Dean Clough

October 11, 2021

Portico Darwin: The Problem is The Money

A while back, I went off on one of my tangents and rattled on about a lot of dreamy solutions to the major issues we all face.  As I looked at my list, I realized that, while imagining it all happening together is pure fantasy, many/most/all of the individual items have at least some merit.  You yourself may agree with many of my ideas.  In fact, a lot of what I advocate polls in the majority across Americans of all tribes.  Rational gun laws, for example, and a reasonable safety net.

So why do we not ever get there?  On seemingly anything?  All you need to do is look at what's gone on over Papa Joe's big $3.5 trillion investment package.  There was a provision in the draft bill that would have brought prescription drug prices into a reality-based world, one based on markets and competition.  It was killed - by three democrats.

We never get fair prescription drug prices or anything else because: 

When the downstream impacts are considered, the US is the most corrupt country on Earth.

Save the snickers and giggles.  China is more corrupt, but at least they do things there that we are now incapable of here.  Russia is more corrupt, but who cares about Russia?  They are non-players in most arenas other than trying to destabilize Western democracies and economies.

And what about the really corrupt places, like Venezuela, Egypt, or Pakistan?  Where you have to pay bribes and protection money just to survive?  Yes, awful.  But apart from the awful impact it has on its own citizens, the corruption in those countries doesn't really do much downstream. 

But what we do and don't do in America has a tremendous impact for essentially everyone else on Earth.  And what we do and don't do in America boils down to one thing:  money.  It is money that has captured our state and federal legislatures to the point that actual, real governing has ceased.

Think of everything I listed in my post of solutions.  Much of what I mentioned is not crazy.  But there are monied interests all over the political spectrum that don't want any of it.  So, the major maladies we face on things like the climate crisis and wealth/justice inequality go unaddressed while these fat cats keep the pump primed - but only for themselves.

A real-life example, and this is a big Bill Maher thing.  You'd think the federal government would actively  advocate healthy eating.  After all, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, etc. objectively aren't good, and preventative care is drastically cheaper than reactive care.  But I mostly hear crickets from the US Government on the subject.  Why?  It is the lobbyists from big food, big agriculture, big pharma, and big healthcare, and their money is awash in the US Capitol.  Each and every one of those four HUGE industries benefits from you eating too much and being fat and sick.   

Do you doubt that?  At all?  Then you should read the history of the infamous FDA "Food Pyramid", and why fat was demonized but sugar (and high fructose corn syrup) was not.
Think about that and again ask yourself if America is not the most corrupt country on Earth.  And that's just one single example.

Is there any way out of this?  When you think about all the stuff I've bitched about over these many months right here, it can seem hopeless.  Because it all comes back to Federal corruption, which in turn enables our poisoned version of shareholder capitalism, which increasingly looks like it could be the end of us all.  

But don't be glum:  I have 3 solutions I'll propose on Wednesday.  So you can study in advance, they are:

  1. Federally Funded Federal Campaigns
  2. Open State Primaries
  3. Ranked Choice Voting

P.S.  Yes, I've been listening to Andrew Yang on his book tour pushing the latter two.  That doesn't mean they're not valid ideas for fixing what ails us.

The Adler Resort fans out there - and there are many - all are breathless with anticipation over their latest, which they just announced to their past guests. 

Adler Spa Resort Sicilia

The reaction by Alden Michaels sums it up:

"Sweet Moses."

His mother, the deluded international park cheerleader Elizabeth "Polly" Michaels, took the opportunity to shower me with flattery: 

"Maybe they'll give Portico Darwin a big discount in exchange for a travel review."

10 Seconds of Seriousness:  Having been to Adler Dolomiti, Adler Balance, Adler Thermae (home to Succession whilst filming season 3 there!), and Adler Mountain Lodge, I wholeheartedly agree with Fi Deuce who said to my wife:

"We're going and I don't care what it takes." 

An Adler resort on the Mediterranean?  OMFG, yes.

Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.

On an album that is my second favorite of theirs ("Hemispheres" will always be the one for me), here is Rush with the Diamond Certified "A Farewell to Kings".   

Here are the opening lyrics to the title track, written by the legend Neil Peart.  Need I say more?

When they turn the pages of history
When these days have passed long ago
Will they read of us with sadness
For the seeds that we let grow?

(For the record, I have each of their albums through "Signals" in high resolution.  Indeed, forced to pick, I'd have to take Rush as my favorite band of all, over even my beloved guitar pop masters Guided By Voices.)

About Dean Clough