Sunday, June 04, 2017

Jumping the Line

Seems to me that cutting into line is one thing which arouses  a lot of anger. It does with me.  Even in traffice, where I understand the theory of the "zipper merge" leading to smoother flows, I get mad when someone zooms up the right lane and cuts in in front of me.

So guess my reaction to this weak statement:
"“I feel badly that I have the means to jump the line,” he said. “But when you have kids, you jump the line. You just do. If you have the money, would you not spend it for that?”"
That's from a NYTimes article, part of a series on the "velvet rope" economy, by which the writer means a growing tendency for those with wealth to be able to buy advantages. In this case it's on concierge medicine; for fat yearly fees a medical practice will provide on-call service and cover all medical needs, except hospitalization.

I suppose the two cases aren't that comparable.  In the one the guy is gaining a bit of time, and costing me and others behind me a bit.  In the other the injury to the rest of us is harder to see, presumably slightly higher costs and/or long wait times to see a doctor, although a free marketer might argue that the high fees the jumpers pay will eventually lure more people into medicine.

The fact the injury is vague and possibly debatable means a standard test of morality is less obviously applicable.  I mean the Golden Rule--in this case the line jumper sees no "other" to consider.  This leaves me in a confused and peavish mood, lacking a clear villain to oppose, but not satisfied with the outcome.

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