The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Saturday, October 01, 2005

ECONOMICS 101: My mother recently received a discount card from her medical insurance provider entitling her to 20% off all the drugs she purchases using this card. As a bargain you can’t beat that, as I am sure you’ll agree; I wish my health plan offered me such a deal; and for Mom this is an added benefit since she doesn’t take a lot of prescription drugs, just the occasional aspirin or Tylenol when she's really hurting. So she’s happy with the whole idea of getting the 20% off. I mean, who wouldn't be, right?

The thing of it is, however, that she already gets any drugs she needs for free because my father’s health insurance plan still covers her, although my father is now beyond the point of needing health insurance, or insurance of any kind beyond that provided for by a clean conscience, the sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church, and the grace of God. So, as a result of all this, my mother is getting 20% off of nothing. That's right, nothing, as in rien nada niente zip zilch and I ain't got none. I imagine this means that her provider will start sending her money along with the few drugs she actually buys with the card, but it seems to me that I have missed something along the way here. Is it just me, or is giving the customer a discount on something they are not paying for in the first place contradict the basic principles of capitalism?


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