April 4, 2005

Losing in winner-takes-all world

Posted in People · 7 comments ·

The ambulance arrived in ten minutes. The old man, his lungs destroyed by pneumatic spasms, was taken gingerly from his sick bed by two humane, good-humoured ambulance men.

They reassured him that all would be fine, even though it was clear he was very ill.

Within minutes he was in the accident and emergency unit, where nurses and doctors hooked him up to drips, ventilators and administered antibiotics gently into his tired forearms.

They assessed his chances honestly and humanely, taking great care not to cause too much distress to relatives or the patient himself. A few hours later, when his condition had stabilised, they whisked him up to a ward, where he has recovered well, if not completely.

What struck me most were the tiny details that go unnoticed, but can be as important as the medicine itself. A gentle rub of the shoulder, a little squeeze of a thin wrist, a kind, reassuring word, a broad smile when everything else is dark or encouragement when hopelessness reigns: these are the hidden tools of Irish nurses that can make the difference between the will to live or die.

Everywhere in the Irish medical system, real humanity is on display and it makes you think precisely what values we have as a society if these people are not paid sufficiently, while car or insurance salesmen make out like bandits.

What a pathetic little place it is when nurses have to live just above the breadline, while minor celebrities are paid multiples of the average wage?

This week, my experience with the public health system, where my father was treated kindly, efficiently and successfully, focuses the mind on the perverted system of rewards and status that governs modern Ireland.

This column has always supported the free market and the right of individuals to be allowed to do their thing, free from state interference.

However, it is time to question a society where the spoils are now far too unevenly spread. Is it right that a chief executive officer of a bank can be paid 100 times the average wage for carrying out a reasonably straightforward bureaucratic function?

Is it right that nurses have to rent houses miles away from the hospital they work in and commute for hours to get to work because they cannot afford to live locally? For example, my father was treated in St Michael’s in Dun Laoghaire and some of the nurses lived in Co Wicklow because they couldn’t afford to live locally.

The crux of this uneven sharing of the spoils stems from the advent of the winner-takes-all economy in Ireland. This is not capitalism, but a flashy, show-off, cowboy version of the old thing. The winner-takes-all economy is very evident in sport, where the rewards for the winner are enormous, while there are few prizes for second place.

So, for example, David Beckham makes a fortune, but a talented winger toiling away in the lower echelons of football might only just get by. The talent gap between both players is probably modest, but Beckham is the winner and he takes the spoils. For years, sport and entertainment displayed this type of reward system.

Now, however, many professions work in a winner-takes-all fashion. So the best lawyers get paid multiplies of the average lawyer. The best accountants do likewise.

Look at the Bar in Dublin. There are barristers who make fortunes and there are those who just scrape by. The best barristers are the ones who argue that the tribunals are bad for business, while there are many second-rate wigged ones who would give their right arms for a few months at Dublin Castle.

We can even see this behaviour in education, where grind schools poach better teachers and pay them considerably more than the local school equivalents.

The reason for this is the hyper-competitive economy we live in. The stakes in every game have been raised enormously. If the best barrister can increase the likelihood that you will win the case and either save or make a huge amount of cash as a result, then he is worth the money. Likewise, if the best teachers can give your child a comparative advantage and a place in college, then they are worth the price.

Similarly, if the best carpenter will make you furniture which you feel will distinguish you from your peers, he will be worth the price. It also exists in journalism, where the celebrity journalist, the one who is better known and more public, makes more per word than other hacks who might actually be much better writers.

The winner-takes-all economy also works in the status vacuum that exists in Ireland.

The best lawyers know that they are good and that they can put up their prices, not only because they are good, but because there is a status involved in hiring them.

How many times have you heard pompous wealthy men saying: �I have engaged Mr Bigwig Senior Counsel’�?

This is not only a statement of fact, but a multi-faceted indication of where the pompous man sees himself in society because only a certain type would either have the connections or the money to engage Mr Bigwig.

So the winner-takes-all economy, where rewards are skewed ludicrously to number one, embeds itself in society.

