Fun with garlic scapes
Over the past couple weeks, a handful of themes have come to dominate the numerous conversations I’ve had regarding money and wealth. It will probably not surprise any of you to hear that one of those themes is health care. I suppose I could have anticipated this, although frankly, I didn’t. Which is only indicative of yet another of my privileges: To be healthy and to have a spouse and sons that are healthy.
At the risk of giving away the whole darn point of this post in only the second paragraph, let’s be very, very clear: Our so-called “health-care” system is much less about keeping us healthy, as it is about treating and profiting from the numerous preventable diseases and conditions that prevail in 21st century America. Ironically (or maybe not), many of these conditions are the direct result of having monetized practically every aspect of human well-being. What’s that? You’d like an example? But of course.
Let us consider diabetes. Right now, the global market for diabetes drugs is currently in the $40 billion range, and is projected to reach $118 billion over just the next half-dozen years. And get this: The incidence of adult diabetes is projected to double by 2050, to the point where it will afflict one in three Americans. One can only imagine how much profit will be realized when fully one-third of us depend on diabetes treatment simply to live. For those of you whose moral compass is pointed due south, to the gates of hell, here is my advice: Diabetes. It’s a growth market. Invest now.
Why are we becoming so damn sick? Could it be because we have chosen to feed our populace from an ethos of quantity and profit, rather than quality and reverence? Yeah, I’d say it could be. Could it be because many of us feel as if our lives have been hijacked by debt and by the social pressures that compel us to assume a particular lifestyle, one that simply does not allow us the time to feed our bodies and spirits in a manner that is truly nourishing? Yeah, I’d say it could be. Could it be that one of the factors that keeps us from living in a manner that is truly aligned with our belief system and spirit is – get this – our fear of losing health care benefits? And that by not living in accordance with what we truly believe and know to be true, we become increasingly vulnerable to the omnipresent messaging that what we truly believe and know to be true is, in fact, false.
It’s certainly not just diabetes. Consider that between 2006 and 2010, sales of behavioral modification drugs like Ritalin and Adderall increased 83% to over $7 billion annually. Why? Does anyone really think there was an 83% rise in the incidence of the conditions for which these drugs are prescribed over just four years? And if that were really the case, wouldn’t our so called “health care” system – if it were truly interested in keeping us healthy – be as invested in figuring out why such an increase was happening as it was in treating the resultant symptoms?
Here is the truth: We do not have a health care system. We have a profit-care system, because that is what it truly cares about: profit. The manner in which we care for the health of the people of this nation has been perverted by the mentality of money. Just as the manner in which we feed the people of this nation, or govern the people of this nation, or educate the people of this nation has been perverted by the mentality of money. And so long as we continue to fatten the profit-care system with our money and our spirits, it will only continue to rot from the inside out.
This is all cold comfort to those who are already dependent on the dominant profit-care system. I realize that, and I have tremendous empathy for those who can see no alternative but to continue working a job and inhabiting a lifestyle they know is killing the spirit simply so they can keep the body alive. This is the true tragedy of the commodified arrangements of our time: They turn us into both curators and dependents.
But for those of you who are so blessed as to have choices, I urge you to do everything in your power to support the alternatives that exist outside these bloody rotten institutions that view us as no more than pockets to be picked. I urge you to do everything in your power to maintain your good health and vitality, along with the clarity of your belief that your worth as a person is not one iota dependent on capitulating to social pressures around the clothes you wear, the car you drive, the house you inhabit, the friends you keep, the education you get, the forces you should fear, what constitutes security, and so on.
I urge these things because they are, in so many ways, the keys to your freedom.