Those who follow my blogs know I hang out in coffee shops to write as well as prepare for my daily show Politics Done Right. I try to budget about an hour of that time for random conversations. The time isn't wasted time as people from all stripes come in, and I tend to draw good substantive discourse. Today it was one with a doctor and a retired police officer.
The doctor had several practices. He is rich. He tends to be reasonably Conservative. His son is a doctor and very Progressive. They clash as any father/son relationship does positively. The father built his many practices with all the tribulations that come with entrepreneurship. The son grew up with the benefit of his father's spoil.
The doctor, having worked as hard as he did to create his business and seeing what to him is a decadent society with freeloaders mostly because a high percentage of the people he sees at his practice are under-productive, shade his views. He rails against the government as inefficient. He complains that Medicare for All cannot work but that the current system is not working.
Ironically, as I started enumerating the realities of our fraudulent healthcare system he acknowledged them. We discussed drug pricing using, the insulin robbery and Daraprim ripoff as examples which he agreed was a national disgrace since most drugs get their start with taxpayer funding in some form. He also concurred that insurance companies do not bring much. But it is the indoctrination of equating good public policy with what other countries have done poorly in the name of socialism that has him indecisive. He ironically did not quite understand the economies of scales by stating countries with smaller populations is why socialized medicine works there and would not here. When I provide the solutions, he tended to agree with them
We ended the discussion as I always do in a very positive manner. I did tell the doctor that it was time to listen to his son, a doctor as well, who is ready to make the necessary and sane transition to a system that does not inherently want to extract as much from each potential patient, whatever the market will bear. That system is undoubtedly Single-Payer Medicare for All.
A few minutes later a retired police officer that frequents the coffee shop walked in and walked over to say hi. I was shocked because he was supposed to be on a hike from the Mexican border in California to the state of Washington. He told me he did 350 miles in 25 days, but he could not eat enough food to keep his body peaking. He decided to stop and will go back to where he broke off to complete the journey at a later date.
My conversation with the doctor was somewhat stressful even though I never show it on the outside when conversing on these issues. The indoctrination in this country on economic and ideological issues sometimes seem impossible.
The retired police officer told me something that gave me hope because it is what I discovered several years ago. He said while he was in the middle of nowhere walking alone all he needed was food, water, and the clothes on his back to make it. He said that gave him a new perspective on life. All the things we fight about are so purposeless. He said we are in a loop where we work, stress out, just to have a whole lot of stuff ultimately we neither need nor use most of the times.
After I developed my products in my software company, paid my daughter's undergraduate college, and having lived a reasonably prosperous life, I decided that there had to be more to life. Downsizing and simplifying was what I did to start fulfilling my altruistic endeavor. It was time to give back with my works. I let my company go and became a full time political activist intent on being a part intent on making a better country for my kid and everyone else's.
We have a country that is falling apart currently for 80% of its inhabitants. By the time my daughter is a full adult, absent reversing what we have allowed crooked politicians, an evil plutocracy, and a manufactured ideology to inflict on their futures, very few of them can expect the lives we've had. And so, the observation of the retired police officer is probative.
Life is straightforward as the retired police officer said. Making it complicated allow a few to profit from said perceived complexity. The doctor could not yet see that Medicare For All was returning to a simplicity that would serve the doctor and the patient well. Maybe he needs to take a long hike like did the officer.
Life as a full-time activist is neither easy, lucrative, or stress-free. But when you know you are making a difference, when people tell you they wait every day for your blogs or your shows, or when they subscribe with a message like "I wish I could do more, but I must do some because we need you doing this now!" it is not only tear-jerking but resolve making. It is difficult, but we can all make a difference.