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Saturday, November 18, 2006


Capitalism in the news

Socialists and Communists have been talking about the nature of Capitalism for a long time; now psychologists are getting into the act:
A team of psychologists has an explanation for why money can't buy happiness.

Pictures of dollar bills, fantasies of wealth and even wads of Monopoly money arouse feelings of self-sufficiency that result in selfish and often anti-social behavior, according to a University of Minnesota study published Friday in the journal Science.
Also in today's news we have one of those "capitalist success stories," the tale of a man who was living out of his car in the '70's, got fired from a job at a fast-food restaurant in 1979, and since then has grown not only to be worth millions, but has given out $1.3 million in random gifts of $10, $20, or $100 to people on the streets at Christmastime. He's known as the "Secret Santa" because he does this anonymously (until now).

So what's the twist? This:

Doctors told Stewart in April that he had cancer of the esophagus and it had spread to his liver. He has been lucky, he says, to get into a clinical trial at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. But...the treatment costs more than $16,000 a month.

His insurance company won't cover the cost of the treatment, which has left him concerned about his finances and his family.
So even a man rich enough to have given away more than a million dollars in his lifetime, is still "on the edge" when it comes to health care. Not as on the edge as most Americans, to be sure, many of whom are one medical emergency away from living in their own cars, but still close enough that he has to worry about it.

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