A weird week, wasn’t it? Here is some food for thought. Off the wall, maybe out of touch. But, in the immortal words of Jimmy Buffett, “If we weren’t all crazy we would go insane.”
• Since no individual can really afford to be sick, it follows that the relative pittance we contribute to insurance cannot be thought of as paying for our healthcare. Those of us who are healthy must pay for the care of those of us who are not.
• The idea of tailoring a health-insurance policy to an individual’s needs is ludicrous. Does anyone know what healthcare will be needed next year?
• Trying to keep healthcare expenses in check by limiting care is shortsighted.
• Providing care, including dental care, for everyone would have so many positive effects. Do you know that gum disease increases your risk of a heart attack? Imagine the improved productivity, the decreased hospitalizations, fewer suicides, discovery of early cancers and so on that would result from universal care.
• Religious freedom is an individual freedom that allows you to practice your religion as you see fit if it doesn’t infringe on anyone else. It should not allow anyone to force their beliefs on you.
• We have the technology and resources to ensure that no woman gets pregnant if she doesn’t want to. Imagine that.
• There are too many people on this planet.
• Climate change is real, it is man-made and we need to do something about it.
• The only wall we need is between church and state.
• Globalization and automation have more significant effects on employment than immigration.
• Simplistic thinking helps us create scapegoats which, apparently, are desperately needed in our society. We’ve had Jews, African-Americans, women, poor people, Muslims, undocumented aliens, the Irish, the Polish, the Italians, Native Americans. Whatever you think about Bill Clinton, you must admit that he gives good speeches, like the one at a graduation over the weekend where he said we should spend every day trying to increase the “we” and decrease the “they” in our lives.
• If you want to read something scary, try “All the President’s Men.”
• Income inequality is a big problem in this country, created by government regulations and the lack thereof.
• Although renaming inheritance tax “death tax” had the desired effect of making it unpopular, very few estates pay it. An heir who receives a billion dollars can put it in a low-interest, no-risk bank account and make $10 million per year, never work a day in his life and pay a lower tax rate than someone who works a minimum-wage job.
• Truer words … the novelist John D. MacDonald had a character say, “The only thing in the world worth a damn is the strange, touching, pathetic, awesome nobility of the individual human spirit.” And when Kurt Vonnegut’s son, a pediatrician and atheist, was asked about the purpose of life he answered, “We are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is.”
• Speaking of Kurt Vonnegut, I think I will reread “God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.” It makes me a better person each time I do and I have a long way to go.
Dr. Kluzak, an Idyllwild resident, is board certified in Anatomic Pathology, Obstetrics and Gynecology. He also is a freelance photographer for the Town Crier.