Another sign of late-stage capitalism

Quick question: What is America's fastest growing and 10th largest export?
Quick answer: Blood. Specifically, the blood of poor people.

around 130 million Americans admit an inability to pay for basic needs like food, housing or healthcare, buying and selling blood is of the few booming industries America has left.”

According to Macleod, the U.S. supplies 70 percent of the world’s plasma, mainly because “most other countries have banned the practice on ethical and medical grounds.”
...“The centers are never in a good part of town, always somewhere they can get a never ending supply of poor people desperate for the hundred bucks a week.”

58% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and millions of children go to bed hungry most nights. Meanwhile the number of collection centers has doubled since 2005.
Oh, and if you were wondering who buys it, wealthy Germany was the largest importer.

One study found that the majority of donors in Cleveland generate more than a third of their income from “donating” blood. The money they receive, notes Professor Kathryn Edin of Princeton University, is literally “the lifeblood of the $2 a day poor.”


Desperate Americans are allowed to donate twice per week (104 times per year). But losing that much plasma could have serious health consequences. According to one study, 70% of regular donors have health complications.
So why do other nations outlaw it?

The practice is banned on health grounds in Mexico but is completely legal north of the border. According to ProPublica, there are at least 43 blood donation centers along the border that prey primarily on Mexican nationals in a legally ambiguous practice.

According to a Swiss documentary on the subject, there are precious few checks on the cleanliness of the blood these companies accept, with some donors interviewed admitting they were drug addicts. But all is sacrificed in the pursuit of dazzling profits, something donors were well aware of. Rachel from Wisconsin admitted,
I did it for the money, I think we all do it for the money, but it’s not really something you out and out say because there’s a veneer of “helping the sick” slathered over it. But I caught glimpses of what kind of industry it was on occasion through innocuous questioning. The amount of plasma drawn from one person per donation was worth upwards of $600, I never really got a clear answer on that.

Andrew from Pennsylvania agreed, noting wryly,
I know my plasma was worth thousands of dollars per donation [to others], because I’ve seen what a hospital in my city charged a hemophiliac for platelets, so the pittance that they pay is ridiculous, but there is only one buyer making offers at the human level. If you’re poor and out of other options, you’ll take $40 however you can get it. Any port in a storm.”

So you thinking, how can this get any worse? This is how.

His start-up, Ambrosia, is charging about $8,000 a pop for blood transfusions from people under 25, Karmazin said at Code Conference on Wednesday. Ambrosia, which buys its blood from blood banks, now has about 100 paying customers. Some are Silicon Valley technologists, like Thiel, though Karmazin stressed that tech types aren’t Ambrosia’s only clients, and that anyone over 35 is eligible for its transfusions.

Vampire nation.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

not going anywhere

The US-led global coalition against the Islamic State group in Syria has started to build a new military base in the northern province of Raqqa as the militant group continues to carry out attacks in the country.

The base will be in the Al-Suwaidiyeh area west of the city of Tabqa, a source close to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, a local partner of the coalition, told The New Arab’s Arabic-language sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

Plans for the new base come as coalition forces began a few weeks ago to equip a base just south of the city of Raqqa, the source told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

Currently, the largest base housing US troops in Syria is the Al-Omar field. There are currently at least 24 US-led coalition military sites spread throughout Syria’s northeast.


The senior general in charge of US forces in the Middle East ordered that his command announce on Twitter that a senior al Qaeda leader had been targeted by an American drone strike in Syria earlier this month – despite not yet having confirmation of who was actually killed in the strike, according to multiple defense officials.

Nearly three weeks later, US Central Command still does not know whether a civilian died instead, officials said. CENTCOM did not open a review of the incident, officially known as a civilian-casualty credibility assessment report, until May 15 – twelve days after the strike. That review is ongoing.


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is officially back in the Arab fold. After more than a dozen years of ostracism, he was warmly embraced by regional leaders at the Arab League summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, this week.

This once-unthinkable comeback creates a “conundrum” for the United States, which continues to oppose normalisation with the Syrian government but has not been able to stop its Arab partners from rekindling ties with Damascus, analysts say.

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