Paul Buchheit | December 12 2016 | Common Dreams
In each of the following areas of our lives, capitalism has been a deadly force in the past, and prospects for the future seem even worse with Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks.
In 1996 Purdue Pharma began marketing its painkiller Oxycontin with a promotionalcampaign unlike any other seen before. As noted in the American Journal of Public Health, “The high availability of OxyContin correlated with increased abuse, diversion, and addiction, and by 2004 OxyContin had become a leading drug of abuse in the United States.”
About 75% of heroin addicts used prescription opioids before turning to heroin. Deaths related to heroin have more than tripled since 2010, and a dramatic surge in overdoses has occurred among children. Opioid use is also triggering a rise in hepatitis C, which kills19,000 people every year, most of whom can’t get treatment because the drug manufacturer Gilead Sciences charges $84,000 for pills that cost less than $300 to produce. In Kentucky in 2016, for every 100 people with hepatitis C only THREE were able to receive treatment.
Donald Trump’s rumored candidate for the FDA is staunch libertarian Jim O’Neill, who said about drugs: “Let’s prove efficacy after they’ve been legalized.”
Numerous studies show that the suicide rate is linked to unemployment and deterioratingwork conditions and declining wealth. The rate has accelerated since the 2008 recession. Too many black people, especially, can’t find living-wage jobs, and a lot of it is due to racism. A recent study found that job applicants were about 50 percent more likely to be called back if they had “white” names. A hiring analysis study found that white job applicants with criminal records were called back more often than blacks without criminal records.
Donald Trump’s reported choice for Labor Secretary is Andrew Pudzer, who opposes a minimum wage increase and favors robots over workers: “They’re always polite…they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never…an age, sex or race discrimination case.”
The World Health Organization, the United Nations, cooperating governments, andindependent research groups all agree that human-induced climate change is killing people, with up to 400,000 annual deaths “due to hunger and communicable diseases that affect above all children in developing countries,” and up to 7 million deaths caused by air pollution, over a half-million of them children under the age of five.