Ideology vs. reality

| Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

Richard J. Krauland's letter “10 year-end truths” about things he believes to be true had as its “No. 1”: “We cannot depend on government institutions to take care of us. The Fed, ObamaCare, Congress, etc., are all bureaucratic by nature and have no hope of successfully dealing with the mercurial complexities of everyday life.” And his “No. 5” was: “Corporations are good things. They're how business people organize themselves to make all those things.”

These imply bureaucracies are always bad and are a major part of “government institutions” but not of corporations. The truth is very different. For example, Medicare's administrative costs are about 2 percent, while those of private insurance are estimated to be about 17 percent! If government bureaucracy is bad, corporate bureaucracy must really be terrible.

The fact is that there are some things governments do best and other things private business does best. In spite of tea-party “Keep government out of my Medicare” banners, our government operates Medicare very efficiently.

The corporate news media, including Fox and CBS, told us the Affordable Care Act website put personal information at risk. This was based on a software problem that was fixed before it went public. Meanwhile, Target's mistakes put credit-card information at risk for up to 40 million customers! Yet the big news was about a problem that didn't exist because there is a basic presumption, which Krauland is supporting, that government is almost always bad and corporate America is almost always good.

When objective reality is pushed aside by ideology like this, we all lose.

Robert J. Reiland


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