i'm not all that sold on gov't health care. it'll still be the rich who get the best care. and the poor will still rely more on emergency care and they won't be able to afford the same level of preventive....and it makes me feel as if I've convinced him of something, maybe I need to reconsider what I'm trying to convince people of. The debate is superficially about economics and government intervention, etc. But there is an underlying assumption that is more difficult to address -- approximately, it has to do with whether we believe human nature is fixed or changeable.
But this isn't a question of individual human nature: I am a fundamentalist when it comes to the question of whether individuals can change -- I wholeheartedly believe they can. Indeed, the belief in the possibility of change at the individual level feels to me almost like the bedrock of my world view. But when it comes to GDP and international economics, we are asking whether "we all" can transcend our ancient natures enough to escape from the heirarchical nature of our social structures: that is, can the rich stop being entitled and the poor stop being trampled? Read about the "New Socialist Man."
I watched an awesome documentary about "The Story of India" the other night, and it was nice to get a visual refresher-course on something I hadn't thought much about since elementary school: the caste system. They interviewed one of the "untouchables," and I was surprised to hear in the interviewee's voice absolutely no trace of resentment or hopelessness; instead, total acceptance marked his face. In fact, the "untouchable" took some pride in the fact that even the Prime Minister would rely on a lowly untouchable when it comes to committing his body to cremation and the afterlife.
Total acceptance of our "station" in life. It's such a foreign concept. I remember the way it was taught in elementary school: "Look at how barbaric the Indians are, children -- aren't you lucky to be in America, where anyone can become the president?" Kind of, I guess...
Is it irresponsible to imagine a civilization in which the poorest citizens simply and almost-happily accept the fact that they will never have access to the quality of healthcare that others will? Can we turn our back on the concept of equality without turning our back on the notion of Justice?
I'm really not sure. But I like how it makes me wonder--