Tuesday, November 12, 2013

4 Creeping Ways Capitalism Is Killing Us

From AlterNet:

The process is gradual, insidious, lethal. It starts with financial stress in various forms, and then, according to growing evidence, leads to health problems and shorter lives.

Financial stress is brought upon us by the profit motive of capitalism, which offers little incentive to feed hungry children, to treat the sick, to secure us in retirement, to provide job opportunities for middle-class Americans. Some of the steps in the process are becoming more and more familiar to us.

More here.

Okay, this is a good and short piece illuminating, with lots of facts, some of the ways our economic system does its damage.  The deal is that our economy, and our society, too, for that matter, has become so incredibly complicated and huge that it's not easy to really get a handle on how easy it is to rip us all off.  People want simplicity.  They want to see stuff happening right in front of their faces.  And I don't blame them because that's essentially what we've evolved into as biological creatures, beings of the immediate environment.  It takes effort to grasp that which cannot be seen readily or understood easily.  

Instead, we have what I call "folk economics," down-home ideas that seem like the truth, that we can quickly and easily wrap our minds around, even though when you dig a bit and assemble some facts, these "folk economics" are definitely NOT the truth.  It's kind of like Colbert's "truthiness," but I really think there's a biological component to it: evolution has made us necessarily fear the lion who's about to eat us, not the long-term and relatively invisible and abstract concept of global warming.  Of course, both lions and global warming are deadly, sure as shooting, and we are, by now, as a species, fully capable of appreciating that.

But it takes some effort for us as individuals.

So here's a good start.  Four ways our American variety of unrestrained capitalism is killing us.  In black and white.  Check it out.