21 December 2005

What's the inverse of Schadenfreunde?

Schadenfreunde, as I understand the concept, is a kind of guilty pleasure one takes in contemplating the misfortune of another. Today, I experienced the inverse or perhaps the complementary emotion -- a bit of shame at contemplating my own good fortune.

I'm sure the Germans have a word for that too. They're very into shame.

You might ask why, that is, if anyone were reading this blog which there assuredly is not, but the question remains even if you do not exist to ask it. Well, the Senate passed the Budget Reconciliation bill today. I actually had taken the extraordinary step of calling each and every one of my congresscritters to discuss this bill with them. And while I don't have the clout to get to chat with a congresscritter directly, as a manager of a sizable employer back in the district, I was able to chat directly with their chiefs of staff and/or policy directors. The Reconciliation was important because it contained an important measure to freeze some scheduled cuts in Medicare reimbursement to physicians. All of our representatives and senators are democrats (and it really sucks to be in the minority), and we all agreed that this bill was a moral abomination because it also contained lots of cuts in Medicaid and other programs for society's vulnerable. So we chatted about how they hoped to block passage of this bill, and then perhaps the matter of Medicare and physician's reimbursement could be dealt with separately.

Anyway, the bill passed today, so we get more money, but the poor get screwed.



  1. It was a crazy day in Washington yesterday. Kudos for playing an active role. I've never really been active politically, with the exception of voting. There is so much more I should probably do.

  2. Very cool. Few people take that kind of inititave. I financially support a couple organizations that are basically lobbies, but calling and talking to someone is a step I've never taken.

    In the vein of civic duty and the less fortunate,there is a "reality TV" trend I would never have predicted, and is oddly cool. Have you seen some of these do gooder shows? Keeps reminding me that I should be volunteering in some capacity.

  3. I'm a politics wonk. I admit it. There has never been a good excuse for me to get invovled before, other than the occasional letter or email regardign a pet cause, and occasional organizing meetings, caucuses, and donations. But I've been getting a little involved with the Emergency Medicine thing, both WRT medicare and also tort reform. It's more than a little appalling to be aligned more with the republicans on these issues. But it's also fun. And I can convince myself that this is not just self-interest lobbying because there really is a good cause -- the ER is the backbone of the social safety net, and we do a ton of uncompensated charity work -- but maybe that is self delusional.

    Of course, with the current administration, I'm getting progressively more interested in partisan politics across the spectrum of issues. Funny thing, that.

  4. I think the word you're looking for is "Schadenfreude", not "Schadenfreunde"; I latter term would mean something like "shameful friends".


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