By Gloria Rickel:
This is in response to Leroy Donald's letter in the Daily on July 23:
Mr. Donald, if you are a member of the 1 percent, you are to be congratulated. You have stated your case wonderfully. May I now, as a humble member of the 99 percent, state my case:
Money is of no value unless it is circulating. The money you buried in the back yard will not buy food, health, shelter, clothing or physical or financial security. When the real estate bubble burst, tax receipts went down, and local jurisdictions could not balance their budgets. As a result, they cut expenses and laid off workers. That balanced the budget, but took more money out of circulation. The recession deepened. If banks, big corporations and the 1 percent are saving money because they are afraid of the bad times to come, how can we stop this race to the bottom? How can we get enough money back into circulation to dig us out of the economic hole?
As a small business owner or a member of the 1 percent, would you hire a new employee (and put that money back into circulation) simply because you got a tax reduction? What laws or regulations would you like to see reversed so that you can hire that employee? And, because there is not enough money circulating, sales for goods and/or services are down, what would your new employee do? Just make more widgets and store them in the back room?
Referring to the third paragraph of your letter, why did you not build your business and your home in Mexico, or why did you not buy a house in Mexico? Of course you wanted your business and/or your home where there are good roads and schools. You wanted educated workers, and you wanted to transport your goods and/or services over good roads. You also wanted to use other infrastructure which we, the 99 percent, have paid for. That is the social contract that you, your friends and your family were born into and expect to utilize for the rest of your life. Did you think that by some miracle you and the small segment of society that you inhabit are exempt from the social structure? Don't pretend you misunderstood what President Obama said.
Referring to your remarks about our national health care system, and the new bill: in 54 words, I was able to count six outright lies, and one statement that is plainly ludicrous. Let's demolish the ludicrous first. You said the new bill contains "20,000 new laws." Wow!
One big problem that should concern all of us is the 51 million people in America who are uninsured and who are dying at the rate of one every 12 minutes. What should we do about this? Obviously we cannot just let them die and throw the bodies in the nearest Dumpster. We pay in several ways:
- Society loses the work they would do if they were healthy.
- Because they have no insurance, small health problems tend to become big and expensive problems before getting any medical care, thus increasing the overall cost.
- They go to free clinics, which we support.
- Healthy people give them free care, thus foregoing the wages they might have earned and contributed to the general economic well being.
- They go to the emergency room where they receive good care which is free to them, and we pay for it through increasing insurance premiums and increased hospital fees, etc.
If you can invent a better way to solve this problem, you would deserve the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Not including the above expenses, do you know how much you are actually paying for health care now? Please include co-pays, out-of-pocket expenses, referral fees, premium payments and what your employer pays ... all of it. Whether by design or accident, our system makes it difficult to get this information. Do you know how much of that money goes to health care, and how much stays with the health care companies? Do you know what the comparable figure is for residents of other industrialized nations? Of all of the personal bankruptcies in America every year, do you know what percentage of them are caused by medical expenses?
Kaiser Family Foundation is known for fair, unbiased, nonpartisan and thorough information. You might try visiting their website by searching for it on Google. Their video "Health Reform Hits Main Street," is a thorough, comprehensive summary, and takes 9.05 minutes.
Gloria Rickel, Front Royal