Posts Tagged ‘impasse’

A New Social(ism) Contract?

October 8, 2013

As near as this under-employed citizen can determine, the (over)simplified net effect of the Affordable Care Act will be this:

A big pile of money will be collected from employed people who can afford health insurance, and that money will be used to ensure health care for poor people who would otherwise not be able to afford health care or health insurance.

This will help poor people. Everybody else will, by premiums or by taxes, ante up some money to assure that the po’ folks will be minimally cared for whenever they have health or medical problems.

Okay, this working Republican can live with that, even it will cost me a few bucks, because, you know, I have a heart and I am a Christian and we’re all in this together and I don’t want to see riots in the streets etc etc etc.

My mind wanders every day between the poles and polls of this controversy, as I am under the influence of so many information sources, whether it be sound-bite Congressional rhetoric, or a morning email from Erick Erickson, or listening to a panel discussion on Diane Rehm or hearing Tom Ashbrook orchestrate an exploration of the issues, or reading a UPI report.

Here’s the problem: Our original social contract, which is the Constitution with its tripartite governmental institutions, does not effectively address all the divisions that arise in this post-modern predicament. For some people, such as Tea Party folks, or persons of independent means, that incongruence becomes a big objection to what is happening now. For others, who are poor or who want to, by grand design build a great society, our Constitutional freedoms and rights are not such a big issue.

Since the New Deal, the disparities and eccentricities of capitalism have driven us away from the original social contract enacted in the Constitution by our nation’s founders. We’ve tacked on Medicare and Medicaid. This is not your father’s oldsmobile; nor is it your grandmother’s household with muffin-buns and berries by the steamy kitchen window. We have evolved to a post-democratic, post-republican, post-capitalist, post-expansionist, post-consumer-waste welfare corporate State.

And hey, it is what it is, like it or not. This is 2013. I mean, 1984 was 29 years ago already.

But the libertarian folks who identify with  Constitutionally-protected rugged individualism are still with us. God bless ’em. They figure we didn’t sign up for this redistribution hijinks. I can relate. I live in a mountain town that was named after a musket-totin’ trailblazing pioneer named Daniel Boone. I wish everybody had the initiative and self-respect that the libertarians have. But alas, there are many other folks out there in the great cities and amongst the urbanized conglomerates who  are quite comfortable, even fat n’ happy, depending on the System that we’ve patched together, which is not the same as the visionary government that our Founders had wrought from the virgin soil of a vast contintent back in the day.

Now this whole Affordable Care vs. Obamacare mirage has got us all torn up, living on the edge of fiscal disaster or social dystopia or government shutdown or Default or  some combination thereof.

We need a new social contract. I propose a national referendum on the Affordable Care Act so we can settle this thing once and for all. Instead of depending on the Democrats or Republicans to interpret the polls, let’s take a real vote on the issue so we’ll know where the simple majority of Americans stand on this landmark issue of subsidized health care.

Glass half-Full

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The Grand Bargain Inquisitor

October 4, 2013

Let us stop then, you and I,

this great experiment in democra–(sigh!);

let us arrest it and possess it;

let us attest it and caress it,

as if it were a thing for the history books to dwell on

as if it were a commodity for us salesmen to sell on:

you give me this; I’ll grant you that;

she be lean and he be fat.

I shall I will I won’t I shan’t.

I used to could, but now I can’t.

Let us spend it and suspend it, you and me.

“But I have no money,” said the tree.

So let us appropriate it from thin air;

let us print it without care!

 

“For they have cut me, don’t you see?”

said the the money tree to the bee

they have gut me; they have shut me.

they have bled me; now they will shed me

they’ve hacked me up one side, down the other

they’ve raked me o’er the coals, made me smother

they put me up wet and hung me out to dry.

So let us go then, you and I.

 

I am a museum piece now, dontcha know

as the hurlyburly burkas come and go

and twurky bitches put on utube show.

 

“Oh let us not take this to extremes

let us not let the end then justify the means!”

Let us stop then, you and I

this great experiment in democra–(sigh!)

said the grand bargain inquisitor guy

said the squirmy worm to the flitty  fly

“Let us go then, you and I.”

 

Glass Chimera