Personal Responsibility, Freedom, Wants vs. Needs, and Universal Healthcare
Little Johnny was 12 years old and very excited. He and his twin brother were going to visit their aunt in Orlando. This meant Disney World! Of course, there was a catch. The family had fallen on hard times, so if the boys wanted to go to Disney, they had to earn the ticket money.
This was a huge opportunity for Little Johnny. He had three months to prepare and he needed to save $200 to cover everything – the two-day pass (he really wanted to go to all of the parks), the food, and all of the other little treats that are available at Disney. Little Johnny got $10 a week allowance, and he already had $30 in the piggy bank, so he knew he had to earn an extra $50. Three months to earn $50 bucks – no big deal for Little Johnny. He was going to Disney World!
Little Johnny started right away. He asked the neighbors if they needed any extra yard-work or chores done. He raked Mrs. Smith’s leaves and got $10. He dog-sat for Mr. Jones and got $20. Best of all, he set up a lemonade stand and made $40! Before he knew it, he had overshot his goal and had $220! Little Johnny was laser focused and now he could even afford the Disney t-shirt he wanted.
The big day came. Little Johnny, his brother and his aunt were going to Disney. However, things didn’t work out as planned for Little Johnny. At the pay window, it was discovered that his twin brother only had $10. Now there was a big problem! His aunt didn’t have any extra money because of the hard times, and because of their ages, the aunt had to be with both of them.
“What happened to your money?” Little Johnny asked his brother. “You got the same allowance I did, which is enough for a two-day pass. Where did it go?” His brother just shrugged. Little Johnny knew where it went. His brother was sporting some cool new shoes and some tunes on his iPod. Little Johnny knew his brother had not earned any extra money for the food and the treats, but he was floored that he spent his allowance money on “stuff” instead of Disney.
The Aunt spoke up. “Since we have to stay together, and we don’t have enough money to all go for two days, we can either all go back home and just hang out there, or, Little Johnny, you can pay for a one day pass for you and a one day pass for your brother.”
This was just about more than Little Johnny could handle! His dream of Disney just got crushed. Even if he went he would be thinking about all of the things he was missing, all the while watching his brother have a great time. Just then, Little Johnny saw a group of special needs kids coming into the park with a few volunteers.
Little Johnny turned to his aunt and said, “Let’s go home.” Little Johnny then walked over to one of the volunteers with the special needs kids. “Here is $100. Please treat these kids to something special at Disney.”
This story sums up what I FEEL about the proposed Universal Healthcare that we will all be asked to pay for in taxes. Those with real needs and no ability to pay, no problem, have fun at Disney – on me. But everyone else who “can’t” pay, I want to define what “can’t” pay means before I start giving you a “free pass to Disney.”
Wants vs. Needs
This is where I start to get a little edgy. I am a big believer in personal responsibility and freedom. In fact, I think you should have so much freedom that you get the right to make stupid choices, but you also get the consequences of those choices. I really start to get mad when your stupid choices keep me out of Disney World.
For me, it really comes down to Wants vs. Needs. Our country has gotten this concept really screwed up. Let me clear this up for you:
Needs are things that are “must have,” i.e., food, shelter, clothing, medical care, transportation to work and school.
Wants are things that make life better or easier beyond the basic need.
Food = Need,
Fast Food, Ding Dongs, Eating Out = Want
Clothing = Need
Designer clothing, more than a few pairs of shoes, shirts, etc. = Want
Water = Need
Beer, cigarettes, etc. = Want
Cell phone, cable TV, going to the movies, iPod = WANT
Basic transportation to get to work = Need
Transportation that costs more than $3000 = Want
Since I believe in personal responsibility, freedom, and every American’s obligation to provide for themselves and their family when at all possible, it is clear to me that you take care of your NEEDS first — and medical care is a need, in my book. After you have taken care of your needs – then go ahead and get cable, an iPod, a cell phone, a $500 car payment. After you take care of your NEEDS then you can go clubbing, buy all the beer you want, smoke cigarettes, and eat Ding Dongs all day long.
Bottom line is if you are seriously incapacitated and you can’t even take care of your basic needs, then I want to help as I believe every American wants to help. But what I am sick and tired of, and what I believe most Americans are sick and tired of, is overhearing the “poor little ol’ me” stories from the table next to you at the Olive Garden when their entire family is sporting cell phones and iPods. And then of course you watch them leave and they drive away in a car nicer than yours!