Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Since you operate out of Japan you may not be as sensitive to one of the nastiest forms of rent extraction in the USA -- the medical industry. People in the USA spend 50-100% more for delivered medical services as people in other countries and get far worse overall service, as measured by infant mortality, longevity, percent of the population with access to routine medical services, etc.

Almost a third of the total expense for medical services is incurred in the form of 'insurance' that is massively parasitic. It increases cost and decreases outcomes by rationing services on the ability to pay and delaying services until people die. And a large portion of insurance industry income goes to a very tiny portion of the industry's executives.

And then there is run-amok big pharma, almost entirely motivated to find patentable new 'treatments' a large portion of which offer little if any improvement over existing medicines but produce harmful side effects. This has spawned another profitable specialty for law firms - class action lawsuits on behalf of victims of the side effects of these new 'wonder' drugs, devices and procedures. Significant portions of the profits of both the pharma and the law firms takes the form of TV adverts which pollute broadcast and cable television.  Taken together these form a grotesque 'fitness landscape' whose chief outcome is wealth extraction on behalf of the very rich.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jan 22nd, 2012 at 10:05:32 AM EST

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