Being a mere worker or an average employee is simply not good enough.

The entire society becomes obsessed with being number one, having the newest, biggest, brightest, latest car, house or kitchen, because with the winner-takes-all rewards come winner-takes-all possessions.

If the society believes that it is totally defensible to have such a structure, those who get to the top are therefore to be admired. By extension, those who fall are to be shunned. We only want success, whatever that entails.

Ultimately, the gaps between the winners and the rest grow exponentially, as is happening in Ireland and has occurred in the US and Britain. And because all the prizes and accolades go to the winners in the private sphere, the public arena gets marginalised.

Once the public realm becomes marginalised, the process has its own momentum, which is very evident in the public health system.

So nurses and medics fall behind and lose status. Why be a nurse and care for the sick and the elderly when you could make twice as much as a marketing executive? Or why be a doctor when your lawyer mates take home multiples of your salary?

Gradually, the health service gets hollowed out. Relative wages and conditions deteriorate and it goes unnoticed.

So the very nurses who deliver our children and look after our aged parents become invisible, while the saccharine TV presenter gets on the front of the newspaper wrapped up in the faux-celebrity, look-at-me world of the winner-takes-all.

In Paris, in an effort to combat the declining income and status of the likes of nurses, the city’s mayor has decreed that 30 per cent of all housing be allocated to municipality workers, such as teachers, ambulance drivers and medics. It is hoped this will prevent Paris from being populated exclusively by bankers, lawyers, estate agents and property merchants.

For those who claim that adopting similar measures to raise the status of nurses is too extreme, let us just conclude on one fact: together with death and taxes, the only other practical certainty is that you will begin and end your days in an Irish hospital being tended to by nurses, kind angels shoddily described as mere workers.

  1. natalie

    I do not believe that governemnt should interfere as little
    as possible. A element of arm length control is necessary,
    but yet their role is too important to be belittled.

    Education was meant to be about creating citizens with
    sufficient awareness and undertsanding of what makes a
    community as a whole and help individuals to position
    themselves in the natural course of life. Education is also
    critical to the process of democracy.

    As government weakened, education became the tool to create
    profitable workers and that awareness/understanding

    The young get neglected, the elderly are totally ignored (I
    would rather die young than in a nursing home)and the
    middle behaves immaturely, educated to be overspecialised,
    and “educated” through the provision of answers instead of
    developing the ability to ask questions.

    Sadly the realisation that we are all human and mortals
    occurs when one or a close one had a close shave with death
    or died. It is a sad result of our education (school or
    parental)that it has to come to such extreme to realise the
    critical value of those jobs that are critical and yet not
    money driven. Today education and society has deshumanised

    One cannot separate the business and social agenda and one
    cannot separate the economic/political policy with its
    social consequences. Everything is intertwined, only
    today’s lack of philosophy in education and lack of
    accountability on industry allow such narrow minded
    mentality to exist.

    Nurse, teacher, doctor, social workers matter and they
    should be seen as important as part of the fabric of
    society, not when a situation of personal need arise.

    I hope your dad is feeling better now.

    The pope did not make it.

  2. Ivan

    Very good article David, hope your father is ok.

    It’s not so much about coming first. The main problem is
    that there is nothing left for coming second.

  3. Nora

    To give a few figures, the government spends 10 billion
    euros a year in Health care. Of this, about 6 billion goes
    to staff (administration, nurses, doctors, consultants…).
    There are 120.000 people working in health care in Ireland.
    Compared to the rest of Europe, nurses are well paid here
    but this doesn’t take into account the cost of living.
    If nurses are not very well paid however, it seems to me
    that doctors are making a killing in this country. Just
    compare the cost of a GP consultation: it costs 40 euros in
    Dublin but 20 euros in France. And you rarely spend more
    than 5 minutes with a GP so they are on big money. They
    also have a powerful union, which opposes any reform the
    government tries to make in the health system.
    Private consultants are due to work 33 hours a week in a
    public hospital to treat public patients. But because of
    their resistance to transparency, there is very little
    control on how much time they really spend doing it. In
    fact, they are known to use the public facilities for their
    own private patients like health screening or blood tests,
    all of this is free for them (as the taxpayers pay for it)
    but the patient is charged a hefty sum for the service.
    These are only a few examples on how abused the system is.
    I do feel very bad for the nurses but ultimately, the
    patients are the ones who suffer.
    Access to health care should be a right, not a privilege…

