ISSUES
Tai-Chi Tu
Tai-Chi Tu

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Issue 3:

"Life, Liberty And The Pursuit Of Happiness"

(Health Care)







“But for my part I would
rather be mad with truth than
sane with lies…”

Bertrand Russell 1









[This essay is really about a very pernicious disease that has infected our Health Care system; it is a disease that is an inherent defect in the human organism, and as such, is very hard to treat, let alone cure. The disease is hard to cure because it takes on many disguises, and hides itself in the behaviors of humans that, at first, seem quite innocuous. This deception is part of the disease, and the part that makes it so hard to cure. The cure goes much further than just fixing any part of the system that shows its infestation; the cure entails creating a new outlook for humanity itself, an outlook that makes it view the whole of humanity as a single entity. Many have tried to institute the cure in past ages, and failed; they were called by many names: scholars, wise men, hermits, prophets, saints and even Gods, but, by whatever name they were called, they all knew the cure, and the disease that necessitated it. In time, even the organizations these ‘healers’ created became corrupted by the very disease they sought to cure; and, now, in this time, our time, the disease has infected the whole earth. We chronicle but one aspect of it here; to finally institute the cure we must change the very way humans live. Can we do it? Unfortunately, we can only hope we can!]





The inalienable rights, as stated above, guaranteed to all citizens, by whatever God you choose (even the lack of one), are delineated in the charter of the United States of America: its Declaration of Independence. Naturally, the most important is life, for without that, the others are worthless. So, suddenly, we see that health care is not a service to be bartered for in the marketplace, but a RIGHT, granted by the nature of the humaneness of the human condition; and even more an indentured service, guaranteed by all societies according to the very purpose of society: the survival of all its members through their mutual, harmonious interactions.

Furthermore, the responsibility for this is also one accepted by all members of society according to their ability to accept that responsibility. Thus another tenant of society’s intent is fulfilled: the equal proportionate responsibility by all, according to their means, for the welfare of all.

Practically, this is not something new. For years, here, in the “land of the free” single people have paid taxes to support the education of other citizens’ children in our public school systems 2 . Also, all have paid to support a retirement benefit package for the elderly (Social Security). So, why all the fuss about health care, especially when a properly structured public health care system would actually benefit private businesses, by taking this onerous task completely off their shoulders?

What is amazing is the fact that this vital element of every society has been neglected by the very one (the United States) that should have taken it for granted long ago. Why has this happened?

It came about because of the continuous and progressive deregulation of an economic system that is not what it is purported to be. And, this new kind of capitalism that has undermined the business practices of the world, is also destroying that real right to 'life' (not the anti-abortionist’s kind) our Declaration of Independence guaranteed us.



A Digression:
The New Definition of Capitalism:
The Legitimate Swindle


When I was young I was a diehard capitalist; after all, I had watched Gary Cooper in the “Fountainhead”, Ayn Rand’s 3 classic; had read all her books; and firmly believed in “truth, justice and the American way”. But then I got older, and I put two and two together – I stopped being a “true believer” – and started to use reason to rule over, or perhaps ‘overrule’ my prejudices. Things weren’t really black and white, but usually many shades of gray. And, things were, rarely, what they were; but they contained a history that allowed one to see their evolution in a way that made one open one’s eyes to the deceptions human motives often hold out to us. In short, I had become a realist, but still, at heart, a romantic. The difference was, I had found out that trust 4 was the one thing that made the world go around; and yet, the only thing we sorely lacked above everything else in life! What was worse, was our whole culture was built on the deception that we possessed it; yet, in reality, we were living in a dream that took us ever further and further from it! That ruse lies in the deceptive economic process we have come to think of as a part of the democratic process: capitalism. Here, I characterize it for the deception it is, and why the lingering dream it promises is its most foul aspect, since it continues to always bring us right back to the same thing it always has throughout history – failure!

You see, when a single person or, maybe, even a family gets robbed, then its easy to tell who the robbers are, and who the victims are. But in the “Age Of The Hypocrite”, the ‘hustle’ (not the dance, mind you, but the ‘con’), has become a new art form; an art form brought to perfection by the enormous size of the pool of victims it swindles. That pool of victims is now society itself.

