There is one entity that exists in this world that in my opinion exemplifies almost everything wrong with the “currently sold version of capitalism”. It is an entity marketed and advertised and gossiped to and among the masses as their savior. It has been built, fortified, and “genetically modified” into the current parasitic, pestilent, despotic juggernaut it is, by the people, supposedly for the people, and dare I say the institution is almost worshipped and more than tithed to with the reverence of a church or a temple or any house of worship. It has the best, smiley face, wink, wink….I mean the best prices around…..you can’t beat those prices….because they, smiley face, wink, wink…love you, the common man. They love you so…so much that they strive endlessly to make your life better….they want you to be able to afford everything….they care that much about you. Many of their stores stay open 24/7 for you, common man or woman, to serve you….to give you the opportunity to buy…buy…buy at your convenience….to make your purchasing experience that much more pleasurable. This entity is….smiley face….Walmart.
For your convenience, they have decimated small and local business across the land. They have destroyed family business after family business after family business. They have invaded territory and land that they should not have been able to hold in communities, but through their excessive centralized power of bribery and tax revenue generation, they essentially walk not on water, but all over the law, zoning and non-zoning, and they go where they want without any true concern for the community. For your convenience they take local monies and revenue out of the neighborhood and redistribute it to wherever their corporate P and L sheet dictates or to half a world away to enter into a new and emerging market. For you, oh common American man and woman, they happily employee peasants in other countries, making twenty cents on the dollar, to poison your pet food, construct products often of the poorest quality, and to manufacture the very same items that were once manufactured by your very own countrymen, allowing those countrymen to earn a livable wage. To help you…to give an endless amount to you, their valued customer, they have squeezed-out almost any American manufacturer that has to make a reasonable profit from what they produce and their tactics have also significantly and unfairly skewed market forces to the point of damn near critically handicapping any other small business retail company that even tries to carry the same products on their shelves or provide the same services to their customers. For you, they have now metastasized into the consumption of the additional fields of pharmacy, grocery products, auto-repair work, and optical healthcare care, utilizing the same unbalanced business approach mentioned above throughout all of these endeavors. And even now, for you, they have chosen to offer you further plausible deniability and delusion about who and what they truly are, by “rewriting” their identity into “community” or “local/neighborhood” stores. One may say this final step is a very natural and progressive jump from their long ago face lift of “chaining” old, happy, soft grinning Grandpas and Grandmas to their entrance ways to stamp such family love and concern into your chomping-at-the-bit consumer mind, to encourage you in your purchasing aspirations.
And now Walmart, the utmost righteous example and defender of ruthless, unbalanced, unhealthy, parasitic, despotic, unsustainable, deceptive, manipulative, hypocritical capitalism in our galaxy, has joined forces with your neo-savior, your new white knight in shining armor, your everything will be all right, your wow-so-awesome-bargain, your drug of supreme self-deception. This alliance should tell everything…should be an obvious indicator to anyone with more than one neuron, but of course that is just my opinion and furthermore, it is well defined and accepted that the masses truly prefer not to think or analyze or see the true consequences for their instant gratification fixes of “saving money” and “pulling one over on the man or everyone else in the herd, by getting a better bargain…look at me, I’m so smart”.
In October of 2012, Walmart began selling pet insurance policies at more than 300 stores in Canada.* The market research firm Packaged Facts stated in a recent report that “the entry of the world’s largest retailer into the U.S. pet insurance market is only a matter of time.” Though a large portion of U.S. citizens undoubtedly believe Walmart is entering this market to again help all communities and citizens by offering “fair prices”, the real motivation for the company is the 2013 national sales figure for pet insurance. This figure is a 16% increase from 2012 and weighs in at a healthy…..$536 million. Yes folks, that is $536 million; $536 million pulled out of normal direct and efficient transactions between you and your veterinarian and sent instead through a middle man who will supposedly save you money and also help provide you with “better medicine”. A rational person might ask “How in the hell can you remove $536 million from an industry, add another over-aggressive capitalist to the mix at the same time, and then save money for everyone…hip, hip, hurray?????”, but it isn’t rational, and it doesn’t make sense or add up in the least. It just doesn’t. The report further states that pet insurance sales will possibly reach $1 billion by 2020 and that as of October 2013, the latest North American pet insurance company, PetPremium, entered the market with a flare, instantly amassing 325,000 Facebook fans (I often find myself wondering about the average I.Q. of Facebook users, including myself). Such facts always make me think of what I believe happens to be a Jefferson quote that goes something like this “Democracy is mob rule by 51%”. My deviated quote might be “The death of balanced, synergistic, sustainable capitalism, as well as the death of diffuse intellectual prowess and stability of the psyche, occurs when the people possessing those ideals become outnumbered by the majority who possess irrational, parasitic, neurotic, over-dominant, controlling ideals. “And We the People” are way, way, way, way the hell outnumbered by the majority of selfish dumb-dumbs and their counterparts, the over-dominant controllers, at present.
It appears that at present about 1.86 million pets are insured within the borders of the U.S. and Canada and a spokesperson from Packaged Facts believes that “increased receptiveness to veterinary insurance by YOUNGER veterinarians in the future” will be the primary factor increasing penetration of the service to greater numbers. This is sales terminology for INDOCTRINATION and unfortunately, it will be pushed by the insurance companies, corporate controlled veterinary hospitals, the AVMA, referral veterinarians (so they can perform very expensive diagnostics/treatments like CT scans, MRIs, Linear Accelerator therapy, kidney transplants, etc.,), and most regular independent veterinarians as well. It will be pushed, because in the short term it will make all of these groups more money. In the long term, it will lead to war among these factions. It is so, so, so very important to note that in neither the short term or the long term, will it save you or any other consumer money (please refer to part 2 of The Ugly Truth behind Pet Insurance posted on this blog).
Pet insurance will continue to gain favor and the herd will be continually indoctrinated by being told how great it is for them and their pets. That doesn’t make any of this right and it certainly doesn’t lend any validity to a brainwashing sales pitch even if it is delivered by every entity in the field. This is all a trick and it is the same trick that most corporations have honed to an exact marketing science. Pet insurance is bad, bad, bad and the cost will outweigh the benefit to the consumer by far. Mark my words. And again, this same technique and pattern has already played out in human medicine. It led to the current fiasco. The corporate pseudo-medical aggressive-capitalist currently appears to be much more interested and focused upon insuring your pet than making sure that every human in our country has affordable healthcare. That fact should clearly display their motives. So, the first cycle (people) was an ethical and financial disaster and now, before that cycle can even be broken completely and fixed appropriately, the cycle is being repeated, this time, with a brand new face: the face of your pet. Fool me once, shame on you…fool me twice, shame on me.
*Veterinary Product News Jan 2014 Vol 26/Number 1
Jeff Cribb DVM 2014