Thursday, October 16, 2008

Taking the Bullet Approach

I'm following everyone else's lead in adopting the bullet approach this evening. I've been up at office headquarters this week and am too exhausted to write about Black and White and Dead All Over, which was my plan. I sort of owe the book discussion group my post on it, but since I missed getting that to them before their meeting, maybe they don't really care at this point. Instead, I give you, in easy-to-read, bulleted fashion, some of the thoughts that are buzzing around my brain these days:
  • I hope I finally learn how to spell Obama's name if he becomes president. I can't avoid reading it at least twenty times a day, and yet my brain still tries to turn him into some sort of Irish tropical fruit or something, wanting to spell it O'Bama, every single time I write it. What the hell is that all about?
  • Where do people get off calling Obama's (hmm...that time I tried to spell it Obam'a) healthcare plan "socialized medicine?" I don't know. Dear English friends who read my blog, will you please tell me how your employer provides your health insurance for you and how much of your paycheck you contribute towards that? Somehow, I seem to have missed out on the fact that that's what those of you who have socialized medicine do, and you know, that's what Obama is planning. Those of us whose employers pay our health insurance will keep receiving those exact same benefits (he's very calmly explained that to us in three debates now). Maybe it's "socialized medicine" because he wants to -- gasp! --keep the premiums from going up every single year, which they've been doing at the company where I work for years now? Or maybe the healthcare benefits all our politicians enjoy free and that are going to be offered to those who don't have healthcare at affordable prices is some sneaky euphemism for free healthcare for all? And by the way, what's so damn horrible about free healthcare for all anyway?
  • Oh, and let's talk about Joe the Plumber whom we all got to meet in last night's debate. I bet you anything that Joe the Plumber is running around bitching and moaning and complaining about how much money these filthy-rich CEOs make and how he doesn't think we should be paying to bail them out. Yet, somehow, it's absolutely horrible for Obama to want to redistribute wealth in this country and to want to raise taxes on those wealthy CEOs.
  • But enough about the election. These days are hard, because the publishing company I worked for for ten years was sold by our parent company, split off from my current company, and most of my friends from that company are losing their jobs. It's very sad. As of December, the doors to that office will be closed. I'm meeting some of my friends from the good old days for dinner tomorrow night as I drive through Connectict back to Pennsylvania, and as I told Zoë's Mom today, who is among those affected, I think I need to go shopping for a stiff upper lip beforehand.
  • But here is some exciting news for everyone. The third sibling has finally joined the blogosphere (gee, we're regular Brontë's, aren't we?) and is writing about her experience working as an art teacher in prisons in Virginia. Very cool stuff. Check it out here.
  • And that's all she wrote.


raych said...

An art teacher in prisons. *jaw drop*

Anonymous said...

Healthcare.. well, it's sort of a perk of the job, the higher up the ladder you go. So you don't notice paying for it at all, as it's generally part of a package that includes a raised salary - not as raised as if you didn't have it, I guess but most people choose it. I get the impression that companies can fix themselves very nice deals with the health insurance people, given the economies of scale. You remind me to look into exactly what kind of cover I have at college, however!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about G being sold off. Yikes, these are tough times! But thrilled to hear another sibling has entered the blogosphere. I took a peek and will be adding that site to my blogroll. You've got an Internet dynasty brewing in your family. Do your parents read the blogs? Have any of you ever gotten into trouble with other family members because of something you've written? I wish more people in my family would blog--I think it would provide a lot of insight into our family dynamic!

Jonnifer said...

I don't understand this rash assumption in the US that socialized medicine is bad. Here in France we have quality, access and affordability. Not saying it's perfect, mainly because it's expensive and contributing to the deficit, but from a user's point of a view it works very well. Doctors here don't work for the government, btw. They are in private practice and you can select the one you want. Afterwards Social Security reimburses you for some or most of the cost.

Rebecca H. said...

I'd like to hear what you thought of the Darnton book!

Emily Barton said...

Raych, my jaw drops, too.

Litlove, thanks for the explanation and glad I was able to give you a little reminder.

Danny, the Michie family needs to figure out some way to capitalize on this and make a fortune, no? So far, none of us has gotten into trouble (well, unless they're all seething and talking about me behind my back, and I have no idea). I would LOVE it if you could convince your family members to blog.

Jonnifer, sounds great to me. It seems there are some Americans whose reaction to anything they don't understand is fear. And I just don't think they understand what socialized medicine is. I bet if you were to ask someone why they think it's bad, they wouldn't even be able to answer.

Dorr, it's coming. It's coming. (Of course, it might have already been written if I hadn't wasted about an hour taking silly quizzes this evening.)

Anonymous said...

Hello from Canada ~ we pay for our healthcare through our taxes. Paying for health care is a province's responsibility but each province gets transfer payments from Ottawa (federal government) to help cover the costs. This universal health care applies to hospitals and those physicians "in the system". Each time I visit my family doctor, he submits the bill to the province, who pays him. Now, if you receive services at a hospital then it is free. If you receive intravenous at the hospital, for instance, you don't pay but if you were to receive it long-term at home, then the cost is borne by you.

A lot of us buy into health care plans through work. This means that if we are admitted to a hospital, depending on the level of coverage you opt for, you get a private or semi-private room versus a ward. Of course that is baloney - you get whatever is open at that moment! The employer pays at least half of the cost and the other amount is deducted from your paycheque before you get it. I am currently on leave without pay from my employer (the federal government) so I have to pay 100% of the share; for me and my family it is $317 every 3 months. The dental plan is $128 every 3 months. The health care plan is mostly to cover prescriptions and services like a psychologist, etc.

We have high taxes although not as high as some countries. Once your salary hits about $40 K a year the tax rate is close to 40%. Nice, huh?

Susan said...

I'm sorry about Zoe's Mom and all your former coworkers who have lost their jobs. It must be so hard for you to watch them try to find other work so there won't be a gap between pay periods. It's awful to be laid off! I have, several times, and I hated it. you must be feeling some survivor's guilt because you got out in time. and as for Obama, I spent the first six months of this year calling him Osama!! and I have problems remembering his last name!! but I like how he talks, and what he says, and I loathe MCCain passionately at this point - he actually scares me and makes me feel sick when I hear him talk, which is a worse reaction than I get to George Dubya who always makes me fall asleep!

Emily Barton said...

Ms. Page, thank you so much for your detailed explanation of the Canadian system. I'd much rather have my taxes going to pay people's healthcare than going to fight this war in Iraq.

Susan, well, you made me realize something I hadn't thought about: I DO have a bit of survivor's guilt (although none of us in publishing seems to be safe these days, so my turn could easily come). And McCain makes me feel a bit sick to my stomach, too. He especially did so in that last debate. Seems like he's got such a temper to control.