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The Power of Trump

The Power of Trump.

Why fascism is attractive to some voters.

Why is religion attractive to some voters?

Why are conspiracy theories attractive to some voters?

Why is faith praised?

Because it serves some human con man somewhere and unless you're the con man, the person it's serving ain't you. 

So maybe you might try hiring the best con man around to represent you. You know he's a con man, but he promised to con everyone in your favor! We call that the long con. You join the con and you still get stiffed. Such is life. At least I'm conning everyone else more than I'm getting conned!

I have never seen the attractiveness of living in a fascist state where the prosecutorial power of the state was run by a transactional plutocrat who's sole goal was to suck money out of you in return for 'favors.' The most common favor is not getting beaten up or arrested. The money is in the form of donations to the candidates or the parties (limited, attributed) or to Super PACs supporting the candidate (unlimited, unattributed). 

This is what the local mafia don, crooked cop or corrupt politician does. That's called called the protection racket and it's illegal. That's what the 1970 RICO laws were written to prevent. It's ironic that the lawyer and President Nixon signed the RICO law, then a few years later the threat of using it on him (for ordering the burglary of the Democratic Headquarters in the watergate) made him resign from office, it seemed very fitting.

Supposedly, the politician only goes after more lucrative deals. Politicians sell tax breaks to billionaires and corporations. 

This is not just the Republican's that have done this in the past... Bush the younger did it and the Democrats agreed and the country crashed a few years later in the Great Recession. 

The Great Recession was as bad as the response to COVID-19 where we shut down everything that is non-essential. That was really bad. The cash flow of the world dropped as much as during a worldwide lockdown during the pandemic. The Great Recession was a very bad flu caused by a group of corporations that got paid money to evaluate and pronounce risk. 

Other companies and other people around the world relied on this group to reliably predict the future value of loans. The corporations had been doing this for over one hundred years. The companies used to be partnerships. Partners are liable for what their Partnerships do. If the partnership bilks old ladies out of billions of dollars, they are personally responsible for paying them back. The Partners converted these Partnerships to Corporations. Specifically, Limited Liability Corporations, where they just owned a percentage of the company. Now magically, if the new company bilked old ladies out of billions of dollars, then the partner could lose their investment, but was now not personally liable for anything else. The partners were rich and the old ladies were now out of luck. 

Not only where the old ladies out of luck, but this new corporation could sell itself to the public, who also could only lose their investment and were not personally liable for the consequences of what their money was paying for, like bilking all those old ladies out of their life savings. Or stealing money from everyone who lived in California by faking bids on electricity to control the outcomes of auctions? Nope, you could do that, earn a bunch of money illegally, then not give it back by declaring bankruptcy. Perfectly legal if it was just an honest mistake? Enron was an extreme case that shows the basic bankruptcy of the capitalist system. 

Typically the fine for breaking the law is just factored in as a cost of doing business. For a corporation, it's acceptable to break the law and pay a fine; not admit to guilt, but continue in business without correcting the failure. Again, this is why corporations are amoral and why capitalism as practiced today is a bankrupt theology that is used to steal the wealth of the average person.

The US Government treats corporations as 'people' if they can. This means they can take the rights of a person as declared in the constitution - they can enter into contracts, they can own things, they can agree to have you give up your constitutional rights to a government trial by your peers in their contracts. In other words, whatever is agreed to in the contract cannot be countermanded by any existing law, if the corporation's extra-legal (outside of government) system doesn't agree. And the US Supreme Court has agreed that this is constitutional. You can give up your constitutional rights if you want to. Illogical and unbelievable, but the state of the world we are currently living in.

I guess the "inalienable" part of the Declaration of Independence didn't mean what everyone thought it meant. At least not according to the current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who has ruled in this way multiple times. The founding document of United States of America states that:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

Everybody agreed, in the founding document of the American Republic, that all men have unalienable rights that the government could not take away; and that these were not their only rights. In addition to equal treatment and the rule of law, Science and Religion agreed that some of the most important rights were:

  •  Life,
  •  Liberty, and the
  •  Pursuit of Happiness.
But wait, didn't I just say the Supreme Court has been ruling that it's perfectly legal for you to give up your unalienable rights? What does unalienable or inalienable mean? According to every dictionary I could find it: "refers to that which cannot be given away or taken away". That doesn't seem like the current Supreme Court agrees with this, does it? 

Ah, but remember, the Declaration of Independence does not have the force of the rule of law. It's just an aspirational argument for how a government should be constructed. It was a declaration of rebellion against the rule of a foreign King.

