Specifics versus principles

As I watch the political and ideological arguments swirling around us, I really do try to understand why people argue past each other, even when I am one of those arguing. Lack of knowledge of logical fallacies is one reason. Anger is another. But in the middle of the night (I seem to do my best thinking when I’m not here!) I awoke with another. Often one person is arguing from specifics and the other is arguing from general principles.
The example that came to mind was health insurance.
The *principle* is – why should we as individuals have to buy into such a system? Why should we be compelled to have health insurance for the sake of society in general? People should stand on their own feet and not rely on the government all the time. I agree with that principle.
But the *specific* is that Bob Friedman, after my recent hospital stay, said he hoped I had health insurance beyond Medicare, as a big enough hospital bill could destroy me.
Well, I don’t. I resent the cost of insurance, and I think as a nation we are over-insured. When I was an employer, I was always staggered at the cost to the company of paying to provide health insurance for our employees (including ourselves). But, it’s true what Bob pointed out. After a long lifetime of frugal living and productive work, I have savings and investments that should be sufficient, with the help of Social Security, to see me out. But one illness, or a series of illnesses, or some sufficiently great medical emergency could bankrupt me.
It doesn’t even make sense economically, because as soon as I was bankrupt, presumably I would be a charge on the taxpayers as a welfare client.
So there you are, and you can’t resolve the conflict by logic, nor even by insulting all the people on the other side of the issue. If you could, we could resolve all our political issues in battle by facebook, and eliminate the need for insulting each other in election campaigns.

2 thoughts on “Specifics versus principles

  1. So are you going to go buy health insurance? The reason I have not is that nearly 100% of my encounters with allopathic medicine have caused more harm than good. I realize that is an individual result, but I can’t see paying into a system that harms me more often than not.
    As for politics, I recently decided to vote for the person instead of the ideology. Because if the person has no integrity the ideology does not matter. If the person has integrity at least I’ll get what I’m voting for.

    1. I have nearly decided to get some supplementary insurance, though i haven’t done anything about it. I don’t like the allopathic model either but i have been dancing round with it all my life, beginning age 2 when i contracted asthma. It doesn’t seem responsible to not get it, little though i like the idea.
      Politically i am committed to Bernie Sanders. If i did not back Sanders, who in the world would i ever expect to find with equal intelligence and integrity? But beyond him, i see no movement, no party, and no ideology, i can identify with. As usual. I may vote Democratic, holding my nose, merely as a show of disgust with the Repubicans, but I don’t much like the idea.

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