Letters to the Editor
Readers write about comparing South Africa to other African nations, marketing healthcare, business opportunities in Africa, vegetarians' impact on polar bears.
Comparing S. Africa to other African nations is biased
Regarding your Jan. 3 editorial, "How South Africa can alter Africa": I see in this article a patronizing attitude. What it forgets is that Africa is not one country. South Africa is a very different country from Kenya or Zimbabwe, and it differs likewise from every other country in Africa. It is as different as, say, the US is from Mexico or Canada.
The assumption that what happens elsewhere in Africa also happens, or may happen, in South Africa is arrogant. This is not reasonable and could well cause damage to South Africa.
Healthcare is marketed in the US
Regarding the Jan. 2 book review, "When a pound of cure is too much": It is amazing that people can overlook an obvious relationship when ideology blocks vision.
In the new book, "Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer," we learn again that Americans spend 2-1/2 times more per capita for conventional medical care than the rest of the industrialized world does, yet are less healthy than people in those other countries. The US is also the only one of those industrialized nations that does not have universal healthcare.
Are these facts related? You bet!
In other countries, healthcare is a service provided as – and only when – needed. In the US, healthcare is a commodity to be marketed. And market it the drug companies, HMOs, insurance companies, etc., surely do.
Opportunity for business in Africa
Regarding the Dec. 27 article, "In South Africa, lessons in success from a rare entrepreneur": Lack of entrepreneurial culture is a common problem in most African countries. Success is usually frowned upon or even associated with superstition.