Health Care Hostages

The situation with the Big Three has again brought up the problems we face in the US as the result of having a largely private health care system.

It seems that when discussing universal single-payer health care, morality and economic rationality are always thrown out the window in the name of political unacceptability. For some reason, too many out there seem to think that middlemen (read: health insurance companies) have a right to make money off of our misery. The last I looked, the Preamble to the Constitution mentioned, “... provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare ...”, both of which could be applied to health care. Yet, the powers that be don’t seem to be getting the message. Perhaps in a warlike country such as ours, only a military reference will work: think Iran 1979, when Americans were held hostage.

The same could be said for the politicians and insurance companies who are holding us hostage today by maintaining an bloated, ineffective and reprehensible system where we pay 4-5 times the overhead through a private insurance system as we do for Medicare, and yet we still have nearly 50 million fellow Americans who are uninsured. We need to be vocal, and we need to demand a first-rate health care system, because we’re already paying for it.

Thanks as always for providing us progressives with the real scoop!

Alex Clayton
Stanton, Calif.

Single-Payer Opposition

According to the New York Times on 12/3/08 (A18), in an article about the cost and effectiveness of health care, the “United States already spends more than twice as much per-capita on health care as the average of other industrialized nations while getting poorer health outcomes.” In that same article Michael O. Leavitt, our secretary of health and human services, was quoted as saying that “health care spending could potentially drag our nation into a financial crisis that makes our major subprime mortgage crisis look like a warm summer rain.” The question arises: If costs and effectiveness are such crucial issues, why not look to Medicare as a model for proven efficient, effective and far less-expensive care than private plans with their ideological support of unneeded 13% subsidies for duplicative, unproven care. In a word, let’s hope that President-elect Obama will consider the much-ignored and maligned elephant in the room—the single-payer Medicare-type program, government-run without private insurance. If enacted, Obama would join Lincoln and Roosevelt in the pantheon of the Greatest.

Sid Moss
Elkins Park, Pa.

Restore Honor

In his article of 12/1/08 TPP, “Moving on a Progressive Agenda,” Jim Cullen suggests, among other worthy incentives, “bringing a safe and responsible end to the war in Iraq.”

I believe that among civilized people, humility is an admirable trait. So perhaps the most effective way to begin the end of the war in Iraq is for our new president to offer a heartfelt apology to the Iraqi people for our unjustified invasion of their country.

Rather than seeking to embarrass the reckless and inept previous administration, President Obama should tell the Iraqi people that Bush acted under faulty intelligence which convinced him that Iraq posed a threat to the United States.

President Obama should then offer assistance to the Iraqi people in establishing a government of their own making - whether it’s a democracy, a theocracy, or anything else.

And reparations are a must. Wouldn’t it be commendable if the money we are spending to continue the war is spent instead on reparations? Money certainly can’t resurrect the dead or make the crippled whole again, but it could help victims of an unjust war reassemble their lives.

I’m willing to take a Faustian wager that my suggestion, if carried out, will not only restore our honor in the eyes of the world, but will help us resolve future international differences without the horrors of violence.

David Quintero
Temple City, Calif.

Greedy CEOs

The worst thing by far that is happening to our USA is the shipping of our work out of our country. It is being done by greedy CEOs just to make a few extra dollars for their pockets.

This procedure has been going on for at least 30 years. This shipping out of the work has caused many of our foundries and machine shops to close down. The results of this caused thousands upon thousands of skilled workers to be laid off with very little money in their pockets to buy anything.

We the people in the USA are now in a depression.

To change this picture our leaders in Washington have to move on this. Tariffs could be put in place high enough on these products being shipped back to take the profit away. This would make it more profitable to manufacture here in the USA.

Another way would be to change some laws or make new ones that would make it illegal to have products designed here in the USA to be shipped outside our borders for manufacturing.

