Our Medical Super-Beast

medical superbeast

The DNA of your benelles traces back to millions of years ago, to a primordial sea full of small, hostile life forms. It was a tiny, endless, pre-linguistic World War. The losers were eaten and the winners moved on. Bacteria, amoebas, and viruses clashed for eras longer than modern humans have existed.

Over time, life became more complex. Multi-celled organisms prevailed. Cooperation defeated isolation; strategic complexity brought new powers but, even thus, any one organism was always a single fight from death.

Fast forward to now. The super-evolved, complex organism of our times is the medical industry. It’s a vast collection of bright, self-interested people working together to gain financial success over those it serves. And it’s learned that devouring your enemy at once is less profitable than extracting rent over a pejorative lifetime.

Today, instead of a better sucker-snout to eat enemies, the super-beast has lawyers and doctors and insurance companies to block the success of competing organisms. Add-in financial engineering, a cooperation of complex minds to create book value, and you have a formidable beast.

Our medical beast faces essential questions: 1) Will he become so big he starves himself? 2) What outer limits of benelle plucking will happen before a re-balance?

Will he starve himself?

Our desire for financial growth usually takes us far past organic growth. We move into bubbles, where companies that are not profitable, but have growth potential, are over-valued. In this vein, CEOs are hired for huge sums, not because they know how to run companies, but because they can use the right words to create bubbles around their company’s stock.

In a fluid economy, the rewards of growth eventually flow from company to company. Fortune 500 companies are forced to re-create themselves or shrink away.

Our medical super-beast defies the natural laws of growth that govern the rest of us. In the real economy, even powerful companies like Google must perform or shrink down, but the medical industry can put forward dubious quality, name their price for the year, and be paid. It’s done so for decades. All of the rest of us have a boss, or natural market force, which governs our wage.

But the medical super-beast may have reached a wall. Even large companies and the government are struggling to keep up with the rent extraction of the beast. If corporate America and the U.S. government can no longer afford to feed you, you’re in danger of starving yourself.

What outer limits of benelle destruction will occur?

If the doctor says do it, we do it. If the medical beast tells a doctor to do it, a doctor does it. But who’s watching the medical beast?

The government is supposed to watch the medical industry but she’s near-bankrupt¬†in large part because of the medical industry’s rent extraction. In the meantime, the medical industry writes its own medical studies and creates its own authority. That authority always decides upon higher prices and more transactions.

The medical industry is a beautifully complex expression of power, dominance, and self-interest. People who love sports dynasties should love our super-beast. What’s out of whack is American faith in a self-interested medical system lacking checks and balances.

Americans don’t recognize the benelle plucking underlying the super-beast, largely because independent health analysis doesn’t exist. But the destruction is easy to see for any thinking type of person: unnecessary MRIs, superfluous prescriptions, countless drug recalls, extreme side effects. Beer and churros might actually be safer in an apples-to-apples comparison.

Our medicine is not making us well; plus it’s increasing our long-term chances of sickness and mortality. Eventually we may swing back into balance, but for now, the pendulum has swung in favor of lumpy, radioactive medical care.

My guess is that the exorbitant cost of healthcare is what will make the pendulum start to swing back toward center. As the beast starves down in size, we’ll receive less medical care, which will make us a healthier nation.

Of course, all this balancing-out will take decades to pan out. So if you’re looking for immediate high-paying work and you don’t mind scaring people into plucking their benelles, the medical industry has opportunities.

 

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