Today on 60th at Lex I saw an unfamiliar car, a grand touring sedan, very large and impressive. Kind of ugly, though.
I crossed the street to look. It was a Maybach, a specialty label of DaimlerChrysler. They run $350,000. The plates said MD, and I noticed a parking privilege placard on the dashboard, for Cabrini Medical Center.
We might not like it that a doctor has that much disposable income to spend on an ugly car. (Though I'm sure it's got a great ride and great back seats.) But even if we don't like it, we certainly find it tolerable, and our whole health care system supports it.
In different centuries it was clergy who had that kind of excess wealth. We didn't like that either, back then, but we tolerated it, and our whole cultural system supported it.
I don't want to go back to that. But I do notice that, if money expresses cultural value, how much more our culture values the health of the body than the condition of the soul.