Thursday, November 03, 2005

Dinner with Zell

Recently we were invited to an awards banquet sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, with former Senator Zell Miller the keynote speaker. John and Susannah went along; John's friend Kiefer Wynn is sitting to John's right. Both young men made a favorable impression when they met the Senator afterwards -- as we always expect they would.

I only had back-of-an-envelope notes of Sen. Miller's speech, and those I didn't expand for a while afterward so I may have forgotten some of the connecting phraseology of what I did catch. The refrain from his closing was a good catch line, though:

"Have we met the demands of freedom, or have we abandoned our responsibilities?"

I'll have to hand it to him, the Senator didn't pull any punches on the idea of reforming medical insurance. In his view, the reform needs to come from our expectations as consumers, not from a D.C.-downward restructuring. The illustration he used was a hypothetical auto policy, where we expected the underwriters to cover the cost of tune-ups, tire rotation, oil changes, in addition to the very occasional accident. A point well taken; it is very easy to look at someone else's "entitlement program" and see a cost center, but we cling tenaciously to our own. Everybody needs to shoulder some personal responsibility -- it's out there.

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