One of the challenges of working for a small trade publication is that I end up wearing multiple conflicting hats.
I’m supposed to report the news as fairly as I can. But, of course, it’s famous that reporters always have implicit biases. I don’t want to be so partisan or so biased in some other way that my articles are completely predictable, or alienate readers with different views than I have, but I very obviously have points of view.
I like the United States of America.
I’m from Kansas City, Mo., and am bitterly opposed to anyone who thinks that the main part of Kansas City is in Kansas, even though my home is four houses from Kansas.
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I think that insurance, free markets and the traffic right-of-way laws are generally good, but I’m also a little scared of completely trusting any of those things. If anything, maybe I’m more committed to paranoia than faith in insurance, free markets or the traffic right-of-way laws.
Meanwhile, I’m also supposed to write columns and column-like blog entries. As a columnist, I guess I should have a great big ax and make a point of grinding it, but it does seem to me that the most interesting ideas are generally the ones that sit in the intersection between what liberals believe and conservatives believe.
Unless and until one party gets an extremely reliable “filibuster-proof” majority in the Senate, control of the House and control of the White House all at the same time, the United States is probably not going to adopt many of the proposals on the ends of the spectrum. The action is in the middle.
I think one idea that’s in the middle is that governments and big employers have made lavish benefits promises without allowing themselves enough flexibility to deal smoothly with obvious limits on resources, or with possible changes in circumstances.
I personally think that it would be great if the country can promise rich, unlimited, no-hassles Medicare benefits to all Americans ages 55 and over. Set it up so that the health insurance companies get rich, the agents get rich, the TV networks get rich, the doctors and hospitals get rich, everyone gets rich. What could be better than having a country where everyone gets rich because the government makes sure everyone gets wonderful, unlimited health care from age 55 to, one hopes, age 120?