What’s this got to do with middlemen? Back in the day, you could go to a “doctor” and he’d do what he could for you and send you home. Now there is no such thing as just a plain doctor. You go to your (insert whatever you call the person you go to for stuff – like your gynecologist or internist or proctologist), and then s/he refers you to someone else – usually a drug company to get some antibiotic or cough syrup, or to another doctor, called a specialist because he doesn’t know anything about the human body except that one special part – be it the brain or kidneys or intestines. Don’t even ask him about that wart on your big toe – he doesn’t know what to do about it except to refer you to a toe specialist.
What’s the connection? The person you call “doctor” is a middleman for the drug companies and specialists, and the drug companies are the middleman between you and staying healthy in the first place.
Where did all these middle people come from? I just heard on the TV that in the last hundred or so years, the population of the world went from 1 billion to almost 7 billion. All those people have to have jobs – and since all the regular jobs were filled, then we in America created all these middlemen jobs to keep these people busy and off the streets.
A hundred years ago, your town had one doctor and all the drugs he had were in a little black back that opened at the top. I always liked those bags. No zippers. I don’t know how they kept them closed, but in the movies the doc just pulled the two handles apart and took out a little clear bottle with a cork in it, and that cured anything from hoof and mouth disease to tapeworm.
Today, these middlemen are everywhere. You can’t call anyone directly if they have a business, you have to go through a receptionist. You can’t buy a new car from a salesperson, you have to go through the guy who makes you feel like your breaking his company but he’s going to – against his better judgment – give you a fantastic deal and an outrageous trade-in allowance on your beater if you’ll sign right now. You have to get a wedding planner to coordinate your wedding, and a realtor to help you buy a house. These positions give all those extra people something to do.
I’m not saying I’m against drug companies, or doctors, or anything else in particular. But it rankles when I think of drug companies inventing these cures for things that could easily be fixed with a little lifestyle change. The commercials should be like, “If you are losing bone density, get up right now, RIGHT NOW I SAID, and get some exercise, you big fat lard. You do NOT need this pill I’m pushing. And you do not need to hound your doctor into prescribing it to you.”
But that would be stupid for the drug companies to do. So it appears middlemen are here to stay, for better or for worse. Otherwise the unemployment rate would soar and Obama (yo mama) would never get that jobs bill passed.