Come for the Politics, Stay for the Pathologies

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Let’s Go Dutch

Obamacare has something for everyone. Whatever you want (coverage for illegal aliens, abortions), it’s in there! Whatever you don’t want (coverage for illegal aliens, abortions), it won’t be there. But wait! That’s not all! If you vote for it today,  Nancy Pelosi  will throw in this added bonus (from an interview with Ms.NBC’s Rachael Maddow):

 …everybody has so much to gain from this, small businesses, as I said, seniors, young people, women, our economy.  Think of an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance or that people could start a business and be entrepreneurial and take risk, but not job loss because of a child with asthma or someone in the family is bipolar—you name it, any condition—is job locking.

My initial thought on hearing this barely intelligible ramble was “is she bipolar?” Is she seriously suggesting that artists, photographers and writers should be able to quit their day jobs? To follow their muse? That entrepreneurs should be allowed to take a risk without – taking a risk?  Does she think we need to create yet another group who thinks their needs, wants and desires should be met by the two dozen people left in America who still feel compelled to work, you know, in order to meet their own needs?

I’m guessing Ms. Pelosi would approve of the Netherland’s system of artist subsidies: there the government buys “art”  from artists in exchange for a monthly social security check. Even in a country with a population just under twice the size of New Jersey, the tab runs into the millions every year: footed by that country’s obviously generous taxpayer. And what do they do with the art? Well, up until a couple of years ago museums that “bought” the art loaned it out to “worthy” organizations to display. But sometime around 2007 they became inundated with “art” that nobody felt worthy enough to display so they started auctioning it off on eBay. But to ensure that they don’t run out of art to auction, they also have subsidies available for study abroad: generally geared to talented young artists, but also available to artists over 65 who have fallen on hard times or simply run out of inspiration (I thought that only happened if you were trapped in a boring job). Seriously, this a government that values their artists. More than their taxpayers. I wonder how that’s working out?

What does this have to do with healthcare?  I don’t know for sure. But maybe Madame Chairman feels that, like healthcare, following your muse is a basic human right. If she can ever manage to implement her vision for America, I’ll bet we will have a lot more artists, writers and photographers - all quitting their boring day jobs. And we’ll have a whole lot more art to decorate worthy public spaces with.