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Health vs. Health Care

It’s about health, not health care. The distinction between these viewpoints tells you everything you need to know about the dysfunction of modern life. It illustrates the conceptual divide between the old and what I had hoped was going to be, the “new politics”.
Health care is the system of keeping workers ambulatory enough to go to work most days, where, for the most part, they contribute to the creation of the very conditions that are making them sick. As long as lost productivity plus the lost fecundity of the earth is less than the profits of industry, the cost benefit of raping the planet is indisputable. Of course, the dazzling advancements in technology have enabled us to vastly increase per capita productivity, so we can afford to keep more people sicker, longer, and at greater profit.
It is not easy to maintain this balance. Enormous intellectual power and ingenuity is applied to the invention of new diseases, convincing people they have those diseases and educating medical professionals to treat those diseases. Notice that I use the word “treat”, not “cure”. Curing illness undermines profitability, so it’s an outcome that should only be pursued with caution. Cures should only be effected to the degree necessary to maintain a sufficient level of credibility with the general public. The rule of thumb is that if a condition will heal on its own, offer a cure. Otherwise, don’t mess with the cash flow of a long-term chronic condition. Fortunately, the industry is powerful enough to amass intellectual power for public relations, which relieves the requirement to actually demonstrate medical efficacy.
Health, on the other hand, is the notion that we can avoid getting sick in the first place. This is a dangerous concept that would destroy industrial infrastructure and tear our social fabric to shreds. Of course, the main industry is making money, literally, and the garments of our social fabric are straitjackets and diapers. Nevertheless, we are a great country, so why change? What are the elements of health that are so threatening to our economy and our way of life?
Food is one. It is generally acknowledged that the human body needs a certain amount of nutrition to function properly. The crops that we eat derive their nutritive value from the soil. Unfortunately, the soil could not keep up with the demands of production, so over the years we have devised a way to grow crops that look identical to food even though they no longer have sufficient nutrients to really qualify for that designation. Fortunately, the food industry is working on ways to engineer bio-product that not only looks, but acts like food. So far, these experiments have confused Mother Nature, but the alternative is the slow and painstaking practice of soil replenishment and soil husbandry. That would undermine the agricultural chemical industry and probably make the agricultural machinery industry face the cost of re-tooling. Now if we factor in the idea that fresh, un-processed food is best, we’re talking about promoting local distribution, which is a big blow to trucking, processing and distribution centers. Let’s stop there with food. It’s too frightening already.
Clean air and water? Automobile industry crashes. Hog farms crap out. All industry collapses under the weight of their own garbage. A nightmare.

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