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BILL SAMPSON: Too close to home

January 16, 2014

I was having my fourth cup of coffee the other day, I think I might be drinking too much coffee, still thinking about something I learned the other day that has disturbed me ever since. It has to do with something I have probably strongly suspected for some time but never really acknowledged.
A week or so ago I found myself in Fort Smith, Ark., running some errands which included going by a favorite business of mine. I have been doing business with this particular company for probably 40 years or more. It is a family owned business in Fort Smith that has done very well over the years.
I actually went to high school with the owner and that goes back farther than I sometimes want to even think about. This business has been around a long long time and is the epitome of small business success when you are willing to spend long, hard hours at the job. When you put yourself into the business and not just pretend to run a business you can have a really successful business.
I was at this business on a rather busy morning and started visiting with one of the employees who has been working at this business for many years and he seemed to be in a rather grumpy mood. “How have you been doing?” “Mutter, mutter golly shucks!” “Well, I hope that this year is much better than last year.” “Mutter, mutter, golly shucks!”
“OK, Sam (not his real name), what is really bothering you?” He then started telling me what he was going through. It seems that the business has, for many years, had health insurance for all of the employees. The number of employees is around 22. About the middle of December the company was notified by their health insurance provider that the company policy was being canceled.
This small business now no longer has health insurance for its employees. Sam was really worked up about this and understandably so. I found that the interesting thing was the fact that Sam was upset about the employees not having insurance. Certainly he was concerned about his own family not having insurance but what really bothered him were the employees now without insurance.
I knew this kind of thing was happening all over the country but I had not, until now, personally come across someone I know that was going through this experience. This was just too close to home for comfort.
It seems that our government is bound and determined to continue to be more and more intrusive in our lives. I suppose that for those folks who voted for politicians who promised something for nothing, they are getting something for a lot more than they bargained for. I am quite distressed about the government telling us what we can and can’t do. It really bothers me that some folks get the idea the government will take care of them and they will not have to be responsible for their own actions.
What, I ask myself, can we do to turn this ill-conceived concept around? Well, this year is what is commonly known as the year of mid-term elections. We can look at the candidates who are running for whatever office and pick out one that most closely follows our own beliefs. When a political candidate promises something that seems too good to be true, be careful because it might not be true. When we get the results of government intrusion in our lives, it makes me more determined to try to stop this intrusion. ‘Til next time. God Bless.

Bill Sampson, a retired financial consultant, lives in the Cameron area. E-mail him at bills.front.porch@gmail.com.

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