Thursday, December 4, 2008

Why Be Grateful When You Can Just Be a Citizen?

I was watching a show entitled "Secret Millionaire" when I realized that most of the problems faced by the downtrodden people on the show were symptomatic of the dearth of social safety nets in modern America. Tearful handouts from wealthy patrons were made to two families whose stories would be completely different if we simply had national healthcare in the U.S.

One thing that struck a nerve was the overweening, self-congratulatory tone struck by the wealthy participants. I am pretty sure I have heard the term "multi-millionaire" enough for one week's time. The setup for the show is equally absurd: there is no way that the wealthy participants are being made to live life as "ordinary" people. The mere knowledge that it's over in 5 days time makes anything tolerable. Ordinary people are faced with difficult circumstances 24/7 and with no relief in site.

I'd like to see fewer TV shows like this one and more being done to prevent the problems that the show capitalizes upon.

The whole point of civilization is surely to achieve collectively what cannot be as easily achieved on one's own. Some of that surely has to do with security for one's personal health and freedom from the risk of bankruptcy because of a catastrophic health concern.

But so far the U.S. is run by clowns in the pay of economic thugs. And the people want more of the same.