Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I'm a Government Bureaucrat, Please Spit On Me

Listening to the radio this afternoon I heard one of those ads that's supposed to simulate a slice-of-life conversation. The dialogue went something like this:
Grown-Up Daughter: Hi, Dad, I'm here to rescue you from sitting with little Billy. Say, what are you doing?

Elderly Father: I'm checking out information about long-term care insurance. You know, in case I ever need to go into a nursing home.

G.U.P.: Good for you, Dad! Tom's parents never made any plans, and now we're faced with some big bills.

E.F.: [Sympathetically:] I know. [Then, in a tone of profound loathing:] And I don't want the government making the decisions for me!
The ad goes on to provide an 800-number you're supposed to call to learn about nursing-home insurance. Not until the very end does it disclose the sponsor--which I assumed would be some insurance company, or maybe an insurance association. But no. The final line of the ad is, "This has been a message from the New York State Department of Health."

Isn't that sad? Apparently the "government-is-evil" meme has sunk so deeply into the popular culture that even government bureaucrats have to pretend they have contempt for government.

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