We Reward Companies to Make us Sick!

In theory, we ought to have a system in place that rewards those who bring benefit to individuals and society and disincentivizes those who bring harm. And yet, contrary to what we’ve been taught in school that is not the system we have in place. In fact, in many cases, companies profit most when they can make us sick! Just think about our fast food industry to take an example. How does this work?

Food companies reap financial benefits when they can sell to the public foods that are tasty, addictive and relatively fast & convenient. They prioritize taste over nutrition and highly processed foods over whole foods because by nature humans have a tendency to mistake pleasure for happiness (just place a snickers bar and an apple side by side and see which one most people go for).

But in the act of creating highly processed concoctions that are sold as food, they strip food of much of it’s nutritional value and have added in chemicals that exploit of our natural cravings for salt, sugar, and fat. These frankenfoods are however, unnatural and cause us many forms of disease from obesity, diabetes, mental health disease, etc.

It is maddening that we should be rewarding companies like Coca-cola or McDonald’s for hooking our children from a young age and making us sick and often addicted to their products. In other words, we have a system that rewards companies to help make us sick. And yet, it certainly does not have to be this way. No, we don’t need to build a new system of economics from scratch. The one we have can be very good if many of us were to become financially independent of our employers. That is a very real possibility for most of us and benefits even those who often for no fault of their own cannot get to the point of financial independence. All it really requires is recognizing that there is a point of having enough – beyond which spending more does not lead to more happiness.


Happier. Healthier. Wealthier... Video Series