Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Something Happened On The Way To That Place, They Threw An American Flag In Our Face.

Yes, it remains truly absurd to insist that many Americans-- from small towns and big towns-- might be bitter about the economic betrayals that have occurred over the last 30 years. Just a bunch of commies who don't realize that they are one stimulus check and a trip to the mall away from salvation.

Here's a story that a bitter friend of mine sent my way-
Health insurance companies are rapidly adopting a new pricing system for very expensive drugs, asking patients to pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars for prescriptions for medications that may save their lives or slow the progress of serious diseases.

With the new pricing system, insurers abandoned the traditional arrangement that has patients pay a fixed amount, like $10, $20 or $30 for a prescription, no matter what the drug’s actual cost. Instead, they are charging patients a percentage of the cost of certain high-priced drugs, usually 20 to 33 percent, which can amount to thousands of dollars a month.

The system means that the burden of expensive health care can now affect insured people, too...

...[T]he result is that patients may have to spend more for a drug than they pay for their mortgages, more, in some cases, than their monthly incomes..

What a great system. Free-market health care at its finest.

People have also been bitter-- for many years now-- about outsourced jobs, and industries. But manufacturing jobs are not all that we're outsourcing as part of our growing one-way globalized trade economy. We're also outsourcing our messes (and maybe even our bitterness!)-
The collapse of the housing bubble in the United States is mutating into a global phenomenon, with real estate prices down from the Irish countryside and the Spanish coast to Baltic seaports and even in parts of India.

This synchronized global slowdown, which has become increasingly stark in recent months, is hobbling economic growth worldwide, affecting not just homes, but also jobs.

And it's news like that which, in turn, is causing further bittiness at home-
- Americans' confidence in the economy fell to a new low, dragged down by worries about mounting job losses, record-high home foreclosures and zooming energy prices.

There is also the growing problem, here and abroad, of food price inflation and shortages.

Anyway, my point here is that this country-- and and in turn, the rest of the world-- is facing some serious problems... many of which (years of bad policy and neglect) are the doing of the leaders we've elected. And instead of debating how we're going to repair the damage-- let alone create new eras of prosperity-- we're freaking out over semantics and watching pundits pretend they know thing 1 about small town America.

The past few elections have been decided by varying degrees of stupidity and sideshows, something which Americans were supposedly upset about, but not really. And yet we find ourselves-- in the midst of major economic collapse and global strife-- falling into those same traps. All of which makes the Republicans very much un-bitter.

[*Note: Subject title is lyrical reference to the best song on Billy Joel's 1982 album, The Nylon Curtain.]

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