“We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
The thesis of this post is simple and, I hope, provocative: that if you care deeply about a particular social or environmental issue, then you must at least be familiar with many other social or environmental issues. This is due to the increasingly unavoidable link between seemingly disparate challenges, be they economic growth and climate change, health care spending and hunger, or defense spending and education.
I was inspired to write this after reading a phenomenal article in the most recent edition of Time. The article, titled ‘Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us,’ is one of the best pieces of journalism I’ve read in a while. But more importantly, it highlights the fact that the way in which medical products and services–hospital stays, prescription medications, etc.–are priced is egregiously, if not criminally, disconnected from the cost of providing them. In fact, the content of the article is so galling that I found myself unable to read it more than a few paragraphs at a time before my stomach would begin churning and I had to take a break.