Now the distinction between the robbers, and the robbed, has itself become so blurred that nobody even notices the swindle that has been perpetrated. In fact, because of the further blurring, caused by the ‘democratic’ sale of stocks and bonds, which are publicly held, the swindle seems perfectly legitimate. But that old hustler’s rule of thumb can and does show us the way to the real swindlers and their henchmen and women: “follow the money!” It’s simple, those whose pockets are bulging, are the swindlers, and those whose pockets are empty are the victims. But…! Yes, what at first seems clear cut, isn’t; in fact, it’s the whole purpose of this vast blurring process to erase the traces of the true swindle underneath. In effect, it has even blurred the distinction between the robber and the robbed; but then that was its point all along. It’s not just the bulging pockets that matter, but the magnitude of that bulge, that shows us the true swindlers. And the victims are actually everyone, because in the end even the swindlers will feel the effects of their own swindle!

It’s all about supply and demand really. Once, capitalism meant supplying society’s needs… really, quite simple, isn’t it. Society, what we now call, ‘consumers’, presented certain needs: food, clothing, housing, medicines, etc. These needs were supplied by a number of vendors, all vying with each other, at what we called the ‘marketplace’. This competitive atmosphere brought the prices of these needs down into the realm where they were affordable by all. The important point to remember was that it was the combination of demand and competition that actually molded the needed items’ prices to the point where affordability was reached. This kind of capitalism depended on the small business, and the independent contractor to create a truly free marketplace – a truly free enterprise 5 .

But then the “hustlers” got into the mix. Hard work didn’t appeal to these guys; they always thought that society existed for one purpose… to make them rich. To them, democracy, and that word ‘free’, it touted so loudly, meant: “free to do whatever I want; free to give me one up, on everybody else”; and ‘society’ meant: “a bunch of suckers to be fleeced”. Suddenly “free enterprise” was not ‘free’ any more. So, the monopoly was created; and, guess what, supply, demand and competition, the watchwords of capitalism, suddenly took on whole new meanings. Competition became the competition between a few (or even only one) big suppliers; supplies were no longer tailored to meet society’s needs, but were now created to force society to pay whatever price they had to, to make the profits the hustlers expected. Now, demand was no longer society’s demand, created from its needs, but the demand the monopolist created from the profit expectations he formulated at society’s expense.

Then the blurring (or, outright deception) started. The freedom of a democratic society could be used to create even more profits, again, at society’s (that poor sucker’s) expense. The stock market swindle took full advantage of it. Go public; spread out those profits (“truth, justice and the American way”, as Superman would say), and now we can create even more profit leverage by owning the controlling interest in stocks, and use speculation, in combination with that control, to even raise profits margins to unheard of heights!

But was all of this enough? No, there was even more. More blurring was needed!

Remember, as I said in a previous essay, “The Religious Club And Its Effects”:

“This also allowed this “military religious complex” to accomplish something else: the creation of the third world * – a slave world, taught, by the ‘religious’ missionaries, to work and multiply for the aggrandizement of the Divine Kings and nobles they served, under the guise of serving God; and also taught to see poverty as a virtue instead of the misery it was.”

How could the capitalist hustlers, use this modern geographical “third world”, inherited from their aristocratic hustler ancestors’ “third world” to further their modern swindle? The answer came through the use of ‘money’, the so-called “measuring tool” the economy used to value its commodities and services. By making this measuring tool, itself, a commodity, they could make the third world the land of cheap labor, and the developed world the land of profit realization.

Now labor’s price came about as a result of its geographical location, not from its ‘utility’, or the “intrinsic value of human labor” itself, as postulated in economic theories 6 . Again, the hustlers had found the ‘gimmick’ they needed to further blur their swindle, and dupe the now ‘global’ societies of the world into this new economic swindle, which was now the legitimate ‘science’ of capitalistic ‘free’ economic practice.

So what, if the results were: the continuing growth of the “third world”; the continuing occurrence of economic meltdowns, like recessions and depressions; the widespread growth of poverty, misery and endless wars? So what… what mattered were their own benefits, and the game. The game, they needed to win at any cost!

And where were the people during all of this… and their supposed protectors, their “free democratic governments”?

The people had become, as I have said above, both the swindled, and the swindlers; this blur, and the media brainwashing that caused it to be accepted, along with the takeover and purchasing of academia for its legitimization, resulted in this grand cover up, and the redefinition of capitalism into a “racket within the law.” Governments no longer represented their respective societies, but the capitalist entrepreneurs and their lobbyists, who sanctified the creation of a privileged aristocracy of money as the new representation of democratic freedom. The society of winners and losers had become the way of the world, despite the contradiction it presented to the very definition of society itself.

Government now held out protecting the capitalist scam, as the same thing as protecting the ‘people’ of its society; and they were right, because this scam (or, better yet, disease), had now become the mindset of the people themselves. The hustlers had conquered (or should I say: “The King is dead, long live the King”)! End of digression.



