Friday, July 18, 2008

Wealth and Trust

By any standard you care to measure with, Americans are the wealthiest people that have ever lived on the face of the earth, bar none. But it wasn't always so. And the frightening part about is how few people realize how quickly it can all evaporate into thin air.

You hear the daily media barrage of hate and mistrust. The funny thing to me is the media adores the people with the guns and hates the people who serve.

Take for example "Big Business." A typical media scare story goes something like this:
Walmart scans all your purchases. They store all that information in huge computer databases. They know ALL ABOUT YOUR PURCHASES!!!!

Then the flip side of this.

The media raves about the new California state law that requires health care companies to collect members' preferred written language, spoken language, race and ethnicity. This will HELP US BE CULTURALLY SENSITIVE they tell us.

So let's think about this.

What does Walmart do with your purchase information? They use it to negotiate with suppliers to get larger volumes at cheaper prices of the things people buy a lot of. Suppliers sell more products and hire more people to make them. Customers get cheaper prices on the stuff they really want to buy. Even the government gets their cut in sales taxes. Tell me, in your wildest dreams, how can this possibly be an evil thing?

So how can you protect yourself from this danger? Just don't shop at Walmart. Pay a little more and go to your local mom & pop store.

On the other hand, the state of California not only requires YOUR health care company to collect race and ethnicity information, but they require YOUR health care company to report that information to the state regulators. What happens if your health care company doesn't comply? The government sends men with guns to close the company down. And then they take the race & ethnicity information they want right out of the data systems. Then what will they do with YOUR information?

Let's take a not-so-wild future projection. Instead of the movie version of a Terminator, Arnold Schwarzeneger, Californians foolishly elect a real genocide pusher like a modern day Adolph Hitler, for example Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir or Pol Pot, leader of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia.

Sound outlandish? Ask a few old timers who were born somewhere other than the United States. Or ask the professors at the Yale University Genocide Studies Program

"I'm from the Government and I'm here to help you" used to be a common joke when our grandparents were young. They understood that government is not reason nor eloquence, it is the undisguised use of force to impose someone else will on YOU.

Wealth is based on trust. That is why in countries that have corrupt governments, you see a only moderate degree of wealth in the politically protected classes, and abject poverty among the masses. Compare poverty in Iran or Burma or Darfur children from a Darfur village.

America is far from perfect, but mostly the government is honest and the worst corruption is generally dealt with. And what is the number one health issue of Americans living in poverty? Obesity!