Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It's Like This

So say you're in a bar. You're generally happy. You look - the guy next to you seems pretty much contented as well. You've got your beer. He's got a drink and is eating some of those pickled eggs; don't ask me why.

And everyone seems to be ok, until someone notices that there are people who haven't got drinks. The problem is pointed out and debated and in the end we all pretty much agree that we'd like for everyone to have access to beer at least.

So the bar owner thinks it over and using the logic of Obamacare, he climbs up on the bar and announces How It's Gonna Be: The waitresses are going to go around and collect your beverages and snacks and we're going to start over. A new menu is going to be made. There will be some changes, for instance, you can no longer just order a beer. Now pickled eggs come with the beer package. Or, you may choose the Beer, Egg, and Nachos option. Your waitress will inform you what is available in your section of the bar.

The price, of course, has gone up. You complain but are told that your old beer was substandard; it didn't come with a pickled egg, so of course it was cheaper. Plus, we now have to subsidize the food and drink for those who can't afford it. The waitress doesn't care that you don't want, and won't eat, the egg.

You look, and the guy next to you is fuming. He wants a pickled egg but finds that in this section of the bar you can't get a gin and tonic with a pickled egg. The waitress tells him he can get a gin and tonic with nachos, in fact, now everyone must get nachos. But he doesn't want nachos.

Off in the back room Jack Nicholson is trying to get a side order of toast but he's drowned out by the commotion that's spreading through the bar. It seems that the people who have already had their tables cleared can't get the waitresses to take their replacement orders. And some people can't afford the new prices and must join the ranks of the drinkless.

And all this is because some people weren't getting served.

Course, this is just a hypothetical bar. This would never happen in a real bar. In a real bar, they would look at the problem and attempt the simplest, most direct, solution possible. These people don't have drinks. That's the problem. Let's see if we can't solve that problem without ruining everyone's Saturday night.

It is a problem that some people are uninsured. I'm all for making healthcare accessible to everyone. If we have to pay a bit more in taxes, well ok, though I'd rather it came from the federal government spending less on Braille road signs and bongo drum subsidies.

You solve problems by identifying, analyzing, and attacking the problem. If your first impulse is to change everything, you're asking for trouble. Changing everything might solve the problem. But it also might not, and it might just create more problems than it solves.

Quit building utopias Mr. Obama. You tell um Jack:


Pappyvanwinkle said...

No Coke, Petsie!

lumberjack said...

But only if you get cheeseburger!