Now back to our story:

So, now, with this background in the “science of selfishness” outlined for us, we get back to health care, and the sudden rise of medical costs, and its growth through the new paradigm of medicine: the exchange of cures for addictions!

With the introduction of the third party ‘hustler’ into every segment of society, Medicine was not ignored; after all, “people will always be sick”; so, a society brainwashed into thinking that everything is a way to make money, took up the ‘parasitism’ and ‘racketization’ (to coin a new phrase) of the once simple “doctor patient relationship” 7 . Drug companies were already finding that the infiltration of Medical Schools and the Medical profession’s societies were the way to push the ‘cure’ of disease with an addictive ‘drug’ based approach.

This whole impetus toward transforming curing into addicting came about when medical research was upended by the new ‘statistical’ research, which entered the scene with the advent of the capitalistic monopolists at the turn of the twentieth century. Pools of patients, now termed ‘populations’ could be studied, and the results analyzed through determining cause and effect through statistical manipulations 8 . The showing of a causal connection is ‘proved’ by a mathematical study of a population, and if a certain agent is effective the tests will show that there is a strong possibility of a causal connection. Of course, there are problems; one of the biggest problems is choosing the correct population. People are not all the same; there are different genders, races, bloodlines, even living conditions, which can slant the studies one way or another. And, most importantly, the conviction that this method really proves causation has itself never been proven, only hypothesized, in a world where single uncomplicated causes, upon which this method depends, just do not exist 9 . So interpretation is everything, and ‘science’ is a strained fit, shaped by motivation; and we all know where most of that motivation arises: profit!

The famous physiologist Claude Bernard 10 , campaigned against this type of statistical research, on purely theoretical grounds, at the very time it was beginning to emerge; little did he realize that it would become a new method of fraud used to addict patients to useless or often harmful methods of treatment. Like it or not, population studies have become the major approach used by Medical research today. So now we see how Medical research can be coerced into a way to increase profits, by ensuring that the ‘proof’ of addictive cures is based on correct population choice, instead of physical, experimentally confirmed evidence.

But in the world of ‘profit’, this new kind of experimental 11 research was a gold mine. And it created the hegemony of wealthy drug corporations that now rule medical practice in the United States and even the world. The result was substituting addictions for cures. Now patients became addicted to medicines (often, a large number of them) that kept them alive, and paying, for the rest of their lives, for them; and, suddenly, the Medicine of the healing arts, became a type of financial racket that had people paying into an endless addiction that made the wealthy richer, and everyone else poorer.

But this was only the tip of the Medical iceberg!

The simple doctor-patient relationship was the real target.

The ‘con’ was to make this relationship open to the capitalistic extortion racket, where everyone could get a piece of this open market of Medicine, which preyed on essentially ‘everyone’, since everyone got sick at one time or another, and besides, old age (everyone also got old) was a goldmine of sickness! So the scene was set – “let the good times roll” – as the hustlers say!

But something happened, the good times, – in as much as every parasite alive was now flourishing off this lucrative doctor-patient relationship – were not good times any more! Suddenly, the costs of Medicine were spiraling out of control; there were so many “third parties” feeding off the relationship, and the costs were becoming so expensive, no one could afford them!

Now government, that representative of the people took action: something must be done to make Medicine affordable! But, as usual, the lobbyists and the special interests intervened. So, was that 'GOD' GIVEN right to life – that 'INALEINABLE' right to life – mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, given back to the people? Not at all, it was now given over to insurance companies, to create yet another ‘free’ market, that could doubly fleece the people: first, through the continued spiraling of prices; and second, by allowing third parties to set prices to further fleece the people who would pay for all of this with their tax dollars (in the increased costs in Medicaid and Medicare).

So has the increasing costs of Medicine been solved – No! It has been shifted right back onto the people where it always was; yet the real reason for the costs was ignored: the parasitism of the once, simple, doctor-patient relationship!

So what is the way to cure it? Simple: make that relationship, the simple relationship it once was. Bring back the “country doctor”, who practiced out of his small office with few helpers. Bring the focus of curing back to finding physiological cures, that don’t hinge on making patients pay for expensive medicines for the rest of their lives – take the addiction out of the cure. Educate people in avoiding things that make them ill. Let the old get old naturally, by eating nutritious foods, and exercising, instead of living off hundreds of prescription drugs. Stop selling poisons (substances that have no beneficial effects whatsoever) that hurt people, like tobacco. And, finally, give all citizens free public health care, just as we have given them the public education we value so much in this country. Every one of our citizens deserve the same care and services so that they may all have the basic rights we guaranteed them in the Declaration of Independence: "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!"

