So I was in the States this week and got to enjoy the first few days of the government shutdown. Yikes.
I can't fathom the Tea Party lobby against universal healthcare and government services for the poor.
Last year I was diagnosed with cancer and I am alive today, and NOT in debt, because of the universal free healthcare systems available to me from my two home countries: Canada and New Zealand.
Didn't cost me a dime. I know, dodgy socialists right?
The ongoing fight against Obamacare, the ridiculous obsession with disparaging the important role of government in a society, and the endless quest to try to make Government as small as possible is surely a symptom of dementia.
Well guess what? I actually live in the country you Tea Partiers are striving for.
It's called Cambodia.
Yep - no public healthcare, just a user pays system that only benefits those who can pay. Cancer here is a death sentence for my friends in the slums.
No libraries. Who needs books anyway? We can always buy them if we need them right? Except, again, if you have no money or have spent all your money on healthcare. Another loss for the poor, but no big deal for the rich.
No city parks. No zoos. None of the hundreds of different services we all take for granted from our governments.
The systems that do exist here are underfunded and broken: healthcare, education, courts, policing...
And what you do get, you have to pay for. So my impoverished neighbors supplement teachers' salaries by paying them "extra fees" that are demanded in order to attend school.
Want police, ambulance or fire service help? Cross my palm with silver.
Except it isn't. It's terrible.
Privileged rich folks have some capacity to "look after ourselves". But the free market is never going to make those services affordable to those who need them most.
As a follower of Jesus, I'm committed to HIS mission to bring good news to the poor (Luke 4). This government shutdown and fight against healthcare for the uninsured is the opposite of this. It is Bad News for the poor.
So here's my invitation. If you long for a government that provides virtually no services for its people, you'll be glad to find out it already exists just a couple of plane flights away.
It's called the Kingdom of Cambodia. Come on over.