The amazing thing about it was that it was not a plea to another King to come and run the country, it was a plea to let the people run their own government using Democratic principles. The first time in modern history that a group of people banded together to provide their own government.

Remember that the first version of the government of the United States of America was documented in the Articles of Confederation  and Perpetual Union of the states and lasted for more than a decade before it was overturned and the current constitution was instantiated as the law of the country. 

So the constitution was supposed to be written in the spirit of the justification for it, right? 

The founding fathers gave it their best try and it's still probably the best way to run a government, or at least it's been able to provide the most increase in economic output compared to any other system of government. But it's not perfect. 

The Constitution doesn't guarantee safety from the hazards declared in the Declaration of Independence. Apparently, the current Constitution doesn't even guarantee that you can't give up your unalienable rights. The Declaration of independence says we all have them, but the Constitution cannot be used to let the power of the state enforce them if you give away that which you cannot give.  

We all agree that you can't give them away, but if you do, the state will not enforce these rights. The state will not enforce the rule of law and protect you. In other words... if you agree to the latest 'shrinkwrap' contract for the use of software, you give up your rights of trial by jury or your peers, one of your inalienable rights, the right of the rule of law. You must now negotiate individually for your rights and you cannot use the courts of the government to enforce your inalienable right. It's almost as if you 'agreed' to be a slave or belong to a cult... after opening their software they are now allowed to blackmail and threaten you to keep you in their thrall and it's perfectly legal because you gave them permission to break the law in return for something (a program to run and it's a license, you don't even own this software.)

So the Constitution is flawed. It apparently can't be used to enforce the basic unalienable rights of Americans.

There are two ways to fix this problem. The goal is that we should make the Constitution enforce more of the Declaration of Independence than it does currently. Either change the members of the Supreme Court or rewrite or amend  the Constitution.

Or the Supreme Court could just change its mind and decide that one of the responsibilities of the US government is to enforce the inalienable rights of Americans. That would take the passing of several judges, realistically this will take many years and the Democrats (since Republicans and their judges think it's a great idea to allow you to be thrown into slavery) must manage to get both the Senate majority and the Presidency at the same time.

This seems unlikely in the near term. Given an average age of death of around 80 for an American these days, looking at the data, it seems that the next President may have a reasonable chance of appointing two judges to the bench, if the Democrats manage to get a Senate majority, which seems unlikely at the moment.



Figure 1. Average expected lifespan of the current Supreme Court.


But what are the chances that the Democrats come up with another two Senate seats in the near future? Given that the Republicans still own the majority of the state legislatures and will continue to shamelessly gerrymander and disenfranchise Democratic voters, and the Supreme Court will let them get away with this [1] when they wouldn't let these obviously racist systems get away with discrimination for the last 50 years. This is essentially saying that all the work done to pass the 14th, 19th and several other amendments to extend those inalienable rights to all people at all times, the life work of such people as Abraham Lincoln, isn't really a good idea. The radical right, represented by the Republicans, would rather extend these rights to groups of their fellow travellers (amoral corporations) who could then take away the rights of everyone else, legally, without cost and without retribution or punishment. The radical right is now arguing that disenfranchisement and slavery are A-okay with them. Because this is the only way they can stay in power. Make no mistake about it. It's going back to the time when 'Separate but equal' is acceptable, when discrimination is acceptable and when their friends grab power in a state, whatever they do to hold onto that power is acceptable. 

This is unacceptable to me and to the vast majority of Americans.

This has caused many Americans to become concerned about enforcing their inalienable rights. And the right and the left react differently to this threat. 

The right is afraid of being forced to do something against their wishes, thus they want the ability to forcefully resist this ipso-facto 'violent' (I can do whatever I want and if you tell me differently, even if it harms you, then just tough shit) compulsion, which is supposedly the worst thing that can happen to them. Which is why they naturally resist wearing masks, seatbelts, helmets, permits, inspections and insist on private property and public property that they can pollute and use however they wish. 

The left is afraid of being killed off by actions of others, by being shot at, by being discriminated against, by redlining, by systemic racism, by unequal enforcement of laws, of not being able to vote or to have your rights protected in a court of law. 

The right is against any tax, as that is theft of personal property. You can't force me to cooperate with you for the common good! They think the value returned by collective action can't be of enough benefit to myself and everyone else to justify the forced cooperation, that's just not how insurance works in the real world! And if it is really of benefit to everyone, some person should make money off it!  It shouldn't be left up to a government bureaucracy, it should be up to some monopolist that has no incentive to be moral at all. We should let some corporation (that can harm you and escape punishment from the government) run every collective action. 

