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orlbucfan

T and R, la58!! Hope you and the family krewe are well. 🙂

polarbear4
polarbear4

so asteroid mining is now a thing.

polarbear4
polarbear4

polarbear4
polarbear4

Elk City’s cooperative system

My favourite of these neopopulist efforts was launched in 1929 in the high-plains town of Elk City, Oklahoma, a state that once had a vivid Populist streak. The idea was a cooperative healthcare system in which farm families would pay a modest sum each year for guaranteed access to doctors, dentists and a modern regional hospital. Members of the cooperative — meaning ordinary people, farmers, mainly — would elect the board and run the business side of the enterprise. This system was the brainchild of one Dr Michael Shadid, who organised it with the help of the state Farmers’ Union.

The populism of the Elk City enterprise can be understood by a glance at its backer, the Farmers’ Union, a more or less direct descendent of the old Populist party. Doctor Shadid’s story is more interesting still. A Lebanese immigrant who spent his career practicing among dirt-poor American farmers, Shadid was once a member of the Socialist party. While the doctor had unusual political ideas, he was no quack; his medical standards were high. What set him apart from his peers was his criticism of the predatory way medicine was practiced in places like small-town Oklahoma. He understood himself as something different, a ‘Doctor for the People’ (4) who would solve the persistent American problem of costly healthcare and a sickly population — the same basic problem that afflicts us today.

‘In war times and peace times, panic and prosperity, fair weather and foul, these facts stand,’ Shadid once wrote. ‘Poor people get sick quicker, stay sick longer, need medical aid most, get it least. Some are poor because they are sick. Others are sick because they are poor’ (5).

Shadid wrote that he acted on behalf of ‘the American people’ in their struggle ‘to escape from the domination of special privilege, which is leading this country toward dictatorship and chaos.’ After quoting this passage in a 1939 book, the journalist James Rorty appended, ‘These are native slogans, populist rather than socialist, and they hit the Oklahoma farmers right where they live.’

By ‘special privilege’ Shadid was likely referring to the American Medical Association (AMA), the doctors’ professional group, which had essentially declared war on him for daring to open a cooperative hospital. They came after the neopopulist reformer in all sorts of diabolical ways. His enterprise was ‘unethical’, they said, because it placed laymen in charge of the business decisions. They tried to get Shadid’s medical license revoked, and then they reorganised the local AMA chapter without him in it, which had the effect of cancelling his malpractice insurance. Doctors he tried to recruit were warned not to sign up with his endeavour and they stayed away.

Science’s war on populism

Most of today’s pundits would no doubt cluck with grave concern over Dr Shadid’s populist war on science. But what happened to him could be more accurately described as science’s war on populism.

lots more great stuff from Frank

https://mondediplo.com/2020/08/02populism-expertise

polarbear4
polarbear4

Terrific unroll by Doctorow, Who led me to the article by Thomas Frank in the first place.
https://twitter.com/ThreadiaApps/status/1289621796644216832?s=20

polarbear4
polarbear4

polarbear4
polarbear4

polarbear4
polarbear4

polarbear4
polarbear4

unbelievable. Ken Salazar recycled from Obama. One of the ones that signaled to all of us he was kicking us in the face when after we gave him the nom.

Benny

Even OPEC is planning for its demise. Why prop them up?

polarbear4
polarbear4

neolibs gonna neolib.