Thursday, October 29, 2015

The M.I.C

That's the Medical Industrial Complex folks.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.  

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.  

Eisenhower warned us about the military industrial complex, but then that was in his  January 17th, 1961 farewell address.  He had no idea what was coming a mere five years later.

The Medical-Industrial Complex was first examined in 1980 in The New England Journal of Medicine by Arnold Relman in a paper of the same name. 

In a 2014 list of the 15 most profitable industries there wasn't a defense contractor to be found.  Dentistry was #5, Physicians were #7, Other Health Care Practitioners were #9, and Outpatient Care Centers were #11.

In 2012 we spent 676 billion on defense and that includes 118 billion in funding for the war in Afghanistan, that same year we spent 2.8 Trillion on medical care. In 2014 we spent 3.5% of our GDP on defense, in comparison in 2014 we spent 17.4% of our GDP on healthcare.

In 2013 Boeing made 4.6 billion dollars while Pfizer made 17 billion, and not all of Boeing's profits come from the military. 

Any big business can be accused of influencing government to act in their favor and defense is no exception, the question you need to ask yourself is who has more influence today? The military-industrial complex or the medical-industrial complex?

Some accuse the military of bankrupting the nation, but did you know that 62% of all bankruptcies are medical related? In 2013 18% of federal spending went to defense while 32% of it went to major healthcare programs. Both healthcare and defense are valid expenditures and we can quibble all day about whether we're spending at the correct ratio, but do one thing... look at where the profit is.

Maybe there's good reason that's a snake. 

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