Here’s a link to a nice short article about the current state of health care in the USA, and what real reform of it might look like:
I cannot imagine how such reform will ever come about. As one of my bosses used to say, the income equivalent of “not in my back yard!” is the rice bowl expression that appears at the head of this entry. I assume the expression comes from some Asian country.
Here are the just a few of the groups that can be counted on to mobilize their vast assets to block any filching from their rice bowls over the next decade:
Health Care Reform
This is A Big One:
doctors, drug makers, pharmacies, medical equipment builders, for-profit hospitals, and, above all, insurance companies.
Legalizing Marijuana Use…
(and maybe relaxing some penalties for USE of other drugs)
the Drug Enforcement Administration and all its contractors, supporters, and employees and all their families — along with a great many police departments that love the money that flows into them from seizing and selling the possessions of drug dealers.
Cutting Back on the $$$ We Give Our Military!!! *
This is The Biggest Rice Bowl of All:
We don’t have the mighty Soviet Union to kick around any more, so do we really still need ALL that military stuff? What about all those nuclear submarines? Do terrorists have submarines?
But think of all the military contractors, and all of their investors, managers, suppliers, and employees! Military contractors are known to spread the construction of their multi-multi-billion dollar projects around to most of the states in the Union in order to create supporters of each project in each Congressperson’s district.
Add all the military careerists, present and pensioned, and you might as well give up on this one before starting.**
Limiting Unwise Speculation by Big Banks:
The fattest cats of them all. Watch them spend and spend and spend some more to stop any such limitations over the next few years.
And So On…
The USA is in a set of multiple binds because of the combination of the universal human rice-bowl protection instinct and the fact that in this country a politician must raise many millions of dollars to win a federal office. As reform after reform is suggested, folks who would be adversely affected by each prooposal rise up in turn and spend millions on lobbyists and direct gifts to Congresspersons to stop it.
Oh well, it was a nice semi-democratic Republic for a hundred years or so.
___________________________________________________*The Department of Defense budget approximately = the arms spending of all the other countries in the world combined, and about one half of all US discretionary spending. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Department_Of_Defense#Expenditures ttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt **But take a look at this amazing development: http://www.slate.com/id/2223287/ Is it just the exception that proves the rule?