The System


The system: I always believed it was honest. I always believed there was some kind of perfect equilibrium. I believed my government for the most part was honest. I believed history was honest. I believed banks were honest, as were health care and baseball.

I believe Richard Nixon lost the office of the presidency because he was dishonest. Europeans never understood why Americans go crazy over dishonesty. The current world just did not seem real honest to me. There was a 15 words or less story about the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II on this day. The September 11th story, the 8th anniversary, will get a lot more words. Ratings from the 25 through 54 year old audience beat out truly significant history. It was all about the system.

The system: where someone somewhere decides the “Medicare rates” of reimbursement to hospitals and doctors. The Medpac board…made up of multiple stake holders, determining the reimbursement rate formula. There is a lot of cost shifting involved.

I heard a doctor discuss his own practice where under the system he could not take on a lot of older Medicare patient population. Too many, or he would go broke.

It was September. Twelve months after it looked as if the whole system was gonna crash and burn. The foundation called truth sure seemed to have moved.

Edward Gibbon wrote the History of the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire during the years of 1776-1789. In his lifetime he served in Parliament, during the time the British fought a war in the American colonies. The theme of the book is that the Romans gave up political liberty to be a super power. A lot like I saw that the British had done to ruin the British Empire. Along the way, Gibbon wrote, the Romans were corrupting every aspect of their system. Until their people lost confidence in government, seeking only peace and order under a military dictator. Giving up liberty, for peace and prosperity, I heard a college professor profess say. Born in 1737 in the town of Putney, Surrey, the son of Edward and Judith Gibbon who had six siblings: five brothers and one sister, all of whom died in infancy. His grandfather, Edward, had lost all of his assets in the South Sea Bubble stock market collapse (1720), but regained much of his wealth eventually so that Gibbon’s father was able to inherit a substantial estate.

Sam Kashner has written a piece in October’s Vanity Fair about the publication of The Death of a President. In the 40 years since publication of William Mancheser’s account of the Kennedy assassination, “the Kennedy family has allowed the book to go out of print, according to John Manchester,” based upon their original agreement with Harper & Row. The son of he author noted to Kashner that royalties from The Death of a President helped build the Kennedy Library, though there’ is no mention of the book or the author anywhere. “He was written out of their history.”

The system: I always believed it was honest. I always believed there was some kind of perfect equilibrium. I believed my government for the most part was honest. I believed history was honest. I believed banks were honest, as were health care and baseball. INCOMPLETE

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