Thursday, May 14, 2009

THE PRIORITIES OF CAPITALISM

Every year billions of dollars are spent on the research and production of more and more powerful weapons. Inside capitalism it is essential to keep ahead of your trade rivals. Research into diseases or even the simple production of medicine is of a very low priority compared to arms production. "Pneumonia gets very little attention from donors or the public health community, yet it kills more than two million children a year, according to Unicef and the World Health Organization. To put it another way, if you spend five minutes reading this column, at least 19 kids will die of pneumonia in that time. That’s more than will die of AIDS, malaria and measles combined. Yet pneumonia goes ignored. It is the orphan of global health, attracting negligible investment." (New York Times, 9 May) RD

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