American Consequences - October 2017


What $1,000 a Month Would Have Bought Me The other story I’d like to tell is the story of my life if there had been a Universal Basic Income of $1,000 a month when I was 21. As I mention elsewhere in this issue of American Consequences ( here in my sidebar to Buck Sexton’s piece on the “Antifas” ), I was a rotten person in my youth. I was the kind of loud and obnoxious anti-war protestor who, by my dress, speech, and behavior, actually increased support for the Vietnam War among America’s “silent majority.” In fact, I myself, personally, probably prolonged the Vietnam War by several months. I was not only a left-wing agitator... I was also a hippie/beatnik/bohemian worthless human being. Then I ran out of grad school fellowship grants and my folks ran out of patience with paying my bills and I had to get a job. The pay was $150 a week. I was to be paid every two weeks. I was eagerly looking forward to my check for $300 (as was my landlord).

are.” Then there are the people who have income but no savings, or assets but no income. Discounts are provided and payment plans worked out. Failing all else, treatment is given free – $63 million worth in 2007. I asked Aldous about who gets what treatment from which doctor. Do my means affect the hospital’s ways? “The doctors,” he said, “don’t know how – or if – you’re paying.” Looking back, what Jason Aldous told me seemed true from what I could see of the hospital’s patients, a cross section of Yankees, flinty and otherwise. The Norris Cotton Cancer Center treats more than 5,000 patients a year. And we were all amiable in the waiting rooms. Anytime someone new came in and sat down, he or she was tacitly invited to spend about three minutes telling everyone what was wrong. Then the conversation was expected to return to general topics. The general topic of choice during the summer of 2008 was how the Democrats would destroy the private health care system that was saving our lives. If medicine is socialized, we’d have to sit in waiting rooms forever... if we lived.

50 | October 2017

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