Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Made off like a Bandit

The populist ranting about the evils of unbridled capitalism overshadows the raving about the coming socialism. This might seem to bode well for those in favor of wealth redistribution, short of the observation that The State can be whatever or whoever - at it's convenience - at any given moment in public relations history.

A Walgreen's dealer on every corner is indeed different than drugs parceled out under official government control, but if my HMO dictates Brand G be exhausted unsuccessfully before trying on Brand B, isn't that at once awfully similar to the lack of choice & quality the free marketeers complain about and the profit-before-treatment tack taken, railed against by the champions of employer-provided health care?

It would make sense to lament the absence of single payer advocacy as our government representatives debate ways toward more inclusive health coverage. Unfortunately this fails to address what would have to be done to keep the largely abandoned insurance industry from accelerating the economic spiral downward.

It is likewise misleading to advocate the decriminalization of marijuana by saying we stand to profit by taxing the shit out of it while simultaneously removing the criminal element. This argument completely ignores just who it is that profits the most from the consumption of this THC laden crop. The pharmacological industry, legal or otherwise, stands to make-out or lose-out if the structure of payment is radically altered. Radical alterations are, surprisingly still, not in order.

If the current parade of ponzi scheme jokers has shown us anything, it is that it is more effective to channel collective anger toward representational figures of disgrace than to deal with the problem itself. And to the argument that this is not good enough this time, that the people won't stand for it: one need look no further than consumer debt.

It is easier to moan about your political opposition than it is to change your own party's platform, just as it is safer to be annoyed by someone else than it is to recognize one's own latent fear and self-loathing. Neither amount to much, for substantive change requires some form of upheaval, not the rolling of a few heads. So for the "Libs" and "Pugs" the current way forward should be great news: There will be global socialism replete with corporate logos.