Wednesday, April 01, 2020

The Disaster Of Our Rotten Sickcare (Healthcare) System And Non-Existent Public Policy Are Shining Brightly - Nations Die When They Cannot Provide For Their Citizens

Before I get into this post, I want to make a few off-topic remarks. Because now everyone is focused on becoming an epidemiologist or a virologist, little focus is being spent on the greater issues that are now revealing themselves.  Issues I have been writing for the last fifteen years would come to pass when this cycle ends.  Some Texas crude numbers are printing $7 a barrel and oil is at its lowest level in two decades.  Just one issue not being discussed.  This was predicted on here more than a decade ago.  The fossil fuel industry is going to need a massive government bailout.  The U.S., and by extension the global economy, is a disaster courtesy of corporate capitalism.  It's far deeper and wider than  real estate bubble 2.0.  But, the coronavirus has masked all of these issues at the current moment.  After 2008, I wrote numerous times that the economy won't recover.  If you peel back the propaganda, the endless grift of financial criminals and wild sums of money printing, reality will reveal itself.

This most recent criminal corporate bailout jammed through by the bought-and-paid-for politicians in this nation is not because our economy was shut down for two weeks.  It's much, much deeper than that.  Before this economic crisis has passed, and I'm not talking about anything related to the economic impact of coronavirus, the United States will have likely spent upwards of $100 trillion bailing out capitalism.  I'll explain that number in an upcoming post.

Now onto everyone's favorite topic - the pandemic.   The title of this post isn't just as it pertains to the coronavirus.  It pertains to a whole host of crises that exist in our nation.  Our citizens are in perpetual crisis thanks to the corporate state.  Not the least of which is that we are a nation of addicts.  And none more impactful than the addiction of work so glorified in the corporate state.  More on that in the post below.

Above is a graphic from Johns Hopkins on the number of cases. If you don't have the link to the Johns Hopkins coronavirus page, it's here.  They have one of the most complete views on infections and outcomes.  Unfortunately, far better than the government.  But, the data in general is horrendous.  Again, more on that below. As you can clearly see, the United States is "number one".  Trump should enjoy being number one.  Back before the U.S. had a single death and a very, very small number of  cases, I noted that U.S. public policy and the U.S. healthcare systems were both disasters across a whole multitude of issues thanks to the corruption of our government by corporate capitalism. Then, I followed up with a more detailed look and said if this pandemic took off, the U.S. would be one of the hardest hit due to a multitude of dysfunctional and corrupt factors.  All of those factors are playing major roles today and everything I wrote is indeed playing out as if this was a dystopian fiction created in my mind.  This world truly is dystopian.  But, this political and socioeconomic system and its supporters are the gifts that keep on giving.  So, it's a target rich environment.

Donald Trump is a master politician but borders on being a complete buffoon when it comes to actually being responsible for doing anything.  Or, data-driven science used to make informed decisions.  Or knowing how to run this response as a supposed businessman should know how. Unless you are watching Fox News or listening to Rush Limbaugh, I think it's quite obvious why he declared bankruptcy seven times even though he was born into a family of incredible wealth. I wouldn't let Trump tie my shoes. Of course, I wouldn't let Nancy Pelosi tie them either.  The frightening thing is, most large corporations are run by equally incompetent buffoons.  We'll likely watch them fall like dominoes as I wrote on here ages ago.

The United States is wildly corrupt and inept except when it comes to the objectives of profit and money.  Then it is wildly corrupt, inept and backed by the bazookas of the world's reserve currency, the military-industrial complex and the exploitative profit motive of unbridled neoliberal (Ayn Rand/Ronald Reagan/Republican Party/Alan Greenspan) corporate capitalism. When I say neoliberal, I want to be clear.  Neoliberalism was ushered in by the corporate fascist, Ronald Reagan, who had a long history of evils.  It is an ideology that all government is bad and the private capitalist market is the all-knowing arbiter of brilliance and human achievement.  Government bad.  Capitalism good. We are living through the outcome of the Ayn Rand economy. Get the government out of the way and let the free markets decide our fate.  Never an utterance of democracy in this radical, right wing ideology.  Again, this has been discussed endlessly.  Including the messes it has created in government, public policy and healthcare in my March 11th post.

