Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bye Bye, Bubby

My daughter's best friend is her cousin. I used to take them to the park when they were toddlers and people would ask me if they were twins. Very early on, I called him "Buddy," and the kids started calling one another "Bubby," which now, at 12, they still do. I've taken him on many or most of our family vacations.

But things have gotten a little tough for his little family. Now they're going to join my wife's brother in Canada. It breaks my heart to see these kids separated, but I understand why they're leaving. Bubby's family won't have to worry about doctor bills anymore. He'll go to summer camp for free, just like my niece. Mom won't have to decide between child care or a job because child care costs next to nothing. And if she gets a house, she won't need a second mortgage to send Bubby to college.

There are issues, of course. A friend of ours had trouble getting in to see a specialist for a non-urgent matter. To remedy the situation, he had to pay seventy-five bucks out of pocket, bringing his family medical expenses to a grand total of seventy-five bucks in fiscal year 2008. With relatively excellent insurance, I've beat that handily every one of the last 24 years.

I hope Obama isn't just blowing smoke when he talks about improving medical coverage for Americans. Reasonable people seem to doubt him. Still, he's the only chance we now have. Certainly his plan sounds better than that of John McCain, who appears seriously intent on making things worse.

I don't really want to bring my family over to join Bubby's in Canada. But if America keeps moving the way it is, I see a trip north in my future. I only hope the arrogant incompetent amoral opportunists who run our country don't manage to lower the dollar's value any more than they already have.

And I really hope that we get a leader whose vision includes making life better for working people. I'm too old to be so naive, I guess, but I just can't help myself.
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