few years ago, I was introduced to a significant difference between
communities… specifically the comforts I had grown up with and
happened to be accustomed to seeing offered.
all honesty, the introduction came roughly twenty years ago, after
one of the first moves my wife and I made together. The bottom
line being… we had to arrange for a trash service.
ton of you reading this are a bit confused right now. Trash service?
Really? That’s my big reveal. And… well… yeah…)
actually believe that you are one-hundred-percent correct if you
find yourself wondering what possible lessons exist from home
waste management issues. This being especially true if you happen
to have nothing but experience with town dump permits and fees,
or the hiring of residential trash services for your needs. It
is, so to speak, the normal way things are.
here is… Tuesday was trash day when I was a kid. City provided
the service. And, the city still does manage trash pickup in that
area today. I never—well, more accurately, I believe we are discussing
my parents since they would be the homeowners of record, but you
get the idea—we never had to call a company, sign up with them,
and send off a check every month or quarterly or whatever in order
to have a truck show up on Tuesdays. That was my norm growing
it comes to the comforts of home, I’ve come to learn that the
concept can be applied to many things. When I first arrived on
a college campus, it also happened to be my first time living
in an area where there was a deposit and return policy for plastic
bottles. It was my first apartment after college that introduced
me to heading to town hall to get a dump sticker for the windshield
of my car. It was the first home with my wife that involved not
only a dump sticker but also arranging curbside waste removal.
And, for the record, let’s just mention how it was a real surprise
when we first encountered well pumps providing the water for our
house. Heck, I can tell you all about many pros and cons of heating
by oil, propane or electricity. Comforts indeed. Standard comforts.
And yet differences all over the place.
point is, even if you are only living a few hundred feet apart,
there can be significant differences that create scenarios where
comparisons are not even remotely apple-to-apple situations. Extend
the idea to different states and the possibilities increase. Go
beyond national borders and we may not even be looking at apples-to-oranges
being a fair summary of what’s at hand.
Back to trash removal. Differences between communities and the
offerings that change when you move from one place to another.
It’s a small, isolated concept that allows us to approach a larger
one. Makes a bit more sense, I hope. Because that’s the stepping
off point for this essay.
we move along… just for a moment… bit of a summary, with slightly
new perspective tossed in.
say you and I live in different cities, and maybe different states.
We have homes that are fairly comparable. Rough square footage
match, with the same idea for the amount of land. If we compare
bedrooms and bathrooms and even the shed out back… same. Your
property taxes are higher than mine. Is that unfair?
there’s also a chance that I’m paying for trash service and you
have it included in some way with your property taxes. And that
might be just the start of it. Fire districts is one thought,
with other services and fees and charges possible. In the end,
we could be paying pretty close to exactly the same once everything
is broken down and matched up. It’s just that you see it as one
amount on one bill, where I’m addressing it as several items from
trick is, a ton of people love talking about things without recognizing
those concepts of bundling of charges as opposed to independent
billing from multiple places.
it? Cool. Moving on…)
meander… tentatively, carefully, slowly… into the glorious arena
of universal healthcare.
you want to investigate the subject, especially by digging deep
in to material from other countries, there is plenty to love and
hate about the subject. The problem is… at least in my experience…
few people want to dig deep with their research. More people want
deep digging, let’s consider the hate it side of the coin… you
begin to find out things such as not having choices when it comes
to doctors, hospitals and treatments. Deep digging… you begin
to learn about the baseline universal healthcare paying for baseline
services, with additional costs coming along for what we might
refer to as fullcare. (To create a phrase.)
said tentatively, carefully, slowly, so I’m stopping here. Simple
idea being, layers folks. If you want to be happy with it or frustrated
by it, there is plenty to draw upon. More importantly than anything
though, is if you want to critique others… or, more to the point,
tear them apart… you should have a bit more than surface details.
It’s not just whether or not you have medical benefits. What do
those benefits cover? You should know about bundling as opposed
to itemizing, if you follow the idea, and whether or not you are
media is an incredible source of such craziness, but it’s not
the only source. I remember a co-worker complaining about a certain
issue about twenty years ago. At first, having a brief conversation
in the cafeteria during lunch one day, I thought a few of us had
covered with her that there was a chance that what she was championing
might backfire depending on the fine print.
this idea, let’s shift back to medical bills for a moment. Someone
mentions something about guaranteeing coverage for certain conditions,
and you think that sounds awesome. It always had been covered
by your current medical provider, but the possibility that it
might not be had been a concern of yours. In changing the system
though, suddenly office visit co-pays and annual out-of-pocket
deductibles were also adjusted. So, yes, the phrasing said your
annual procedure would be covered… but between office visits and
that deductible you suddenly found yourself with bills arriving
for $1,000 or more to have the procedure that had never arrived
previously. Back to the office…)
that lunch, I stepped back and watched as that co-worker erupted
for years over how much the situation was costing her. She shifted
political parties. Went from praise to all out name-calling of
presidents and senators and governors and so on. And it seemed
like each time she shifted to a candidate, that candidate would
get elected on promises of containing the rising charges and then
her bills would go… up. The bills went up even higher, which ticked
her off into a new round of screaming.
don’t want to make light of her frustrations. Actually, when you
go over the full story, I can completely appreciate her anger.
Still, when you broke down her argument… when you really listened
to her… she wasn’t hitting the real issues. Instead, it sounded
a lot like (here we go, my words in a comical way):
used to pay $3,500 in property taxes. Now I pay $3,700 because
they increased it. It’s outrageous that they are charging more.
What? Yes, I did have to pay $240 per year for trash removal.
Did you know the city does that now and I don’t get a bill?
Anyway, how do they get off charging me $200 more each year?”
yet, I see it all the time. Posts on social media where people
are telling me taxes are going up to support new services or fees
will be charged to pay for additional operations. News reports
where a story hammers a particular position, only to see a major
company with a really big interest in how that situation plays
out that also manages to line up nicely with what the report stated
advertising in the next commercial break.
tell me I need to wake up folks. Please don’t tell me that when
you’re wearing blinders as you say it. If you’re going to accuse
me of being an idiot, you should really make certain your information
isn’t coming from your behind.