  4. Dan Hayes


    Sorry to disagree, but this is capitalism! Whether or not
    it is “but a flashy, show-off, cowboy version of the old
    thing”, the “thing” still remains as capitalism.

  5. adrian

    David doesnt seem too pleased to see that capitalism has
    gone all Bling!

    Gangsta rap is where its at these days
    if you wanna be a somebody.
    50 Cent is bling and frosted and King
    rollin’ in his bomb proof hummvee…vroom!

    I expect that capitalism is moving towards the end game.
    The carrot of capitalism is firmly between the donkeys
    teeth and it doesnt taste that good.

    Once youve got what you need and you’re clever enough to
    realise it there is no requirement to endlessly chase
    perpetual gain – its a needless waste of resources, harmful
    to environment and the wealth distribution is unjust to
    people born without hope.

    Some time ago i passed some thought over this and concluded
    that a new ideology must prevail. One in which the market
    and freedom remain but where unowned entities of a
    charitable status operate own and control corporations in
    competition with one another.
    Undoubtedly capitalism co-exists. In the system the
    consumers are the boss! They direct the action to corps
    that care about them and their
    world. Maybe its all pye in the sky but i feel that
    capitalism doesn’t care, the inhumanity of the system is
    extreme, the poor are left to freeze to death on our
    streets, if your from the wrong end of the planet your
    babies die from starvation and you die from curable
    Capitalism delivers individual demands from which profit
    can be extracted but it will never deliver the collective
    global demands (sustainability, environment, kindness) from
    which profit is impossible to extract.
    The core benefit of the new system is that the central
    economic driving force can be the efficient maximisation
    collective human wellbeing as opposed to the ruthless
    maximisation of individual wellbeing regardless of the
    impact on others(united we stand, divided we fall).

    Humanitarian requirement and enironmental care need to be
    become central to economic decision taking.
    ‘So how do we get from here to there agent adrian?’ I hear
    you ask.
    For now the capitalist system is large and powerful with a
    seemingly unstoppable momentum, the humans as individuals
    are bystanders, therfore little responsibility for the
    global problem is shouldered by anyone. But act we must.

    Since initially passing thought on this issue (in 97) I
    have noticed the very occasional ‘charitable’ credit card,
    the fair trade organisation has been gathering momentum, I
    noticed Paul Newmans food production company which passes
    on the profits. There are the beginnings of our new
    ideology. It would be interesting to see what would happen
    if charities accepted shares in companies from their
    donors – stakes could be built up, consumer allegiances
    would be formed, (responsible share ownership would come
    alive! (howzat natalie!)
    Q.Where will this all end up?
    A. Where the market takes it.
    It is possible for our economic framework to evolve into
    one which embraces all people, encouraging them to perform
    in the interest of a secure future for all within a
    sustainable and habitable world.

    now lets go back to bling for a mo.
    Its sad to note the passing of John Paul 2,
    and it has to be said he Bling and Frosted,
    cruising in his bullet proof popemobile all neoned up!
    But he was no gangsta rapper, he took a trip to Cuba to
    tell Fidel that the man above was no commie, he’s been busy
    telling us that davids ‘cowboy capitalism is not he way.
    What does he make of all this… lovin’ it?
    comments to me (agent adrian) if u wish.

  6. Brian

    It is now a matter of national importance that you become
    involved in front line politics in Ireland. You are
    uniquely qualified in that you are an economist in a land
    which appears to thrive on a bogus economy,you are
    intelligent in a land of ignorance, and most importantly,
    you are compassionate in a land of misguided sympathy.
    Your early morning radio show was outstanding, clearly too
    outstanding for the owners of Greedy FM. Your TV show must
    become PRIMETIME.

