Nothing is Free, Including National Health Care

Didn’t you hate when you’d ask for something and your parents would tell you, “money doesn’t grow on trees”?  I’m betting as parents yourself, you’ve used that line any number of times with your own kids.  My daughters will also tell you one of my favorite mantras is, “nothing in life is really free”.

Don’t get me wrong, I love getting free things.  Who doesn’t?  Even Oprah Winfrey (who has a bezillion dollars) loves to get things for free.  But what I’ve tried to teach my kids is somebody has to pay for everything and in reality, the bottom line is, the person who thinks they’re getting something for free is usually the one paying for it.

Punch coupon

I have to admit, I have not (and don’t plan to) read all the lengthy (and undoubtedly legal jargon-filled) proposals for a national health care system (before I finish this post anyway).  At the very least it would give me a headache which would then increase my own health care costs.  Tylenol for the headache, a visit to the optometrist for eye strain, maybe a trip to a chiropractor for an adjustment from the neck strain of pouring over said proposals.  Surely you get the picture.

Instead, lets stick to something simpler, that even my kids can understand.  FREE PIZZA!  Nothing we love better than going to Papa Johns or Punch Pizza and not having to pay any money for that piping hot pie with pepperoni (for the kids) or goat cheese and arugula (for me).  Trust me, if a coupon comes my way, I WILL use it.  But my girls will tell you just because the garlic dipping or wood burning delight didn’t require we shell out any cash, someone paid for it.  When was the last time food suppliers were giving out ingredients for free?  I doubt the employees volunteered to make our dinner for free.  Our “free” supper was part of the marketing budget, which is ultimately figured into the price of the pizzas we do shell actual dollars out for, which means in reality, WE paid for our “free” pizza. Now how to get this back to health care? Continue reading

You’ve Got Texts?

Nope, just not the same.

As I watched the Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan romantic comedy with my two daughters last night, my 16 year-old lamented the loss of the good old days. I’m sure you’re thinking, “I remember that movie, it wasn’t that long ago”, but the longer I watched, the more I agreed with my daughter.  Oh to go back to a time when cell phones were only for people who were trying to look important and e-mail was still a phenomenon.   

Youve_Got_Mail

My oldest would’ve been five, her sister three, when this particular chick flick made its debut in 1998. I didn’t even get a “home” computer till ’99. Just like the movie, it had a dial up modem and my girls gleefully remembered the sound and the progression of the AOL characters on the screen as the computer was in it’s various stages of connecting.

aol_logo

You may recall the premise of the movie was based on the big bad conglomerate bookstore (Barnes & Noble?) running out the mom and pop shop by coming in with their discounts and fancy cafe coffee shop. Not only had the concept of wi-fi not yet been invented (a staple of all those bookstore cafes these days), cellular phones (which were hideously big and clunky) were anything but mobile (there wasn’t even one used in the movie).

The only way Joe and Catherine could communicate was via the internet when they were (gasp) at home! Picture e-mails written like real letters, “Dear Shopgirl…” (certainly longer than 140 characters) and instant messaging before it was taken over by teenagers (and their secret abbreviated language). Continue reading