Volt’s charge account. Bunion care in New Zealand. Pulling grandma’s plug. End of life costs. Not mean enough. Plus more.
CAN’T FIGURE US OUT
Re: Ben Stein’s We’ve Figured Him Out:
I was a student in the USA some years ago, grew to love your country and have followed the news ever since,
I grieved and raved with you over 9/11.
Now I am puzzled, confused and sometimes downright disgusted at some of the falsehoods that are being published about how health services with government involvement function.
In New Zealand we have public, universal coverage, paid from taxes as well as private insurance. This public service is brilliant at times — such as when I had cancer and was offered treatment completely free within 24 hours of my diagnosis. I chose to wait a week until I had finished a course I was doing — that was fine too.
At times it is annoying for minor ailments — such as if you want a bunion fixed and you have to wait for 6 months, but it will be done, even if not this week. Nobody ever goes untreated. Some people who can afford it have private health insurance (I do) in addition to the public system, so that minor ailments can be attended to where and when you wish and by your doctor of choice.
So, in effect, we have both public and private functioning side by side and there is virtually no confusion or conflict.
Can you please explain exactly why Americans are so violently and maliciously against providing care for those who can’t afford insurance? I have tried hard to understand, but it is completely beyond me.
I have always understood that a mark of a civilised country shows in how we treat the underprivileged.
— Loretta Austin
Red Beach, New Zealand
Re: Eric Peters’ Volt Sticker Shock:
Just a bit of additional information to add to Mr. Peters’ pertinent comments on the Volt. While the price of the vehicle is a serious impediment to individual car buyers, it’s also a serious impediment to making the Volt line profitable. And here I’m taking at face value GM’s estimate of 230 MPG. It’s likely it won’t be half that, and you haven’t factored in the increased electric costs of charging a vehicle that GM will reportedly recommend be charged daily—for eight or so hours. Also keep in mind that GM hopes—hopes—that the Volt will have an initial electric range of 40 miles and a generator charged range—at greatly reduced speed—of some 250 miles. After that, it’s park it and charge it, no exceptions. This means that the Volt will lack sufficient utility to be used as anyone’s sole car. Road trip to Grandma’s? Forget that. Take the Volt on vacation? Only if you tow it with a useful vehicle.
But the biggest problem, outstripping even the cost factor, is basic physics. Batteries don’t work in cold. Cold drains them quickly, and I mean quickly. What this means is that the Volt will be, in much of the United States and virtually all of Canada, useless for most of the year. Even in warmer climates in the Southern U.S., it will be a very expensive paperweight for part of every year. And for this GM is investing hundreds of millions in development costs? Boy it’s a good thing the taxpayers are footing the bill for this. No private company could afford it.
Footing? Say, that might be the answer. Maybe Fred Flintstone had
the right idea all along…
— Mike McDaniel
Mr. Peters offers an effective economic analysis of the cost of ownership of the Volt.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?