September 18, 2009

Can we talk about healthcare reform?

In a family email dialog about healthcare reform my brother asked a first cousin once removed: "I can't believe that you would be supportive of socialized medicine - are you?"

The cousin replied,

"Generally speaking yes I am. Although I don't think any of the proposals on the table are perfect.

But you shouldn't be worried. Even if a perfect bill was drafted, it won't pass. Politicians are incapable of getting tough things done."

What follows is my contribution to the thread. It's important to first note that the cousin and his wife (the first cousin not-removed) both happen to work in the airline industry.

You know, it's interesting that you say that. I happen to support socialized air travel. I think that everyone should be able to get the same access to free jet trips whenever they need them, regardless of their ability to pay. I believe that air travel is a right and that people who provide it should not make such an obscene profit! I am sure that airfares would be much lower if there was a single payer system so that efficiencies and economies of scale could come into play. In addition, it is absolutely unconscionable that the super rich can fly in first-class comfort simply because they happen to have so much more money than anyone else. I think that first-class service should be abolished so that coach will be available for more flyers at the same total cost. And who on earth thinks that the elderly should be flying? Those people have lived full and rich lives already. We need to leave the thrill and growth opportunities that flying offers for younger people who will get more “adventure memory years” from each flight than those geriatrics would.

And before you ask, no, I don't support socialized engineering services. Engineers are highly trained professionals who have taken the individual initiative to learn the specialized skills and principles that they apply to important needs of society. By taking away the right of individual engineers to offer their services on a free market at the highest price that any customer is willing to pay him the excellent engineers will have no incentive to work harder and more ingeniously than the sad-sack chair-warming engineers do. The result would be that the engineering profession as a whole, and all of the productive enterprises that depend on engineering excellence would be crippled with mediocrity and malaise.

Fortunately I am quite certain that the politicians in Washington, responding to the clear and complete understanding of the distinctions between air travel and engineering, would never dream of applying the same centralized government control over the wages and careers of engineers that I am advocating for airline corporations and their money grubbing employees. Yeah, just them ... and the doctors. Leave us engineers - and the lawyers - alone.

I'm glad to hear you're on board!

Elevator Talk Health Care Posted by JohnGalt at September 18, 2009 3:19 PM

Well, I laughed -- and bet that the ThreeSources choir gave up some halleluiahs.

But airlines are a tough sector, and if cuz is already predilected to accept ObamaCare, I bet your plan sounds pretty good.

Posted by: jk at September 18, 2009 7:10 PM | What do you think? [1]