Everywhere I look, American/conservative critics of Obamacare are using the word “rationing” as their scare word of choice.
“Rationing” sounds perfect — if you’re a wonk.
But while “rationing” is an o.k. word, it isn’t the best choice. Why?
Because Americans don’t know what rationing is.
World War II is a distant memory — or just a bunch of movies with guys in drab uniforms smoking and stuff. Domestic rationing of stuff like rubber and silk doesn’t even get mentioned much in those movies, let alone come up in conversations between grandpa and grandkids about “when I was your age…”
For the last 50+ years, Americans have been able to get their hands on pretty much whatever they want, whether they need it or not. They just pull out their credit cards and take it home.
So “rationing” is a word that goes in one ear and out the other.
There’s something unpleasant that most Americans HAVE experienced however. Something they absolutely positively hate, because it goes against their self-image, and grates on their pride.
That something is…