03 June 2007

Sicko's even at Business Week

Sicko's even at Business Week — and with a positive review. Which is as it should be. Our healthcare system is bad for business.
"Anything—including a film—that can bring this issue into the public eye is good for the debate," says heart surgeon Dr. William Plested, president of the American Medical Assn. "So, I'm cheering on Michael Moore, even though I haven't seen the film."
Business Week has a nice trailer for the film there.

Can we reform the system? Or are the cynics right, and it's "unfeasible"? If that's the case, we're in the decline and fall of our democracy. Here's a comment from a recent Washington Post back and forth with Steven Pearlstein:
If you look at wealth inequality from an historical point of view, you will see that countries with a vast difference in the percent of wealth held by the upper 1 percent (say) as compared with the lower 90 percent (say) soon go down the tubes. The reason is that wealth translates into political power, and soon the country is making decisions that benefit the top 1 percent and not the country as a whole. This is discussed in detail in Kevin Phillips' "Wealth and Democracy." Since this is a feedback situation, it tends to happen and has at least started to happen several times in our history. The strength of America has been that just when the trend starts to enter the strong feedback stage, something has happened that redistributes the wealth. The rise of unions and FDR are two such examples. What we have to worry about is that the trend of wealth piling up in the top 1 percent or 0.1 percent is increasing and we see the country taking positions that benefit only the Rich. Two examples are taxing dividends and capital gains at a lower rate and the attempt to abolish the estate tax. I am sure you can come up with many more such examples.
Time to redistribute, wouldn't you say? Or are we too "free market" to save the country?

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