But most of all, destroy the capitalism that has turned free enterprise into an extortion racket that has taken all the ‘free’ out of, supposedly, ‘free’ markets, and instead made them a hegemony controlled by corporate monopolies; where needs are no longer society’s needs; where innovation has become waste and duplication; and labor is valued according to where it is produced.

Have you figured out yet, what that disease is that is causing all the trouble in Health Care in this country? It is the disease called GREED!






FOOTNOTES

To return to note's origin click the footnote number at left




1 This is taken from the “Autobiography of Bertrand Russell 1914-1944”; An Atlantic Monthly Press Book; Little, Brown And Company; Boston; 1968.


2 In point of fact, single individuals have even been penalized by paying a higher rate of tax then people with children to support, so that those same children may be educated. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but why is not Health Care, which all need, not given as much emphasis?


3 Ayn Rand is the former Soviet citizen, turned Hollywood screenwriter and philosopher, who created an individualist philosophy that proclaimed selfishness a virtue. She has become the new capitalism’s poster girl for the “Only I count” mentality it has spread.


4 See my essay “Trust”.


5 This kind of capitalism was also the source of true innovation, not in the production of useless duplications, needed only by the need to profit at another’s expense; but the kind of innovation driven by the true needs of society, to not only fulfill them, but to make them simpler, and often not even needed, as needs, any longer. Thus this kind of capitalism supported society, and the cooperation and harmony it needs to continue being a society.



* “The Religious Club And Its Effects” footnote !!


6 The former ‘Utility’, as postulated by Jevons in his "Theory of Political Economy" by William Stanley Jevons; the latter, “idealized labor”, by Karl Marx in his “Das Capital”. See my essay: “A Step Toward Fiscal Sanity”.


7 This doesn’t have to be, as a recent story by MSNBC News (now NBC News) shows vividly: the story of an 87 year old country doctor who still makes house calls, and only charges five dollars for an appointment!


8 This dependence on populations is the problem. One can choose populations with the bias of making the research turn out in a way favorable to the particular hypothesis to be proved. In fact, finding truly unbiased populations, for a particular study, is itself very unlikely. As is the assumption that causation itself can be pinned down to a single controllable factor or set of factors (see next footnote).


9 Assuming that a particular thing (or set of circumstances) causes something else to happen is often fraught with problems in the field of biology; and, especially, in human biology, where it becomes even more difficult. Causes are complex, they just don’t depend on one factor, but sometimes, thousands, so complexly interconnected that their unraveling is almost impossible in many cases. Add to this the wide variation between morphology, races and even the disparity in living conditions, and we begin to see just how tenuous and unreliable this kind of research can be.


10 Claude Bernard was a French physiologist, who discovered the concept of the “milieu interieur”, the “internal environment”, a vital contribution to understanding homeostasis, or internal self-regulation in biological organisms. See his book, “An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine”, Dover Publications, New York, 1957.


11 Some of the extremely scary 'experimental' research this profit-motivated medicine has spawned is the tinkering with the genetics of microorganisms and viruses (like the recent creation of harmful viruses that don't exist just to produce vaccines for them). These risky ventures show just how dangerous to all of us this mania to create profits in medicine has become. One can envision the same scenario as what happened with the atom bomb, only on an even more lethal scale.

One of the newest ideas that they have come out with is the idea that the genetic code is nothing more than a series of programs to make the organism go. Thus, they can transcribe this to computers and 'reinvent' the code to create custom organisms! Being myself a programmer, trained to deal with complexity, I see this as more than stupid. The complexity of computer programs is nothing compared to the complexity of the process behind life. Even the best man made programs contain mistakes called 'bugs'; even with all the technological progress we have made we cannot create a 'bug-less' program. To tamper with biological 'programs' many orders of magnitude beyond the complexity of our programs is asking for trouble. The reason is that the living organism is open ended; it is a type of self-programming machine, which reprograms itself according to the environment it encounters; thus, we cannot even fathom the complexity needed to deal with such an environment. And even further, the organism itself makes deadly mistakes all the time, e.g.: birth defects and genetic diseases. The stupidity and arrogance of trying to be 'God' is too terrible to even think of, yet that is exactly where this 'for-profit' biological research is leading us.

Further NOTE, added 10/05/2015:
What I predicted above, seems to be now becoming reality, as I have described in the essay: “A TRUE CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY!”, where human brains are now being grown to experiment on, in biological research, right here in the USA, funded by our government.






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Tai-Chi Tu
Tai-Chi Tu

Originally Published:

July 16, 2012

Revised:

June 29, 2014