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Radically Inept
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
  'Real' Truth questioned

I don't know. I sort of promised to try to come to grips with my apathy concerning our election process. I made the bold statement, that our election process means...Well, almost m=nothing. There will be no real change regardless of who's elected.

I think this is true.

I got a call from a friend today, who says he was denied health coverage based on his weight. And, admittedly, if I'm the insurance company, based on actuary tables, I wouldn't cover him either.

The problem is, that if no insurance company covers him, I wind up paying anyway. I pay through taxes. He will receive coverage. He will receive health care, the difference is whether I pay for it via my insurance company , or whether my tax dollars pay it. I am still out the money.

We don't have a healthcare industry, we have a profit industry. But I pay for both.

I pay regardless of what happens. And I think that's the point I was sort of trying to address earlier- this election doesn't address the real issues. One of the real issues is - regardless of the system in place - I pay for your healthcare...Or I don't.

Those are the questions - do I pay for your health via my premiums, do I pay for your health via my taxes, or do I not pay for your health at all?

It comes down to a value judgment. What values and who's judgment remain in question; but in the end, I still pay. You can argue the extreme point, the one that says it's his choice to be 'obese', and I consider that a fair argument...Sort of...I mean, based on that thinking, I would have let Stephen Hawkings languish and die. Really...Based on pure actuarial tables, I'd have no reason to invest in his existence. The odds of Hawkings providing anything of value, is close to nil.

On the otherhand, how do I 'actualize' his contributions to society? Well, based on the current system, I'm never asked to.

Is keeping a quadriplegic alive and hooked to an expensive communication system, worth my premiums and/or my tax dollars? Well, it sort of depends, doesn't it? And, how do I decide?

Why do I pay to keep "X" alive? How much should I pay?

Well, the previous was an example, I think, of the questions I am trying to work through, and that I absolutely do not hear the candidates addressing.

Who should pay; how much; to keep who alive, and why?

Just an example...

Okay, how do we get past these kind of questions? Really...How?

Well, initially, I think how much profit someone else makes, is not my concern. Again, really. Why should I care whether or not company "X" makes x profit? How is it my problem?

Ah, but you say, they are employers, and if they don't make profit, they can't employ your neighbors, ETC. ETC.ETC.

So? What do I get out of it? Do my taxes go down? Am I covered? Why the fuck should I care? The system doesn't; why should I?...

Okay, I want to start a from a very reductionist point, one that I have addressed, somewhere, in Rogue Analyst, I just can't find where.

Anyway, let's start from a few reductionist premises, and see where it leads:

I have tried to explore reducing the economy to photons, and while people look at me like I'm an idiot, I think all information exchanges happen as a result of photon/electron energy transfers. II will gladly accept arguments pro and con to this point].

I've also argued for an 'endorphin' based economy, though not on-line, until now. On the otherhand, I think the idea of an economy based on aesthethics has some relevance [Questions I ponder, and perhaps a little progress], but does not go far enough. I think endorphins may explain far more. Why do I want a new car versus the totally utilitarian vehicle I already own? Endorphin rush - the belief that other people will think more highly of me - provides the chemical motivation for my actions...Eh, I'm not convinced, but I'm still pondering it.

It's sort of like Maslow's Hierarchy of needs had validity up to the point of self-actualiztion [or whatever term he used], but at that point totally broke down. People, once they meet their security and food and sex needs, don't look to acheive a higher level of self-actualization, rather, they seek endorphin rushes.

Our's is an endorphin based economy. But, like so many other 'addictions', once someone has acheived this level of endorphin activity, they crave an ever higher endorphin rush. It's 'Jonesin' for the next higher level of rush. And, like most addictions we've studied (presumably), satisfaction can not ultimately be acheived. It's a pretty fucked up basis to build a society.

Let's see:

Endorphins
Photons

and, oh yeah,

Greed and materialism

The latter are seperate categories, but 'symptoms?' I'm not sure. But, it does seem that our society requires/teaches that you can not be happy until you have more than anyone else.

Okay. This isn't well thought out as a post, but I think it provides somewhat of a guideline of where I think this blog needs to go. None of the current political dialogue addresses the idea that our society is built on an individual's dissatisfaction with their life. But that is what our economy/society is based on - unhappiness. And I would like to see a political dialogue that addreses 'unhappiness' with life as a primary issue, and not just giving me Prozac.

Why is it that all of our problems can be fixed by a profit based industry that promises to 'hide' the pain? I argue there is a problem with our society...

Okay, that was an extreme ramble, and I owe everyone a more well thought out position, and eventually - some sort of acheivable alternative...I'll bet I acheive the former - the well thought out position, and bet against me acheiving the latter - alternatives. But I might as well try. I'm pondering the issues, anyway.

Oh, and I don't think our political process will ever address the issues I'm raising...


Long rant, no purpose.. 
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