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Monday, July 13, 2009

Achieving the perfect orderliness of a soylent green society

After seeing Dennis Kucinich make a mockery of Free Market Jesus by causing David Gratzer to stutter and sputter, I decided I'd better review Gratzer's latest book, The Cure: How Capitalism Can Save American Health Care. Here's my review.

I'm not the book's first admirer. A couple of other fine Teabagger-Americans have already written incredibly fawning reviews. Perhaps I'm biased, but I think mine is much better. If you agree, please give it your vote as the "most helpful review" so it can be listed as the "most positive review." I'm starting late and was 48 votes behind when I published, so if you're inclined, evangelize your freinds and ask them to cast their votes for the one true review as well.

4.0 out of 5 stars Achieving the perfect orderliness of a soylent green society, July 12, 2009
By Gen. JC Christian, patriot (Tremonton, UT United States) - See all my reviews

David Gratzer's The Cure: How Capitalism Can Save American Health Care is perhaps greatest paen ever written to the one true religion: laissez-faire capitalism. It's a celebration of the triumph of the bottom line, an adoration of profit, and a joyous prayer of hope for the perfect orderliness of a soylent green society.

Over the last 30 years, we've stood in awe as we've witnessed unregulated capitalism's transformative powers. Where once our edible ecology lacked such keystone species as E.coli and salmonella, our meat, fruit, vegetables, and water have become veritable Edens for those precious pathogens. Where once financial regulation checked glorious greed and encouraged the unbearable ennui that comes with stability, our new, deregulated, economic environment has brought excitement to investing and incredible profits to those few deserving oligarchs who were most prepared with the connections to exploit the system to their advantage.

Now, David Gratzer and the insurance industry wants to do the same for health care. He's heard the complaints. He's read studies like the 2004 Commonwealth Fund report which looked at satisfaction in five nations. He saw that they found that U.S. Americans were by far the most dissatisfied with their health care system (over twice as dissatisfied as Canadians)and less likely to receive care because of cost (17% of Canadians vs 40% of U.S. Americans).

Yes, he's studied it thoroughly and has decided that the problem with the U.S. system is that it is not capitalistic enough. It needs to be deregulated like the food and banking industries. The problem isn't lack of access, it's about deciding who deserves what level of care--it's about rationing health care by one's ability to pay.

Even more importantly, it's not a matter of whether someone can receive the care they need, but whether society will allow him or her to access a free market solution to pay for that service. Is our society advanced enough to provide a patient's loved ones an opportunity to sell their organs to pay for needed health care? Have we achieved that level of compassionate capitalism yet? Do the poor and working classes care enough about life to make sacrifices to preserve it? If not, do they really deserve all of the benefits of life?

These are the fundamental questions to which Gratzer alludes, but, unfortunately, fails to fully address in his book. That's a shame, because these are the questions that must be answered if we are ever to fully achieve the libertarian society he envisions.

That said, Gratzer does honor un-fettered capitalism with the blind worship that it deserves as the answer to everything (along with lower taxes and drilling in the ANWR). That's why I'm giving his book four stars.

BTW, I've added a share widget to the bottom of each post so you can easily share these post via Digg, Fark, Twitter, Facebook, etc.


  1. Gratzer's shilling for the healthcare insurance companies is inspiring, and I imagine his book will be a catalyst for ever more intensive "pay as you bleed out" programs here in the greatest country that ever sold out its citizenry. Your review, sir, is notable and laudable--if our nation's wealthiest corporate crones don't start sending you weekly stipends then I for one will be very, very cross with them.


  2. General,

    I'm sorry sir, but this cheese-eating surrender-monkey sounding, secular laissez-fair capitalist method won't work either.
    It isn't health insurance based on lettin' Baby Jeebus into your heart. Jeebus Health is the only way to protect your family. If you love Jeebus enough, you don't need no doctor. Did Jeebus rise from the dead 3 days after cruxifiction by having health cover by his employer? No. He believed in the lord enough and thus he was healed.
    Believe in Jeebus properly and we won't need the whole sinful medical industry which feeds us lies and false promises of happiness and erections from little pills

    Speaking of which, I need to take mine.

  3. Under the current system,for me, with no healthcare, if I had a terminal illness, I'd be doing my family a favor by committing suicide rather than by bankrupting them. Go figure.

  4. General, Sir:

    I'm pretty sure that I know what happened to Dr. Mengele. He got out of the day-to-day medical stuff and started both HMO's and the BigInsure biz.


    Sorry, no boner pills? That's carrying things a bit far, don't you think?

  5. Hey, folks, it's the luck of the draw. My spouse's insurance paid for a hip replacement but drew the line at physical therapy. Here I sit a year later with scar tissue. Pretty soon I'll be walking just like I did before the operation. And then I'll need another operation to remove the scar tissue.

    Vive la France! (I know it's a day early)

  6. General, Sir:

    Respectfully pointing out that the Amazon review should read "paean" rather than "paen."

    Granted, the average mouth-breathing citizen who buys the book won't know the difference . . . but then again, he won't have read the reviews, either.

    As for the boner pills, I can't imagine the U.S. healthcare system doing anything that would reduce either the rampant erections or the bulging spam folders of the American public. And think of all the fly-by-night unemployment that would result if "little blue love pill" ads (and sales) were banned! Why, next thing you know, people would be driving to Mexico, performing blatant acts of reverse wetbacking, to buy their love lives by the unregulated carton . . . not to mention the unsupervised distribution to friends & family. Oh, the shame of it all!


We'll try dumping haloscan and see how it works.