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Is It Time for Atlas to Shrug?

by Ouida on March 22, 2010


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From Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged:

“Mr. Rearden,” said Francisco, his voice solemnly calm, “if you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier he world bore down on his shoulders – what would you tell him to do?”

“I… don’t know. What… could he do? What would you tell him?”

“To shrug.”

Health care has passed paid for with special taxes levied at the top 2% of income earners while subsidizing premium payments for 90% of households.  I voted for President Obama and I am a doctor.  I will be the first to tell you that our health care system is a mess.  Too much money is spent without significant gains in public health.  We have some of the best medical technology available in the world while lagging industrialized nations in infant mortality.  Physicians view each patient encounter as an opportunity to get sued and act defensively to prevent that from happening ordering unnecessary tests increasing health care costs.  We have become a nation of people who expect unlimited access to everything without regard to cost.  Creative mortgages for people who cannot truly afford to own a home.  Credit cards for people who cannot truly afford that flat screen TV. We have also become a nation of people who want without sacrifice. Everyone will benefit from the broader availability of health care, yet reform is paid for on the backs of a few people.  Our nation is in the middle of a class warfare that probably began with Clinton, was intensified by Bush and has continued with Obama.  I was attracted to our president because of his intellect and his  rhetoric of shared sacrifice but that rhetoric has given way to programs of income redistribution and a burgeoning sense of entitlement in our society. I am reminded of a bible story recounted by the late business philosopher, Jim Rohn:  Jesus and his disciples are receiving donations.  People of all classes give.  Finally a woman arrives and gives the equivalent of a penny.  Many of the disciples are incredulous.  Jesus is not, he recognizes the sacrifice of this woman’s gift and treasures it above all others.  Jim Rohn’s take on the story?  That in a civilized society, everyone must pay in order to enjoy the fruits of that society.  0.9% In Medicare taxes across the board would mean that the $30,000 per year wage earner would pay $22.50 per month to support a program that would benefit us all.  Is this an unreasonable amount of money?  I don’t think so especially because health care reform will subsidize that wage earner’s access to care.  As things stand, the person who makes $30,000 per year will receive the benefit without the sacrifice and will therefore have no ownership in the system.  Will Atlas Shrug?  I am not surrendering my passport but I do believe that continuing to tax certain members of society whose only crime is producing more is unsustainable and brings us closer to the day when we wake up and find our producers gone and our talent overseas.

What are your thoughts?

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Regarding HENRY
May 4, 2010 at 8:51 pm

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