We are what we eat

We are what we eat and what we eat is shortening lives and driving up healthcare costs. Salt Sugar Fat, How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss. The Chain, Farm, Factory, and the Fate of Our Food by Ted Genoways. Farm Sanctuary, Changing Hearts and Minds about Animals and Food by Gene Baur. Only the wealthy or those of us with iron self-discipline can afford to eat healthy foods. We treat our food animals like slaves, only worse; we didn’t eat our slaves.

Our food animals are currently raised in close confinement on factory farms where their treatment is generally a closely held secret. Ag laws in some states prohibit the exposure of conditions on factory farms. Utah’s ag law was recently declared unconstitutional. I recently drove to Minersville, Utah, to see for myself one of the largest pig farms in the US. The Circle 4 farm west of town consists of sheds approximately 750 feet long in groups of three that house the pigs. There is a distinctive smell in the air from the waste lagoons, two per set of three sheds. I was not able to see inside the sheds, but from the account of others, I know that pigs are confined in small spaces with barely room to move. If we did that to humans, it would be torture.

We are what we eat and what we eat is factory farmed meats and processed foods loaded with sugar, salt, and/or fat engineered to make them irresistible, what the industry calls the bliss point. For the most part, the food industry is interested only in increasing sales with low costs to maximize profit; they do not care about the health of consumers. And it shows in increasing obesity and rising rates of diabetes in the US. It takes an iron will and a fat wallet to eat healthy foods. I believe that natural foods (non GMO) raised naturally without large amounts of dietary supplements and antibiotics fed to the animals is the way to eat and maintain our health.

Fair tax

A fair tax is a progressive income tax, not a flat tax. If you examine recent history, you will find that a steeply progressive income tax is associated with a more prosperous, more equal society. Then chief executives earned perhaps 40 times what the lowest paid employee was paid. Now chief executives earn 350 times or more what the lowest paid employee earns. Then the top tax rate was 91% and now it is much less. I say look at the results. We need to raise the top tax rate to 75% or thereabouts to fund a progressive agenda and to reduce the greed of the highly paid to increase their share of the economic pie at the expense of the 99%. Trickle down economics does not work. We should abandon trying to make it work.

Freedom and liberty

Freedom and liberty as used by the GOP and the far right have different meanings than what you and I are used to. Liberty is the right to take as much of the economic pie as possible, leaving crumbs for the 99%. Freedom is the right to keep as much as possible of earnings, freedom from taxation. This article shows how it works in the healthcare insurance field.

George Soros on regulation

The Alchemy of Finance, Reading the Mind of the Market by George Soros published in 1987.

“After nearly half a century of what now appears as excessive regulation, we have been moving towards excessive deregulation. The sooner we recognize that some kind of regulation is necessary in order to maintain stability, the better our chances of preserving the benefits of a nearly free market system.”

Obviously we’re not there yet thirty years later.