Sunday, December 22, 2013
1. pleasure derived by someone from another person's misfortune.
It's an awful sentiment this schadenfreude, but it's part of mankind's fallen nature. I mean who doesn't love a little slapstick or vaudevillian humor? Even my children laugh at their father when I step on the business end of a rake and the handle comes up to whack me in the face. Imagine how the NYC creative class felt when they received their health insurance cancellation notices recently. After all they were shocked to find out that what was good for thee was not good for we. Me, I smiled. Schadenfreude.
In his column on PJMedia's Unexamined Premises site Michael Walsh describes a classic schadenfreude moment. We all know that the artists, actors and cultural elites in NYC are all big supporters of liberal causes and of course their messiah Barack Obama, and by all means the Affordable Care Act. They were all happy with the health insurance coverage they obtained through their professional associations at far better rates than the individual insurance market. Imagine the fear and rage they experienced when they opened the cancellation notices. You see their plans didn't meet Obamacare criteria and had to be discontinued. The schadenfreude comes from the pitiless attitude you know they had when they heard stories of the rubes in flyover country losing their insurance by the millions. Boom!
Eventually leftism eats it's own. Every time it happens throughout history the presumably untouchable are shocked. When they find out that their agenda boomerangs on them it's a shock that those in the ivory tower see them as part of the unwashed masses too.
By and large the average politically liberal voter has solid personal principles and just wants to do good. A few are malevolent, but most of them just don't think things all the way through. The unintended consequences of principled "policies" are often far worse than any good that comes of them. They refuse to factor in human nature. I mean why would young people forgo buying affordable health care instead of paying a fine? Why would rich people who can easily afford higher taxes move business or expensive purchases overseas rather than pay a little more in taxes? It's human nature. They do it themselves after doing gyro-dance of rationalization.
Put the shoe on the other foot. Why would these cultural elites not be happy to pay higher premiums if it meant that the insurance pool for the poor and less advantaged was increased? Because they don't want to or can't actually afford higher premiums.
Personally, I'm OK for another year having an employer sponsored health plan. My out of pocket costs are shy high now, so I am not not unaffected mind you. This can all change next year. I, however, won't be shocked.