The left would much rather have these kind of life and death decisions made by a government that is bound to follow the rules of law or they will get ejected from control and new handlers will be brought in through voting. This is the ultimate control over the threat of government: vote them out. (Another thing the radical right can't stand - letting people vote.)

However, if some of the branches of government are gerrymandered into preventing their change due to self-serving state legislators (as happened in 2010 and is probably going to happen again in 2020, this time with the Supreme Court's go ahead to discriminate against anyone, even other political parties) it won't be very easy to have the belief in inalienable rights be reinstated in our government. 

The Supreme Court decided it's okay to change their minds, ignore all precedent and declare the Voting Rights act unconstitutional because it's not the same as it was 50 years ago, when the civil rights law was passed; which isn't the same as it was 100 years ago during the Jim Crow era, which isn't the same as it was 150 years ago when we had a civil war against slavery. 

This is the sorriest excuse for taking away people's inalienable rights ever constructed. It's the argument that shows that the radical right's 'originalist' method of deciding the law isn't a legitimate way of reasoning, it's just an excuse to decide whatever you want. And it's slowly eroding the legitimacy of the Supreme Court itself.

No, the argument hasn't changed since the Constitution was written, it's exactly the same. If there is any way for white supremacists to disenfranchise the rights of others, they will figure out a way to game the system to make it happen. The tyranny of the majority. Soon to be the tyranny of the major minority.

And this is what really has the radical right scared, They will be just one faction among many, which means they would have to finally respect the rights of everyone. They would have to negotiate equal treatment for everyone. They are no longer the largest faction that held out for special rights in the original constitution and threatened to go home if they didn't get these extra rights. They are a controlling minority  that made sure that these rights could be taken away from citizens in their states and that the federal government couldn't stop it. 

Yes, those states that caused the last American civil war are where this faction has majority representation. And according to the current Supreme Court, this is the way it's supposed to be. We've had the Civil Rights act and the Voting rights act as law on the books for too long. Those original white supremacists are now dead... well most of them are dead, so they can no longer discriminate against anyone, so all of those civil rights laws are just superfluous! Separate but equal is just fine. Different legislatures elected by different groups of people that have different powers but still somehow want to support the same policies of discrimination and disenfranchisement is just fine with the current Supreme Court. 

All Men are Created Equal will not be enforced by the current Supreme Court. THey've made it very clear that they will not use the Constitution to enforce these rights. States are now officially allowed to discriminate, disenfranchise and just plain play favorites. Equality under the law is not something this Supreme Court is interested in enforcing because there's just too many 'others' out there: they'd just vote themselves bread and circuses, like the radical right is trying to do for itself and its billionaire oligarchs.

They believe that they can't defend the right to vote on those people: they might vote to take something from us, like forcing me to work together on common goals or restrain me from burning the earth down so I can have my latest gas-guzzling monster truck get me to work for a few cents less a mile, never mind that it will kill all of us soon enough, it's my RIGHT to screw you!

It's all about today and efficiencies. Which is really short sighted. Innovation only occurs with restraints. Monopolies find it much easier to collect rents rather than actually innovate and improve efficiencies. The more of the externalities of a monopoly you make them pay for, the better they respond to and the more efficient they are forced to become. Forcing amoral corporations to protect humans forces them to pay attention to the survival of the planet, in other words forces them to become moral or go out of business. This is the only way to force corporations to be moral. 

But as we discussed before, it's not really that efficient. It does force a trade off between human suffering and money. How much is your life worth these days? The court system thinks it's about $9 million. So if a corporation kills you it's deemed a fair trade if they give your heirs $9 million. No other punishment needed. This values the entire human capital on the planet as $720 trillion (considering a person lives many years.) That's pretty close the current estimates of total capital in the world.

The US has the lion's share of this capital. But we let the billionaire oligarchs control it and keep it to themselves and use it to warp our economy and our government. A small 1% property tax on this wealth would be more than enough to pay for basic access to medical care, food and shelter for every American. The country is way, way, way, way rich enough to afford to do all of this. Not doing it is just being selfish. [2]

But let's get back to the whole reason I started to write this blog...

What's the Attractiveness of the Power of Trump?

