Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I just got back from watching Michael Moore's Sicko and one of the points he makes really stuck with me. Why is just about everything socialized in the U.S. except for health care? Here is a quick list of some of the basic services that are socialized in the U.S.:

  • Police Department

  • Fire Department

  • Transportation Security Administration - the interesting thing is that after the Sept. 11th attacks, airport security was taken away from private companies and placed into government hands

  • K-12 Education - why it's limited to this education range, I'm not sure

  • Post Office - it's not completely paid for by tax money, but it's heavily subsidized and still cheaper than its private counterparts: FedEx, UPS, or DHL

  • Library - you can borrow books, movies, and music (even new stuff) instead of having to buy these things from stores

  • Military - I'm not sure this really counts as a socialized organization, but we don't hire our military from private companies (i.e. mercenaries) every time we want to fight a war. We do hire private companies, like Blackwater, to provide armed "security" though. Why they aren't considered mercenaries is beyond me.

Why is it okay to socialize these organizations and not health care? Would we be better off hiring private companies to protect us or fight our fires for profit like we let insurance and pharmacutical companies take care of our health for profit? Wouldn't we get better service from a private company's police force or fire department, or are we worried that the company might put profits ahead of what's important? Why is health care different?

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