Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Once upon a time ...

A friend reminded me of this the other day as he complained about Amtrak being subsidized.

Once upon a time railroad travel was about service. Commercial railroads competed for the traveler's dollar. This is a place setting from a railroad dining car. The food was cooked on the train by a chef who was proud of the food he prepared.

At first, Amtrak kept the tradition. Then, slowly at first and faster over time, quality was replaced by the bottom line only. Now you get an overpriced pre-made cellophane wrapped stale sandwich. It's the government railroad now. Don't like it, try another option to get there.

The other day President Obama used the analogy of the UPS and FedEx "doing just fine" while "it's the Post Office that always having problems". UPS and FedEx are both considerably more expensive than the Post Office, but then their charter is to provide customer service not to provide employment. The Post Office is doing so poorly that they are suggesting that they will compete for your business by reducing service to three days a week. That'll make people want to make greater use of their service.

Somehow, we think that the United States Government will do better with our healthcare. This time they won't reduce services and cut corners and move slowly like the line at the Post Office. This time the government will really care about my needs.

And pay no attention to their words written and spoken. There always will be enough healthcare dollars to take care of people with pre-exisiting conditions, people with lifetime needs like cerbral palsy like several of my friends, or later in life chronic end game diseases like my brother's ALS, or the deterioration of the old, or infants with expensive severe birth defects. There will never be rationing. They promise.

Now do the economical thing and get out of the way and die. It's for the good of the hive.

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