Re: capitalist religion

From: Brian D Williams (
Date: Tue Jul 17 2001 - 08:52:38 MDT

>From: Miriam English <>

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

The big advantage is that there is more than one company involved.
Pharmaceutical companies are always trying to undercut each other,
and it's in the best interest of my prescription drug service
company to find me a cure rather than shelling out money for
prilosec every month. That's how competition (the heart of
capitalism) works.

>Many of the great success stories in clobbering diseases are
>publicly funded. They drive such things as health and sanitation
>education, and vaccination programs. Of course these then provide
>the market and incentive for corporations to refine and supply the
>vaccines, etc. Both sides (capitalist and publicly funded
>organizations) need each other to create a balanced environment.

Initially many of these efforts were too expensive for early
companies to fund, some still are. Government and private industry
working together can sometimes be more effective than either apart.

>If we had just capitalism managing medicine then we would see
>incredibly expensive medicine that would serve the rich (that's
>where the money is), but not much else.

Actually capitalism is the ruling factor in medicine here in the
U.S., arguably the best in the world.

>If we had only publicly managed medicine then we would see
>medicine ossify 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 ill while over there and accruing massive and crippling
>medical bills for treatment that in Australia or UK or Europe
>would be relatively inconsequential? Your medical system is
>heavily privatized and the most expensive on the planet.

Obviously these people have never heard of travelers medical
insurance, try Google, very reasonable and it will cover

>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 irrelevant to large parts of its own society
>thru its inability to attend to the needs of the great numbers of

I say the american medical system is the best on the planet, as
indicated from the fact that people from every other system come
here for treatment.

Poor people here can get treatment, they just don't like having to
wait, or not having many options.

>Darn... I have this horrible, sinking feeling I have just started
>a patriotic, capitalist, flame war... oops. :-)

Not at all, but like Robert suggested in another thread, lets stick
to the facts.


Extropy Institute,
National Rifle Association,, 1.800.672.3888
SBC/Ameritech Data Center Chicago, IL, Local 134 I.B.E.W

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