How can we understand the Power that Trump and fascism has over a large group of America's voters? What's the moral bargain these voters are making? Why do they think this con man can give them what they want? What do they want? They want to be special. They want to be in control. They want to be the arbiters of rights that they can reserve for themselves. They want to exploit other American's because of who they are. This is fundamentally immoral, you cannot control who you are, who your parents where, and if your rights depend upon this... that certainly doesn't meet the lofty goals put forth in the Declaration of Independence. 

But most of them aren't bold enough to admit that they are subscribers to the ultimate identity group: white assholes. They try to hide their agenda by the right to be separate but equal. Just let us do whatever we want and we'll be nice. Let us discriminate in the name of our religion and our race, and it will be okay! Really! Even though this has been declared unconstitutional many times. So they have to hide it deeper. They have to pretend that laws cannot be enforced equally on everyone because... it might infringe on their right to practice their religion. This is what religious liberty ia all about: the right to break the laws you don't agree with and to not be held accountable. The right to be immoral. 

This is the bargain these Americans have made with Trump and with the GOP. Not the bargain the left has made to try and save the world and humanity, but the ability to maim and rape and steal without consequences. The right to shirk your duty, shirk your patriotism and shirk your responsibilities. Trump is a veritable advertising agency for this flouting of the basic freedoms and rights of Americans. And what's the best way to force the state to let you break the law? Stop them from enforcing it.

Republicans lately and conservatives and the radical right have worked very hard over many generations to make their voters think that the worst thing that can happen is letting the government do anything. Social Security - collective savings plan with government guarantees and efficient redistribution of your own money? THAT'S AN EVIL ENTITLEMENT PROGRAM! We should privatize it so that corporations and Republicans can bilk American's out of their money and keep it for themselves. 

These so called conservatives (as they call themselves) even howl at the thought that they might have to recommend the financial assets that are best for their customers (and not what makes the most money for the salesman.)  For some reason the horror of actually enforcing regulations that cause corporations to do what is best for Americans is one regulation too far!  They would much rather fight to the death to keep Americans a vast sea of uneducated marks to be conned. Even better if it can be legal to con them, with no restitution allowed. NOW THAT'S REALLY EVIL. And that's also why I supported Elizabeth Warren for President. There is no one who better  understands the destruction and mayhem these rules cause to our country.

The argument continues to its logical conclusion: The EPA is an oppressive, evil arm of government. Even though it was instantiated by a Republican (Nixon) and even though it's saved millions of deaths. It's still a bad, bad thing in the radical right's eyes. If they want to build a house and let their sewage run into the street, it should be their right to do so. "I'm dumping my sewage on my property and just because it runs off onto your property and gets you sick, that's not my responsibility, it's your problem!" It's your responsibility to keep yourself safe, not mine to stop harming you. And if I can manage to create a monopoly and squeeze a few dollars out of everyone in the country by killing people with pollution, that's okay, I can become a billionaire in a few years. And then I can use that money to make sure that I can continue to screw everyone for a small, insubstantial fee relative to the amount of money I am stealing. It's might makes right and nothing else. It's immoral.

But wait... Why would I risk putting a Con Man in charge? 

This gets us back to what legislators do; do for a living, that is: They pass laws and they spend money on getting people to elect them. But they don't spend their own money (rarely or I would claim never): They spend your money. They spend your hard earned donations. Which we have learned at the beginning of this blog, they can collect an unlimited amount and with no attributions as long as they were 'separate' from the campaign. 

O.
ur legislators can take a small amount of bribes as long as they are publicly recorded. They can now take as much as they want, secretly, as long as they profess there is no corruption. It's not even if there is the appearance of corruption, that's not enough to prevent any particular practice or incident. It's only if there is absolute evidence of corruption, a quid pro quo as it were. There's no need to recuse yourself from a compromising situation, just say that it won't affect your vote, then vote however you wanted to in the first place. Even though the vote has a personal effect, you can convince yourself that your vote is not self-serving, and if you can, it's perfectly fine to vote however you want. 

And that's what it comes down to. If you want to be elected you need to do whatever makes the donors happy. Because to get elected you need to do what the donors want, if you do they will continue to give you donations. And what do the donors want. The only ones that matter are those that want to pay less taxes. The more you pay in taxes, the more you can spend on getting the laws changed to save you some tax money. And we've seen this phenonment increase and accelerate over the decades since taxation and corporations have collided.  Remember, limited liability corporations are an ideal way to increase the rate of accumulation of wealth. Since the 1600's when they were first started, the sources of power in the world were religions, royalty and ownership of land (and the people who live on it.) With the addition of the corporation, or groups of people protected by the royalty from retribution beyond the amount of ownership of the company, these immoral corporations become a fourth and growing source of power in the world.