  7. As human beings, we’re the only species stupid enough to actually poison ourselves. As part of modern living, we create a wide variety of chemical toxins that go into the ecosystem through rivers and streams, the air, the soil and so on. Not only that, we actually synthesize toxic chemicals and then inject them directly into the food supply — knowing full well that they are poisonous and are major contributors to the epidemic rates of chronic disease we are experiencing today.
    What are these chemicals I’m talking about? Well, you’re about to get a whirlwind tour of humanity’s toxic chemicals. And if you look at toxic chemicals, you have to start in the realm of dentistry, because in no other profession (save medicine) will you find the use of so many toxic chemicals that are deliberately prescribed to patients or injected into their bodies. We’re talking about, of course, mercury fillings and fluoride dripped into the public water supplies.

    Dr. Poison Mercury, DDS
    When we talk about mercury fillings, you have to keep in mind that mercury is simply one of the most toxic substances you can put into the human body, aside from radioactive substances. Right now, today, dentists all across the country and around the world are taking this highly toxic metal and literally putting it into the teeth of human beings. Those teeth are then used to chew food, and as a person chews; they effectively grind away the surfaces of these mercury fillings. These fillings release gas mercury vapor and mercury particles, which people then breathe into their lungs, or digest in their stomachs.
    Now, I can understand that maybe 50 years ago, the dental industry was too ignorant to realize that it was advocating this toxic metal and putting it into patients’ mouths. The industrial revolution is full of examples of companies that used lots of toxic substances and therapies, thinking they were good for you. Recall the X-rays and radiation of the first half of the twentieth century, people thought that radiation was great for you. Manufacturers were equating radiation with energy and thinking that if you consumed radiation pills, you would be more energetic. These were actually sold and sponsored by physicians and doctors, it was a mainstay of the medical industry in those days.

    Later, we had the lead issue with industrial companies like DuPont, which has an interesting history in the manufacture and distribution of lead. People were convinced lead was great for everything. They put it into the gasoline, and leaded gasoline was born. We later found out that lead causes nervous system disorders and that it’s very unhealthy to have lead emissions in the air. We ended up getting rid of lead paint, and banning the use of lead in foods and cosmetics.

    But for some reason, today dentists still think mercury is perfectly good for you. It’s like they’re living in the Dark Ages. Gee, why don’t they have you swallow radiation pills at the same time they’re putting mercury fillings in your mouth? That way you can be energized and have fillings, too!

    Some of the greatest quackery in the world right now takes place in dentists’ offices; and dentists strongly deny the problems associated with mercury toxicity and mercury fillings. Of course, I don’t mean all dentists, some dentists are slowly coming around to this issue. In fact, these selected dentists are leading the change; they are pioneering dentists, just as those in the world of medicine that are trying to change conventional medicine.

    These few dentists that are trying to make changes and get mercury fillings banned deserve tremendous credit for taking the lead and standing up and fighting against the dogma of their own industry to protect their patients. There’s no doubt in my mind that within a few years, mercury fillings will be banned and they will join the ranks of lead paint, asbestos insulation, leaded gasoline and radiation pills. They will go into the historical annals of bad medicine, and some day future generations will think we were absolutely crazy to be putting mercury in people’s mouths.

    More poison from dentists: fluoride
    That’s not the end of the toxicity in the world of dentistry, we also have dentists pushing for, get this, the dripping of a highly toxic chemical waste product into the water supply… a substance that’s scraped off the smokestacks of industrial polluters. They want every person in the community to actually drink this substance.
    This material is a toxic waste that’s regulated by the EPA. It would be illegal to drip it into a river or a stream, but for some reason, it is perfectly legal to drip it into the public water supply and let people drink it. It’s a bizarre cycle of rationalization that can only be called medical lunacy. They no longer consider this toxic substance toxic if it passes through the bodies of human beings first. What substance am I talking about? Fluorosilicic acid, otherwise known by its short name, fluoride.

