A Slice of the Pie
I love pies. Sweet or Savory. I anticipate the pumpkin pie served at Thanksgiving dinner in November. I dream of the berry pies waiting at the Fourth of July picnic buffet. The thought of enjoying a satisfying piece of pie during a celebration fills me with happiness.
Imagine this scenario. You invite 30 people to a holiday banquet featuring an elaborate menu of favorites. Every guest arrives hungry and happy, ready to eat, drink and celebrate. With your guests assembled for the feast, you announce a change of plans. The host will decide what and how much each guest will receive and distribute the feast accordingly.
Personally, I would be shocked and offended by this strategy. Does the amount I am receiving represent my worth? Should I compare myself to the other guests? What do I say?
I must admit, there are times and types of pies that bring me less pleasure. Namely economic pie charts. This political season underscores that our pie slices are creating enormous conflicts on how we divide up our economic pie. What slices do we cut? Social programs? Infrastructure? Economic Development? Energy? Defense? Healthcare - including the Affordable Care Act? Education?
There are limits on the size of our pies. Families create budgets and set priorities to slice up their pie. Local governments wrestle with the limited resources of their pie and spend countless hours debating the best way to slice and still satisfy the community. Corporations and small businesses carefully plan and serve their pie in hopes of multiplying the pie’s effect.
Our national government is now taking a new perspective on the healthcare pie. It is so tempting to serve up the largest slices to your friends and the important people. Why not? The young, sick, poor or oldest among us are less likely to speak out if they are not served enough. We all must acknowledge that the increasing demands on our limited resources requires us to slice more carefully than ever before.