A few months ago President Sarkozy, a.k.a. the president of the pouvoir d’achat (purchase power), asked at a news conference what steps he planned to take to battle the loss of purchase power, shrugged his shoulders and essentially said, What do you expect me to do when the cash box is empty? But apparently not so empty that the government couldn’t find 4 million Euros to launch an ad campaign this week in which it announces to the public that it’s winning the battle to arrest the loss in purchase power. Yesterday on the floor of the National Assembly, the government’s health minister responded to uproar — on the Right and on the Left — about a proposal to slash reimbursement for so-called ‘comfort’ medicine — medicine one takes to mitigate the effects (throwing up and other minor discomforts) of other medicine taken for chronic health problems (AIDS/SIDA, things like that) from 100 to 35 percent by saying, essentially, the cash register was empty. (There’s a deficit.) Not too empty, apparently, for the government to launch a high-priced ad compaign in which it tells itself, more or less, “Brownie you’re doing a heckuva job.” (Note to French readers: This was the phrase with which President Bush congratulated the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for doing a great job in New Orleans, even as people were going under.)
June 25, 2008
New Math: Enough $ for propaganda but not for medicine
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