    Across the country and around the world, dentists are insisting that we drip fluoride into the public water supply. For what purpose? To protect the teeth? Can you be serious? People are swallowing this liquid. They’re not rinsing it in their mouth and spitting it out, they’re ingesting it. Now as a result we have fluorosis, and bone disorders that are related to the over-consumption of fluoride.

    For some reason, dentists have decided that they now have medical degrees, and that they want to medicate the entire population with a drug, a biologically active drug, without first diagnosing any individual in that community. In other words, they want to medicate everyone across the board with the exact same dosage, regardless of that person’s individual health needs, and regardless of how much other fluoride they may be exposed to on a regular basis. This is the insanity of the modern dentistry community. Remember, these are the same people that want to put mercury in your mouth, so it only makes sense that they also want to poison your entire body by putting fluorosilicic acid into the water supply.

    They don’t call it fluorosilicic acid of course, because that might scare people. They call it fluoride — and in fact they will even deceive the public and call it “naturally-occurring fluoride.” There’s nothing natural about fluorosilicic acid.

    If you go to any community water supply where they are dripping so called “fluoride” into the water system, you will find out where they actually get the fluoride — ask them, “Hey, do you dig this out of the ground in natural fluoride deposits?,” and they will tell you “No, we buy it from an industrial waste processing company because it’s cheaper than fluoride out of the ground.” You can verify this yourself and find out just how your local community is poisoning you and your family with this highly toxic waste chemical.

    How to poison the entire population
    Again, we are the only species stupid enough to actually poison ourselves. And we do it in highly efficient ways. If you want to poison a population, there’s no easier way than to drip a substance into the water supply. And if you really want to make sure everyone is poisoned, you would pass laws that mandate the dripping of this poison into the water supply (i.e. fluoridation laws). That would ensure that everybody gets some, whether it’s an infant, an adult or a senior citizen.

    There’s absolutely no good science behind any of the fluoride arguments. Even if they were using genuine natural fluoride, there are no studies that show the ingestion of fluoride decreases the incidence of dental caries in modern society.

    Put more chemicals into the foods, please
    If you wanted to poison the entire population, but you were worried that not everyone drinks from the water supply, there is another way: just poison the food supply.
    Our population is being poisoned with artificial chemical sweeteners. Let’s take a look at these. Aspartame is a sweetener that was never proven safe; in fact, the original safety recommendation panel at the FDA recommended that aspartame be denied approval as a safe food ingredient. It was none other than Donald Rumsfeld at the time who helped push aspartame through the FDA to get it legalized as a food additive.

    Aspartame is an excitotoxin, that is, a neurotoxic chemical, and it breaks down in your body into both formic acid and formaldehyde. Now, would you like to go out and drink some formaldehyde? Well, you might do that if you were a biological specimen that needed to be preserved for dissection, but if you’re a normal, healthy, sane human being, you’d never drink formaldehyde. Unless, of course, they put it in an artificial sweetener compound and added it to cans of your favorite carbonated soft drink, in which case the we will gladly drink formaldehyde in can after can, poisoning their nervous systems, going half blind, experiencing epilepsy and increasing the onset of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

    Again, we’re the only species stupid enough to actually poison ourselves with these chemicals. And yet we have entire groups, food lobbies and public apologizers who run around saying that these ingredients are perfectly good for you. There’s nothing wrong with drinking formaldehyde and formic acid. You’ll be fine! Drink more! Here, in fact here’s a 50 percent more coupon, so you can buy even more!

