Only the rich and the feeble-minded would see the social benefit of huge drug companies operating in the “free” market and financed through public shares of stock. After all, there is no financial incentive to provide or even research drugs that cure diseases. There is zero incentive to find a pill that prevents all diseases. Heck, you’re looking at an industry for whom success equals failure. Think about it. Would you call that a free market commodity?
Find a drug that actually cures diseases? The big profits shareholders demand these days of otherwise lower expectations are much easier pocketed by providing band-aid drugs to an increasingly unhealthy population that is exposed to more and more industrial crap food. Incentive indeed. When was the last time you saw a drug commercial that didn’t “help” with a problem caused largely by poor diet (or tout a cure for the common but under-performing penis?)
When it comes to the obesity epidemic, for example, there are plenty of losers. But among the few winners are drugmakers like Pfizer, whose cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor is now the best-selling drug in the world. The company’s profits could grow exponentially if the drug is approved for use in the 30% of American children who are overweight or obese, as some have suggested.
Change diet? Eat food that’s good for you? How’s a normal person gonna do that? Where is all this good food? Besides Italy I mean. But no worry, all you gotta do is just buy a bottle of pills. Line some pockets. Industrial crap food producers are happy to supply the fodder for Big Pharma’s huge profits—because the way they produce crap food is just as good for their stockholders.
You might have heard that there’s a pig glut right now. Pig out while you can. (And remember that what I’m going to call cucina povera pig production—small farm raised pigs that freely graze upon acorns—produce fat that is as good for you as olive oil is. Industrial corn-fed crap pigs produce fat you need Lipitor for.)
In any case, the current pig glut is a bad thing for small producers. Problem is, for the Big Meat boys like Cargill, Smithfield, and Tyson, the lower prices are a bit of a windfall. You see, not only do these mega-thieves produce some of their own crap pork, they also contract out for more. When prices of raw materials like pork drop, the smaller farmers that supply the gaping maw of industrial crap food suffer—and many quit farming. But the Big Meat boys also make sausage that starts at a hefty $6 a pound—for grinding up dollar a pound pork. Needless to say, they’re making very, very good money on the spread.
But the cool thing is that Big Meat has asked the government to subsidize the small farmer while Big Meat is making all this dough for their stockholders. That way they don’t have to worry about actually forking out real money to supporting their producers. We’ll do that. We the people, who used to have a government behind us.
Anyway, clever deal, eh? High profit, no social responsibility, that’s the ticket.
Oh, yeah. Big Meat. There’s a drug that will give you that too, I believe.