Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Friend from Sierra Leone

Today the Orkin man came by to treat the outside of my house (we’ve had trouble with ants). He had that lilting accent that made me ask him where he was from and he replied “Sierra Leone.” While he was treating the garage he asked me what I thought of the Health Care crisis – an opportunity? I told him that nothing that was on the table currently in Congress or proposed by the President would positively affect the problem. He asked me how they could fix it. I explained to him how we needed to stop jackpot justice in the courts and drive down medical malpractice abuse. I explained to him how John Edwards (yeah – the marital cheat) had almost single handedly driven up the number of Cesarean births through an utterly ridiculous lawsuit. I told him that we had to sort out the 5 to 15 million people who truly needed our help and cover them, but that the best way to solve the problem was to get the government out of the mix and drive down cost.

His response: “Don’t the insurance companies bear some of the responsibility?” I told him that the insurance companies were caught in the middle. “Imagine that you own 1,000 shares of stock in Nationwide, who should the company be loyal to?” A good company needs to make a profit regardless of the climate. So the insurance company is responsible to everyone. “But why do the company leaders get paid so much?” he responded. “Well I chose to live in a country where you can make $10 million and there are people in this country who are worth that much.” I told him the story of WorldCom and how after the bankruptcy they brought in a guy who stabilized the company and put it up for sale. He saved tens of thousands of jobs, prevented turmoil in thousands of companies and tens of thousands of homes that didn’t have to change service. “In a company that made $30 billion that year, is it hard to imagine giving that guy $6 million in salary and bonuses?” He agreed that it was “chump change.”

I’m not sure that I made a convert of him. As he finished, I asked him if he wanted a soda or a bottle of water. He accepted a Coke. I told him to help save the country and vote Republican. Guess who he drug out? He didn’t trust us because John McCain chose Sarah Palin for a running mate. I told him that Palin represented more people than Joe Biden and had more executive experience than Barack Obama. I don’t think he saw the point. Well at least I tried.

Conservative Resistance – Day 311

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