We invent disease.

A few days ago, I wrote:

When the cost of healthcare is directly dependent on the frequency of disease a few things will happen. Costs will mimic:

  • the regular rate of increasing disease
  • the rate of new diseases that can be invented
  • the rate of new therapies that can be invented to treat either invented diseases or old diseases
  • the rate of new tests that can be invented to treat new or old diseases

The swine flu phenomenon is a perfect example of the scientific medical industry “creating” a disease that injects billions into the medical industrial complex.

As our science gets better and better, our ability to create, or rather discover, new diseases will increase. Has swine flu always existed, we’ve just never “discovered” it? Good question. I’d wager that it has always existed.

Now, let’s ask the question “How many species are there in the world?” What is our biodiversity?:

In a famous study conducted in Panama, 19 trees were “fogged” with insecticide and the dead were collected as they fell through the canopy. In this study, nearly 1,200 species of beetles alone were collected. Of those, 80 percent were not known to science. While it may be dangerous to extrapolate numbers like these to other places, it gives at least a high estimate of the number of species that could exist on earth – that high estimate being around 100 million species. A low estimate is 2 million. The best estimate might be around 10 million. But even if that’s the case, it means we’ve only known about a small fraction of what is presently there.

Therefore, if 1200 species of new beetles came from one incident (and beetles are something we can see with our naked eye), how many species of unidentified microscopic pathogens, like swine flu, are there we can “discover” that will inject billions into our medical industrial complex? What if every taxonomist could rake in billions of profit by discovering new beetles. I can assure you one thing– there would be a ton of biologists and damn near every beetle in the universe would be named.

Discovering disease is the modern day California goldrush.

Doctors can diagnose almost anything known to us nowadays with the myriad of tests that range from physical exams to MRIs to biochemical assays and now down to the level of our DNA. And to the profiteers of our system, each new scientific discovery that leads to a new diagnosis means even more profit. And I guarantee, for every newly discovered swine flu, if you shake the trees, 1200 more will fall out. In a recent article, Reuters pointed out in 2008 that the IMF said a flu pandemic could cost $3 trillion and cause a 5% drop in global GDP. In other words, it would almost certainly turn the current deep recession into a worldwide depression.

1200 x $3 trillion = a shit ton of opportunity/disease/profit.