And they've worked hard to become stronger, to be more selfish, to be more efficient, to export more of their costs to society as a whole, to do whatever they want to whoever they want wherever they want whenever they want without retribution. And they've been pretty successful at preventing any restraints on their actions. What's the latest restraint they've been trying to get rid of? Regulations! They're all bad, especially if they cause me to spend money. I don't want to spend money hooking up my sewer, it's cheaper to dump the feces on the ground and wash them into the river. I can just spill whatever I want on my property because it's mine, it's my air to pollute. Too bad if you have to breathe it, too. The other regulation they've figured out they can manipulate in their favor is the tax rate. There are about 200 countries and thousands of municipalities in every country that can pass tax laws. Corporations can get these municipalities to compete with each other as it is assumed that the corporation is bringing a local gain to the municipality be it's increased efficiencies, jobs and investment in the community. Not only that, but the politicians can get paid for changing these laws. In the United States you can take money from a donor to get you elected and let his lobbyist write whatever tax law they want. What do you care? Do you care that the tax law is fair and good? Nope. You live by the myth that the 'invisible hand' will take care of that, nobody could be so self-serving as to take advantage of a system of complicated tax laws to give themselves an advantage? Of course not, and if they do, it's really good for all of us 'cause. No need to determine if tax laws are discriminatory, because even if they are, there must be some 'invisible hand' that turns my greed into the markets best guess as to what is good for everyone. 

But that's not how it works. And everyone knows this. On the right and on the left. And it's scary. And who do you want out there as the head of this scary government that can give anything to anyone and can sell laws to any donor and can prevent the enforcement of any laws that have been passed in the past? If you're naturally prey to conspiracy theories, if you believe that you have to believe whatever your current cult leader believes... you want to have the scariest, most manipulative cult leader alive so that he can control this wild west through his wiles and his corruption. And you'd better do whatever insane thing he wants you to do or your going to be in trouble. Just make sure he claims to be looking out for you. And you can believe whatever he says, because it's easier and it take so much less effort. You can root for and support whatever idiot happens to be in power! It's great entertainment and you can ignore the corruption of the systems and the corruption of the leader because he tells you in the long run it's going to get better. Don't look at what's going on now, any any ways it's not your problem, there's people that are worse off than you and you don't need to help them, in fact you can celebrate your superioress and punish them for their unspecified sins. Not only are all people not created equal, but we're equal and you're not. Separate but unequal. The best of both worlds for the last society on earth to support slavery. We're better now so you don't have to 'regulate' us. Even if we all agreed that we hadn't followed the rules and started breaking the rules the second you let us, we've changed. We try not to admit we aren't following the rules anymore. 

And we need someone that's will ignore the whole law thing and corruption thing and be the most efficient in grabbing that power and using it to aggrandize themselves. Maybe I can catch some crumbs that fall off of the Royal plate. If the President does it, it must be legal, as the last impeached Republican Presidents have said and still say. But no, more than half of American doesn't believe that is true. Appointing a President that knows how to get around the laws, that's just a mafia Don in populist clothing, is not a good idea. There is no 'invisible hand' that is going to save the country. There's just theater and corruption. You've talked yourself into believing the con man, of being pre-disposed to believe any conspiracy theory. Once you've gone that route, you have put yourself up for tyranny. You can't stop it. You can't believe in one conspiracy theory and when they tell you to believe in another you can't say, but wait, the earth being flat is not possible. What do you mean? You already believe in an invisible god that listens to your every desire and grants miracles. There's no evidence of any of that. But I can pretend there is and get you to pretend, too. So pretend with me. Pretend we're all equal and we deserve the help of the government and everyone else can just pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and get what I've got and kept, I ain't sharing any of it with anyone, and certainly not any one not from around here.

That's why you want the flashiest, fastest bullshitter to run the country. You want someone who says he's for you, whether he is or not, you want him to say he is. The more he lies about it the better it is! He can fight for you against himself! The ultimate battle: can the common man survive corruption without corrupting himself? Nope, so you should get the biggest corrupter to be in charge. At least he'll corrupt things faster and more efficiently and he'll protect my right to the American dream more efficiently than those trying to protect everyone. I want the right to fuck up the earth, kill people and get rich as easily as possible! And I want the most exploitive, cultist capitalist a$$hole in there because the 'invisible hand' will make sure it's best for everyone. 

