You know that feeling? The one where you are getting your head slammed into a wall and then it suddenly stops? Oh how it feels so good. Which, if you are like me and believe that all people are good and will eventually see the light, only makes the shattering of hope all the more painful when the beating continues.
See, over at the The Economist they think they are really, you know, economists. I started reading the magazine thinking that I would get some insight into how things in this world work from an economist’s point of view. Instead what I get is insight into how things work from a Leftist’s point of view ACTING like an economist. But hey, the art kinda makes it worth the price of admission.
Anyway, I was banging my head against the wall today reading this piece on health care when I suddenly was saved from the pain:
GOOD news: people in Britain are living longer than ever before. They are the healthiest they have ever been. Moreover, the lot of the poor has been improving at a phenomenal rate. Over the decade to 2005, the most recent years for which data are available, life expectancy for boys born in the least salubrious neighbourhoods has rocketed by 2.7 years to more than 75 years.
I absolutely could NOT believe my eyes. There, in print, someone was saying what I have been saying this whole time. We are living in the best time ever in the history of the world. Sweet music.
The Disney blue birds were singing and lighting on my shoulder. I could hear the whistling in the air. The sun was warm on my back. I was hooked, addicted, I needed more. I dove back in:
Yet, despite this progress, they are losing ground to more fortunate folk. Boys born to parents living in more comfortable surroundings have always expected to live longer. But the gap between the two groups has increased.
My neck was singed as the blue birds were shot gunned off my shoulder. Hope was dashed. The sun went dark and the temple crumbled. My eyes, so recently-but oh so long ago- welled with tears, now bled.
See, everybody I know, EVERYBODY, when given a choice between something that is good and something that is better, will choose the something that is better. Seriously, assume that you are poor and have to decide which of the two situations you would like to live in, which would you choose?
- Your health/medical care, on a scale of 1-10, ranks a 3 but the rich have a score of 6.
- Your health/medical care, on a scale of 1-10, ranks a 5 but the rich have a score of 9.
In the first case, your care ranks a 3 but you are only 3 away from the richest. On the other hand, in the second case, your care ranks 2/3’s higher but you are even further from the rich than you were before. I know my choice. Every time. I go with option 2. Every time.
Not The Economist. The rich have it all:
People living in rich communities live longer than those in modest suburbs who, in turn, outlive those residing in the rougher parts of town. And the poor also spend more of their shorter lives coping with a disability. In England people on the poorest housing estates die, on average, seven years earlier than those in the grandest accommodation. They can expect to become disabled 17 years earlier.
Jeez. I feel like such a heel. Here I thought that perhaps that same quality that made a man sacrifice now in order that he be successful [wealthy] later might be the same quality that causes him to, oh I don’t know, take care of his health so that he might enjoy the fruits of a long life well spent working. And here again, the author teased me:
One argument is that the poorer people are, the more likely they are to do unhealthy things that brighten their otherwise dull lives temporarily. Smoking, for example—blamed for a third of all cancers—is twice as common in households where the main breadwinners have routine and manual jobs than in professional and managerial homes. And white-collar workers are kicking the habit faster than manual labourers. So too with obesity, which causes diseases such as diabetes: it is increasing fastest among those at the bottom of the heap.
But that’s it. Nothing more on poor decision making. Instead, we are left with this bit of opinion:
It is clearly up to the NHS to help everyone improve their chances to live longer and healthier lives.
And THAT, Ladies and Germs, is the difference between Leftists and me.