If We’re All In This Together, Than We’re All In This Together
- Posted by Leigh Drogen
- on June 29th, 2012
The debate over whether our government should be providing free healthcare to its citizens has no right or wrong answer. Is universal healthcare a right? Should we expect our government to provide for it like they provide a military for security, like they provide police, schools, and fire fighters?
The constitution doesn’t say it should or it shouldn’t. These are debates we have as a society. I’m not quite sure we can really call it a debate these days, more like one lie after another being thrown back and forth between each side, no one actually telling the truth about what the proposed law means, everyone just trying to spin it for their own cause.
But it’s obvious by now, whether you like it or not, that our society for whatever reason believes that our government should provide universal healthcare, in one form or another. Simply, we’ve collectively decided that we’re in this healthcare thing together, for better or worse, for richer or for poorer. We’re going to find a solution to the rising cost of healthcare together, or we’re going to get crushed together via rising taxes to pay for it.
Our country has a rich history of doing big things together. We fought two important world wars together, we build the interstate highway system together, we went to the moon together, we’ve done some really great things together that we could never have done as individuals, or individual corporations. I do believe that government should in some cases take on tasks that only government can solve.
Only government can put 100 billion dollars to work right now to update our infrastructure and put people back to work building our future. Only government can build a 2nd avenue subway to provide the necessary transportation for NYC to flourish economically. Only government can build a light rail line in San Diego which has revived countless areas along its stops where professionals now live and commute on that line to work. Only government can rebuild lower Manhattan.
Our government is bloated and inefficient, there are possibly hundreds of thousands of government workers who deserve to be fired, useless civil servants who can be replaced by software. But that does not mean we just stop trying to do big things that only government can do.
Maybe government can do healthcare, maybe it can’t. But we’ve now decided as a nation that we’re going to let it try. The bill that was just fought over feels like a bandaid, but maybe it’s a start, I don’t know.
Here’s what I do know. We’re all in this shit now together, whether you like it or not.
And you know what that means? You’re now wasting my money by killing yourself. Yea, you heard that right, every cigarette, every time you inhale those bath salts or whatever the hell you do with them to get high, every soda, every cheeseburger, every hour you sit on your ass watching television and not exercising. Yea dude, we’re all in this together now, you no longer have the right to be a fat fuck. Yes, I said it, that’s right.
Here’s the deal. If I’m gonna spend my tax dollars for all of you to have medical insurance, there need to be some huge disincentives for doing stuff that’s gonna cost me money by making you sick. I don’t believe in rationing healthcare, it’s evil, if someone is sick you treat them. But it’s now up to our government to do everything it can to make sure you never get sick, and that means taxing the stuff that makes you sick to the point where you either pay enough in tax to cover what happens when you get sick, or you don’t do it.
I don’t believe in positive incentives in this case, they all need to be negative consequences. Cigarettes should be taxed at $2o per pack, soda should be taxed at $1 per 12oz can. We’re not gonna make you pay a tax for your body mass index being off the charts, we’re gonna prevent you from getting fat in the first place.
You no longer have a right to kill yourself, because if we’re in this together, we’re all in this together.
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Leigh Drogen is the founder and chief investment officer of Surfview Capital, LLC, a New York based investment management firm employing an intermediate term long/short momentum strategy. More »
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