The rich are different…they have more money

And they’re wrecking it for the rest of us.

“We need not countenance their existence forever. One need not bring back Stalin to reduce or eliminate the rich. Scandinavian countries do quite well in minimizing their presence. And there is little mystery in how to reduce or eliminate the economic power of the rich. Steeply progressive income taxes, elimination of inherited wealth through estate taxes, and income redistribution along with a robust welfare state can do it.

“If Americans examined the deeper damage that the rich do to society, perhaps they might be willing to try cutting the rich down to size.

“Let’s look at how the rich damage American society.”
A World Without the Rich, Michael Blim, 3 Quarks Daily, October 29, 2007 (via Wood S Lot)

But, as the French Revolution so thoroughly proved, the rich will always be with us.

Although this kind of made me nauseas, but not sick enough to see a doctor:

“Consider their corruption of several essential marketplaces for goods and services. What is the recuperative value of a luxury hotel inside a major hospital, complete with chef and concierge services? That depends, I suppose, on what is being recuperated. In the hospital’s case, they recover money, they claim, and lots of it, when compared to serving those Medicaid-assisted poor and the Medicare-dependent elderly and disabled. Instead of lamenting low Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements, they are pandering to the rich. Often it is for more than just money for services rendered. There are new hospital wings and prestigious care centers and institutes to think about, and who better to hit on but the rich who have just spent a week at the local Plaza Hotel hospital?

“If pampering patients makes them get well, then how can it be denied to others? But that isn’t the point of the white glove treatment, is it?

“Even as doctors desert careers in internal medicine owing to perceived lower pay and longer hours, other internists open boutiques, shrink their practices to a quarter of their former sizes, and charge $3000 per person annual membership fees (See my column “Is There a Doctor in the House?”). Every time internists create boutiques, they diminish the number of doctors, already declining, that provide medical care for everyone else.

“The rich even corrupt careers like hospital administration. A recent Boston Globe story disclosed that the presidents of Boston’s major teaching hospitals make near or over a million dollars each a year (NB: without bonuses added). The last time I checked, hospitals of this sort were non-profit institutions. One would think that the boards of these non-profit hospitals would blanch at paying them a million, if only for fear of bad publicity. Yet, as the boards are composed mostly of very rich people, they by practically class instinct would acknowledge that someone whom they employ with so much responsibility deserves a comparable reward. This, after all, is their divine right to ungodly compensation too, so the divine right must be defended everywhere, or it will eventually obtain nowhere.”

God, just extend Medicare to everyone and anyone who wants it so we can all get on with building a finer world.

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