Friday, May 24th, 2019

Here’s How the Super-Rich Will Destroy Themselves

Published on July 14, 2016 by   ·   No Comments

(Photo: Timothy Krause/cc/flickr)

(Photo: Timothy Krause/cc/flickr)

Paul Buchheit | Common Dreams

Perhaps they believe that their underground survival bunkers with bullet-resistant doors and geothermal power and anti-chemical air filters and infrared surveillance devices and pepper spray detonators will sustain them for two or three generations

Perhaps they feel immune from the killings in the streets, for they rarely venture into the streets anymore. They don’t care about the great masses of ordinary people, nor do they think they need us.

Or do they? There are a number of ways that the super-rich, because of their greed and lack of empathy for others, may be hastening their own demise, while taking the rest of us with them.

1. Pandemic (Because of Their Disdain for Global Health)

“A year ago the world was in a panic over Ebola. Now it’s Zika at the gate. When will it end?” –Public health expert Dr. Ali Khan.

It could end with a global pandemic that spreads with the speed of the 1918 Spanish Flu, but with a virulence that kills over half of us, rich and poor alike. Vanderbilt University’s Dr. William Schaffner warned us a decade ago, “You’ve got to really invest vast resources right now to protect us from a pandemic.” Added infectious disease specialist Dr. Stephen Baum, “There’s nobody making vaccines anymore because the profitability is low and the liability is high.”

The flu is just one of our worries. It has been estimated that less than 10 percent of the budget for health research is spent on diseases that cause 90 percent of the world’s illnesses. According to a study in The Lancet, of the 336 new drugs developed in the first decade of this century, only four of them were for diseases impacting third-world peoples. World Health Organization director Margaret Chanlamented the long decades of disregard for the African-centered effects of the Ebola virus: “Ebola has historically been confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest in products for markets that cannot pay.”

The super-rich had better make sure their anti-chemical air filters are also anti-viral.

2. Terrorism (Because of Global Inequality)

In The Spirit Level, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett document some of the most frightening effects of inequality: higher levels of crime and violence, impacting all classes of people.

Inequality is worst at the global level, and the victims of global greed are getting more violent. The World Protests report concluded that the most recent decade represents one of the most agitated periods in modern history — comparable to pre-Civil-War days, World War 1, and the Civil Rights era. According to expert Scott Atran, terrorism primarily appeals to young men who are bored and underemployed; for them, “jihad is an egalitarian, equal-opportunity employer.”

The terrorism of the future could easily take the form of the viral killers mentioned above. As Dr. Khan notes, “A deadly microbe like smallpox — to which we no longer have immunity — can be easily recreated in a rogue laboratory.”

3. Drought (Because of Their Denial of Environmental Destruction)

National Geographic’s 2012 Greendex Survey reveals a remarkable human response to environmental damage: “[Those] demonstrating the least sustainable behavior as consumers, are least likely to feel guilty about the implications of their choices for the environment.” Citizens of Mexico, Brazil, China, and India tend to be most concerned about climate change, pollution, and species loss, while American, French, and British consumers are more concerned about the state of the economy and the cost of energy and fuel.

Read More HERE

 

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