We have run up a 22 trillion dollar debt (plus another unplanned 2.5 trillion for coronavirus aid) and without shame, will add an additional one trillion a year for the unforeseeable future. If we don’t act now, our children and grandchildren are in for a miserable existence. I am so frantic with worry about this, that I have to at least try to do something. What follows is a thumbnail of what motivates me, and a plan that is much more comprehensive than what I am offering today. The idea is to spur the 320 million of us to stand up for ourselves and future generations. It just seems to me that we need to at least try! I read America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System by Steven Brill. The book provides an inside look at our healthcare industry, which has essentially morphed into various monopolies, whose obsession is profit at any cost. Providing quality goods and services in pursuit of a healthy society are secondary.
That’s what the confusion, disarray and institutional lunacy that often accompany illness is for… it’s for profit at any cost. The Washington Post and 60 Minutes teamed up to report on the opioid crisis. There was a time when the DEA was able to hold up drug distribution in order to get a handle on the billions of pills being dumped onto our cities streets. The pharmaceutical industry spent millions in lobbying efforts in order to get the law repealed. The bill which received unanimous bipartisan support slid easily through the various channels and landed on President Obama's desk, where it was unceremoniously signed into law. As of 2020 there have been over 400,000 deaths and upwards of one trillion dollars lost in economic activity, all attributed to opioids. Make no mistake, it isn’t just that our representatives have turned a blind eye, they are actual participants, in what can only be described as the murder of hundreds of thousands of American citizens, in the pursuit of cash…for the very few.
In 1999 President Clinton and a Republican-backed majority rescinded the Glass-Steagall Act. This regulation prevented investment and retail banks from interacting, and if it had still been in place, would have made the 2008 financial crash unlikely. Years prior to the 2008 crash, bankers were generating massive profits by making loans to people who did not qualify. Because default on these loans was guaranteed, the bankers got out from under the risk by bundling them and sending them out into the void, in the form of investment products. These products, which were erroneously given low risk ratings, were bought up by municipalities, pensions, and hedge funds all over the world. The failure of these products nearly brought down the entire world economy.
Understanding the economic tsunami that they were creating, bankers proactively saw to it that their behavior was not prosecutable. This was achieved by spending millions on lobbyists and our representatives' campaigns in order to gain access to legislation, where they were able to alter the “spirit” of the law. After the inevitable crash, our representatives, without our permission, took our tax dollars and rescued the bankers, the stock holders and the bond holders, leaving nothing left for us and our families.
I offer these random examples of atrocious behavior to demonstrate a systemic failure of democracy. We are 320 million strong and completely irrelevant. The powers-that-be are so emboldened by our apathy and puniness, that they think nothing of murdering us, while economically decimating entire communities. “We” simply don’t matter. Let me assure you, America does matter, and we have a responsibility to take a stand for future generations and the American way of life.