To give you an example of how great our manufacturing is during World War II I spent my time aboard a WWI-type four-stacker destroyer. The Japanese did a good job at Pearl Harbor destroying our fleet. I had the naval war lasting three to four years longer than it did. In just two years, the USA built not one, but two complete fleets of ships—battleships, cruisers, destroyers, aircraft carriers. They both sailed all over the Pacific finding and destroying the Japanese fleet.

I hope our lawmakers in Washington make a move to keep manufacturing here in the USA.

(Mr.) Clare J. Crowley
Milwaukee, Wis.

Say ‘Whoa’ to Car Bailout

In a visit with an elderly Kentucky gentleman of pioneer stock, he told of his mother and stepfather raising hogs, taking them to market on a barge and using the proceeds to buy a Model T Ford for $500.

After instructions in driving from the dealer, the stepfather returned home to park it in the barn where a crowd of curious neighbors and kin were gathered.

In all the excitement the stepfather forgot how to brake the horseless carriage and began to pull on the steering wheel, yelling “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa, I say,” as he hit the barn wall.

“Whoa! Whoa!” I wish I could holler in warning against the pay-to-play parody when political electioneers go for broke in the deep pockets. The bagmen have only a few quick steps to their setups to make a headlong pursuit of power beyond direction.

International behemoths of the auto industry would be threatened by the recognition of the auto manufacturer assembling taxicabs that would last and last, turning them out quietly in the Midwest. Likewise, Japanese importers of US products retooled Buicks to smooth operation. Then they sold them.

Most communities have resources for auto repair that could retool to assemble superior products, create sales in one’s home market and spread the wealth across country à la Nascar competition. Mechanical engineers and entrepreneurs abound outside Detroit. Suppose all the towns where there are restorers of antique cars could simply buy parts from whomever and wherever to put together a DeLorean or the dream of a bespoke work fancier in custom cars for neighbors.

These days we might paraphrase Nancy Reagan and “Just Say ‘Whoa!” to billions in taxpayer buyouts of the automotive industry.

Emily Hughes
Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Ex-President Togs

Newsweek magazine has issued a challenge to its readers: “On Jan. 20, President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney will be officially unemployed.

“Where should they work next?

“Visit our Web site, download our template and create a new set of career clothes for our job seekers.”

I propose the following: their new career clothes should be orange jump suits; their new jobs should be making license plates in a federal penitentiary.

Percy Pascoe
Cuba, Mo.

Bush’s Blasphemy

When President Bush, in response to Charlie Gibson’s question about possible regrets during his presidency, blamed “faulty intel” for the Iraq war, he triggered the ultimate self-indictment: lying about and blaspheming God!

Subsequent to the invasion of Iraq, Bush stood before the world—and God Himself—and said “God told me to strike Iraq!” Anyone familiar with the Urantia Book knew immediately that he was lying in light of Jesus’ discourse to Nathaniel (159; 4), instructing the apostle that the Universal Father never has and never will advocate war among His planetary children—war only being justified in self-defense.

Tragically in America, no such challenge has ever been made—until now. And now, it’s no longer contingent upon knowledge of the New Revelation. All spiritual people “know” God is omniscient, and the notion that He could have “faulty intel” about anything finite is an obvious irreconcilable contradiction, the inescapable corollary is that Bush lied and, being guilty of premeditated blasphemy, must be globally seen as a Dead Soul Walking!

Jesus said (153; 4) “Verily, verily I say to you, all your sins shall be forgiven, even all your blasphemies, but whosoever shall blaspheme against God with deliberation and wicked intention shall never obtain forgiveness. Since such persistent workers of iniquity will never seek nor receive forgiveness, they are guilty of the sin for eternally rejecting divine forgiveness.”

Carl Robertson
New Castle, Pa.


It’s an American artifact

like eating a Big Mac

Is it meat

or bun

or the plastic platter

you’re eating

Does it matter

Richard O’Connell
Hillsboro Beach, Fla.

From The Progressive Populist, Jan. 1-15, 2009

Home Page

Subscribe to The Progressive Populist

Copyright © 2008 The Progressive Populist.