Archive for March, 2010


Universal Healthcare: Don’t Screw Yourself America!

The founding fathers created the United States government as a representative democracy because they believed that the general public was not educated enough to make informed political decisions. Judging from the outcome of the special senatorial election in Massachusetts, I am convinced they were wholly right. However, they were wrong if they assumed that the educated representatives would solve that problem.

This specific election is the most prime example I can think of in which the art of marketing has aptly exhibited the power of corporate America over the opinions of American citizens who don’t make the effort furnish their own opinions. Though I cannot claim to understand the formulation of every American voter’s opinion, I am making the case that most people are, for the most part, disengaged from the critical thinking process when it comes to politics. I’m formulating this view from my own personal standpoint based on my experiences and knowledge of studies done on the matter.

The most glaring of recent example of mass media opinion replication is, indeed, the special senate election between Brown, Coakely, and some other poor bastard. Due to the general understanding that the fate of the pending national healthcare bill hung in the balance, the race became more of a question of whether the American people were for or against such legislation. The answer to that questions should have been a resounding, “YES! Give us a nationalized healthcare option!” To my understanding, through an economic perspective, this truly would have been a victory for the common American man. With such a passing of the bill, it may have saved America more than the government would spend to install it such a system.

Firstly, overall health insurance premiums would fall as demand for private health insurance fell, saving money.

Secondly, national health care would save money by reducing the number of emergency room visits each year by uninsured people, who accounted for nearly 24 million of the nations 120 million such visits in 2006 alone. If even $4 worth of service was given to each of those persons, that would account for nearly a billion dollars in expenses that the hospital itself would have absorb. With the preventative care provided by a nationalized plan, its plausible that a great deal of those visits could have been prevented with regular visits to the doctor.

Thirdly, thousands of jobs created. Money spent by the government directly entering the pockets of everyday Americans working to maintain the health care system.

Lastly, the money expended by the tax payer would be relatively low for the service being produced. While the middle and lower economic classes would have a more moderate portion of the costs to share, big business and wealthy individuals would have a higher tax percentage, creating a more-fair distribution of the nation’s wealth from the top, down. I use the word fair because, according to the US Census Bureau, the nation’s average middle class income has hardly risen since 1982 (around $8,000) while the upper class incomes continue to rise exponentially higher and faster, even with inflation included in the calculation. This makes sense, as skilled and educated workers come “a dime by the dozen” nowadays and demand for such qualified labor has decreased. The health care would be a good way of evening this economic divide. Overall, universal health care makes sense from a partially theoretical point of view.

It is with these considerations that I judge the voting public to be composed of mostly passive minds regurgitating the opinions of the media or a few individuals. How else could the majority of people take a shotgun and blow their own foot off in such a manner by voting against their OWN interests and, rather, FOR the interests of corporate America, a.k.a not the little guy? I have a scathing suspicion it has to do with the plasticity of the average man’s intellect. The average man tends not to give a shit about formulating his own opinion. Instead, the average man is content with having outside forces do his thinking for him. He has a very general view of the world, consisting of his values, insecurities, and shallow understandings, and looks for information sources that fit this general mold. No critical analysis or deep thinking goes beyond this stage. He has his adopted opinions and his flimsy, unsubstantiated arguments. He won’t change his mind.

A relatively recent statistical study may exemplify the lack of plasticity in the minds of politically-minded people. In 2004, the Pew Research Center published a report ( based on a survey of 3,000 voting individuals nationwide in regards to their political affiliation and their news sources. Please reference the link to see that the majority of viewers of biased news sources consist of like-minded individuals whose ideas and desirable outcomes are being reinforced by the biased sources they seek out. There seems to be no desire to digest ideas contrary to their own beliefs, only for affirmation. There doesn’t seem to be a serious application of logic. People are fine with their stagnant selves.

The good majority of the people I have encountered who can furnish a political opinion, regardless of political preference and/or affiliation, have furnished them without proper grounds, lacking both logic and evidence to ultimately justify those opinions. In such cases, one may pull out the trump card: “Well, this is my opinion”. Yes, this is true. It is just your opinion … an unintelligent, unsubstantiated opinion. This disengaged mentality is quite common. Aside from the perception that most people tend to abort the thinking process rather than analyze and digest incoming information, it seems that most people can’t detect opinionated, biased news sources while, at the same time, not caring to detect such a thing, just as long as the news coincides with and reinforces their own already held beliefs.

In the end, I believe that national healthcare could work if implemented correctly as a public option and not a mandate. It seems that it would put more money back in the hands of American people while taking away the already grotesque influence corporations have over our government.