Healthy, Wealthy & Unwise | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Healthy, Wealthy & Unwise 

Also: Ugly truth, peaceful protest

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Healthy, Wealthy & Unwise
When did “dole,” as in public dole, get to be a bad word? Carl Wimmer, candidate for any available congressional seat, was reported saying that if Obamacare takes effect, more than 55 percent of people will be on the government dole. The American Heritage Dictionary defines “dole” as the charitable dispensation of goods, especially money, food or clothing. Oh yeah, it means welfare—government relief. But the health-care debate is about more than welfare; it’s about whether a wealthy nation believes its citizens have a right to basic health care. While the law does expand the number of people who qualify for Medicaid, federal exchanges will ensure expansion of private insurance, according to the Washington Post Fact Checker blog. Doesn’t sound like the “public dole,” does it?

The Ugly Truth

You have to wonder if the Sutherland Institute isn’t trying with all its might to make people mad—or to make them think, anyway. In a recent post, the institute’s president, Paul Mero, had this advice for legislators: “Carve up Salt Lake City and dilute the more liberal parts of Salt Lake County.” So there you have it—the truth. Mero says he “understands that growing urban areas are an enemy to freedom,” because they are overregulated and “consumed with the behaviors of everyone.” In other words, when people live in close proximity to one another, they have to live by rules. He thinks this means that urbanites are “forced to become liberals and socialists,” even urban businesspeople. Mero may have a point about regulation and its tension with freedom, but that shouldn’t give lawmakers the right to disenfranchise those who live by those rules.

Give Peace(ful Protests) a Chance

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Apparently, this is not a philosophy of Sen. Orrin Hatch, who has said that the Occupy Wall Street movement will ultimately erupt into violence. More to the point, President Obama is fanning the flames by calling attention to the frustration of the protesters and saying “the American people will run them (Congress) out of town.” We know that frustration over inequality leads to protest, but there’s ongoing debate as to whether it leads to violence. Maybe it depends on who’s doing the violence. Peaceful demonstrations are just that, but they have also led to violent backlash from authority—whether it’s police or a majority in charge. The question here is whether both sides can act in peace.

Twitter: @KathyBiele

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

A City Weekly contributor since 1992, Biele is the informed voice behind our Hits & Misses and Citizen Revolt columns. When not writing, you can catch her working to empower voters and defend democracy alongside the League of Women Voters.

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