Return to index page

September 03, 2004

The Ownership Society

Ownership. Itís a big theme with the President. Weíre supposed to own more of the decisions and processes that affect our lives, this will make us more empowered Americans. Thatís what I got from the speech last night. Hereís what weíre going to own if the president is ďreelected.Ē

Our health insurance. If we own our health insurance weíll be able to take it with us when we change jobs in our highly mobile society. Buying coops will give small business folks like myself the purchasing power of large corporations. Medical savings accounts will let me own the money I use to pay for services. First, that whole medical savings plan isnít new Ė lots of employers offer that now. And owning the insurance means, oh yes, I own the payments. Having ownership has done nothing to make it more affordable; itís made it less affordable. And furthermore, though I do own my teeth and eyes, as an individual buyer, Iíve been unable to find a way to own insurance for them.

Our decisions about health care. (George, you really should have checked in with Jeb on this.) Check out the Terri Schiavo case and tell me who owns decisions about medical treatment for us and our families. Are the choices owned by us, or are they owned by the same politicians and bureaucrats that the president says should not own those decisions?

Our homes. Donít get me wrong, I love owning my little condo on the hill. But home ownership isnít, of itself, a virtue. I donít understand why home ownership is so key to our perceived success. Almost anyone can get a mortgage, There are FHA programs that will help you buy a home with next to no capital. But home ownership comes with great expense. The home goes in to the hands of your mortgage lender. The bank owns your home and you own the debt.

Our bodies? Oh, wait, no. The rights of the unborn are pretty important to the President, more so than a womanís right to choose. You might think you own your body, but from the Presidentís speech, it sounds like the government is trying pretty hard to own the contents of your uterus.

Our marriages. No one was surprised when the president brought up the Defense of Marriage Act. Itís not up to you to decide if youíre married to your same sex partner. That definition is owned by the government.

Our future. Yeah, we own this alright. And if the president is ďreelectedĒ my future is going to involve owning a one way plane ticket and a pocket of cash from my sidewalk sale. Itís taken me years to realize that I really do love America. I really do believe itís the land of opportunity. But after watching last nightís speech, things looked really bleak. If this is the future, I want out. We have got to take this election. Itís personal. If W wins, Iím going to have to pack up and head to Austria. When you think itís a better idea to live in a place where itís okay to have crucifixes in public school classrooms, where the society is culturally xenophobic, and where you can not for the life of you find even a mediocre serving of Pad Thai then things are very bad indeed. I don't want that. I want the America I love back.

At least I own my vote.

Posted by pam at September 3, 2004 08:23 AM | TrackBack
Comment spammers: see our Unauthorized Advertising Policy and rates
Post a comment