James Lileks’ Brother In Law Doesn’t Care

 

I’m here to answer the question for the anecdote Mr. Lileks has brought up several times on the podcast. I may be paraphasing a bit, but, I believe it goes something like this, “I just don’t want to see old women dying in the streets”. The answer, “I would prefer they die in the streets rather than in the overcrowded hallway of some state sponsored medical institution.”

The problem is not that James (Mr. Conservative) doesn’t care, it’s that the brother in law doesn’t want to be bo…

  1. dash

    Now you’ve done it! You’ve inspired me to write a long post about French socialized medicine that will thrill you! shock you! amaze you!

    99.4% pure anecdote, no filler.

    Look for it in the coming days and prepare your long knives.

  2. Glenn the Iconoclast

    IIRC, there was a heat-wave in France a few years back in which thousands of old people died in their apartments while the kids and grandkids were off on holiday.

    Perhaps the brother-in-law would like to address that social failure, although I suppose he would ascribe it to governmental failure.

  3. raycon and lindacon

    Dash… you appear to have absorbed the most important lesson that Tocqueville was teaching in Democracy in America.  That with the lack of government promises and institutions with a claim on the solution to social needs, the people were free and motivated to do the work themselves.

    This will never do.  The socialist Utopia will make personal responsibility redundant.

  4. katievs

    I keep wishing James would bring up this story from 2003, when more than 10,000 elderly French men and women died during an August heatwave.

    Most of the people who succumbed to the heat were elderly and living alone in apartments that typically do not have air conditioning. Critics turned on the French themselves for going on vacation while leaving aged relatives alone.

    “These dramas again shed light on the solitude of many of our aged or handicapped citizens,” Chirac said.

  5. dash

    Ah, the heat wave of 2003. Yes that was a classic. Caused all sorts of fretful national hand wringing for, oh about 2 weeks then brushed aside by the return of Booosh bashing, IIRC.

    That was also the year of never ending  transit strikes which I remember fondly. On several occasions I walked to and from work : Latin Quarter to Neuilly s/ Seine, which is roughly –hold tight while I jump to mappy.fr–18.4 km round trip or nearly 12 miles. Excellent cardio workout. Thank you communist labor unions! I never would have had the guts to do it without you.

  6. Gretchen

    Or as someone put it (maybe right here on Ricochet, I don’t remember), the bigger the state, the smaller the civil society. Or something like that. The more the state worries about your friends and family, the less you have to care, and socialists think this is an improvement.

  7. Foxfier

    The old cartoons had it right:

    “Oh!  That poor character, out in the snow, looking in!   I can’t bear to look at him!”  *closes the drapes*

  8. Chris Campion

    I have a friend who years ago said, along these lines, that “I don’t mind paying taxes, it’s there to take care of people who need help”, or words to that effect.

    Madness.  It’s much like buying forgiveness for something you feel guilty about, but aren’t going to do anything about yourself, directly.  This sentiment makes it easy for Democrats to fundraise, for local school budgets to grow at rates that are multiples of the CPI, and for local, state, and federal pensions to be wildly underfunded yet just as wildly given out to every employee.

    Assuming that the gov’t is going to do the right thing with your money has led us, directly, to 16 trillion in debt and an unfunded entitlement liability ranging from 60 to 100 trillion.  If this doesn’t demonstrate the flat-out stupidity of believing the gov’t exists as a dumping ground for your earned dollars in order to assuage some guilt about being able to put a roof over your head, I don’t know what will.  It’s a ton of reality bricks about to land on a hundred million heads, at least, Real Soon Now.

  9. katievs
    Glenn the Iconoclast: IIRC, there was a heat-wave in France a few years back in which thousands of old people died in their apartments while the kids and grandkids were off on holiday.

    Perhaps the brother-in-law would like to address that social failure, although I suppose he would ascribe it to governmental failure. · 12 hours ago

    I posted without reading. (Bad habit.) Clearly Glenn had beaten me to the punch.

  10. Glenn the Iconoclast

    Hey, Katie,

    Don’t misunderestimate me: I was pleased with your comment, regarding it as support of mine.  Now you’ve ruined the magic.  :-)

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