I want to highlight some of the massively dysfunctional and downright evil outcomes we are seeing as it pertains to this pandemic courtesy of corporate state.  And, as horrifying as it might be to some, we should thank our lucky stars it isn't worse because it would kill us all given the downright incompetence and vile evil of our politicians and our healthcare system.  I'm not going to provide all of the links below because that is too much like work. As usual, do your own diligence.
  1. Hospitals are muzzling doctors and nurses as it pertains to the mass incompetence of healthcare leadership. Both are being fired for speaking the truth about corporate malfeasance and unpreparedness.  Got to love how corporations endlessly muzzle your Constitutional rights.  This is a daily practice and always has been. Has zip to do with this crisis.
  2. Major corporation slashes benefits for doctors and nurses fighting coronavirus
  3. There are factual stories of people being turned away because they didn't have health insurance who have died. No surprise. People die everyday in America because of lack of access to healthcare.
  4. Hospital workers in New York have had to rely on wearing trash bags due to lack of emergency gear.
  5. Prisoners are being offered $6 an hour to dig their own coronavirus graves because we have no public health policy.
  6. This is just infuriating.  A nurse told not to wear a mask.  Essentially write your own death warrant. May God have mercy on these criminals because I have none.
  7. A doctor in New York posted a picture of her PPE or protective gear handed to her this morning.  It's a little better than a trash bag. She's being asked to wear a Yankees rain poncho.  You can't make this stuff up.  The greatest healthcare system in the world.
  8. Trump has refused to open the healthcare exchange for those who don't have insurance. I'm sure corporations are behind this. 
  9. It has been reported that healthcare providers are looking to raise premiums as much as 40% next year due to this crisis.
  10. People are being turned away from testing for a multitude of reasons. They need a script, there are no test kits, etc.  Spain is using robots to do mass testing.  We have none or one testing location where there are literally thousands of cars waiting forever to get tested, if at all.
  11. Testing in the U.S. is a fukcing disaster.  The CDC couldn't produce the kits and Trump let that slide for weeks. Or, as he said, he takes no responsibility for the mess he inherited.  Fine, grow a pair and fix the mess.  Who is testing what?  Who is coordinating and combining that data into useful analytics? Better yet, who is leading anything in this nation as it pertains to this public health issue?  I have absolutely no idea. 
  12. We now have states with a hodge podge of testing solutions or no testing solutions at all.  No one is coordinating this so there is no epidemiological data being presented to the public as is available courtesy of the national healthcare system in every other developed nation.  In fact, given we are not a nation of science, we have no data on anything.  Other than cases and deaths. Those are meaningless if we are to make data-driven decisions on protocols, treatments, supplies, etc.  Who's responsible?  Who's accountable?  No one.  States are making it up as they go because the Federal government is a disaster and no politician in Washington has any idea how to operationally run anything.
  13. Per 12 above, as I noted in a prior post, the U.S. healthcare system doesn't have standardized protocols and data to back them up.  Actionable data in this crisis is no different.  It is nonexistent.  A massive failure that is a major reason why poor and authoritarian countries oftentimes have better healthcare outcomes than the monstrous U.S. system.
  14. The comments about capitalism saving us by developing a cure are preposterous.  Preventative vaccines are substantially government funded because capitalism only wants to fix something if there is money involved.  In other words, once the patient is already sick aka sickcare, which is how corporate capitalist healthcare operates.  If this was a more impactful virus, we'd all be dead waiting on a vaccine that may never happen.  There is no common good or public policy driving our health care system because capitalism has eaten it.   
  15. Nurses are being told they can't wear their own masks even when there are no masks available for anyone to wear.  
  16. The fascist plea to send people back to work and worry about the death toll later that started with Fox News shows how desperate the establishment economic elites are to maintain their power and control.  We are a nation of workers and consumers.  The title of citizen is never used anymore.  The corporate capitalist takeover of our country is complete.  This link is a very interesting read of a lawyer spouting completely nonscientific drivel that may be behind the right wing attempt at restarting the economy.  
  17. It's not in the mainstream news but workers across this nation are revolting in the last few weeks similar to what happened during the union movements of the Great Depression.  People are placing their lives on the line for slave wages to keep the grocery stores open, keep Amazon open, keep fast food restaurants open and keep the food supply moving.  Could this be America's start of our "Arab Spring"?  By the way, that Arab Spring was substantially created by American corporations and our government's support of dictators as noted in past posts.  
A system of class driven by plutocratic interests is truly despotic. It's even far worse than communism.  This isn't anything new.  We've seen this type of neoliberalism before courtesy of Republicans.  This time is eerily similar to both the times leading into the Great Depression and the brutality of the most disparate time of economic tyranny in our nation's history.  A time when the Republican Party brought us the (trust or corporation) Bosses of the Senate.  Another time when corporations owned our government.  In fact, except for a few periods of anything but, always brought on by capitalism's crises, our country's history is one of "conservatives" holding the American people hostage for the benefit of an economic elite.