The left can either be very patient and let demographics have their way with the country. Eventually this small minority of white supremacists can all live on their reservation in Wyoming and leave everyone else alone to run the world. Which is the United State's long term (centuries long) goal. It's not globalization, it's Americanization of the world. Amoral corporations want the 'rule of law' everywhere. They want predictability in their bribes and their ability to change the laws in their favor. Or buy the laws of their choice without remorse or consequences. The only way to fight this American disease spread to us by the Europeans, who've fought mightily to first rid the planet of Royalty, then contain the beast that the fight unleashed, is to let the descendants of those who've agreed with us into the country to reinforce that system to represent the world. The world is now rich enough that nobody has to starve. Nobody has to be homeless. Nobody needs to decide on health care or bankruptcy. Nobody needs to pollute the planet to make cheap energy. Nobody has to decide between pensions and infrastructure. Everyone has clean water because everyone wants it and works together to make it happen. And the rest of the world, which has followed America's lead for two centuries can continue to grow and wrestle with the evil beast of capitalism that allows groups to amass power in every increasing and growing amounts.

Or it could take the risk of calling a constitutional convention and rewrite the constitution to be unequivocal and clear in enforcing the ideals of the Declaration of independence. But that's risky. It could easily come out the other way where fascism is more likely and freedom is less likely. How much of a majority would the Left feel safe with holding when going into a constitutional convention? How many years before it makes sense? The right and it's billionaire donors is slowly realising it's really dying out and they're willing to take any risk at all to preserve their power over the conspiracy theories. Their right to believe in conspiracy theories and be rewarded for it! If they could put the ability to force legal slavery they would, they are. Separate and unequal is the goal. It is not the right goal for the United States, it's the selfish goal. The goal that does not push the human race to it's full potential. The goal that will condemn the world to a constant struggle that could easily be avoided, that is being avoided in most other countries. We need to lead the world in this are or we will be ignored. And that is a fate worse than death: To vote in the baddest mother fucker in the land of RealityTV, to vote in your hero bad ass and to have him be laughed at by the entire world and pitied. That's the worst fate of a spoined, bratty, self-serving group of cry-babies: to be ignored and left on the dust bin of history, fighting the last war and continuing to lose the battles. 

 as always, thanks for reading!
 - DrMike


[1] Allowing corporations to take your rights is the result of the current radical right Supreme Court, one of the most activist Supreme Courts in the court's history. They declared the Voting Rights Act was fundamentally unconstitutional, even though the legislative branch was unanimously approving it each year. And it has been declared constitutional for over 70 years. They claimed that things have changed. How a 'literalist' reading of the constitution can make a law suddenly unconstitutional is one of the mysteries of legal reasoning, what most people would call bullshit or twisting your fundamental views to support your ideas of supremacism. Mark my words, this will go down in history as the worst decisions since the Dred-Scott decision, which was an embarrassment to the Court that took a century to live down. And the conservatives couldn't wait to reinstate this terrible line of reasoning. 

[2] One of the arguments I've seen against universal health care is that it's just too expensive. People think it costs $10,000 to set a broken bone and $1,000,000 to cure cancer. No, that's what we get charged, not what it actually costs. Look at these costs around the world. The true costs are orders of magnitude less, we've just let amoral corporations grab the value chain, monopolize the services and extract a huge cost out of the country and into their pockets. This is why things like health care should never be left to capitalism. It just is incapable of maximizing the most good for the most people. It maximizes the most profit per person, not the most life and health per person. This is why there's no cold vaccine (and how we could have used that for this pandemic) but there's billions to be made on palliatives that don't even work. The incentives in the system are optimizing the wrong things. 









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A short compendium of the ways humans have learned to take dominion over the earth and each other. Allows us to cater to the basest instincts of humans. It ain't pretty, it wasn't pretty, it won't be pretty unless we force it to be.  Hopefully we can make it pretty in the future. 10,000 BC Farming leads to feudalism Invention of bread allows humans to start exponential population growth. Domestication of plants and animals (and humans: slaves are indistinguishable from peasants.) 5000 BC Reading, writing lead to the codification of religions for the millennia They allow the creation of cities, taxes, mass fortifications, grand palaces, royalty. 0 AD Religion and huge empires gang up to reign over the earth. Religions invent sin for blackmail. Empires invest in mass death and invent citizenship as a reward. 1500 AD Printing - allowed the breakdown of the Catholic Church, the Protestants. The protestors. The Great Awakenings where anyone can publish a holy book about a