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Beyond Greed

Over the last 25+ years there’s been a growing segment of the American population that is characterized by greed, materialism, and self-centeredness.  That segment is what Ronald Reagan catered to, and it’s the segment that has pretty much dominated the Republican Party since the Reagan days.  Their answer to every problem from terrorism to the economy to the environment is “tax cuts for the rich”, as that’s ultimately all they care about.  Any legislation that means more money for them is fine — regardless of what other ramifications that legislation might have.

I’ve always found these people fairly easy to comprehend, as greed after all is one of the so-called “seven deadly sins”.  In American society, as the overall material wealth of the nation increased, it’s somewhat understandable that individuals want to accumulate as much wealth as they can.  We quite often judge the success of our country by it’s immense wealth, and so why not judge a person’s success by their individual wealth?  And thus somewhere along the line we as a society seemed to adopt the idea that “Greed Is Good”.

But the battle over health care reform has revealed an uglier side of this greed.  There’s now a huge segment of the population that not only wants to accumulate as much wealth as possible, but at the same time they also want to make sure that others don’t have what they have.  It’s no longer enough for them to have more material wealth than others, it’s also important to them that others have as little as possible.  And make no mistake about it, that’s exactly what is at the heart of most of the opposition to health care reform.  People who already have excellent health care and are 100% happy with it simply don’t want others to have what they have, even though it won’t change their health care in the slightest.  It’s not enough that they have good health care, it’s just as important that good health care be denied to others.

Greed is bad enough, but it’s at least understandable.  But taking pleasure at seeing others suffer?  That’s just plain sick.  And unfortunately, that’s a sickness that even their health insurance won’t cover.