If “human progress” has a bottom, this is probably it.
By Lee Camp and cross-posted from truthdig
Goldman Sachs has outdone itself this time. That’s saying a lot for an investment firm that both helped cause and then exploited a global economic meltdown, increasing its own wealth and power while helping to boot millions of Americans out of their homes.
But now Goldman Sachs is openly saying in financial reports that curing people of terrible diseases is not good for business.
I wish this were a joke. It sounds like a joke. In fact, I’ll show you later that it used to be one of my favorite jokes. But first, the facts.
In a recent report, a Goldman analyst asked clients: “Is curing patients a sustainable business model?” Salveen Richter wrote: “The potential to deliver ‘one-shot cures’ is one of the most attractive aspects of gene therapy. … However, such treatments offer a very different outlook with regard to recurring revenue versus chronic therapies. … While this proposition carries tremendous value for patients and society, it could represent a challenge for genome medicine developers looking for sustained cash flow.”
Yes, a Goldman analyst has said outright that curing people will hurt their cash flow. And he said that in a note designed to steer clients away from investing in cures. Can “human progress” have a bottom? Because if so, this is the bottom of so-called human progress—down where the mud eels mate with the cephalopods. (Or at least that’s how I picture the bottom.)
This analyst note is one of the best outright examples I’ve ever seen of how brutal our market economy is. In the past, this truth would not have been spoken. It would’ve lived deep within a banker’s soul and nowhere else. It would’ve been viewed as too repulsive for the wealthy elite to say, “We don’t want to cure diseases because that will be bad for our wallet. We want people to suffer for as long as possible. Every suffering human enriches us a little bit more.”
We’re circling the drain in the toilet bowl, and as you know, the contents speed up as they near the end, the event horizon. We are beginning to see more and more how disgusting a profit-above-all-else economy really is. When Donald Trump bombed Syria, the stocks of weapons contractors shot up. That spike in stocks is a spike in the gravity of capitalism, pulling people toward death and destruction. Profit has power. And its power is exerted on the society as a whole…