Thoughts on Healthcare and Profit

Socializing healthcare, in essence, means making bad health everyone’s problem instead of a few’s profit. That is the reason why the American healthcare industry is so adamant in remaining largely private. In a society based on profit, the only problems that are solved are those turning a gain for whoever finds an answer, hence, solving obesity is not a priority, because, widening waistlines are much more profitable than narrowing ones.

It all makes sense when you come to think about who benefits from fatter people rather than thinner people. The textile industry, as bigger sizes require more fabric, the healthcare industry, because more obese people translates into more people with health issues, derived from being overweight, the flying industry, as fat people have to pay more for their seats and obviously, the food industry, as ever growing bellies mean more sales.

It has actually come to a point where the lobbying power of any of those industries is able to cross frontiers, making our elected governments virtually prisoners, servants of those who, with the help of everyone’s got to where they are today.

But these people are victims too, victims of a society created by ourselves in such a way that the only viable life-path stems from robbing others. If I, say own a shoe shop, the only way I’ve got to prosper is to sell more and more shoes but, If I make shoes that last a long time, people won’t come back often enough for me to be profitable, therefore, I need to make lower quality shoes (or find a way of making them cheaper, e.g. by getting them produced with cheap labour) so that they break more more often hence forcing people to come back.

Our actual economic/banking system derives from that very same principle, as all debt produced has an interest attached, now, here’s a story. Imagine you are the first bank in the world and you perform the first 2 loans in history, you lend 100 coins to John and 100 coins to Elisabeth, you lend for a profit so each of those loans has, say, a 5% interest attached, which means that both John and Elisabeth will have to pay you 105 coins at the end of the term of the loan, but, here’s the trick, you lent (i.e. put in circulation) 200 coins and expect 210 in return, so the only way for either of the borrowers to repay the loan, is to get the extra 5 coins from the other, who then won’t be able to repay the loan except by asking another loan. You’ve created a deficit that can never be repaid unless by taking it from someone else.

 Sadly enough, the society I’ve described in the paragraphs above is more akin to the animal kingdom than to a civilized one. I sincerely hope that the coming generations will find out how to build something better because, we are so (quoting The Shawshank Redemption) institutionalized that is very unlikely that we’ll do anything other than complain.


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