Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Another Chicken Joke

Senate candidate Sue Lowden of Nevada thinks we need to go back to the barter system for healthcare.

I would have suggested, and I think that bartering is really good. Those doctors who you pay cash, you can barter, and that would get prices down in a hurry. And I would say go out, go ahead out and pay cash for whatever your medical needs are, and go ahead and barter with your doctor.

The assumption was that she mean “bargain” with your doctor, not barter, because that would mean trading a chicken for a prostate exam. (Trust me, the chicken gets the better part of that deal.) But no, she really did mean barter.

“I’m telling you that this works,” the Republican candidate explained. “You know, before we all started having health care, in the olden days, our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor. They would say, ‘I’ll paint your house.’ I mean, that’s the old days of what people would do to get health care with your doctors. Doctors are very sympathetic people. I’m not backing down from that system.”

Of course the jokes were inevitable: Why did the chicken cross the road? To get a CAT scan…. How many chickens does it take to change your dressing? Go on, offer your own.

Now if we were to actually take her seriously and not even consider the chicken quotient, bartering is no longer in use as a large portion of our economy for the same reason we don’t all use horses and buggies or sail across the Atlantic on sailing ships: we’ve found something much more efficient, much more convenient, and much more stable. It’s called “money.” It keeps its value, nor does it molt, crap all over the back yard, or wake you up at 4:00 a.m. by crowing.

On the other hand, a $100 bill doesn’t come with your choice of Original Recipe or Extra Crispy and two sides.

HT to Steve Benen.