by A L Katz
Not everyone is greedy for money. Some people are greedy for love and couldn’t care less about money.
Some of us are greedy for credit. We’ll take ownership of work and labor that we did not do.
Some are greedy for other peoples’ joy. They can’t bear to see any one else experiencing pleasure when they’re not.
Some people are greedy for power.
We still live in the shadow of the movie “Wall Street”‘s Gordon Gekko. “Greed is good”. Funny thing, for a while there, America believed him. The Republican Party still does. I won’t get political here; that’s what my “How To Live Bullshit Free Blog” is all about. But greed is the bottom line in America right now. We now know that the Trump Administration made a “trade deal” with China that 1) lets them off the hook for covering up the fact that the coronavirus was achieving pandemic status inside China (that virus broke into humans is a whole other question), 2) gives Trump much more favorable terms on the rents the Chinese pay him in his various real estate ventures (this is so corrupt it’s breath-taking!), 3) gives Trump leverage on the giant balloon payment he personally owes the Chinese shortly (our foreign policy is based on who Trump owes money to!) and 4) had Trump sending all our PPE’s to CHINA in February & March — while OUR front line health care workers begged for them AND DIED because they DIDN’T have them.
Greed is literally lethal.
And we’re all guilty of it — in one way or another. The trick is — most of us learn how to keep our greed (whatever it’s for) in check. At least, we keep it in check enough so that our loved ones don’t strangle us. Still — it’s our obligation. And it starts with recognizing that we’re “guilty as charged”.
Greed, at its root, is a survival strategy. If you don’t know what tomorrow brings and you may never eat again — that whole woolly mammoth carcass is staying right here, pal! But we know, most of us, where our next meal is coming from. Those at the top have the least cause to be greedy. And yet — they always seem to be the greediest.
Our coronavirus pandemic experience will change us profoundly. There’s no way around it. The only way out, going forward, is “progressive” in nature. America will have to become more socialized. As we now know — it only takes ONE sick individual to infect the whole world. And if no one knows that it’s happening — because the sick person can’t afford health care? We’re off to the pandemic races again.
And — don’t forget — the damage we’ve already done to the environment via climate change will itself introduce pathogens into the human environment that humans have never encountered — those pathogens having been frozen into the permaforst for tens of millions of years. It will be like Jurassic Park — except the prehistoric creatures rampaging will be microscopic and the place they’ll be raging through will be our bodies. We need to plan for pandemics being a “way of life”. That flat out demands a socialized medical system.
America, right now, doesn’t have a health CARE system. We have a health INSURANCE system. It’s not the same thing. When anyone walks in the door, needing help, our first question isn’t “How can we fix you?”, it’s “How’re you gonna pay for this?” That’s because we have profit incentive at the heart of our “health care system” and profit incentive & health care are mutually exclusive propositions. There are reasons no other civilized country has profit incentive in its health care system. Covid-19 is the reason.
The reason WE still have profit incentive in our health care system?
Let’s all say it together: GREED.