By Ella Oji
Recently I read that over the past twenty years 400,000 Americans died from drug overdoses. There were 70,000 deaths in 2017 alone, which were 20,000 more than American casualties in the Vietnam War.
Not many years ago, if you heard that someone died of a drug overdose, you assumed that heroin or some other illegal drug was involved. Today, we assume it was opioids, which are legal. We understand that sellers of illegal drugs are not concerned about the lives their products destroy. But we thought that doctors and pharmacists were different.
We were taught that doctors were guided by the Hippocratic Oath which requires physicians to uphold specific ethical standards. Apparently, some doctors’ ethical standards are lower than illegal drug dealers because their drugs kill a lot more people.
Greed is not confined to the medical and pharmaceutical industries. The fossil fuel industry is willing to put the planet at risk by denying the reality of climate change in order to make more money. It’s sad but most Republican Congressman and Senators have to pretend that they agree with them even though they know better.
Foreign policy is guided by greed in many instances. Even though America has an ample supply of oil and natural gas, we invaded Iraq on the pretense of looking for weapons of mass destruction. The real target was the oil fields and we knew where they were.
Even though we are the richest country on earth, the gap between the haves and have nots is wider than ever. This increasing inequality is generating stress and anger among the have nots. Politicians who represent the haves are trying (with some success) to direct anger towards immigrants and other minorities.
The real culprit is greed which is a greater threat to our national security than Russia, China, terrorists or climate change.
Mabra Holeyfield is a businessman in Memphis, TN, and author of USE WHAT YOU GOT; email: email@example.com