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If you came to this page from my sections on music, golf, or one of my other interests, you may not be that interested by this, at first. But I hope you’ll take a moment to read it, anyway, because it’s important. It’s about becoming a health activist — not only for yourself and your family, but for the sake of your children and your children’s children.
I take no advertising, so when it comes to health and nutrition, I’m free to write what I want. I don’t follow any particular schedule, so I can’t very well set up a subscription service. Besides, the information can and should be freely available to the people who need it, so there is no charge for accessing it. Because I’m trying to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.
There are more than enough companies making huge profits from the ingredients that make you sick and make you fat — all by themselves, they explain why America has the highest incidence of disease, the highest levels of obesity, and the worst health of any industrialized country — despite spending more on health care than any other country on earth. The drug companies are making huge profits by treating those diseases, agribusiness makes huge profits from practices that harm the soil and wreck the environment to produce foods that are far from ideal, and the food industry compounds the problems with ingredients like partially hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and MSG (aka “natural flavors”).
It’s not that these industries are intentionally colluding to destroy America’s health. It’s just that no one has a real incentive to solve the problems. If they did, then doctors, insurance companies, the American Cancer Society, and the American Heart and Lung Association would be working overtime to clean up America’s food supply. If they did, robust American health would follow, as surely as day follows night.
Even wheat is harmful to a significant percentage of the population — so harmful that the condition it causes has a name: Celiac Disease. A simple blood test is all it takes to find out if you’re afflicted. But in the millions of blood tests that are taken each year, only a fraction are tested for gluten sensitivity. It’s a crime, and it’s something the government should be doing something about.
That, after all, is the proper role of government — to both encourage and constrain behavior in ways that are good for society. Economic freedom encourages action. But whether that action is constructive or destructive depends on the regulations we establish. That’s why there are laws against fraud and theft.
So, well you may ask, why isn’t government doing as much as it does in other countries — especially those that have socialized medicine? Why do our legislators instead buy into the mantra of “personal responsibility”–as though the victim of the crime is somehow responsible for not stopping the perpetrator?
The answer is simple: In America, citizens do not control government. Corporations do. American society is unique in that respect. Only in America does money so completely determine the outcome of the election process. That’s why 90% of the all the legislation Congress votes on is written by lobbyists. That other 10%, that’s you and me. So corporations don’t control everything. But we’re mostly wrangling over the scraps they don’t care about.
“Personal responsibility” is a nice fiction (for them), that lets them evade responsibility — nay culpability — for the things they do. (“It’s up to people to choose wisely”, they say, “We’ll make anything they want”. But it has taken 30 years for the public to understand the difference between olive oil and partially hydrogenated soybean oil. Thirty years for the public to even begin to understand the difference between high fructose corn syrup and sugar. The list goes on.
That situation does not have to persist, however. In the Voting Advice System pages, I write about a variety of changes we need to make to redress the balance and put citizens back in charge. The most important part is a plan to harness the power of the web to make money irrelevant to the election process. Take a look when you get a chance, and see if you can support that effort.