The opinions stated in this column are solely those of the author and not of The Davis County Clipper.
There is a simple theme to this week’s column: things I don’t understand.
#1 The Affordable Care Act. The crisis in U.S. health care was that almost any family (minus Mitt Romney’s) could be financially devastated by a single major illness. The challenge was a $250,000 cancer treatment, not a $5 co-pay at a doctor’s office. Instead of constructing a Catastrophic Medical Bill, a divided Congress gave us an unwieldy and confusing act that provides winners and losers. I agree with the Obama Administration’s lofty goal, but not the result.
#2 Drive-Thru Windows. It’s not uncommon to see a solo motorist burning 15 minutes of gasoline while waiting at a drive-thru window to get a cup of coffee or a breakfast wrap. If they only parked their car and went into the restaurant, they could get their order in two minutes. I especially don’t understand how a person with a gym membership or a weight loss goal can sit in the car instead of walking 20 feet into a coffee shop.
#3 Publicized wait times for hospitals. A new marketing idea proclaims emergency room wait times on billboards. There are two things wrong with this idea. If you are driving down the freeway and suffer a heart attack, are you going to avoid the nearest hospital if the billboard gives you a longer-than-anticipated wait time? And if you are sneezing due to a common cold, you shouldn’t be visiting the hospital E.R. in the first place!
#4 Men assaulting raccoons. A 41-year old Vernal man was charged last week with throwing his girlfriend and her pet raccoon against a wall. In my view, a man assaulting a woman is not a real man; however, a man grabbing a hissing and angry raccoon is simply a very stupid man.
#5 New rules allowing Utah liquor licenses to be sold to the highest bidder. You might applaud a little capitalism being brought to the state’s silly and illogical liquor laws. But the new provision, similar to that of neighboring Idaho’s, can lead to licenses costing $100,000 or more, essentially preventing “mom and pop” locals from being able to sell alcohol.
Let’s say the state runs out of restaurant liquor licenses, so an existing restaurant owner pops up and announces he will sell his for $90,000. An Olive Garden will have no problem ponying up the money Р not so for the Utah family who wants to serve a glass of wine at their small, locally-owned Italian restaurant. How does this promote fairness or control over consumption? This latest idiotic decision is just another reason the State of Utah needs to get out of the liquor racket and let people with business sense do the job.
#6 American’s who don’t save for retirement. A recent poll by the Blackrock investment firm found that 43 percent of all Americans admitted they are not saving for retirement Р at all!
Another study found that the median retirement account balance for working-age families is just $3,000 (and only $12,000 for those nearing retirement). What are these people waiting for? Their fairy godmother?
Those are just a few things I don’t understand. Let me know of the things that puzzle you.