Critical Ignorance of How Things Work

Whar Money?

On this news, one highly-upvoted person at 9gag had this to say:

Critical Ignorance

“The only person screwed was insurance companies.”

elonmustnt

Where does this person think that insurance companies get their money? How do they not understand that people pay what-are-called premiums for that coverage? How do they not understand that the insurance companies will pass increased prices on to their customers in the form of increased premiums? Even if they are employed with insurance, and never look at their pay stub, how do they not understand that employers covering only some of the costs of these premiums eventually pass increases on to employees, both in terms of raising their contribution, and by paying people less?

And lest you think this was brutally-ignorant take was isolated, there’s another, even more highly-upvoted post further down the comment section, with lots of replies, none of which correct this fundamental disconnect with the basic, underlying mechanism of good, old fashioned capitalism. Apparently everyone on 9gag is content with the explanation that the insurance companies were the only ones getting screwed by Shkreli, and they view his move as some sort of inverse, anarcho-capitalist Robin Hood maneuver. It’s almost insane.

I guess the question is: What did I expect from a post titled “Justice Served?” as if there were a popular misunderstanding of what was actually happening here. One comment gets at the truth: Shkreli is being made an example of, in order to send a signal to other people who make waves for Big Pharma. Yes, of course, every other pharma CEO wants to do what he did, but you have to do it quietly. Slowly. Like a frog being boiled alive. You can’t make moves so big or fast that they cannot be ignored.

It’s little wonder how we can’t find common ground in our politics today. People can post a critical misunderstanding of how something works to a top-10 web site, find validation from scores of like-minded people, and come away thinking that they’ve really got a handle on how the world works.

These are the people that political operatives are targeting with disinformation campaigns. The rubes that got snookered by the Cambridge Analytica election campaign for Trump? This is them. And they vote, thinking that they have “done their research,” and have insight into how the world really works.

I weep for the future. If there is one.

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