The parable of the tightarse and the public health care system.

1. And Jesus spoke unto them saying: “Here, you’ll like this one.” 2. And the disciples gathered and Jesus told them: “There was a wedding in the small town of Theus , for the daughter of an important man. 3 And he had invited both rich and poor, to show that he had the common touch. 4 As the party went on, a very rich merchant was desperate for the khazi and made his way to the stairs. 5. But the stairs were blocked by a poor man who had collapsed and was in need of medical attention. 6. ‘Get out of the way, I’m touching cloth here’ said the merchant, for his need was great. 7. But the poor man could not move and asked the merchant if he would pay a doctor to help him. 8. ‘But why should I pay for your healthcare?’ said the merchant.  9. ‘You and your rich friends, the wealthiest one per cent of the town could put aside enough money to pay for healthcare for everyone who lives here,’ replied the poor man, ‘I mean, just doing the maths on the fly, the net wealth of Theus is estimated at 54 trillion shekels and you’ve got about 40 per cent of it. A good public healthcare scheme has been estimated to cost about 1-2 trillion shekels in real terms over ten years, or maybe 200 billion shekels a year. You could easily set up an investment that would yield that annual sum. Everyone would have healthcare, taxes would go down and you lot would barely feel the loss.’ 10. The merchant was puzzled by this. ‘Yes, but then we’d have less money.’ He said. 11. ‘But you would still be unimaginably wealthy, with more money than you know what to do with and no way to spend it in a lifetime,’ said the poor man. ‘If you claim to love Theus so much, shouldn’t you be willing to do something to make it a better place?’  12. ‘No, sorry, I’m just not getting you,’ said the merchant, climbing over the poor man and continuing on his way. 13. ‘I hope there’s no paper in there!’ cursed the poor man but the merchant did not hear him, such was his hurry.” 14 When Jesus finished the story, the disciples looked a little nonplussed. “But Lord,” they said, after a while, “what is the point of this story? Shouldn’t the rich man have helped the poor man? Or at least suffered some terrible curse?” 15. “This story shows us that the world is an unfair place and that it is difficult for the poor to influence the rich.” Said Jesus. “That’s a valuable lesson.” 16. And the disciples said, “but God will restore justice in the end, though, of course?” 17. “Er, yes… God… right,” said Jesus, somewhat shiftily. 18. And one of the disciples said, “ Hmm… it’s not one of your best parables, is it, Lord? I think we should go with the one about the prodigal son on Sunday.” 19. And Jesus said: “Good point. Now, doesn’t Mrs Lazarus live round here somewhere? I’ve got a brilliant idea for a practical joke.”

3 thoughts on “The parable of the tightarse and the public health care system.

  1. I had basically this exact conversation with some really really rich American relatives about ObamaCare in 2008. They approved of the principle of everyone getting care according to need, but, see, it would cost them MONEY. This conversation happened in an honest-to-God country club. The mind boggles.

  2. “To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association—the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”
    Thomas Jefferson

    with love from the states

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