Violence Of Direction

“The learned and the studious of thought have no monopoly of wisdom. Their violence of direction in some degree disqualifies them to think truly. We owe many valuable observations to people who are not very acute or profound, and who say the thing without effort which we want and have long been hunting in vain.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson, essay The Over- Soul, from The Portable Emerson, pg. 216

 

The following is a commentary posted online 9-18-13 by Jared Spurbeck who  lives in Cary, N.C. and appeared on the Yahoo Contributing Network:

 

“Let’s get a few things straight.

 

First, House Republicans are not going to stop Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act. They’re not going to prevent freeloaders from having to buy health insurance (to help pay for care for people with actual medical conditions, which the ACA also requires insurance companies to stop coming up with excuses not to cover them), and they’re not going to prevent the Medicaid expansion, which will let poor families and workers get chronic and life-threatening medical conditions taken care of. Their leadership has very publicly refused to commit to a course of action, and it’s kind of ridiculous to talk about “defunding Obamacare” in the first place.

 

Second, it’s even more ridiculous to talk about generally defunding the government (via refusing to raise the debt ceiling or continuing “sequestration”) versus letting Americans have some semblance of the health care coverage people in practically every other first-world country have already. That’s because those aren’t the only two options on the table. We can choose what we want our society to look like, and it doesn’t have to be a “winner-take-all, the rest of you fight for the scraps” universe.

 

I currently depend on government-funded health care for life-saving medical interventions, through hard-to-find and hard-to-sign-up-for programs that I didn’t even know existed and that put a hard limit on how often I can see a health care professional. I wanted to go on Medicaid in 2014, but the Republicans in my state of North Carolina rejected federal funding of the ACA Medicaid expansion, over the protest of the state’s doctors and even though it’d cost them nothing.

 

I’m scared that my life will be thrown away.

 

Right now, we have widespread unemployment and poverty because no one’s spending enough to justify hiring more workers. Poor and middle-class Americans can’t spend the money, and people with unearned wealth simply aren’t.

 

We, as a society, go to a lot of trouble to make life easier for rich people. We build the roads, bridges, and public schools that make the United States a better and safer place to do business than Somalia, and even though they get most of the benefits, we don’t even make them pay their fair share of the cost. Instead, we let them deduct practically everything from their taxes, avoid paying corporate income tax, and rewrite the tax laws every year with the help of their full-time accountants.

 

“Sequestration” is basically rich people saying — via the House Republicans — “screw you all, my $300,000 wristwatch is more important than your child’s health care.” Or her preschool program, or her breakfast, or her teacher’s salary. Why do we think this is OK? Do we really have to let people curl up and die — 502 of them every week in 2010 — to make sure rich people get to keep all the unearned wealth that we worked so hard to give them?

 

Why are we even talking about this in the 21st century?”

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