State Of My Mind

It’s kind of difficult to watch TV in the US and miss a Subway commercial. Their ubiquitous spokesperson, Jared Fogle, is always promoting a healthy approach to eating that helped him lose a ton of weight. To be exact, Fogle dropped 245 pounds and has kept if off for ten years. That’s no easy task. It does show, though, that losing weight is not a quick fix. Rather, it is a committment to a lifestyle change and modification of eating habits. Getting a belly band or a stomach staple ain’t really gonna help you much. Of course, I snicker at the fact that Subway’s best seller is their fat-laden, salt-soaked belly buster, the meatball sammich. I get mine toasted with peppers and onions, please…

On the subject of doing things the right way, I see the Bentonville behemoth has had its ass handed to itself in the court of public opinion. Doesn’t matter that they (Wal*Mart) are in the right (when does it ever?). Debbie Shank was a Wal*Mart employee who bought into Wal*Mart’s health plan. She obviously didn’t read the contract. Like most health care policies, Wal*Mart’s has a subrogation clause. The plan fronts the money (which, presumably, you do not have) and then collects it back if you collect money for what they cover. About eight years ago, Shank suffered severe brain damage in a traffic accident. Wal*Mart’s plan covered the expenses (about $470,000 so far). And then the war broke out. Shank and her husband sued the trucking company that smacked her in the accident. They won around a million dollars and after all was said and done, they collected a little more than $400,000, which was put into a trust to pay for Debbie’s long term care. Wal*Mart’s carrier notified the Shanks that they wanted their money back. This was something that the Shanks had agreed to and that was well within the terms of the contract. The case was run all the way to the Supreme Court and the Shanks still lost. Debbie’s husband said  “They are quite within their rights. But I just wonder if they need it that bad.” So corporate America should be driven by utopian need instead contracts, agreements, and a person’s word? Of course, Wallyworld got pummeled in the media and has decided to back off of their legal claim. I wonder if this health care plan that’s causing all the fuss was approved by Hillary when she was on the board of Wal*Mart?

There’s a parallel going on here with the ever-present gong of the credit crunch. A bajillion people got loans that they didn’t really qualify for, couldn’t afford, and didn’t understand. And when the rates went up or the homes got foreclosed (as was clearly spelled out in the contract), we should take pity on the borrower?

People really do not have a clue about the fact that their decisions actually have impact on their lives.


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