Healthcare

Being a dual citizen, I get a lot of questions about Canadian healthcare. People in America tend to think that it is a fantastically progressive country and that the US should probably adopt something similar to the Canadian system. However, many European countries, like the UK, are seeing economic collapse due to programs that are comparable to Canadian universal healthcare.

If you think of it like Social Security, you might be able to imagine that as the population grows, the incentive to work hard drops because of free programs and more and more people begin to depend on welfare systems as fewer and fewer people are paying into them. This leads to a massive deficit and eventually, if unchecked, bankruptcy.

I love free stuff as much as the next guy, especially free markets. However, free programs, such as Canada’s healthcare, tends to disrupt free markets. Nobody can compete with free. I think this idea is best explained through a real-life scenario that was brought to my attention by Magatte Wade: Tom’s shoes. Tom’s shoes whole marketing scheme is that you buy a pair of shoes and then they send a pair to a kid in Africa. It seems charitable and straightforward, but in reality, it is disruptive and has put a lot of African entrepreneurs out of business. Shoemakers in Africa cannot compete with Tom’s shoes coming in and handing out free shoes. It’s the same concept, apply it to healthcare in Canada, or anywhere else for that matter

Socialist programs akin to Canada’s healthcare system cause deficits and disrupt free markets, which, if that wasn’t bad enough, is not all that they do. My uncle went blind in December of 2015. His sight was gone overnight, and no one had any clue as to what had caused his sudden loss of vision. When they took him to the hospital, med staff took two days to diagnose him with MS and accidentally gave him 10x the dose of steroids he needed. The steroids suppressed his immune system too much, and he ended up permanently blind. The hospital took two days to diagnose him, messed up his prescription, and, almost three years later, have still refused to take responsibility for his disability. Canadian policies make it practically impossible to sue the doctor, so my uncle will never receive any reparations and will be disabled for the rest of his life.

Handouts cause laziness. Now that healthcare is government funded, doctors have very minimal incentive to do their job well. In some ways, I can’t blame them. Being a Canadian doctor used to be a great job with co-pays and insurance money coming from client coverage, but now it’s practically charity. These people will never pay off ten years of medical school bills, and that will leave anyone a little sour. But, when you’re dealing with peoples lives, it’s unethical to be so casual about your job. So we find, yet again, another problem with this seemingly utopian socialist policy.

Citizens of the U.S. don’t see this though. Many leftists will take what Canada is doing at face value and say “look, the government is supporting it’s citizens, as it is supposed to.” They don’t hear the stories about fathers and uncles who go blind because of malpractice, of girls who have to have their ankles rebroken because it took them over a week to see a specialist, of young children who wait months to see their GP, just for their parents to receive a notice of cancelation the day before the appointment. It’s heartbreaking, and it’s causing an epidemic of chronically injured and ill Canadians. However, the Canadian government would receive nothing good from sharing these stories, so those outside of the country only hear what the government wants them to hear.

During my four years of high school, I was deeply disturbed by the amount of influence the left has on what is taught to children and teenagers. Most of my history textbooks made my life out to be inherently apologetic and praised the socialist systems of the past. I argued endlessly with teachers against their communist ways of thinking in an effort to maintain my stance that a free market, the freedom of competition and the right to abdicate, was the best way for a society to flourish. I was sickened by the public education systems willingness to promote such a toxic and dependent government system that only ever ended in the expansion of administrations. I saw it as yet another way that the school system was instructing students to hand over their independence in the name of what is right and just.

Socialism doesn’t work. It never has, it never will, and it frustrates me to watch people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez preach a destructive doctrine. If America becomes more socialist, if it adopts the Canadian system, we will see the downfall of the free market. We will see laissez-faire become an idea of the past and the consent of the governed will be lost as citizens depend on the government to survive. Call me radical, but I have always seen socialism and welfare as a fast track for dependency. You want a fast track to a dystopia where we can’t dissolve the government? Implement socialism.

Eloragh

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The Bleeding Edge

My recent introduction to Rogers Innovation Bell Curve was an interesting one. I spent a long time evaluating where I may fall on the graph and concluded that I was most likely crossing the “chasm” between “early majority” and “early adopters. That chasm is the most difficult to overcome, as it is full of shocking new ideas and concepts that would frighten most of the rest of the curve.

That 2.5% in purple labeled as “innovators” is also referred to as “the bleeding edge.” Those are the people who propose things that 97.5% of the rest of the world think is ridiculous. They are the people who believe in ideas like competitive governance and solutions to world problems that don’t involve political action or intervention. There is a lot of fear around the bleeding edge and being involved in it.

I desperately want to be on the bleeding edge. I have always lived a safe and reliable life, so the bleeding edge is exciting to me. It’s full of risk and adventure and potential rewards beyond the ends of my imagination. That particular demographic of society is teeming with people who want to change the world and alter how people think the world should be changed.

There are many things I want to do that would put me very close to the bleeding edge. Every day, I inch closer to this cliff of ideas. Who knows where I would end up if I jumped? Is the risk better than the anticipation of not knowing? That’s always the question we are posed with – if we don’t try, we will never know what may have come of it.

