Profits over people

Yesterday, I listened to an important conversation about the need for social media to be held accountable for continuing to use technology to not only produce and promote the absolute worst feeds and content for users, but also for its inability to stop. The reason why it cannot stops because “the business model does not put people over profits.”

While I completely agree with what is being said about social media platforms and the real harm that some social media platforms are causing, I was somewhat dumbstruck over what seems to me as the business as usual model being ok for monopolies in every other industry including “health and wellness” but not ok for big tech companies. Seems completely hypocritical, don’t you think?

If there is one thing that is perfectly clear in this current economic model, then it is the validation and justification of profits at any costs. Even when we have proof of what those costs are to creatures and creation. I believe we call it “collateral damage” or “the costs of doing business.” Can you think of one industry that is not dominated by 4 or 5 companies who are paying their lowest level employees a living wage and have positively and negatively impacted the health of individuals, communities and the environment?

Whether its big tobacco, big tech, big energy, big sugar, big alcohol, big macs or big pharma, the current economic model has always rewarded the inability of producers and consumers to self-regulate. Profits and pleasure have always been more important than what is best for people and their places. This is why soft drinks, junk food, trash, food deserts, fast food companies and the behemoths like Walmart rule our communities. This is why cheap crap is cheap and well grown, properly packaged and zero wastes products are so expensive.

This is also why big pharma and insurance companies are making record profits year after year, medical debt is the number 1 cause of bankruptcy and the top killers of Americans are diet-related disease and sickness. Of course, the health, wellness and medical industries need us to be sick to make money.

In fact, profits over people is why is why 88% of Americans have some form of diet-related disease and sickness and why diet, food and health misinformation, disinformation and information saturate our lives. Why fad diets are not in short supply and why the “individual” model of health is presented as fact, although the mass majority of Americans will need the same drugs, the same medical procedures, the same doctors and the same hospitals to combat the same diet-related disease and sickness as everyone else.

See, it doesn’t make good financial sense for the government to regulate the food industry or to work with the educational and medical industry to put out food guidelines that do not include and subsidize the foods that cause diet-related disease and sickness. Likewise, it is not profitable to teach kids about health and to make sure they experience a completely healthy environment full of the best possible foods for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week and 9 months a year for 12 years. And yet, they blame us for not self-regulating.

My question is why start with demanding that big tech be regulated when diet-related disease and sickness have killed millions of human beings every single year for years and we have an epidemic of diet-related disease and sickness in youth and adults that is costing about 20% of the GDP, is a national security issue, makes the costs of insurance completely unfair and unaffordable, is crushing the health care industry and has proven to make us most susceptible from dying from the coronavirus?

If we have already been primed for decades with foods, drinks, products, language, commercials and treatments that are artificially and scientifically produced for us to consume as much as humanly possible regardless of the effects, then how do we blame big tech and hold them accountable for just taken advantage of an unregulated system that runs off our proven inability to self-regulate and then get mad at them for not self-regulating?

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