A new chapter in the amazing story of our rapidly deteriorating self-discipline, and rapidly increasing sense of entitlement, was completely missed last week. Woven into the story is how capitalism and the free market continue to come to the rescue of self-destructive mankind, (particularly Americans.) With the latest push to change America to being centered on the notion that only the rich benefit from our economic system; note that the system powered by funding from the rich is coming to save the day. Gratitude will not be in the offing, although any would-be hurt feelings will be soothed by billions of dollars in riches.
It proves once again we live in a trickle-up economy, where the masses give away their money in return for short-term pleasure. Somehow, once those pleasures are exhausted, the masses are exhorted by leftist troublemakers, who demand economic justice. In the debate about higher minimum wages, unlimited unemployment benefits, and other goodies for those supposedly victimized by capitalism, there is never a mention of the responsibility of the victim. The idea that everyone in an unfortunate situation got there, through no fault of their own is a faulty assumption.
The assumption that once a person in America faces a setback, they must become a permanent ward of the state is faulty and dangerous. This is a nation of excess, and I'm not talking about rich people wasting their money on babbles. I'm talking about a nation where the poor suffer from diseases like gout, once called the "rich man's disease." It's sort of mind- boggling; the greatest epidemic in America is the rise of obesity- a disease tied directly to a person's inability or unwillingness to police themselves. Still, apologists blame McDonald's and genetically-modified foods (GMO), rather than the person shoveling food into his own face.
We can lie to ourselves, we can point fingers, and we can even make laws that punish successful people and businesses, but we cannot lie to our bodies.
Food product which by French law is liver of a duck or goose fattened by force-feeding corn with a gavage (feeding tube):
There's an obesity epidemic in America that will only get worse. We all know the deadliest ramification from this epidemic is the explosion of diabetes, but there are additional medical challenges, including fatty liver.
Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) is caused by the accumulation of fat in the liver. Reports vary on how many people suffer from NASH, which can eventually lead to chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis. I've read where up to 22 million Americans have NASH, with the majority unaware. . Possibly more than 8 million Americans are in an advance stage that morphs into those deadlier circumstances.
For now, there is no treatment for NASH, as most doctors recommend a combination:
> Lose weight
> Improve diet
> Avoid alcohol
> Avoid unnecessary medicines
In other words, the best treatments for now are all within the power of the individual. Of course, these steps would have prevented the problem in the first place. While ducks and geese are force-fed corn to fatten their liver, Americans are simply eating with reckless abandon, as they face less and less scrutiny and admonishment. It's not their fault. There is no accountability...unless you sell fattening food, and then there is the demonization and the economic shakedown.
Over the next ten years, NASH will be responsible for more diseases of cirrhosis of the liver than alcohol.
Last week, the stock market was awed by the move in the shares of Intercept Pharmaceuticals (symbol ICPT)
Wednesday closes at $72
Thursday closes $275
Friday reaches intraday high of $497
The stock took off after a Phase III clinical trial was cut short because of overabundant success. Intercept went public October 2012, priced at $15.00 and closing at $19.40 on the first day of trading. Very few individual investors got a ride on the rocket ship last week, as this wasn't a widely known company. Yet the pending success of the company points to how valuable the equity market is for humanity.
In this case, a humanity that has put itself into a dangerous predicament, against the backdrop of living in a world where none of their actions are frowned upon by themselves or society:
Company insiders own 48%
Institutional investors own 26%
Included in this are Genextra, a Milan, Italy-based private capital group that owns 7.2 million shares and SAC Capital with a stake around 1.0 million shares.
I find it remarkable that in the process of possibly saving millions of Americans each year, the private sector may have handed its arch-enemies another tool. No price to pay for a life of excessive self- indulgence coupled, with sloth and arrogance. Soon a pill will allow us to drink and never get drunk, coupled with the miracle pending at Intercept Pharmaceuticals; there will be real meaning to the phrase:
Drink and be Merry!
I for one will continue to lose weight, exercise more, and improve my diet. I hope to live a long life driven mostly by being responsible; not relying on modern medicine masking ailments that resulted from my own irresponsibility.
The fact is that nobody is willing to discuss a key driver of higher medical costs and greater occurrence of disability is happening, because people are self- destructive. Instead of being honest and tough on those that eat themselves into oblivion, or don't do the things that make them more attractive employment candidates, the nation is blaming and punishing those that actually try to eat properly, and actually make the sacrifices to be successful.
By and large, if you are obese, it's through faults of your own.