I remember when I was 15 and fell in love with ballet. Every single person in my life, including those closest to me, encouraged me to pursue it without the hopes of a future career. Most people were kind about it, saying this such as “you should enjoy it and embrace your love for it, but understand that your physiology and late start would never allow you to get anywhere with it professionally.” Yet, here I am, at a four-week ballet intensive, in a level with people who have trained for 10+ years, after I have only trained for 2.

That fear of being told that I couldn’t turn what I loved into a sustainable way of life was what gave me the energy to push myself. I come home sore, with aching feet and new blisters every day, but I get satisfaction from knowing that they are products of hard work and will only make me stronger. If I had listened, if I had only ever seen ballet as a hobby, I would never have known what I was capable of. I have fallen many times, but those failures pale in comparison to the joy this passion has brought me. In some ways, I was on the bleeding edge of ballet. I shoved my way into an art form that wanted to spit me out the second I set foot in a studio. I refused to be told what I could and could not do.

In some ways, I think that experience is one reason why I am so drawn to the bleeding edge. I love proving people wrong, especially when I gain a lot from doing so. It’s that combination of satisfaction and achievement that motivates me. I love being told I can’t do something, only to turn around and do it better than everyone else.

So I say don’t fear the bleeding edge. Embrace the possibility that it offers. Yes, people will think you’re crazy when you proposed your wild, innovation ideas, but their words will become their own humiliation when you prove them wrong. The mere fact that you exist at the time you do is so unlikely, why not stand at the edge of the cliff? You will only have one chance to do so.

Eloragh

French Variation

Around 11:30am EST, I drove onto the island of Montreal, QC with my father. I’ll be living here until July 25th to participate in a ballet intensive. I came a few days early to set up a bank account, get my McGill student ID (yes, my picture did turn out awful), and get my social insurance number for when I move up here permanently in August.

We’re staying in a VRBO until I can move to my long-ish term apartment, so we went down to the Marche Jean-Talon to get some groceries. Montreal summers can be brutal, but we were lucky enough to arrive on a mild, breezy day. As we walked down the streets next to the market, I thought about the parallels between Quebec and Senegal, another French-speaking place I visited recently. I also noted how French colonization had influenced both areas differently.

For reference, Senegal was a French colony until 1960 when it gained independence. In places such as Thies and Saint-Louis, the architecture and culture mimic French style very clearly. Much like Montreal, becoming independent didn’t mean losing the French lifestyle or development, it just meant political and economic freedom. The difference lies in how each country has changed since becoming its own nation.

Canada has undoubtedly had a much longer time (93 years longer) to expand its economy and form its political system than Senegal has. Canada also has a much more diverse economy, with lumber, fishing, and oil being just a few of its many resources. Senegal really only has its fishing industry and phosphate, a mineral that many westerners travel to Africa to mine and sell. Canada has little regulation and restriction on trade and business relative to Senegal, which has made it very difficult to export/import and nearly impossible for an average citizen to become an entrepreneur.

There are certainly more aspects that make up the difference between these countries. Just their geography alone has a great influence on the relative wealth of each former French colony. The fact that Canada is technically still within the British common-wealth probably helps as well.

I’m no expert on either country, but my thoughts often wander to these ideas when in a French-speaking country/province. I think my history classes definitely neglected the scope of influence that French colonization had on the world. The education I received focused mainly on England and, while the English obviously had a giant impact through exploration and expansion, other countries such as Spain, France, and Portugal also established themselves as countries of expedition and growth during the same time.

My blogs usually come down to this idea, and maybe I’m nitpicking here, but this is yet another flaw I see in traditional education. There are never enough school days to develop a thorough understanding of any period of history. In homeschooling/unschooling environments, students have the freedom and time to learn as much about anything they want without sacrificing the exciting details for the big ideas.

But that’s just my opinion.

Eloragh

 

 

Registration

I’m currently in the process of registering for classes at my university. It sucks.

I’m a freshman, so I have no priority, and I’m okay with that. I spent the last four years working my way up the academic ladder and acquiring as much priority as possible. I have become accustomed to being at the top of the food chain, but I haven’t forgotten what it’s like to sit at the bottom. I remember having an awful freshman schedule in high school, I’m sure it won’t be much different in college.

That something I hate about traditional education. The idea that I have to wait two to three years to just be able to do what I want to do and learn what I want to learn is ridiculous. I could teach myself everything a professor could teach me. Would it take more time? Probably, but I would have the power to become educated on whatever I want at any time.

It frustrates me how inefficient the system is. I go through my university’s Facebook group and look at how frustrated the students are. We are expressing a consensus that this procedure is flawed, yet they have claimed that it is the best they can do. It reminds me a lot of the concept of democracy, they are both the best worst system out there. I refuse to accept either of these ideas, as I feel they are taking “good enough” which isn’t good enough, not for me.

For now, I’m hoping to take a first-year seminar. I only have one shot to register for a seminar class, so I’m going to get one in. I hope McGill might take a look at their registration system in the future and address the flaws instead of shying away from them.

Eloragh