Today in Vampire Capitalism

Harvesting the Blood of America's Poor

Blood now makes up well over 2 percent of total U.S. exports by value. To put that in perspective, Americans' blood is now worth more than all exported corn or soy products that cover vast areas of the country's heartland. The U.S. supplies fully 70 percent of the world's plasma, mainly because most other countries have banned the practice on ethical and medical grounds. [...]

"The people who show up are a mix of disabled, working poor, homeless, single parents, and college students. With the exception of the college students who are looking for booze money, this is probably the easiest and most reliable income they have. Your job may fire you at any time when you're on this level of society, but you always have blood. And selling your blood doesn't count as a job or income when it comes to determining disability benefits, food stamps, or unemployment eligibility so it's a source of money for the people who have absolutely nothing else." [...]

Desperate Americans are allowed to donate twice per week. But losing that much plasma could have serious health consequences, most of which have not been studied [...] Around 70 percent of donors experience health complications. Donors have a lower protein count in their blood, putting them at greater risk of infections and liver and kidney disorders. Many regulars suffer from near-permanent fatigue and are borderline anemic. All this for an average of $30 per visit.

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13 Responses:

  1. Cathode says:

    Calling Peter Thiel...

  2. Benjamin says:

    He is mentioned in the article.

  3. apm74 says:

    I was one of those college students showing up twice a week. Clinic was basically across the street from the dorm. Smart location.

  4. NT says:

    What their link about exports says is that 2.3% is "Human or Animal Blood". The same source also says that Ireland exports nearly as much blood as the entire US.

    • jwz says:

      I feel like you consider it your mission to look at any story about exploitative corporations and find a way to say "meh, it's possibly 10% less awful than that." I think you should re-examine your life choices.

      • NT says:

        Glass houses and all that. Why not link directly to the two completely sensible stories from The Atlantic and ProPublica? The stories are still horrifying, and leaving out all the manipulative stuff means they include a bunch more facts. But they come from reputable outlets, and by "reputable" I mean "organizations with something to lose by publishing falsehoods".
        Instead you forwarded this piece of innumerate shit-stirring, and chose to highlight the most innumerate quote in there because it would win the outrage contest. As is so often the case, it turns out that this "fact" is outrageous because it is false.
        But the reputable articles aren't worth forwarding because they're not edgy and confrontational enough. No confident claims that the US exports more human blood than soybeans. No bonesaws. No carrier for the videodrome signal. No inflamed commenters to respond to. That's where these folks come in: By 2016, MintPress News had begun reprinting copy from RT (formerly Russia Today) and Sputnik. Blind anger breeds credulity and your blog has become a broadcast node for paid foreign political trolls.
        In this respect, I question your life choices too. But it is your blog and I will stay out of the political diarrhea threads from now on.

        • Hylyx says:

          I'm just gonna leave this here:

        • Clay Bridges says:

          The editor-in-chief of The Atlantic hard-sold WMD/the Iraq war, and is completely in the tank for whatever genocide-justifying lies Israel wants to purvey this week. Imagining this temple of establishment neoliberal "conventional wisdom" some high standard of truth is ludicrous.

      • jwz says:

        Anyone who says "fake news" gets the ban stick.

  5. BHN says:

    It sounds like someone outside the US has found themselves an Audrey 2..?

    Seriously though, it takes a lot to make the payday lending industry look like it is almost a legitimate enterprise. If 70% of donors have complications you would think the American Medical Association and others would be doing something about it, not to mention our congresscritters.

  6. ChoHag says:

    Sounds like maybe Swift was on to something.

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