Auchter's Art: Allowing preventable diseases may not yield the best results | Michigan Radio
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Auchter's Art: Allowing preventable diseases may not yield the best results

Apr 19, 2019

In his sci-fi/satire book series, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams tells a story about the planet Golgafrincham.

The leaders of Golgafrincham hatched a plan to rid themselves of what they considered the basically useless citizens. They announced that Golgafrincham was doomed, and so three arks were to be built and all inhabitants sorted into three categories: Ark A would contain the leaders, scientists, and other high achievers. Ark C would carry all the people who made things and did things. And Ark B would carry everyone else, such as telephone sanitizers, public relations executives, and management consultants.

When the time came, Ark B was sent off with a mission to find another planet to colonize and with the promise that the other two arks would follow. Of course, everybody else simply stayed and enjoyed happy lives — for a very brief time till a virulent disease contracted from a dirty telephone wiped them all out.

This is the story that came to mind when I read about the Muskegon County Board of Commissioners meeting this week and its decision to terminate the lease for the Planned Parenthood clinic in its county building.

Right. The mere mention of Planned Parenthood can make things go sideways quickly, so I'm going to state only my specific reaction: the beginning of a significant measles outbreak may not be the best time to be cutting back on public health resources. And perhaps digging deeper into our ideology may not yield the best results.

Feel free to discuss the details of all this among yourselves. I'm going to go wipe down my iPhone with alcohol.

John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.