If you really want to understand the mindset in this nation, you need to go back to its basic underpinnings as it pertains to labor. Capitalism is founded on the concept of slave labor and an expendable class of workers.  This link is from a Congressman's speech before the Civil War rationalizing, as we see today, an expendable class of workers that they parasitically extract their wealth from.  His comments are really no different than the call to return to work we see today.  It doesn't matter if one is black or white or man or woman.  A system of class has an intent of keeping the masses enslaved to enrich themselves. Corporate capitalism is not consistent with democracy as it has always been practiced.  Could it be permanently reformed?  Sure. But it would have to be constitutional reform to stop the pathology from constantly overturning our laws in the courts and through the bribery of government.  But, then again, those reforms would likely make capitalism something other than capitalism.  

Let me dovetail into another topic of the same ilk.  That is, the pathological ruling class attempting to divert attention to an external enemy to rally the masses.  And, possibly to keep their heads out of the proverbial guillotine or the growing agitation of the working class.  

An interesting perspective on the Italian coronavirus crisis at the link.  At the bottom of this article, Italian doctors note that the coronavirus was likely in Italy before it was recognized in China.  It appears China may not be ground zero for the coronavirus.  This is my surprised face.  Would that really surprise anyone?  Instantaneous access to information is both a blessing and a curse.  A curse for those seeking their unconscious confirmation bias.  The mob of anyone with a keyboard or a "pen" has been piling on China as a source of this pandemic. (The Republicans are trying to pivot to blaming China for everything. It's palpable and is a setup to blame an external enemy for their treason. That includes stealing our jobs.  Let's be clear.  China didn't steal anything. American corporations and corporate Republicans and Democrats gave China our jobs by the millions.)  Trump himself has politicized this with constant badgering rhetoric. Chinese American kids in some unknown quantity are being bullied and Chinese Americans were stabbed in a Sam's Club because the perpetrator thought they were responsible for spreading the virus.  Make America Great Again.

I've stayed clear of talking about the epidemiology or virology of this situation because they are reasonably mature sciences with a lot of expertise. I'm not that person.  Not that science is infallible but again everyone with a keyboard and a pen wants to either take down the science or prove they know more than the science.  Again, only in the United States where every dilettante is an expert and where experts are often self-serving idiots.  Criticism is appropriate and necessary for citizen government but there are so many real issues that should be criticized beyond whether the virus is a flu or whether the spread rate is accurate.  People focusing on these aspects are generally science illiterates like Fox News or Donald Trump. (All major news outlets are horrendous liars but Fox is definitely the most politicized form of ignorance when it comes to data-driven science.  And, the experts they put on TV confirm their biases. You don't see a host of virologists or epidemiologists on Fox News.)

Let me back up on this story out of Italy that may show China is not the epicenter of the virus. People jumping on that bandwagon are ignorant.  There is no science to back up that this virus came from Chinese citizens eating raw bats or whatever else has been postulated.  There's no science to say this virus originated in China, period.  At least, that data doesn't exist yet.  The piling on to this story simply another sign that being first with a story is more important than being factual when reporting anything.  It's no different than the bulloney that this was a man-made virus.  Numerous virologists have confirmed after sequencing the virus' genome this has no markers that lead them to believe it was man-made.  Who's telling you it's man-made?  Well, not people capable of sequencing its genome.  The profit motive in journalism or online "journalism" (A term I use very lightly.) as in every other aspect of profit-driven capitalism is the virus.  The more eyes on your story, the more money you make.

It took years for science to track down patient zero for HIV.  Years.  The first person to be identified as sick is not patient zero.  Even so, how do we know that Italy isn't ground zero?  Or that the first jump wasn't in Africa a century ago?  Or, from the United States?  HIV's original transmission to humans was more than one hundred years ago.  The virus had jumped to humans at the turn of the twentieth century and through mutation eventually became the horrendous plague it is today.  How do we know this virus didn't just a year or a decade ago and has just recently mutated?  China is blamed because it's politically convenient for a predatory class with an agenda.  And, that agenda may includes economic warfare or worse.  It definitely involves deflecting from their own incompetence.

