Inevitably, some people have sought to profit from the current crisis. This has upset people despite it being an obvious and foreseeable extension of the system they’ll merrily defend the rest of the time. Indeed, even in placid times, those who seek to make profits of suffering are roundly condemned. Unless, of course, they’re making weapons. Apparently. The hypocrisy is manifest and yet is perpetual. We approve of capitalism to a point, one that we’ve never actually defined.
Of course, taking advantage of market circumstance is what capitalism is all about. The profits of suffering are easy to spot in time of crisis, but the rest of the time are indistinct. Typically, they only come to light when those effected riots in the streets. This has happened down through the centuries proving, if nothing else, we’ve been here before. And we survived. In fact, crisis capitalism is so predictable that it almost heralds brighter days ahead. In which people can complain about it.
Crisis Capitalism; Supply History’s Demands Once Again
The outrage directed at Martin Shkreli, the poster boy for price gouging, was understandable. He had taken the principles of the capitalist venture and gamed the system. From manipulating stock prices to ensnaring patients, he was a piece of work. He didn’t, however, invent capitalism. His making profits of suffering was abhorrent, but simply the logical conclusion of for-profit healthcare. If he hadn’t someone else would have. Indeed someone else will, just you watch.
A Tale Of Greed, Price Gouging And Martin Shkreli
For-profit-healthcare sounds, to many around the world, like the epitome of making profits of suffering. The US system often condemned, derided and dismissed. However, it wasn’t an evil scheme dreamed up by someone like Martin Shkreli, far from it. The evolution of the naked healthcare profiteering in the United States begins not with the greed of men but the folly of nations. Some would argue since that inception US healthcare has continued to be such.
The Unfortunate Evolution Of US Healthcare Profiteering
Whilst US healthcare is pilloried, with little understanding of how it came about, the arms industry gets away with murder. The modern military industrial complex has been following a business model of suffering centuries old. Wrapped in a cloak of patriotic protectionism it is judged by different standards. So much so if Shkreli’s scheme had targeted those overseas one wonders if the same there would have been the same fuss. Probably not. We bomb them all the time.
Business Model Of Suffering; The Military Industrial Complex
The profits of suffering are nothing new, nor particularly special. They are with us all the time but only seem to rise to the surface when we need something to be outraged about. The system that allows healthcare profiteering, price hikes or cartel-like price-fixing in the arms industry and is never fixed. There is no cure imposed however often it occurs. It is unlikely that when the current crisis peters out there will be a clarion call for change. Even if there is, absolutely nothing will be done about any of it.
We take a look at how capitalism’s adherents are blamed for gaming a system they didn’t create and don’t run. Well. Unless they make guns.