Economy of Disease 2


Without question, the U.S. economy is heavily invested in disease. Retailers like Walgreens have mastered the art of selling products on both sides of the equation. At the front of the store, Walgreens sells junk food products, soft drinks, candy and a lot of food that really has no nutrition. At the back of the store, they sell prescription drugs — drugs that treat the symptoms of diseases that are ultimately caused by people’s poor dietary choices and their consumption of junk food. Walgreens has really mastered this. They will sell you the problem and the treatment, all in the same store. One reason Walgreens is so incredibly successful as a business is because it has mastered the art of selling products to consumers as part of the disease economy. It is a flagship company of the disease economy, perhaps even more so than pharmaceutical companies.

One of the funniest things about the disease economy is that the consumers who are diseased think they’re doing well because they own stocks in the companies selling the products that harm them. This fascinates me. A guy dying of cancer or suffering from heart disease, because of the products he has been consuming for years, believes he’s doing well because he owns stock in large food manufacturing companies or large pharmaceutical companies. Maybe he owns stock in a new medical technology, or maybe he’s a partner in a local medical clinic. His investments are doing great, but he’s dying, and he’s dying from preventable degenerative disease.

This is what’s happening across the country, not just to one person, but to millions of people — perhaps hundreds of millions — who think the economy is looking up and think that maybe they have a good job because they work for a pharmaceutical company. They think they have good investments now because they have stocks in the junk food manufacturers. They think they’re doing well financially, but guess what? They’re consuming the product themselves, and they are dying. They’re dying from a degenerative disease at a rate that has never before been witnessed in human history. This demonstrates my entire point: We cannot create abundance by selling each other increasingly expensive products and services that harm each other.

By the way, I don’t mean to leave out all those chemical companies manufacturing pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, toxic household cleaners and toxic personal care products. A lot of those skincare companies are really just chemical manufacturers with sexy marketing and lots of women in lab coats selling you products that actually harm your health; that literally contain ingredients that cause cancer and liver disease. People think our economy is booming, but we’re all dying of chronic disease. Why is it that 50 percent of our senior citizens in the United States have high blood pressure? Why is it that 40 percent of our senior citizens are now clinically obese? I’m willing to bet that a similar percentage may have nervous system disorders or early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Most of them are probably metabolizing some form of cancer right now, even though it may not have been diagnosed yet.

The US is a nation of diseased individuals, and that disease starts very early. There are 12-year-old children who have atherosclerosis. There are teenagers with osteoporosis, and teenage children with obesity are now common. In fact, diabetes has gotten so bad in young people that they had to change the name. That used to be the name. Now they just have to call it diabesity, and that applies to children, teenagers and adults alike.

They have created so much disease in US, and based our economy on it to such a degree that, frankly, they cannot untangle this situation without causing economic distress. If there were a cure for cancer, diabetes or heart disease tomorrow, where a person could wave a magic wand and instantly eliminate those diseases, and if every person in the country did that tomorrow, the sobering truth is that the US national economy would collapse overnight. It would collapse because there’s so much money, so much real estate, so much education and so much expertise and research invested in disease that they could not financially survive in an economy based on health and abundance, at least not the way things are configured right now.

They could not economically survive in an economy based on real health. They are so invested in disease in the US that they truly have a disease economy, and in order for that economy to grow, they have to expand the number of people with disease, expand the definition of disease or expand the coverage of people who are treated with high-profit disease-masking products. All three of those things are happening right now. And guess what, the disease economy is spreading.  Look around you and ask yourself how many Asian countries are following these trends.

Be well

Dr Sundardas

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Economy of Disease part 1


This is an article about the disease economy. That’s a term I coined because I could find no economy because such a huge percentage of the economic activity and economic growth I see in the US is based on the manufacturing, marketing and selling of products and services based on disease. That is, products and services that either cause diseases or “treat” those diseases.

How do I know we’re in a disease economy today? You can see it for yourself. Just drive around any city or town in the United States and you can see what’s happening. Take a look at the new construction. What’s going to be there? If it’s an office complex, chances are it’s going to be a medical office building. If it’s on a street corner, it’s probably going to be a pharmacy — maybe a new Walgreens or CVS Pharmacy or a new drive-through Wal-Mart pharmacy. You even see pharmacies in grocery stores now, because they are so profitable. When you go into grocery stores and look at what’s being sold there, you’re getting a good look at the economic activity in this country. You mostly see products that promote disease, thanks to their disease-causing ingredients.

 

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photo courtesy of google

 

Of course, the disease economy promotes Big Pharma companies. These are the pharmaceutical manufacturers in this country, and they are huge global corporations. The selling of pharmaceuticals is a $1 trillion industry. It’s an amazing statistic. Here in the United States, some of our largest corporations are drug companies. In fact, as I’ve stated before, the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the United States earn more money than the remaining 490 Fortune 500 companies. Just recently, I heard the Bush administration was very excited about the news that we are experiencing economic growth in this country. The economy is up, more money is changing hands, and that’s all that economists really look at when calculating gross domestic product or gross national product. They’re just looking at the total number of dollars that changed hands.

An economy based on paying for disease treatment

 

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However, if you look at the quality of the products and services that are being exchanged for these dollars, you’ll realize something is amiss here, because what we’re doing is basing our economic growth on the growth of chronic and degenerative disease. We’re basing our economy on the idea that we can treat more and more people with drugs and medical services and keep selling them soft drinks and fast food while calling it economic growth.

This leads me to the most important point of this article, which is that we cannot create abundance in the United States or in any country by selling each other increasingly expensive products and services that promote disease. In other words, we cannot create abundance by poisoning ourselves. The very idea is absurd. The whole point of economic growth is to create economic abundance, and if you look at the classic definitions of economic growth, they are about providing more goods and services to people in a more efficient manner. Those goods and services are supposed to improve the quality of life for those people.

In the old days, the arguments for the invisible hand in the economy were that if you let entrepreneurs compete in a free market, they would devise clever and efficient ways to create, produce and deliver goods and services to consumers that would ultimately enhance their quality of life. That part is absolutely true, and the United States has done that very successfully. The free market does work in accomplishing that, but what we’re seeing now is something beyond what those old-school economists could have ever conceived. We’re seeing an economy that is increasingly based on goods and services that do not add to the quality of consumers’ lives but rather take away from it. We’re seeing entrepreneurs and creative, clever people finding new ways to market products that harm people and calling that profitability or economic growth.

We see this quite blatantly in the drug industry, where creative marketers keep coming up with new, absurd ways to sell drugs to people through direct-to-consumer advertising on television. Some of these ads are absolutely idiotic in what they are promising. Yet, they are effective in creating demand. They sell products, but these products do not help consumers.

We also see a lot of products being marketed and sold to consumers that may give them very short-term benefits — such as the taste of a hamburger or the taste of french fries, which lasts about 10 seconds — but has long-term detrimental consequences, like obesity, heart disease, brain disorders, cancer and diabetes. These diseases largely come about as a result of long-term consumption of nutritionally depleted foods.

Be well

Dr Sundardas