If you are really a conspiracy theorist, the links below are a much more compelling look at where the virus came from.  Why isn't the media reporting on this?  Frankly, I'd like to see what that infection was and have virologists just confirm this case is unrelated given this happened in July of last year-

U.S. infectious disease lab shut down due to safety violations.

At the same time a nursing home down the road reports a major respiratory outbreak.

These are likely not related but why isn't there an investigation simply to confirm?  Because TV and radio news personalities and politicians create this hive mind mentality in their brainwashed cult followers.  We are told what to think rather than how to think and I'm quite certain that is no coincidence.  It's not any grand conspiracy theory.  It's the pathological madness of social movements I've written about time and again coupled with the profit motive.  It's simply that pathology has an intent of control and the victims of that control, all of us, are all too willing to be controlled when placed in a permanent state of ego as news personalities, corporate leaders, the state and its manifestations of communism, capitalism and the like requires.  Being free more than anything means your mind is free.  Our society operates on the need for consumers and workers (capitalism) being anything but of a free mind.  Our society turns sentient beings and... "citizens into one-dimensional idiots; consuming pointlessly, obsessing about lifestyle, gawping at celebrities, gazing blankly at moronic TV game shows, forever grasping towards the next vacuous, artificial want created by Global Gobble Corporation.".  (Ayn Rand's Republican bible of capitalist neoliberalism.)

Donald Trump and conservative news outlets have blood on their hands but let's be clear, so does the Democratic leadership.  There is nothing in the Constitution that gives the power to lead to the President. To the contrary, it is the Congress charged with making laws.  And, that means the leadership of the country is the responsibility of the Congress.  They are the representatives of the people. The Presidency in this nation has morphed into a monarchy going back to the very beginning of this nation. In fact, Alexander Hamilton wanted the Presidency to be a king.  He wanted a lifetime appointment.  This is just another example of a massive failure of our government.  Congress passes laws written by corporations that they don't understand and in doing so, abdicates its duties to democracy.  Then the king pens in the specifics of those laws to enrich the ruling class through executive orders.  Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, Charles Schumer, Lindsay Graham and all of these other parasites are just as responsible as Donald Trump.  As is Obama, Bush, Clinton and Reagan who have followed this neoliberal doctrine of selling out the American people.

What kind of person wants to be the king?  Seriously?  Whether it is Congress or the President or the leader of Brazil or any political position?  Who wants that kind of power?  Someone who is a very, very flawed person or worse.  Almost invariably, someone who should never be granted that power.  This is why I have repeated ad nauseum that politics is a relic of the past and institution of the ego.  And, we don't need politicians.  We need direct citizen government.  No politician wants to lead through public service because they are generally deplorable and despicable human beings who are more concerned about lining their pockets and grabbing at power than serving their constituents.  Those very reasons are why they sought office in the first place.  And, we elect these people.  The ego operates out of self-abandonment.  Always looking for a savior.  The American people are looking for a savior.  Well, he or she ain't coming.  We are the people we have been waiting for.  We just need to wake up from this demonic dream we are in.  (And I do mean demonic.  Not in the biblical sense but in the pathological sense.  More on that in another post.)   A much longer conversation than this post.  The good news is we are waking up.  That's bad news for this system of rot because as Thomas Paine once noted, "The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark.".

There is no going back and there will be no recovery until this system either collapses or is transformed.

Trump's victory was anticipated on here in a post I put up just days before his election.  I do want to pull a quote forward from a post I put up just days after his election because they are indeed so timely-
"Bargaining with evil, as the American people, and really all people around the world, have become so good at, will eventually pay off in spades. And that payoff will be exactly the opposite of what was ever intended.  Trump, in my estimation, because of the astrological cycle we are currently experiencing, is likely to be that guy. The person who grants the American people their due payoff for endlessly bargaining with evil. (A pre-ordained cycle giving rise to pathological, fear-based, nationalistic fervor around the world. Remember, enlightenment is a very violent process as it involves the repudiation, often foisted upon the ego/self violently, of its delusional belief systems that keep us from ever seeing reality.  Today, humanity is still bargaining with those belief systems. But, that too will change as our belief systems eventually shatter before our very eyes.)"

And so here we are.  Are we in the midst of the great bargain I highlighted days after his election?  It's hard to deny the payoff is in play and it's looking like a doozy.  And, we are drowning in his incompetence and lack of leadership. 

Oh, don't worry.  This is likely just the warm-up.  By the election, we will likely be in full-scale economic crisis.
posted by TimingLogic at 4:31 PM