True health care reform and economic prosperity depend on improving our collective grasp of reality

Our politicians continue bickering over who’s got a better plan to save the economy and fix our broken health care system, displaying just how far out of touch with reality both ‘sides’ truly are.  Promising the impossible without any tangible details to back up their ridiculous claims, in what has become a classic example of the childish insanity we here in the United States like to call democracy.

Meanwhile, drug giant Pfizer has agreed to pay the U.S. government $60 million “to settle allegations that its employees bribed doctors and other officials in Europe and Asia to win business and boost sales.”  A sad bit of irony, beautifully displaying a perfect example of what is limiting our health care options and preventing long-term economic prosperity.  Short-sighted greed is apparently not helping us to achieve progress, but it is written into the charter of all U.S. corporations.

To be specific, what I’m referring to here is the obligation of corporations to place shareholder profit above all other priorities or even cultural values.  While there is still no excuse for the atrocious (and clearly illegal) practices of companies like Pfizer or, say, Monsanto; addressing the misguided notion that “the bottom line is all that matters” must become a priority for anyone looking to achieve meaningful reform of any kind.

Bringing us to a much bigger problem nobody seems to be discussing:  our government appears incapable of doing anything that might be considered even mildly threatening to the people running these giant businesses or their various interests, which are quite extensive.  It’s no wonder congress has virtually no backing from the public it claims to represent.

Most Americans already know the obvious truth that our government is horribly broken and in need of fundamental reform, yet unable to make any forward progress whatsoever.  A revolution in social media has given us the tools necessary for implementing change; while the ineptitude of our so-called leaders has left us with no choice but to embrace these new technologies and overgrow the oligarchies of the past.  The only trick is, how?

Since our government is effectively being run by these corporate giants who rely on us as consumers to make their profits, the only true form of democracy we have left is voting with dollars.  We must become informed citizens, not only for the sake of one’s own personal health; but for the survival and prosperity of generations to come.  If we don’t find a way to hold these corporations responsible for their actions, by first taking responsibility for our own actions, then we’ll never actually be successful in reforming our government or improving the lot of society.

The real bottom line we need to be basing all of our decisions on is not dollars and cents, but the integrity of the system as a whole.  Which is defined by the integrity of every piece and minute detail of the entire process.  Corruption is an enemy that’s never going to be fully defeated, but transparency and accountability will go a very long way towards keeping it in check.

Overcoming the corruption now plaguing our society is more than just a nice idea, it is the fundamental challenge which must unify those of us striving for a better future.  We may not have the ability to change corporate structure so the “bottom line” is integrity rather than profit, but we can force these ‘all powerful’ corporations to be more responsible through our own responsible actions.  Just like we can improve our own health by simply improving our diet and exercise routines…


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