Well, free marketeers (which I also can only use in a derogatory sense) have done a fantastic job in the U.S. and Europe of identifying wedge issues effective at getting disadvantaged people to vote to make their own lives harder. We’ll tell them “this party’s over” only when the pain of complying with their failed, selfish policies is so great that people are willing to threaten burning the system to the ground. This has happened before, at least a few times in the U.S.
Around the time of the Great Depression, unions, suffragettes, and progressives united to force the U.S. government to adopt economic policies which improved the standard of living for Americans to the highest levels ever seen in human history. Since shortly after WWII, the free-marketeers have been doing their best to dismantle that system so that the majority of the population can again be exploited for their own personal gain. Medical and pharmaceutical costs are just one part of the system. The housing market, retirement “plans,” wage stagnation, and undermining of consumer protections are other planks in that particular platform.
And for all of those things, there are an amazing number of people willing to line up and claim that “freedom” is at stake when we progressively tax the wealthy and support the working classes (which includes the “middle” classes these days, undoubtedly). Protecting the wealthy has become it’s own religion in the U.S., and it’s been syncretically joined to various types of Evangelical Christianity in a way that looks to be completely unassailable.
Not ironically and with sadness, I can honestly say that I’m now looking to leave the country permanently at the first opportunity. American politics is an existential threat to me and my family at this point, and I’m willing to throw my lot in somewhere else. For the record: I’m highly educated, a high-earning individual, and am about as productive as Americans get. I’m not looking for a handout, I’m just looking for an economy and lifestyle that is sustainable.