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A Pretty Good Article Relating The Healthcare Issue To Issues In Our Nations' History


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This article from The New Yorker compares the healthcare debate to some contentious societal issues that faced our nation in the past. The author references writings and theories from social scientists Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber in which they explain the differences between "Tame" and "Wicked" problems. Those two terms were not intended to define a problem in a literal sense, instead they were used to differentiate between problems in which the solutions were either simple and clear cut (not necessarily easy) or complex, often requiring tweaks and re-evaluations of the progress being made toward finding the best means to solve the problems.

The article also shares information about economist Albert O. Hirschman who published a study entitled the rhetoric of intransigence which gave examples of historical opposition to basic social advances throughout our nations' history. In his study Hirschman studied the structure of the arguments against these important advances in our society. Hirschman theorized that there were three basic types of arguments used to justify preventing these advances from occuring. He gave examples of each type of argument and I think it is pretty dayum obvious that he was correct in his beliefs and that we are seeing these very arguments being used today against universal healthcare for Americans.

If you have a few minutes to read the article I am linking below I believe you will find value in what it says and you won't see it as wasted time.


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That's a very interesting article because it at least sketches a historical and analytical framework to examine the problem and the responses.

I especially like what he said about expanding our sense of what is a basic right.


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