Living in the Shire
You cannot have a good conversation in London without getting around to the issue of the role of government in modern society. One night at dinner our distinguished guest was very direct about her dismay that a country calling itself a “Christian” country could allow anyone to be without a minimum of health care. After all ” the role of government is to take care of all the people –not just those who can afford it. There were a few in our group who disagreed! It’s a basic division between those who are adamant about the limited role of government and those believing government needs the latitude to make certain people are protected from the unpredictable nature of life.
It was funny – but serious – when one of our Danish guests said the highest value in Denmark is safety. “I can only compare it to life in the Shire in The Hobbit. People are content to go about their lives with no thought of adventure or risk or thinking about the world outside the Shire – as long as they are safe.” It’s a trade-off” ” isn’t it? We have to accept the risk of a country where people do sometimes work without a safety net in order to live and travel outside the Shire. We cannot have both.
Sadly” both were shocked to know that our political leaders were quick to mandate a system of care but not join it themselves. That would not be possible in either the UK or Denmark. It would be in the words of our London dinner guest ” “morally reprehensible.”
Since writing this blog” I have discovered part of this last paragraph is in error. This is my version of a retraction of that. While some people have been circulating information that says Congress and elected officials and their staff are exempted from the provisions of the insurance plan that is not true. Please go to http://www.factcheck.org/2010/01/congress-exempt-from-health-bill/ for a detailed explanation of this. I could write a blog now on the importance of fact checking!