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Ultra violence, societal collapse in Mexico has echoes in the US

borderlandbeat

Borderland Beat ponders the deranged violence in Mexico, fueled by drug cartels and corruption, and wonders how it ever got so crazy. What they say applies here in the States. No, we don’t have the same sickening levels of violence, with thousands of young teen torturers and killers. However, too many of our financial institutions benefit hugely from laundering drug cartel money. And that is one reason why Mexico went off the tracks. The elites in Mexico  initially profited from the drug trade and corruption (and still do) so they were willing to be complicit. Then their own children got addicted, tortured, and murdered – or became killers themselves – and suddenly they were in far too deep to get out.

Today, our outlook is dominated by poverty, inequality, social exclusion, lack of opportunity, corruption, impunity, weak institutions, and meager economic growth. Thanks to these variables, the violence associated with organized crime and drug trafficking found favorable footholds to flourish and obtain million-dollar earnings at the cost of the destruction of forward-looking perspectives and the development of the entire country.

Inequality, as we all know, is rising fast in the US too. A protected 1% elite has corrupted the government and remains mostly above and outside of) the law.

The family ceased to be the cornerstone of society, social ties became increasingly fragile, and our values—which once distinguished us in the world—were replaced by anti-values such as hatred, intolerance, and individualism.

This is happening here too. What used to bond and hold us together is disappearing.

The Polish philosopher and sociologist Zygmunt Brauman states in his book Collateral Damage: Social Inequalities in a Global Age:

“When an electric circuit is overloaded the first part to burn is the fuse… The effectiveness and the duration of the entire circuit—and as a consequence, the electricity that it is capable of absorbing and the work that it is capable of performing—cannot be greater than the resistance of the fuse. Once the fuse blows, the entire circuit fails.”

Are the circuits about to fail here too? We also need to ask, just why does the United States have such an insatiable demand for drugs?

  • DJ

    Perhaps this is the place to offer this story of our broken health care system.

    A woman, married and with a child, got pregnant. Her family’s income was about the median for her county, which made her eligible for Medicaid as a result of her pregnancy. Unfortunately, she miscarried. There followed several months of unexplained abdominal pains. Doctors and specialists were unable to diagnose them. They told her if she was in pain, go to the ER, which she did about a dozen times over six months. The ER, of course, treated the pain but did no diagnostics. They told her to go back to her primary care doctor for diagnosis. But neither the primary care doctor nor the specialists were able to identify a cause for her pain.

    Then one day, a PA in the ER flagged her as a possible drug seeker because of her frequent visits. As a result, Medicaid put her on restriction, which means that only her primary care doctor can prescribe for her, and she can’t see any other doctor without a referral, and she can only get her prescriptions filled at one pharmacy (Walmart).

    Here’s the fun part: her doctor told her to get a flu shot. Medicaid covers flu shots. However, Walmart doesn’t offer them, and since she is restricted to one pharmacy, she was unable to get one that was covered by her insurance.

    Then there’s even more fun: she got pregnant again. She’s allowed to see an OB/GYN, because her primary care doctor referred her. But the OB is not allowed to prescribe for her, nor refer her to any other specialists. For that, she has to go back to her primary care doctor. The average wait time for an appointment is ten days. Ten days, when a woman is pregnant, can make the difference between a healthy baby and a miscarriage.

    Her nine-year-old son was also eligible for Medicaid, until the family bought a $2,000 car. Medicaid determined that the car was actually worth $4,000, which put the family over the $3,500 limit for personal assets. That disqualified the son from Medicaid. There is no appeal over the value of a vehicle – they use a table that overrules both actual and market price.

    I think Medicaid is a great program. But our system is so flawed that it doesn’t work for many people.

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