up the $1,500 is somewhat understanding.
"He told me...basically he just couldn't handle the pace any longer. It was affecting his personal life, his relationship with his partner, with his family," the patient says. "[He] just had to make changes for his own well-being."
You can't blame him for that. We just hope the patients who can't afford first-class make out all right too. [bold added]
That latter occurs within the short span of the last two sentences!
Watkins on Socialized Medicine
Fellow fans and well-wishers of Don Watkins will be delighted -- after his departure from Noodle Food -- to see his appearance here as an author of an Ayn Rand Institute press release titled, "Socialized Medicine Kills".
Theocracy in New Jersey
There is much else that could be said about private property and government interference in the economy in this story, but its essential point is that religious conservatives are hardly enemies of the welfare state:
The case has an interesting wrinkle: Ocean Grove long ago stopped being a private retreat for Methodists ministers. People of many different faiths and philosophies live there now. The community’s old theocratic rules, including the car ban and its blue laws, were struck down by the New Jersey Supreme Court in 1979. In short, Ocean Grove, although owned by a religious group, looks a lot like any other American town.Religious conservatives are not all about being free to practice their faith. They want to force others to live by it, too.
Most tellingly, the Camp Meeting Association has, since 1989, received tax-exempt status for its beach and boardwalk under a New Jersey program designed to encourage conservation. When it applied for that lucrative benefit, the Association swore on an application that these properties are open to all. It took pains to note that the pavilion has been used by outside groups.
Despite making this claim, the Association now wants to deny access to the pavilion to certain types of people and is claiming a religious-freedom right to do so. The argument might have some weight if Ocean Grove were still a private retreat. But the town's leaders apparently decided some time ago that they wanted access to public benefits and began operating like any other city. [bold added]
But then, that's why we keep hearing about efforts to bring prayer back into public schools, rather than abolishing public education altogether, which would make it easier for those who wished to send children to schools that permitted or even encouraged prayer.
And speaking of schools, ...
A Mother on the NEA
Rational Jenn has written a good post on the National Education Association, which she aptly describes as, "the most powerful union in existence today", as measured by "influence over public policy and the minds of Americans".
And this was dead-on:
So market-based criteria reflect the biases in our society, eh? Is that how it works? I doubt anyone in the NEA has even as much as opened an economics book. I could draw out the little graph of what happens to market when a government-protected monopoly exists and not one of them would recognize that they are that monopoly. I bet I'd get compliments for coloring in the lines though, at least until it dawns on someone that the picture I just made does not protect teacher's jobs or support channeling government funding for education directly into their checking accounts and then I'd get an F on the assignment. Only they'd write the F in purple ink, not red, so my self-esteem doesn't get damaged.Very funny for a moment -- until you recall that these clowns are in charge of educating most of our country's youths. Read it all.