Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Garbage Men & Plumbers are More Important than Doctors

If the United States had no doctors, the country would still survive. If it had no garbage men, it wouldn’t survive as the same country. So which is more important?

With no doctors whatsoever some people would live longer, since quite a few people die from prescription medication errors. Others would die sooner, from needing operations or from not getting treatment for accidents. But overall, what would happen to the death rate with no doctors? I don’t know, but I suspect it wouldn’t change all that much.

My father, for example, got five extra years because he had a quintuple bypass surgery, successful treatment for prostate cancer, and for diabetes. Yet all of those are basically nutritional deficiencies, and he spent most of his life eating at McDonalds. My mother got ten extra years, because she broke the same hip twice (the surgeon said the first break was the worst he had ever seen). She also smoked for 60 years, since she was 15, and also didn't watch her diet.

If both of them had taken better care of themselves they would not have had the problems they did. But they didn't know, because the believed what they were told by doctors and the media - which, by the way, makes TV shows about doctors but not garbage men.

Now without garbage men, what would you do with your garbage? Put it in your car and sit in line to dump it in a garbage dump? Do you really want to do that?

If you look at the statistics, you'll find that overall vaccinations had a miniscule effect on the death rate. But sanitation had a huge effect. This doesn't mean I'm against vaccinations; one of my old girlfriend's aunts died of tetanus at two. And I got the DPT when I was a kid (and that's all I ever got, except for the smallpox scar on my left bicep).

Imagine if we had no sanitation system - no treatment plants. One of my friends visited one of those Caribbean countries (can't remember which one) and told me their toilets were a toilet over a hole in the ground. Plumber Thomas Crapper, who didn't invent the flush toilet but promoted its use and improved the design, is a hero.

When I was a kid we burned garbage in a fifty-gallon steel can. Everyone did. I have no memory of what we did with the ashes. Did we burn everything? Probably not. I’m sure we still had garbage men, but I was so little I just don’t remember.

Garbage men make life so much easier. You put your garbage in your garbage can, put it out front or in back, and it disappears! Then you bring the can back inside. There are even garbage bags to keep the can clean. If you think about it, it’s actually an impressive feat.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Doctors" and their little monopoly not only haven't been the lynchpin to longer lifespans, by their own admission kill (murder?) 250,000 clients per year through errors.

"Iatrogenic deaths", these victims are called. The data above came from J.A.M.A. in both 2000 and from a later study published in the same journal on 2010.

Morris Fishbein, one the the founders of the A.M.A., said that the object of the organization was to make the public think of doctors as gods. They've succeeded beyond their wildest dreams and this success has been not due to competence, but propaganda from within and without.

For decades I have pointed out that design, chemical, mechanical and civil engineers deserve credit for today's longer lifespans. Central heat, air conditioning, insulation, piping for both potable and non-potable liquids, roofing materials, ad on infinitum.

So to does the plumber, the electrician, the backhoe operator, the sewage plant operators and the like, not to mention those garbagemen.

Glamour? None. Not suitable for television or the silver screen because there's no "romance" involved. The engineering field has and will always be dominated by men, therefore the offices in which they work are populated by males.

"Marcus Welby - Plumber?" Not. "E.R.", where the emergency room is a backhoe operator and pipe-fitters repairing a broken water main in 20 degree weather at 4:00 a.m.? Those linemen working for Monopoly Electric putting up poles and new cable after those ice storms in horrible conditions? No romance and glamor there!

But the doctors office and the hospitals? There are female employees everywhere, like 80% of the staff. Dr. Narcissist is always handsome and even if he isn't, his bank account makes him look much better than that electrician with his Klein Tools or that pipe fitter using his collection of Ridgid Wrenches.

Dr. Kildare would know how to run a back hoe if his life depended on it, or the lives of millions.

But that hospital! It's a clean workplace full of self-proclaimed intelligent people who both "care" and are well paid. For doctors it's a "target-rich environment", a sexual marketplace full of hypergamous women hoping to marry up.

The scene is perfect for daytime Soap Opera's and Prime Time as well. "Oh, doctor!", she sighed!, as he walked out of the exam room.

The garbage man? Not so much.

250,000 Iatrogenic Deaths per
year.

Hey doc? That's the body count. How many did you fellows just wound?


Anonymous said...

This is one of your best observations yet. The same point can be made about celebrities. We learn to look up to celebrities and look down on garbage men. But if both quit their jobs, who would effect you more?

Elspeth said...

The daughter of a man who was a garbage man for 30 years appreciates this post.

The sad thing is that your average white collar guy today has no skill set outside of his career skill set.
My husband is quite rare in that regard, and that only because he was also raised prole/blue collar and learned a lot before he grew up and moved on to "greener pastures."

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