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Business is Booming

Wednesday, November 22, 2006 | Read Comments

Business is Booming

Today, about one-fifth of the U.S. economy is based on treating disease or providing so-called "health care." The trend is increasing, too. In another ten years, our economy will see more than one out of every four dollars spent on disease. It is, by far, the highest percentage of GDP spent on disease by any nation in the world.

If you look at all the numbers from an economist's point of view, you might conclude, "Business is booming!" But what kind of business is it, really?

This comic graphically illustrates what I call the "Disease Economy." It's an economy based on all the various businesses and industries that cause disease, combined with those that treat it.

In the U.S., it starts with the chemical manufacturers and junk food companies whose products directly promote cancer, diabetes, birth defects, nervous system disorders and 'mystery' diseases like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Next, it moves to the for-profit disease management industries like hospitals, medical clinics, cancer centers and pharmaceutical companies, where no diseases are ever really cured, they're just "managed" or "controlled" in order to extract a lifetime of profits from sick people. Finally, it concludes with the hugely profitable "death industry" that includes funeral homes and organ transplantation businesses.

Put it all together, and you have an economy that looks great on paper but is actually disastrous to the quality of life of real people. When businesses generate profits at the expense of public health, there's a net loss to the people. Politicians can stand before the podium and proclaim the economy is doing great, but in reality, the people are increasingly diseased, dependent on drugs, living in chronic pain and facing bankruptcy due to medical bills.

A little over a year ago, I wrote the popular story, Welcome to the Town of Allopath that explains this as a fable. It's a fun read and has been quite popular across the web.

How do we solve this mess?

As we move forward and try to create a happier, healthier society for future generations, the question we should all be asking ourselves is, "Which businesses genuinely serve the greater good?" Having individual corporations generate massive profits for themselves at the expense of everyone else is no longer acceptable. Profits must be balanced with social responsibility, and ideally, the entire for-profit model of health care should be scrapped and replaced by one that seeks to keep people healthy and prevent disease rather than waiting for them to become disease-ridden profit centers for greedy corporations and corrupt bureaucrats.

In the United States, if we focused on disease prevention rather than disease profits, we could slash health care costs by a whopping 90 percent in a single generation, all while radically boosting the health, happiness and abundance of the American people. Of course, Big Pharma would never let that happen. Cancer is simply too profitable to allow anyone to effectively prevent it, which is why the FDA has raided, prosecuted or otherwise discredited anybody offering genuine cancer treatments or products.

Gotta keep that economy pumping! It's the Disease Economy, and it depends on sickness for its health. If we actually prevented cancer in this country (which is really easy to prevent, by the way), just think of how many people in the cancer industry would lose their jobs!

This is why preventing disease can never be allowed to happen. At least, not while Big Pharma, the FDA and the American Medical Association are in power. The current medical monopoly will stop at nothing to protect the drug racket that dominates medicine today.

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