Re: capitalist religion (was: NANO: _Forbes_ cover story)

From: Randy Smith (
Date: Mon Jul 16 2001 - 16:07:01 MDT

>From: Miriam English
>Subject: capitalist religion (was: NANO: _Forbes_ cover story)
>Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001 23:49:21 +1000
>At 11:08 AM 15/07/2001 -0700, Reason wrote:
>>From the capitalist point of view, hard drives are an easier way to
>>money than medicine. It's a more predictably market sector.
>>Capitalism is
>>not perfect, but it gets the job of technological advancement done
>>a hell of
>>a lot better than any of the alternatives. Anyone who thinks
>>otherwise needs
>>to read more history and look at the world a little more
>Hmmm... I don't wanna start a major war here. :-/

That's's much needed.

>I have the greatest respect for you Reason, and love the good sense
>in most
>of what you write...
>I just think it is a little rash of you to say that. Profit motive
>much more "sense" in promoting expensive medical maintenance
>programs that
>keep people on medications for the rest of their lives. Medical
>don't like to spend money on researching ways to prevent or cure
>ills. That
>cuts out their market.

Exactly. A very recent news article showed that drug companies spend a fraction on reseach of what they spend on advertising.


>Many of the great success stories in clobbering diseases are
>funded. They drive such things as health and sanitation education,
>vaccination programs. Of course these then provide the market and
>for corporations to refine and supply the vaccines, etc. Both sides
>(capitalist and publicly funded organisations) need each other to
>create a
>balanced environment.
>If we had just capitalism managing medicine then we would see
>expensive medicine that would serve the rich (that's where the money
>but not much else.

We see that everywhere:  supermarkets move out of areas where poor folks have moved in. There are areas of Houston where there is considerable population density, and there are many middle class professionals, etc living in houses nearby, but after poor immigrant populations moved into the apartment buildings in the area, the stores start to shut down.

The relatively well to do customer is where the profit is.

>If we had only publicly managed medicine then we would see medicine

>and become more and more entrenched in tradition.
>Neither is the whole solution. Diversity, as in most things, is
>I worry when the economic rationalist religion is propagated as the
>ultimate truth. It isn't. The world just isn't that simple.
>Did you know that many people who travel to USA worry about getting
>while over there and accruing massive and crippling medical bills
>treatment that in Australia or UK or Europe would be relatively
>inconsequential? Your medical system is heavily privatised and the
>expensive on the planet.
>Don't get me wrong. I am not saying the US medical system is crap.
>It has
>its uses -- its advantages and disadvantages... but that doesn't
>make it
>better than other systems. In fact American medicine is becoming
>to large parts of its own society thru its inability to attend to
>the needs
>of the great numbers of poor.
>Darn... I have this horrible, sinking feeling I have just started a
>patriotic, capitalist, flame war... oops. :-)

There must always be a first step. The main problem is that business has planted in the brains of us Americans that the economic indicators that indicate good opportunity for business, must also necessarily mean that things are good for Americans.

Slaves are good for businesses. They work rather cheaply. But not so good for the slaves...


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