‘Puter was thinking this morning, as he walked in the pre-dawn darkness, lukewarm rain pelting his rain jacket. ‘Puter realized that less than 100 years ago, he’d likely be dead or permanently disabled.
You see, back injuries were, and still are, absolutely debilitating. And years ago, there was no way to fix the injury, only treat the pain. ‘Puter’s betting that folks with chronic severe back pain didn’t work and were hooked on drugs and/or booze back then. With the advent of MRIs, microsurgery and medical training, ‘Puter had his back injury fixed. No more drugs, lots less pain. ‘Puter felt most fortunate.
‘Puter then realized that even if he’d never had a back injury, his high blood pressure would likely have killed him by now by way of heart attack or stroke, or caused all sorts of other various and sundry maladies such as kidney failure, liver failure, etc. Doctors understood the causative link between high blood pressure and heart attack/organ failure, but had few effective treatments available. Just ask ‘Puter’s grandfather who died at 48 from a massive coronary. Today, ‘Puter takes two generic medicines (HCTZ and lisinopril) that cost him about $250.00 a year. ‘Puter’s blood pressure is now consistently around 105/70, which Dr. J says is too low, but which ‘Puter sort of likes. Again, ‘Puter felt thankful and fortunate.
And these are only the life-threatening or debilitating conditions ‘Puter’s had, to say nothing of his poor eyesight and his ADHD, which is now being controlled thanks to modern medicine.
‘Puter pondered this state of affairs as he continued his clammy morning slog. He realized that behind our medical advances was not so much altruism, but capitalism. That is, even the most altruistic researcher hopes that his discovery will bring him riches. It’s why folks devote substantial portions of their lives to the pursuit of drugs or procedures to treat our conditions. Even if you think doctors and researchers are purely altruistic, they wouldn’t be able to do their research without the backing of investors, primarily drug companies, who are undeniably driven by the profit motive.
In ‘Puter’s estimation, it’s a bargain that’s worked quite nicely. Drug companies and doctors improve our quality of life, and expect to reap the rewards of their discoveries. We’ve benefited from this compact for years.
But now, liberals want to change the bargain. They want drug companies and doctors to work countless hours hunched over patients or lab benches with little hope of realizing the monetary benefits of their skills. You see, liberals (read: technocrats) are convinced that they, and they alone, possess adequate knowledge to determine rates of return that will convince a never-ending supply of our best and brightest to enter a difficult field where their upside is artificially capped by price fixing wonks.
‘Puter knows a fair number of doctors and research scientists, and he can tell you that many of them, while altruistic, would not have put in the years of work required knowing that they had little say about their compensation, no matter what surgical procedure they pioneered, no matter what wonder drug they discovered, no matter what medical device they patented.
Liberals would have us focus only on the sob stories. The ones that always start with a single mother, laid off from her job at a manufacturing plant, and her poor, asthmatic son, who could be helped if only it weren’t for the greedy drug companies insisting on their exorbitant prices! The gall of these bastards! And the gall of you, if you dare cross them! Our liberal betters only want to control the medical system to make it better for you, never mind that their control will effectively destroy any benefit-producing capacity the system has in the first place.
We have forgotten to be thankful for the most basic things. For the sewer workers and plumbers who take the filth from our houses. For the garbagemen who collect and take our refuse away and dispose of it safely. For the drug companies, who have cured, ameliorated and/or prevented near countless afflictions. For the doctors who struggle for years through school at great personal and financial cost, who provide us (for the most part) thoughtful, personal and heartfelt care. Most of all, for the system that incentives this beneficial behavior: American style capitalism.
‘Puter’s certain that our American style of capitalism is, if not the sole cause, at least a primary driver of our societal betterment. Are you willing to gamble away our collective good on the liberals’ speculative notion that their proposed unproven way of running our medical system is better?
With his controlled blood pressure, repaired back, corrected vision and improving ADHD, ‘Puter’s sure as Hell not taking the liberals’ bet.
Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this.
’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies.
The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig.
His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred.
He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently.
Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet.
‘Puter suggests the Czar suck it.