A Perception of Poverty, Universal Healthcare and the Presidency
"....politicians are snake-slimy and known to do the unscrupulous seemingly out of a preference for it."
by Don Robertson, The American Philosopher
In our society we often hear pleas for relief for the poor-people just as if they were a separate entity from the rest of us. The kindred humanist spirit is summoned as if by a cry beckoning from someone or some thing trapped at the bottom of a well. "Help!" "Meow?" "Woof-woof!"
Let's look at this philosophically though.
Everything we can know comes to us one of three ways. First: Through our senses, which more specifically means, yes, through our senses, but before we can consider it, know it, or even be aware of it, it must be translated into universal forms and ideas, the only data language our minds can understand.
We do not know what our senses tell us, only what our minds make of what our senses tell us.
Second: Through what others tell us, or write to us in the present.
And third: Through what comes to us, as it was written or otherwise recorded somehow in the past.
Thus, all our sources of information are finite, entirely numerable, discernible as such, and due to the nature of the limitations of our minds, both filtered and changed by the process of cognizance. It is all in your head.
And if you are not aware of these limitations of your knowing faculties, it should come as no surprise to you when you are on the wrong side of the superficial assumptions that make up everything it is possible for us to know.
How our minds must change information before we can think it, is a subtle but an easily understood conceptual step. We have no words for the real world that describe the real world as it is. Instead we have a set of wholly individualized and wholly abstract assumptions that are sometimes roughly correlative to the world outside our minds. We thus grope through life.
Our minds can only think in terms of wholly idealized universal forms, and universal ideas. Philosophically it is easy enough to break down virtually any word, or emotion into the inexactness that underlies and overshadows all we think.
Our minds necessarily categorize things just as our minds idealize concepts; in each case so they can be grasped by our minds. No human can think in terms of the raw data that comes from the real world. We don't even have access to the raw data, as our sensory input is automatically translated into categories before we can perceive anything. In the process we lose the real item we assume we are thinking about, due to our necessary categorical simplification and abstraction of it.
Philosophers have known how this works, as described above, for a very long time. In part it has given rise to the shamanry of psychology. All sciences including mathematics, and indeed all thought, can be shown to arise out of philosophy or the philosophic ideas of scientists, mathematicians, the pious or the just plain human. It ceases however, to be philosophy the moment doubt is abandoned and truths are assumed. Philosophy alone has title to truth, which it denies to be possible.
Philosophy's exclusive domination of human truth is and always will be ensured through the fundamental tool of philosophy, doubt.
All other belief systems when viewed by philosophy are more or less on a par. Each of these belief systems asserts truth. And, any such assertion of truth is always, unequivocally reduced to unproven dogma by philosophy. No matter the assertion, if it is viewed through the philosophic lens of doubt, it dissolves into mere dogma. Each of our individual universes is made up of so much personal dogma, convention if you will.
A great many attempts have been made to give this phenomenon of our common misperception a better philosophic understanding, but each such attempt grows more tenuous the further away from the cogito every step it gets. (The cogito is Descartes', I think, therefore I am.) Any such effort in order to remain good philosophy must carry with it a certain caveat of doubt. I will provide my own caveat thus:
Everything we learn or observe is created in our minds because we are in a sense, enchanted by some thing. Such an "enchantment" is the catalyst that gives us the incentive to make the effort to comprehend. This enchantment is always an emotional motive; I love, I admire, I respect, I fear, etc. Having had one of these emotional sensations, we then make the effort to put what we think in order in our minds so we can comprehend what is the emotional catalyst for seeking what ultimately evolves into cognizance.
It may be easier for some to swallow, that cognizance is only in your head. Cognizance is everything we know.
This emotional catalyst, and nothing more, is what gives rise to what is commonly known as knowledge. The catalyst behind all knowledge is an emotional motive.
