Disease is us. We like disease.

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Decline and Fall, Made in China, Psychopath & Sociopath at 9:16 am by George Smith

From the Guardian, on capitalism and Walmart:

“The bigger question there is why employers feel entitled to employ people, often at low wages, without providing healthcare for them. Is the idea that when they get sick or die, they’ll be replaced like lab rats? That’s a pretty diseased view of how capitalism should work.”

To which I say: Disease is us. We like disease.

Adds the paper, “When Walmart is implicitly acknowledging that its wages won’t let people afford one good dinner, its financial issues are way beyond Obamacare.”

And here’s some discussion from DD blog comments yesterday, resurrected for further use:

We live in a modern Dickensian country, the big item yesterday being the news of a Canton, OH, Walmart store holding a food drive for its sales associates.

The picture [in the Plain Dealer] alone says it all.

Walmart is a company that’s deservedly earned (and earns) … loathsome press. Yet nothing is ever done and conditions never change.

One can think of a lot of creative ways in federal, even state, law could be changed to punish a predatory corporation that uses food stamp subsidy of its workers to keep wages down and enhance its bottom line. One could do a calculation of a business based on its payment of such workers, retrieve an estimated number of them, and deduce what their food stamp benefit would be, then hit the firm with a claw-back in the form of a tax plus a large penalty for victimizing its workers.

Such money, collected nationally, could be given back to workers by placement in a national fund from which they could extract their share by simply presenting proof of employment at Walmart and a photocopy of their latest SNAP card.

With a little thought there could be a lot of remedies like this. None of them could ever happen in our world, unfortunately.

Anyway, from this we can conclude that Walmart management, as opposed to its labor force, consists entirely of sociopaths and that is what they look for when hiring. In fact, we have a national corporate economy, a fascist one, that selects for and elevates sociopaths. It explains why everything continues to turn from bad to worse.

Since it’s been building for decades, a good portion of the voting populace has now been conditioned to view it as normal, even proper, or worse — to be applauded. This, in turn, explains the malevolent nature of modern America.

And here’s a respectable discussion on remedying the Walmart problem, one that also mentions the not-unique idea of using a claw-back:

“The next proposal is more severe: Charge back the amount of public assistance any employee receives to the company he or she works for. It would be separate from tax filings, and simply be a direct penalty charged to the firm. I doubt there is much political will for this proposal, but I can see some people — especially on the Left — supporting it … My politics are pretty middle-of-the-road, and I find myself offended by subsidizing profitable companies this way.”

Could substitute the Waltons for the Kochs. Let’s sing for economic blight. Just sayin’.

Someone should put my Culture of Lickspittle album out on iTunes, I’m telling ya. Then I could come to your town, maybe, and play it for you.

Thanks to those who kept the comments alive over the weekend, if you know who you are and I think you do. It keeps things interesting.


  1. Tom Paterson said,

    November 21, 2013 at 7:48 am

    If you reject my comments you’re probably doing me a kindness … all this thinking hurts my head and I’m really just parroting what I’ve read elsewhere.

    Disease. I think you must tell your readers more … you have the qualifications:


    A disease has an etiology, an origin; it has transmission vectors, pathways along which it travels from host to host.

    Toxoplasmosis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxoplasmosis): an explanation for why the feral cats I feed are far less timid than is good for them; when they are really hungry it is possible to handle them. I am probably infected too.

    Thomas M Disch’s Camp Concentration (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Concentration).

    My book report on sociopaths:

    Götz Aly (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6tz_Aly) & Susanne Heim: Architects of Annihilation: Auschwitz and the logic of destruction, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002

    This is a dry, academic tome. It describes in great detail the ecomomic structures that underpinned Nazi Germany. It turns out that, in the words of Steve Martin’s Jerk, the SS was a profit deal; incentives, bonuses, profit-sharing (schemes available to senior management only). You’d be hard put to distinguish it from any present-day transnational corporation except maybe that their R&R package was even better, at least initially. And I hope we know how this particular sociopathy was propagated (even if we’ve only the Sound of Music as a referent).

    So yes, we are all diseased and loving it. So conditioned am I that for a moment I actually thought the comparison above was schoolboy hyperbole … it’s terrifying litotes. I will hide in the
    basement until the bad men go away.

    I no more believed that Prozac was non-addictive than I believed in Black-Scholes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black%E2%80%93Scholes). An utterly evil thing: an addictive drug that can’t be addictive because it gives the user no pleasure and therefore does not conform to the accepted models of addiction. Back to the Night Train … at least you feel the hit. And if you wake up next day with sausage fingers and despair you can at least play & sing Gary Davis’s Oh Lord How Happy I Am with a certain degree of truth.

    And I think it’s just a need for truth that drives, isn’t it? I’m already dead but still I’m censoring myself.

    Boudu Sauve des Eaux

  2. George Smith said,

    November 21, 2013 at 9:44 am

    I’m not sure why this one was held in pending. Most probably because the four hyperlinks exceeded what I had written as a rule to hold.

    There was a news piece the other day, didn’t refer it, on V. vulnificus. Turns out, they like BP tar balls from the spill, where they’ve been found in excess concentration. No one has become ill from this, presumably because they stay as far away from tar balls as they can.

    Since this organism is fairly common in Gulf Stream water, somehow they’re being swept up in the process creating tar balls and then find the environment conducive. I would suspect BP spill tar balls aren’t just tar and there’s something else in them that the organisms thrive on. But no one knows the why’s or whats of it yet.

    Vulnificus infections have been gradually rising in the last six years but there is not a spike or acceleration that occurred post the BP spill so there’s some curiosity about it.

    I have a copy of Camp Concentration stored somewhere in a closet.