    Want some chlorine in your food today?
    Some say, “Well, aspartame is on the way out — the big sweetener now is Sucralose or Splenda.” This is the artificial sweetener that claims to be made from sugar. Well, I suppose you can claim that it starts out as sugar, but it’s made by removing some of the atoms from sugar and replacing them with atoms of chlorine, which is of course one of the chemical elements used during the atrocities of World War II to create poison gas, the same element used in chlorine to disinfect pools and public water supplies.
    When it’s put that way, you might start thinking, “Well, gee, maybe there’s something wrong with this sugar, maybe I shouldn’t be putting chlorine atoms into my body.” Would you go out and drink chlorine? If you know anybody who works on pools, or who has a pool maintenance business, they will tell you that chlorine gas will kill you. In fact, just to handle chlorine, they have to wear protective rubber gloves and protective respiration devices, because if they get chlorine powder wet and touch it or inhale it, they are in for a world of hurt. Chlorine gas can cause serious injury or even death. In fact, if you just take household ingredients like chlorine bleach and mix it with ammonia, you will create a highly toxic gas that will literally kill you, which is why these products often contain warnings that they should not be mixed.

    And yet, in our food supply, we take chlorine atoms and we attach them to molecules that used to be sugar, and we call that a safe sweetener. And now we’re putting it into all kinds of foods, whether it’s soft drinks, muffins, pancake mixes and pretty much everything in the low-carb arena. I’m not sure people realize that they are actually ingesting chlorine atoms. Maybe they’re too dazed from the fluoride.

    Okay, so far we have dentists putting mercury fillings in your mouth that give off mercury vapor and cause neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. We have the same insane dentists mandating the dripping of EPA-regulated environmental pollutants into the public water supply, making sure that human beings have to drink toxic waste product… after which it enters into the rivers and streams as part of human waste, even though if such chemicals were dripped directly into the rivers and streams in this country it would be a violation of law. We have food and beverage companies using artificial chemical sweeteners to replace sugar and claiming that their products are healthier than sugar products. And yet, these artificial chemical sweeteners break down into dangerous chemical components such as formaldehyde and formic acid, or they are made with chlorine atoms that simply do not belong in the human body. These chemicals do not appear anywhere in nature attached to a sugar molecule.

    Yummy poison: hydrogenated oils
    So, what else can the money-hungry corporations think of to put into the food or the water to poison us? They are quite creative and they have a lot of poisons at their disposal. The next terrible poison on the list is hydrogenated oils. They’re called brain poisons, and they’re present in perhaps half of all the foods found at every food store. It’s listed right on the label — you can see it as “hydrogenated oil” or “partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil”.
    This artificial fat directly causes cardiovascular heart disease, it destroys normal cardiovascular health, it destroys the healthy functioning of the nervous system, it causes brain disorders, it causes heart attacks — it is one of the most prominent and yet toxic ingredients put into the food supply. It also causes birth defects and essential fatty acid deficiencies in both the mother and her fetus.

    And it’s put in foods on purpose, for the convenience of the food manufacturers. Hydrogenated oils don’t go bad, which means they save money for the food manufacturing companies, because their foods don’t go bad on the shelves. And how do you make hydrogenated oils? Well, you don’t find them anywhere in nature — you have to have a chemical processing facility to make hydrogenated oils. And you do it by bubbling hydrogen gas through liquid soybean oil or other types of oils, using a catalyst (in most cases the catalyst is nickel). So with this nickel and the bubbling of hydrogen gas, you get extra hydrogen atoms attached to the molecules in oil, which makes them solid at room temperature. Since they are solid at room temperature, they can be more easily used to make margarine products, or used in crackers and cookies. And all of this, again, is for the convenience of the food manufacturing companies.

    Food manufactures don’t care what happens to your health, their job is just to sell food products. If you have a health problem as a result, that’s your problem, not theirs. You won’t find food companies offering to pay for your medical bills if you have a heart attack from eating hydrogenated oils. They are basically passing the buck and demanding that you pay for the health consequences caused by their foods.

    Pepperoni-shaped poison
    Not to be outdone, the meat processing companies in this country also want to make sure they get lots of poison into your food products. It’s not enough to just sell you red meat, which is by itself an extremely unhealthy food ingredient that promotes colon cancer, heart disease, obesity and many other disorders, they also have to put cancer-causing chemicals in various meat products.
    This makes sure that you get colon cancer from the additives, if not from the red meat itself. This additive is called sodium nitrite, and you’ll find it in virtually every packaged meat product found at the store, whether it’s pepperoni, breakfast sausage, or bacon. You can buy sliced ham, sliced chicken, deli slices, lunch meat, packaged ham, pepperoni, the meat that goes into soups, the meat that goes into those little lunch trays … pretty much any form of packaged meat at the store has this toxic ingredient in it. That’s why the daily consumption of processed meats has now been clinically shown to produce a 6,700% increase in the risk of pancreatic cancer!

