Healing America: Greed is the Disease

Remember Scrooge?

The story of the crushing misery brought to all by the greed of one powerful man remains within the American culture. It has been made and remade in ways to many to count. 

A story with a bitter lesson of greed, how ironic that it shown only during the holiday season. 


Perhaps, because of the ending, the one happy part of the story, shows what happens when the disease of greed can be cured.

This lesson is relevant because I believe, the disease that is killing America is the disease of greed. 


The deadly virus of greed

I’m a physician. It has long been my job to diagnose based on facts in front of me. And I’m convinced that despite all the symptoms of our failing government, the disease runs deeper. 

Greed is a deadly virus that is infecting and destroying American ideals and the promise of our collective future.

Let’s diagnosis this together: 

  • Three percent of the U.S. population has a net worth of one million dollars or more. As one newspaper headline put it, we have more millionaires in America than Greece has people.
  • At the same time, some 40 million Americans, maybe more, live below the poverty line.
  • More and more young people in America do not want to start families because of economic insecurity and their justified fears about the unaddressed climate emergency. Many young people are crippled by huge amounts of school debt. Others feel they can’t afford the basics.

While working as a physician in all parts of our country, I have been at the front lines of inner-city and rural, poverty and injustice — which only seems to worsen now as millions remain suffering under the shackles of systemic poverty.

Too many Americans are living their lives soaking in a toxic bath of racial, economic, social, gender and environmental injustice — at hands of the greed disease.

A system of greed run amok

I would guess many of our greatest leaders from the past, the faces on Mount Rushmore, or great statesmen of Congress, social leaders like Susan B. Anthony and Martin Luther King, Jr. would recognize the current state of our government has become. 

All of these leaders expected the government to lead, to act. 

Yet listen to just one of the latest congressional leaders, Francis Rooney, who recently announced his retirement:

“This is kind of a frustrating job for me,” he added. “I come from a world of actions, decisions, putting your money down and seeing what happens. This is a world of talk.”

It’s a phrase we’ve heard more and more in the past decade, because we elect to take action for us are working in a political system run amok with personal interests.

Some greedy business leaders are putting profits over people, and some of our politicians care more about their own self-aggrandizement than they do about their constituents.

While headlines seem to focus on the latest silly twitter spats, a real deadly virus of greed is left unchecked in America.

A dangerous greed force has grabbed the hearts and minds of so many of our leaders.

Instead of working for us and with us, they are bound and bought out by the greed machine.

What happened to “By the people for the people?” It’s become, “By the greedy, for the greedy.”

Now, I admit, this may not feel like “breaking news,” but what are we doing to defeat the deadly virus of greed? Our country will no more live with greed unchecked than a cancer patient will live if the tumor goes untreated.

Frankly, I believe that greed is killing our nation.

Our leaders who are caught in the greed machine can’t save us.

That’s our job. That’s why we’re building a movement in 2020. That’s why we need you to help us take action, which you can start today just by adding your name to this pledge (Link to Pledge Campaign). 

If you want a country by the people, for the people, you must act. Together we can save our nation.

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