On Words and Policy Solutions

Words are tricky things.

The way you use words, the way you define words, indicates the way you see the world. Or even, how you want to see the world be.

Consider John McCain campaign advisor John Goodman. (No, not the actor.)

Goodman is the president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, and one of the architects behind McCain’s health care proposals. According to Goodman, there’s a solution to the health care crisis in the country, where one in seven Americans lack health coverage.

The solution?

Define it out of existence.

So I have a solution. And it will cost not one thin dime. The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American – even illegal aliens – as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care.

Rather than solve the problem of the uninsured, Goodman’s solution is to strike the word from the vocabulary.

That’s positively Orwellian.

And it’s no sort of solution.

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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