    Guinea pig people
    And what is this ingredient again? Sodium nitrite! When you ingest sodium nitrite, it mixes with the digestive juices of your stomach and creates a class of chemical compounds called nitrosamines. These nitrosamines are potent cancer-causing chemicals. In fact, as I’ve mentioned before, they are so potent that lab researchers actually inject mice with nitrosamines when they want to give those mice breast cancer or other form of cancer they can study. And yet, as humans, we put sodium nitrite right into the food supply. It’s almost as if we were treating the entire population as lab rats — and in fact that’s not far from the truth.
    Drugs are frequently released in this country on an experimental basis, using the population as guinea pigs to find out how many people might die from that drug in order to get more safety data. The public is routinely treated as a collection of guinea pigs in order to promote prescription drugs, foods, artificial sweeteners or other elements.

    Toxic personal care products
    So now we’ve got toxic chemicals in our mouths, in our public water supplies, and in our foods and beverages. Where else can money hungry corporations put toxic chemicals into our immediate environment and get them into our bodies? Well, think hard and you might come up with some other ideas. Let’s look at the personal care products industry, because practically every brand name shampoo, cologne, perfume, deodorant, antiperspirant or other personal care product on the market is made with toxic fragrance chemicals. These can contain solvents, carcinogens and compounds that are registered in government databases as having strong liver toxicity.
    The reason these ingredients are allowed in these products are because the FDA has mistakenly assumed for many, many years that whatever you put on your body doesn’t get absorbed into your body. They think, for example, that you could just coat your body with toxic chemicals and you would be fine, because your skin is a barrier.

    That’s utterly ridiculous! nicotine patches? How do you think those work? They work by releasing nicotine that gets absorbed directly through your skin into your bloodstream. If your skin didn’t absorb nicotine, the nicotine patches wouldn’t deliver a dosage. You have to be half-crazy to think that the skin is some kind of permanent barrier that keeps out everything you put on it.

    In fact, the skin is very porous — the skin breathes. Yes, it keeps out bacteria, but it sure doesn’t keep out chemical solvents, and it doesn’t keep out molecules as big as nicotine. Nicotine molecules are not very small, by the way. There are many things that go right through your skin, and those include fragrance chemicals, solvents, and a lot of other toxic ingredients that are found in personal care products. One such ingredient called MIT was recently discovered in most brand-name shampoos, and this MIT ingredient is known to cause brain cancer.

    Voluntary chemical suicide
    So now we are really stupid as a species, because we’ve poisoned our mouths, our water supply, our food, our beverages and even our shampoos and personal care products. And if you use dryer sheets, then you’ve got your clothes poisoned as well, they’re coated in a layer of toxic chemicals found in dryer sheet products. So what else could we use to poison the population? There are still many other options.
    One way would be to sell a toxic chemical that people voluntarily put into their mouths because another person in a position of authority told them to do so. This is describing the prescription drug industry, where people are poisoning themselves each and every day with toxic painkiller drugs like COX-2 inhibitors or toxic anti-cholesterol drugs like statin drugs. People are poisoning their minds with antidepressant drugs that promote violent behavior and suicides. They’re poisoning their cardiovascular system with beta-blockers and other drugs. And of course they’re poisoning their livers.

    And yet people volunteer to do this — each and every day they will put these toxic chemicals into their bodies simply because someone with a degree from a school of disease (also known as medical school) told them to do so. And, not only that, they will actually pay for the privilege of poisoning their own bodies.

