Death Is The Source Of New Wealth

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Death is the source of new wealth and is scattered throughout Republican policy. It can be gauged by gathering statistics. Of the scattered statistics, the administration never mentions deaths from opiate addiction. In 2015, 52,404 persons died from overdoses of prescription or street drugs. 20,101 of these deaths were from prescription overdoses! Three years earlier, in 2012, 259 million scripts were written by doctors for opiates! (All explicit acts by doctors, insurance, and pharmaceutical companies in the free market we are told to trust with healthcare.)

The average death rate of 1,000 people a week exceeds the threat from terrorism! Yet there is no call to suspend opiate prescriptions for 90 days (there are alternatives!) until a review and an improved policy can be put in place. These deaths do not excite fear, only grief. But in 90 days, fear or not, 13,000 people will die.

Death is adding to America’s golden pockets.

In agriculture, industry, or policy, wealth creates waste: its excesses include grain shortages, abandoned plants, and broken neighborhoods littered with the dead. The Greater Ville community in St Louis, MO has a murder rate three times the the country which is world’s capital of homicide, Honduras; Greater Ville, 290.8 per 100k population, Honduras, 90.4 per 100k. (The US: 4.9 per 100K! The Greater Ville rate is 58 times higher than the country as a whole!). Ninety percent of women killed in the industrialized world lived in the US.

The main Republican policy of death is their competing healthcare plans. After 7 years of nothing, their rush to politics has created bills to deny coverage (by caps, higher premiums, and more restrictions for preconditions) to some 24 million people in order to provide 765 billion in tax breaks for folk earning over a million dollars a year.

Although death is the new public wealth privatized. the Senate bill is being written in secret. Why is it being written in secret if it is such a good bill? The President says it is, but he hasn’t read it. Neither have representatives of doctors, nurses, hospitals and other care facilities, neither have addiction specialists, pediatricians, oncologists, or specialists in preventative medicine or hospice–or consumers! Why is the work of democracy being done it secret?

The economy is expanding and healthcare is a key benefit that impacts labor and mobility to make the economy more efficient. Why is the nation’s most important legislation–Buffett says more important than tax policy–being written in secret? Are women present? Blacks? Latinos? Or is the Senate exercising white male privilege?

Politics should not be a private brand. Public death should not become a source of private wealth. But it has: death is an asset on wealthy balance sheets! In policy, death scatters its statistics, in deadly civility, and hides its results. But in this America, it puts bunce at the top!

The Senate has gone into hiding. What does it say when the world’s most important deliberative legislative body establishes a secret cabal accountable only to the leaders of a single party? Especially when the surrounding talk openly describes the dark secret of this “replacement” bill: it will not benefit the poor, the elderly, or middle class working families with better prices or better coverage, but only add major bunce for the rich. How? In exchange for $765 billion in tax relief for the rich, 3 million Americans will die.

Unnamed graveyard, 1936. Walker Evans photo.

Unnamed graveyard, 1936. Walker Evans photo.


The Political Forms of Death

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DDDeath and fear come in many forms. America has a narrow bandwidth of favorites; mass shootings, spree killings, terrorist attacks, the cruel slaughter of children, domestic disputes–killings that spring from cops’ imaginations. Domestic killings, not international–despite London, Nice, Nigeria, Kenya, Afghanistan; terror not hate crimes that, without 9/11, lead in incidents and injuries and are rising.

These are incidents of blood death, killings tied to outrage–and more and more to politics through ideology or failure.

The failures are harder to find. As definitive as death is, politics creates a gray zone and makes itself an invisible hand. At arm’s length, politics makes the deaths tied to governing hard to see by disguising its victims as scattered statistics. Certainly the invisible dead, the statistics that silently reflect public policy–deaths demeaned by the lies that support these deaths–and by the wealth recovered from these deaths the government passes on to the rich.

In healthcare, these deaths in the next decade may total 3 million. The tax cuts tied to those deaths for those whose incomes are over a million dollars total 144 billion dollars over the next decade, according to the New York Times. This is the “beautiful” healthcare Trump is promising.

I have a moral deficit, a Times commenter remarked: the people, uninsured, have a choice; the people killed by blind attacks do not.

I think both are blindsided: one by the system, the other by people the system produced. The common thread is excess turned extreme. By guns, bombs, trucks, fire, or policy, death is the result. Justified by extreme myths about life and dignity, guided by channels as different as faith, hate and balance sheets.

The point is not which is more horrific but that they are connected. Globally, a bottom billion are in poverty traps. Virtually inescapable, these conditions, and others similar, make terrorism or political violence unpredictable–and unstoppable. The media acts in arrogance when it asked what could have been done. It wanders from the truth. Honesty demands a hard truth: tragic acts are apart of freedom.

But not of government or policy. Policy and the conditions driven by policy, its statistical pain is concentrated and allotted by class and income, but also scattered and random within targeted communities. Except for blind mules and GOP locker rooms, the mirror of terror and selected murders strike greater fear: we see in the reflections our own carnage and blood. Policy, with deadly civility, scatters its statistics and hides its results.


Muslim women in London with faces of grief and pain express silent horror at the Grenfell fire as they gaze at the burnt shell and think of the dead.

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