To the editor:
I must commend you on Phyllis Gray's article What is behind the alarming increase in Ritalin use among US children? This article, to me, illustrated all the worst aspects of capitalism. Ritalin's makers care far more about making a profit than helping a child. If a child would be better served with months or even years of psychological treatment than a bottle a month of Ritalin, Ritalin's makers would prefer that the child not be helped as much as he or she could be if it makes a bigger profit. Indeed, who would be helped if the child received the more effective--and expensive--treatment? The child and society. Not the drug maker. Not the HMO, which would have to shoulder the cost of such a treatment. In short, no member of the bourgeoisie.
If one looks at this problem from a greater distance, other questions emerge. Is the condition caused by the child's environment? Perhaps the lack of intimate interaction has something to do with it. Day care is all well and good, but by necessity it precluded one-on-one interaction with an adult. Few would argue that two loving parents at home would not be better. In a communistic society this would be possible. There is no technical obstacle preventing human-kind from allowing both parents of a child to take six, seven, or eight years off from work to raise their child. We have the technical means to produce more than enough for a pleasant existence for all while allowing parents of young children to work exclusively raising their children.
If we have this ability, then the question why we don't take this course begs to be asked. The answer is capitalism. Although this course--communism--is beneficial to the vast majority of human beings, it is absolutely detrimental to the Bill Gateses and George Soroses of this world. What's good for the masses is bad for the capitalists. I firmly believe that we masses will have our way.
What is behind the alarming increase in Ritalin use among US children?
[4 November 1998]