People are surprised these days by the rate at which famous people are dying. Get used to it. It’s math.
There’s this phenomenon called “the Baby Boom,” see, which resulted in more children being born than usual after World War II. Those people are starting to get to the ages people tend to die.
This doesn’t just mean more people are dying of age, it means more famous people are dying of age. Because, what does it take to be famous? Talent, usually. Some. OK, a little. But especially the attention of lots of people. Where are they from, these lots of people? People you grew up with.
Essentially, it’s an illusion. Larger crowds of people die, so there are more famous people in them. Because people in large crowds are more likely to get your attention. Because there are more of them. Because there are more of you doing the attending.
Let’s see, what else is an illusion? That Baby Boomers will break Social Security. How would Baby Boomers break Social Security if they keep dying at this rate? We only wish we could break it. We’ll be mostly gone in 10 years and leave you all the rest of the money in nice untouched piles.
Speaking of piles, there’s been talk by politicians about doing away with the Affordable Care Act and maybe not even replacing it. My favorite instance of this comes from a Michigan congress-pile named Bill Huizenga who said people have to be responsible for their own health care.
And he illustrated with a time his son broke his arm and he, Bill, didn’t take his son to the ER because that would drive the cost up — he made a regular appointment with a doctor for the next day.
This is a wonderful story.
For one thing, isn’t it great that our U.S. Congress-slimes get such great health care that they can make an appointment to see a doctor the next day? Wow. When I call to make an appointment with my doctor at Harborview, I get to choose from a selection of dates and times two to four weeks away. Whereas, if I want to see a doctor tomorrow, I’m directed to the ER.
Then there’s the underlying idea that people are responsible for their own health care.
I don’t have enough words left in this column to write out the diatribe that’s singing in my ears right now. I’ll have to give a condensed version.
Health care is not a commodity. Rich people don’t deserve better health care just because they can pay for it. We all deserve better health care because we all, collectively, can pay for it, and can do so easily, as soon as fools like Huizenga stop preventing us from doing so, and stop dismantling every start we make at providing for ourselves.
Instead of tearing down the ACA, they should be making it better.
There should be measures to prevent insurance companies from raising premiums, including options of going with a separate plan that would be capable of morphing into a single-payer plan.
We also need to start thinking about universal health care in terms of the environment.
Our collective need for good health includes a collective need for good clean air to breathe and clean uncontaminated water to drink.
Let’s arrange for that responsibly by ridding ourselves of all city, state and federal politicians who don’t care and think that I should just buy bottled water and get fresh air from a tube for a dime per suck.
Housing is a need. We’re all responsible for working together so that everyone has a secure safe space to live.
Last week Uber was making news for efforts to deploy driverless cars in San Francisco.
The project was blocked, but it was imminent.
So, let’s get this straight. We can put men on the moon. We can build oil pipelines that stretch 2,000 miles. We can mine and burn coal at such prodigious rates that an entire planet’s climate can be thrown off kilter by it. We can design and build driverless cars to put an army of drivers out of work to save money downstream of the tech investment (Saving money for whom? Robots?), but we can’t collectively provide our health, education and housing.