Every once in a while, I get asked why I decided to attend law school while balancing family and a full-time job. My answer is the same nearly every time: financial security for my family.
Apparently, there’s money in lawyerin’. And that money is the reason why I stay up until 3:00 a.m. more often than not, and why by next May I’ll have incurred a staggering $150,000 in debt and still be able to sleep for a few hours each night. I know that the path upon which I’ve been traveling will likely enable my child to go to a good school, will allow for my wife to be relatively free of worry, and facilitate any possible political career I might be pondering a few years down the line.
There’s also money in health care. As the absolutely phenomenal video showed, it’s that money which fosters the development of the best pharmaceuticals and best technology, and attracts the best doctors in the world.
Profits are evil, the left tells us. But they’re wrong. Heck, even if you look at it from a perspective grounded in the left’s priorities, profit should be celebrated rather than vilified. Profit is what allows us to drive vehicles which pollute less and less with each passing model year. Profit is what has facilitated the development of clean methods of oil extraction. Profit is what will eventually drive the so-called “green” economy. Profit gives us the latest Ani DiFranco album, and has allowed Phish to tour again.
The reality is, profit drives innovation, growth, prosperity and security. But our friends on the other side of the ideological spectrum don’t want to hear it. The drug companies are greedy. And the insurance companies are just plain evil.
Not that I want fact to stand in the way of typical liberal emotion, but it should be noted that the health insurance industry actually only posted a 2.2 percent profit margin last year, placing it a whopping 35th on the Fortune 500 list of profitable industries for 2008. Even the most profitable of insurers, HealthSpring, posted a smaller profit margin at 5.4 percent than the Tupperware industry. Think about that as you pack away your leftover stuffing this week.
While the long-awaited sequel to Wall Street may fall flat thanks to a modern Oliver Stone treatment, the takeaway motto from Michael Douglas’s Gordon Gekko in the first incarnation is as true now as it has ever been: Greed is good.
Greed, *at least in the nature of welcoming profit, will expand business. It will create jobs. It will facilitate the development of the latest cancer drug. Greed, profit, money — it’s all good, folks, and that’s why true health care reform can only occur when we harness, rather than stifle, the power of the natural force that is the free market.