The Third-World Healthcare Experience: How To Sell The Slums

by Persius Juvenalis
File under: Fake Freedom22 Mar 2013 22:59 EDT

An obscure functionary deeply entrenched in the health bureaucracy recently described the glaring setbacks in the latest Byzantine overhaul of the Fakenation's medical system. There are many conflicting interests involved in this technocratic mess: insurance companies who wrote the legislation, a dispossessed citizenry tied to corporate benefits to pay for inflationary health costs, and a government that can't fund itself more than a few months at a time. If you crunch the numbers, this program won't end well, and it may not take long to unravel entirely.  As implementation looms, this nuts-and-bolts civil servant warns that the glossy finish may not tell the entire story:

The time for debating about the size of text on the screen or the color, or is it a world-class user experience, that’s what we used to talk about two years ago,” Henry Chao, an official at the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services who is overseeing the technology of the exchanges said at a recent conference. “Let’s just make sure it’s not a third-world experience.”

Chao also described himself as “nervous.” 

Despite being a disciplined technocrat, Mr. Chao is onto something when he uses the fluffy marketing language of preventing a "third-world experience." He needs to start approaching his work by thinking in this way, by privileging superficial experience over problems of funding and access — which is to say, by thinking like a marketing guru that can sell a first-world experience. After all, look at all the other successes the Fakenation has had in upgrading reality to first class:

This is Apostolos Tsochatzopoulos, a former Greek minister of parliament facing charges of major corruption. Greece has pretty much been leveled to third-world status by Goldman Sachs at this point, and you can see why. How is anybody supposed to sell this bald, nasty-looking old Greek in a 21st century economy of the image? Having to look at such ugly people in your government — that's the third-world experience.

We're sure you are more familiar with this handsome gentleman, but in case you are not, this is Rod Blagojevich, the former governor of Illinois now serving time for shaking down a children's hospital and putting Barack Obama's vacated US senate seat up for public auction. Sure, you may say, that's flagrantly illegal, maybe even immoral, but please don't jump to the conclusion that this is a third-world country. After all, the man looks like a TV anchor and is impeccably groomed. What do you think this is, Timbuktu, where they let ugly people on television? We're Fakenation, we have first-world standards.

Djibouti is a tiny African nation whose entire GDP amounts to a day's work for a rogue trader at one of our megabanks. Located along a prime shipping lane in the horn of Africa, its residents nonetheless live lives of dire poverty in shacks like these. If only they could learn to adopt American enterprise...

... they could upgrade to shacks with a view of a major metropolis like Detroit. Having a downtown full of empty high-end real estate is an essential key to joining the first-world club. It helps you create tourist interest around a city brand, increases your chances of getting a Hollywood movie shot on location, and attracts major sporting leagues to set up expansion teams — and we all know that these are the symbols of real wealth. Everybody is missing the point when they comment on the paradox of poverty in the resource-rich African continent. We at Fakenation suggest that poor Africans lobby their governments for the construction of shopping malls, high-rises, and sporting arenas immediately so they can enjoy the first-world experience.

Meet Wilber Varela, a Colombian drug kingpin found shot to death in Venezuela in 2008. You've probably never heard of Mr. Varela, as you've probably never heard of most of the crime kingpins in the third-world. This is because they go about their business in an outdated, conservative way, like the old American gangsters that had an outwardly plain, unassuming lifestyle. Perhaps this is because being a criminal isn't as cool in the popular culture of developing nations. But regardless, what a third-world loser! He is sure not to get a shout out at the next BET awards.

If you're going to get shot nine times, you should at least capitalize on your experiences and channel them into a profitable rap career. This is the essential principle of first-world criminal culture that needs to be understood. When it comes to the streets, get the cred, then gtfo. It's much, much more profitable to glamorize the ghetto and sell it as an 'experience' to white teenagers in the suburbs than to grind it out as a real thug. Get the rep and forget the real, rap about about the Bloods running the street and forget the blood running in the street. 

So that's our advice — we hope the next IMF council on developing nations considers it, though we suspect it isn't new to them. In the meantime, here's a pleasing image to paper over all the accounting jitters deep in the health bureaucracy:

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