THE REAL COST OF MARGINALIZING THE "ELDERLY"

Milton Friedman.jpegThe recent victory of Donald Trump and his now almost across the board appointment of ultra-conservatives to fill key positions in his administration should be seen as no surprise. Rather, it's just the latest expression and expansion of the now longstanding laissez-faire corporate theories touted by the late University of Chicago economist Milton Friedman.

These ideas as expounded and implemented through what author Naomi Klein called 'the Shock Doctrine," in her 2007 book of the same name, shows in alarming detail how Friedman and his followers with the active support of the United States government have over the last half century, throughout Latin America (Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia) and elsewhere around the world, created the multinational corporate oligarchy that pledges alliance to only the country it can control. Simply stated: Sovereignty and the majority well being now take a back seat to ever increasing corporate profit at any cost.

What is now being sought with greater and greater rapidity is the phasing out any government role in the independent performance or regulation of virtually any aspect either of the American or world economies in areas as diverse as public education or the waging of endless wars motivated almost exclusively by perceived future corporate profit. Or more simply stated: Having the third largest oil reserves in the world had more to do with going to war in Iraq in 2003 than did weapons of mass destruction.

However, it has only dawned on me recently that there is something much worse than entities like multinational corporations that exclusively determine their well being by the sole measure of whether they always attain an ever increasing profit. If you think about it, such uncontrolled growth without reinvestment is actually much more akin to the definition of a cancer than a viable social entity.

What is worse than, for example, targeting your most senior workers for the sole reason that you think you can replace them for a fraction of the cost, while putting the "savings" into more corporate profit, is the non-realization that with the loss of your more senior workforce goes the institutional memory that might have allowed you to know what happened the last time the economy was pushed over the edge by corporate greed. I think it was called the Great Depression.

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