Far more important to this philosophic discussion is the notion that all knowledge is individual and personal, being wholly based and built upon the emotional motivation we each have experienced since birth. We are not born into the world to learn trigonometry, quantum mechanics, the Rights of Man or anything else for that matter. We must be emotionally motivated not to acquire, but to construct from scratch this knowledge for ourselves based upon what comes to us from one or a combination of the three ways I discussed in the beginning paragraphs of this article.
These are not easy or idle thoughts I have scribed here, and it would behoove anyone interested in philosophy to re-read what I have written to this point. Such an interest in philosophy would indicate you were interested in the truth of matters, and, that you understand one of the greatest truths; that truths about reality are generally beyond human grasp, and we can really only find paths toward truth.
To convey truth to someone else, it must be presented so they perceive it as enchanting. Otherwise, they will effortlessly ignore you.
Now, for anyone who has followed my thoughts thus far, good. But understand, I have conveyed no truth here, and really what I have done is to impart some small enchantment with the alphanumerics on this page, with which you went off, running in your own mind, creating personal knowledge that left you with some enchanting satisfaction for having gotten thus far; this enchanting satisfaction acting as the catalyst to your continuing.
I too get some enchanting satisfaction knowing I have reached a few readers. I am also enchanted. I am enchanted by what Dr. Rescal E. Prinkster referred to as Prinksterism in his famous work of the same title he published under a pseudonym, U. Ray Leegettit.
So, let me yank the rug out from underneath you. That'll teach you something, smart aleck!
Now then, we can get on to the topic of this article, A Perception of Poverty, Universal Healthcare and The Presidency.
Before there was civilization, and money, there was no such thing as poverty, even though no one then had as much as any one among us has today.
Oh, I know! One could argue humanity itself lived in poverty then. But, at least the fears they had we surmountable. There was assured a continuance of the species. They could drink the water, and they were never in a panic for a place to urinate. And the cost of a funeral wasn't enough to put you in your own grave. We are all paupers in that sense today. Even Bill Gates and Warren Buffett could be wiped out of existence along with the rest of us in a brilliant flash of light or any number of other calamities all this malevolent modernity has foisted upon us.
We each have our own perception of poverty, and for a lot of us, who are not one least bit poor, there seems to be some very well misplaced self-pity about not being the richest or the second richest man in the world. You poor soul. We can fix that! Jump in that Ford, drive down to the QuickieMart and buy a few lottery tickets and some beer so you'll feel better later about not winning a million bucks again today.
As your mother may have told you when you wouldn't eat your Lima Beans, there are still plenty of people starving in China and all around the world. The great trap of poverty is ubiquitous. And it is mostly a state of mind, or worse, an inability to NOT SPEND money wisely.
There are a lot of essentials today that are not essential at all. These are non-essential essentials. We each learned by the processes described above to assume these non-essential essentials were essential due to the enchantment we felt for finding them essential.
And now, there is a tremendous amount of effort going into determining who needs these essential non-essentials, as well as how to procure and pay for these non-essential essentials for those who don't really need them in the first place. This is something at which government really excels.
That is what is going on in several states now as they wrestle with universal healthcare coverage. Politicians have been sold the idea that universal healthcare is an essential. On what basis have politicians determined universal healthcare coverage is essential?
Blame Bill and Hillary Clinton, or, their Tom Cat "Socks" who regularly suffered being stuffed down the pants of visitors to the White House during the Clinton Administration. Such was the appeal of the first Clinton Administration.
I still however would suggest, universal healthcare coverage is likely seen as essential to politicians, because it is perceived by them as essential to ensure their re-election, or, to further their political careers. Laws are being enacted and political campaign promises are being drawn up based upon this premise, that the essential of non-essential universal healthcare coverage is a must-have, because politicians have careers on the line, and, they are depending on it to pull them through, and, to put Socks II back into the pants of Washington insiders.
This universal healthcare issue, like other issues, abortion, gay marriage, creeping communism and rabid terrorism is festering like a swollen boil in presidential politics today threatening to burst and ooze a fetid puss all over the 2008 presidential election. The candidates thus far stink enough without this reeking disaster intruding upon all our other misperceptions.
