Sunday, September 21, 2014

Patients, Physicians, and Pluralism

The theory that even if there is one basic principle many particular and distinct entities exist.


I belong to the school that says.

• America is basically a conservative right of center pluralistic nation that cherishess economic growth more than in political egalitarianism.

• America believes in equality of opportunity but not necessarily in redistribution of wealth to achieve equality of results.

• Diffusion of electronic communication technologies is making top-down autocratic homogenization of population behavior difficult, even obsolete.

• Conservative politics generate economic growth but result in inequality while left-wing politics redistribute wealth to achieve equality but produce economic stagnation.

• Finally, I believe these political philosophies will always swing back and forth in never-ending political and economic cycles with neither side ever convincing the other of the rightness of their respective causes.

At this moment in history, the U.S. and the world are caught up in the causes of pluralism vs. separatism. This dispute is exemplified by the struggle of who should control health care in the United States, the collective government or individual markets, by the Scottish referendum over whether Scotland should be independent or dependent on Britain, and by the Middle Eastern battles over which political entity should govern in that region of the world.

In his essay in this morning’s New York Times, Thomas Friedman backs pluralism over separatism “Three Cheers for Pluralism over Separatism.” Friedman argues everybody’s interests have be served and balanced with “no victor, no vanquished” among major players.

Friedman goes on to say America has always been a pluralistic country and concludes by saying we ought to have the wisdom to pass an immigration reform bill that enriches our pluralism.

Like most hot political issues, integrating the interests of those with different points of view is easier said than done.

As Peter F. Drucker (1909-2005), noted in his prophetic 1969 book, The Age of Discontinuity, in a chapter “The New Pluralism”:

“The private sector does not understand the government’s logic. Each rubs the other raw trying to work together, each resents the attitude of the other and is deeply suspicious of it, and yet each other is dependent on the other…Medical men see individuals. Indeed, none of us would want to be treated by a physician who treats ‘averages.’ But no government can handle anything but large numbers or go by anything but averages.”

But work together we must in a nation where 280 million of our 315 million citizens are dependent in one way or another on government subsidies: 65 million on Medicaid, 50 million on Medicare, 9 million on the VA, 7 million on ObamaCare exchanges, and a whopping 149 million on corporate health care tax credits for employers .

We must do so to preserve a society that is both competitive but cohesive despite our differences

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