Monday, May 12, 2008

It types like stimulus...

So I have a new toy thanks to the wonderful folks in the United States Congress. Since the government was sending out free money (I'm going to ignore the fact that I paid about 5 times the amount of my "stimulus" in taxes) I decided to invest in my business with a tool that also makes my wife's photography business more productive. We purchased a new Macbook and a 24" external monitor for the primary purposes of photo editing and web design. Of course the side effect is we have a freaking cool laptop with an absolutely sick monitor. I love this shit almost enough to forget that the money they sent was only a small chunk of the massive chunk taken from my hard earned paycheck at gunpoint. If you don't believe the gunpoint, try not paying your taxes a few years in a row. It is like having a thief rob you at gunpoint, take all of your cash and cards, toss a couple of fives at you, and then tell you to get something nice. At least with this nice thing I can make more money... so they can take more money... so the can fund more stimulus checks... Son of a bitch... for a moment I was so happy about my new shit...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Time for change

As you all know, I lost my job a couple of months ago. I have been working as an independent and am actually making a good bit more than I made at my last job. There are a couple of major differences. One, I cannot guarantee I will make as much this week as last week. Two, I have found out that my wife and I are un-insurable. I am ready and looking to purchase good health insurance. My wife and I have no major ongoing medical problems but to insure us will cost more than rent unless we both lose a significant amount of weight. I am stuck in a catch 22. If I spend the money for insurance, I am basically throwing money down a hole in the hopes that they will cover us in a major medical problem, which is never guaranteed. If I don't and then one of us is sick or hurt we will never be able to get coverage for that illness or injury. Even if we lost 40 pounds each insurance would cost just under $500/month for the three of us. Our normal medical costs for six months don't even run that. I make too much money for Medicaid, even for my daughter, but not enough to justify burning $500 a month on something I won't use enough to justify the costs.

The big problem here is that I am not at or below the poverty line. I make more than a significant number of Americans with that number going up every year. I am right in the middle of the middle class and moving up fast. If I can't insure my family, who can? Something has to change and it has to change now. We need sensible health care reform. We need to stand up for a change. We as Americans can't accept the status quo anymore. There is no way we can simply "let the market sort it out." The insurance industry has gone too far, gotten too corrupt, and has ceased to serve the needs of the American people. There is no excuse for the most powerful nation on earth not to be able to provide medical care to every citizen, regardless of class or income. The amount we spend invading foreign countries alone could fund health care for all indefinitely. We have to change our thinking and look at the successful nations of Europe and the Netherlands. Their people are happy, healthy, and not driven into the ground by the costs of medical care. They work fewer hours, live longer lives, and enjoy less of a gap between their richest and poorest citizens.