    They’ll pay good money too, not just a few hundred a month, but several thousand a month. Some people will spend six figures a year poisoning their bodies because their doctor told them to do so. And, then when something goes wrong and they have a small tumor show up on a mammogram, or some other blood test comes back positive that indicates they may have some sort of cancer tumor, they will gladly pay another $100,000 or more in order to destroy their entire immune system with a treatment known as chemotherapy.

    They will literally sit there and let other doctors inject highly toxic poisons directly into the bloodstream and allow them to circulate through their body. How toxic is this stuff? Well, gee, think about it, your hair falls out, you get sick and you vomit — are these signs that maybe this stuff doesn’t belong in your body? I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a very strange way to heal someone. If I were a medical professional and I were healing someone, and I had them do something which made their hair fall out and they started vomiting and it looked like they were going to melt away right before my very eyes, I would think that, hey, maybe this isn’t good for them. But that’s not what conventional oncologists think. They think, oh, this is great stuff. Look, we’re going to destroy the cancer tumor and, if we’re lucky, there may even be a patient left by the time we’re done. And if not — that’s alright, as long as they pay the bill.

    Official, government-approved drug dealers
    We as a species actually have a class of professionals, highly-paid professionals, who we give the right to poison us with toxic chemicals. These people are called doctors. I call them drug dealers. Just like illegal drugs, their drugs kill people. The main difference is that these “legal” drugs enrich politically influential corporations, whereas illegal drugs enrich drug lords. “War on Drugs” is quite selective in its targets, don’t you think? Industrial hemp is outlawed, but doping up millions of children on powerful narcotics is perfectly legal: it’s called Ritalin.
    So remember, we’re the only species stupid enough to actually poison ourselves. And if we don’t do it in just one or two ways, we do it in half a dozen different ways! Then we regulate that poisoning, we make it law! And we have lobbyists and groups out there defending this use of poison in the food supply, and defending the use of it in cosmetic products and personal care products. We have defenders of the drug industry, people who say, “Yeah, well there was a study five years ago that showed a 1200 percent heart attack increase, but we thought that really wasn’t relevant to this drug and we decided to go ahead and market that drug anyway.” That’s what we have today. And the real details of this gruesome story have only begun to be uncovered. Wait until the rest of the story comes out…

    But no, wait a minute — the doctors are right, all diseases are just genetic. None of these poisons matter, it’s just your genes. They say the gene pool of the human race was perfectly fine 100 years ago when people didn’t have all these diseases, but it has somehow mutated to a gene pool that gives you heart disease and cancer and osteoporosis and diabetes, and, by the way, there’s nothing you can do about it. That’s what they want you to believe, because then they take away your power. Then you have no ability to make changes.

    Actually, we’re pretty darned clever, aren’t we?
    So not only are we the most stupid species on the planet, because we’re poisoning ourselves, we are simultaneously the cleverest species, because we find ways to justify all that poisoning. We find scientific gobbledygook to claim that, yes, NutraSweet is good for you! Or that these chlorine atoms attached to sugar are great for you, or that mercury in your mouth somehow doesn’t have a toxic effect on your body. Or that hydrogenated oils are perfectly fine for your heart health.
    We stupidly say if you take those and you drink this weight loss shake made with sugar, you’ll be healthy. And if you have this barbaric surgical procedure called gastric bypass surgery, you’ll no longer be obese. And if you’re not healthy, don’t worry; we have magic bullet prescription drugs that will make you even healthier. So we’re a clever population at the same time that we’re incredibly stupid. Do you know what that’s called? That’s called being a population of great technicians and lousy healers. And that’s exactly what we are today.

    Having used the word “stupid” throughout this editorial, I use it deliberately. I don’t mean it in the way that a teenager might say, “My stupid little brother flipped me off.” I mean it in a more precise way, in the way defined by Dictionary.com:


    1. Slow to learn or understand; obtuse.
    2. Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes.
    3. Marked by a lack of intelligence or care; foolish or careless: a stupid mistake.
    4. Dazed, stunned, or stupefied.

    Can you think of a better word to describe the people around here?

    As Einstein once said, “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”

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