“OPINION” The most important factor for your future health

Hands up if you consider yourself a seeker of health and vitality?  You’re a positive bunch who want to feel good and you take action to make it happen. Yet how often do you sit back and look at the underlying obstacles that limit how wholesome you can be — either as individuals or as a society?

The monetary system that we all use as a means of exchange between labour, food, clothes, shelter and other knick-knacks is the most significant obstacle threatening the health of our planet. What was originally meant to help oil the wheels of our society by making the exchange of goods and services easier has evolved into something that society has become a slave to — to the detriment of our overall health. This might seem like a bolshie remark but when we really analyse our everyday actions, we find that the majority are distorted in an unhealthy manner by money. For some this will mean working longer hours than we’d prefer just to earn enough dosh for organic spuds or gym membership. For others it’s a case of succumbing to the propaganda of money-desperate drug companies that flaunt pills as a panacea when really you’d be much better off going for a walk in the park. Almost every aspect of our lives is under the influence of the economy.

In a recent interview with civil litigation attorney Ellen Brown, Dr Mercola drew attention to our fatally flawed monetary system as the single most important factor that needs correcting in our society today. Whilst changing the fundamental rules by which our economy operates may seem radical, the good news is that more and more people are waking up to the idea. I spoke on this topic last month at the People’s Health Assembly in Nottingham. The event was attended by heaps of aspiring new medics as well as senior health officials who genuinely want to promote health rather than the management of sickness. I’ll share with you just a few of the things I talked about.

How economics grabbed my attention

The subject of economics bored me senseless as a youngster, so I left it for all those people wearing grey suits in Downing Street to worry about. My interest resided in health and nature and in my late teens I had a brain wave — if I were to make a name for myself as a scientist I could set about fixing global health and environmental problems. With that as a goal I set about bagging myself a PhD and ended up a working in one of the most respected research establishments in the UK. It was there that I found out — to my great disappointment — that there’s more money to be made by treating chronic illnesses than there is in preventing people getting ill in the first place. There’s more money in cleaning up an oil spill than there is in encouraging people to use less oil so that we don’t need to drill for as much. Everywhere I looked, money was placed before the health of people or the health of the planet. So I left all that to go to work with people who are trying to address the root causes of health problems. Along the way I met some amazing people but sadly, in every single case I saw their energies drained and visions blocked by the need to scrabble around for money. I needed to find out why a system that should be making our lives easier has made it more difficult. What I learnt excited me! The solutions are incredibly simple to understand but first of all you need to know how we got into this mess in the first place.

Myths of money creation

The textbook description of how money is made and how banks operate is by and large out of date. Most of us are under the belief that governments can control how much money is created. However, these days it is actually private companies that we refer to as banks who create 97% of the money in circulation. They create this out of thin air by entering numbers into a computer every time they issue a loan or fulfil an overdraft agreement. This money must be paid back with interest, which collectively means as a society there is never enough money in circulation to pay back all the debts owed to banks. Furthermore, the only way you can save money or pay off debts is by pushing other people further into poverty.

Another common misconception is that banks know what’s best to do with the money they create. The heads of banks rarely question the effect of their actions on the health of the economy — they are more concerned with how the economy affects their business model. Only 8% of money loaned by banks is given to productive parts of the economy, such as businesses. The other 92% is pumped into property and speculation, which generates hardly any real jobs but pushes up inflation.

When you consider that mortality statistics increase massively when people enter poverty and then we hear about the bank’s dodgy dealings driving us into recession, it becomes clear that we’re not just talking about our troubled economy — we’re talking about killing people. This is the message of the former head of risk at HBOS who got fired in 2005 for telling his seniors they were nuts and that their actions would lead to recession.

Time to secure the future of our health

In his book Spontaneous Evolution, Dr Bruce Lipton asked how does Mother Nature do it when it comes to our body’s economy? Well it turns out that a molecule called ATP is the common currency used by our body to facilitate the exchange of energy and resources — it helps us store and mobilise fats and carbs and turns other building blocks of life into a thriving organism. ATP has similarities to the currencies that we use around the world but differs crucially in the impartial and stable way that it operates. I would urge you to read Bruce’s book and also to learn more from the organisations below that are leading the way to creating a fairer healthier system for us all.

Positive Money — who educate the public on how money really works and also aim to reform the UK’s current banking system www.positivemoney.org.uk

New Economics Foundation — who are creating new ways of measuring progress towards increased well-being rather than GDP www.neweconomics.org

Dr Ian Tennant
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