Hughesair (Inflection Point)

Retired physician and air taxi operator, science writer and part time assistant professor, these editorials cover a wide range of topics. Mostly non political, mostly true, I write more from experience than from research and more from science than convention. Subjects cover medicine, Alaska aviation, economics, technology and an occasional book review. The Floatplane book is out there. I am currently working on Hippocrates a History of Medicine and Globalism. Enjoy!

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Location: Homer, Alaska, United States

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Have we as a nation lost all sense of equality? What happened to the spirit of '76? There seems little or no awareness of the destructive consequences of 90% of the wealth concentrated in the hands of 1% of the population. We have grown a pseudo aristocracy based on wealth and a disregard for the common man. Corporations pride themselves with their human resource departments, HR, but have little regard for the consumer. The same can be said of congress. With 45 years of cold war, have we become more like our enemy and they more like us? We now pride ourselves with our war making machine, but we tend to loose the wars that we choose. The economy continues to suffer. While other countries experience double digit growth, we struggle for a mere 2%. The economy cannot grow with 90% of the wealth sequestered in a plutocracy, so where is the equality?

Absurdly, the power elite argue that privatization, small government and deregulation will grow the economy. Lets look at what that has gotten us. Higher education is now privatized. Without state support the tuition is out of sight. Only the wealthy can afford college. Student loans now average in the hundreds of thousands made unforgivable by bankruptcy and non-deductible when paid back. This is an absurd financial trap for most college graduates. Furthermore, it represents a abandonment of the public duty to educate our youth. We have shifted the burden of education to our youth without their legal consent in that they start their student loans before the age of consent. Parents already financially strapped bow their heads and are glad to escape the burden, so where is the equality?

We have unemployed youth on the streets with no hope of legal employment but no opportunity to continue in school. Instead of requiring youth to remain in school until the age of 16, we might better require school until the age of 21! The world has passed us by in education. We now have massive numbers of uneducated unemployable youth due to the impossible cost of college education. In 1947, my university tuition in Kansas was $47.00. In California college tuition was free. What happened? I would call it a legislative soft shoe shuffle. Legislators secure greater revenue for the general fund by eliminating education as a cost to the general fund shifting the unseen tax to the student's family. We are now doing the same thing with health care, so where is the equality?

Education is just one example of a loss of distinction between free enterprise that is marvelously efficient and vital public infrastructure that needs to be shared across the board. For example we share, more or less equally, the police, the judiciary, the fire department, national defense and local governance. Never mind the absurd politics wherein money from lobbyists has more influence than voters, so where is the equality?

Is health care  a vital public infrastructure? Disease is not a commodity, and patient care is not a free market! We did well when the profession adhered to the Hippocratic method and was in control of its members. With one-on-one, caring physicians charged patients by their ability to pay. Herman Boerhaave at Lyden in Holland 1693 said, "The poor are my best patients because God pays for them." There is no going back, but we need to recognize that healthcare for our population is as vital as Human Resources is to our giant corporations, so where is the equality?

Voltaire said, "Those who believe in absurdities will readily commit atrocities," and we are armed to the teeth. 


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