In the reality of reality, as I am fond of saying, there is something wrong with this picture. The wrongness is something more than that politicians are snake-slimy and known to do the unscrupulous seemingly out of a preference for it. The problem is, what the effect of all this is going to result in: more public money for doctors and hospitals.
Hold on! Is the medical industry suffering a cash drought? Is the economic world really raining less cash upon the heads of doctors and hospitals than upon you or me? Or, are we all being taken for a ride here?
In the past, doctors could only charge what their patients could afford. This was then the time-honored tradition of supply and demand.
Doctors drove big cars back then. They lived in big houses back then too. Unlike today however, they sometimes actually cured someone once or twice a year. Today however, the bill goes to the insurance company.
If the patient does not have insurance, we have all read how hospitals and healthcare centers will charge an individual two to three times as much as they charge an insurance company. No politician will touch this! What does not get paid is now a tax write-off, and, quite often enough, it is billed to the state, which already gets its funding from federal healthcare dollars.
Doctors and hospital administrators drive smaller cars today, but that has simply been the trend in automotive technology, less for more.
Just as in the past doctors only had about ten or twenty different medications with which to poison their patients; today one has to read between the lines printed in The Journal of American Medical Association, JAMA, just to try and keep up with all the poisons doctors have grown so kick-back fond of prescribing for their patients.
Similarly, a surgeon in the past only had a half dozen or so knives and saws, a squeegee to wipe the blood off the walls and a mop to clean up the floor. And whenever he brought these out most patients, the survivors, had the good sense to get up, get better and start running for their health.
Today, a surgeon's tool room looks like Norm Abrams Yankee Workshop, but with end to end full-length mirrors on every wall. Patients line up at the door to see if they can nip, tuck, implant and still survive the ordeal. We read about the survivors in the tabloids because JAMA thinks it is not good for the association to print these articles in their journal.
JAMA sells drugs, miracle cures and surprisingly enough still quite a few well-feathered and brightly-painted rattles on handles. They don't sell survivor stories though. And they are sure not to tell us about all those who did not survive. They bury those mistakes.
Universal health care coverage is sure to improve prospects for the statisticians who track the numbers killed every year by the medical profession.
The 600,000 being currently under-counted dead by the general practice of mishap or recklessness will likely treble. I suspect the number of wrong legs being cut off will create a dearth of legs in our society under universal healthcare coverage.
The stark statistical reality is going to be particularly disturbing for those patients who go in to have a tattoo removed, and end up still tattooed but legless after two consecutive botched attempts to align properly the patient with the operation. With the number of tattoos needing removing these days, this number can only go up just as surely as the number of legs will decline.
Of course universal healthcare coverage will also require a modest HomeLand Security-like increase in the size of government bureaucracy that will result in jobs for the unfortunate legless, if they have a relative in high places.
I'm up here in northern Maine, three miles from Canada where they already have universal healthcare coverage. I have not noticed any increase in the number of Americans moving over the border to join the Canadians.
Perhaps this is because actuarial studies have demonstrated conclusively that the medical industry has not really changed all that much since the time of Mark Twain. Twain attributed his surviving the Civil War to his having mastered the retreat to a far greater extent than the man who actually invented the retreat. Thus, he avoided the need for the Civil War era health care that killed more soldiers than cannon and musket balls combined.
Actuarial studies show Mainers live an average of three years longer than do their Canadian cousins just over the border in New Brunswick who have universal healthcare coverage.
So, if anyone thinks universal health care coverage is going to help the poor, my best suggestion is that they consider just how poor anyone really is today. And, consider the poor fellow who had not a decent pair of shoes, who lamented his sore feet every day, until he met a man with no legs.
That man had been to see a doctor about removing a tattoo.
And, just so no one here doubts I call them as I see them. Universal health care neither makes sense for the poor, or for the future. They didn't use to call them witchdoctors for no reason. The term is on the rise in Canada, and I do not think this is all together due to the increasingly ponderous ethnicity of their doctors.
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