Source: Drugmakers have paid $8 billion in fraud fines – USATODAY.com.
The nation’s largest drugmakers have paid at least $8 billion in fines for repeatedly defrauding Medicare and Medicaid over the past decade, but they remain in business with the federal government because they are often the sole suppliers of critical products, records show.
This is one of those cases where “you can’t live with them can’t live without them”. Drug companies definitely have improved the quality of life for all of us. We should all be thankful that they are around. But greed, that seems almost ingrained in the capitalist process pollutes their contributions to society. I am sure that as usual the fines are a small fraction of what the companies raked in profits. When you can easily make a million bucks by “misreporting” what you provide and in the future only pay $50,000 fine, fraud become an unwritten part of your business plan.
My Republican friends are constantly saying government is impeding the “free market” and all we have to do is to free them from regulations and any government intrusions and our economy will flourish beyond imagination. But to those of us who are less naive know that at capitalism’s core is greed and we also know that greed without limits is a deadly proposition.
Contrary to what my Republican friends think I am a firm believer in the capitalist system but a critical part of that system is someone to protect us from the greed of the primary players. We rational people look to our government representatives to do that job for us via regulations. If no one reigned in the overwhelming obsession of profits they would soon bring down our country instead of rising it above imagination. Just look at Greece as an example.
We depend on the checks and balances of our government to protect us from power abuses within our democracy. We also depend on our regulators to protect us from the abuses of our capitalist system. Anyone who thinks that unfettered capitalism is a good thing just hasn’t learned the many lessons in our past history. You need look no further than four years ago to see what stripping regulations did to our financial system and the resulting costs laid on each of us taxpayers. If that doesn’t convince you then go back to the 1980s and see an almost exact same thing happen to our savings and loan industry. Oh, by the way it was also a Republican administration, namely Mr. Reagan, who bailed out the S&Ls. Why we seem to make the same deregulation mistakes over and over again is a mystery to me.
But what do I know…
3 thoughts on “An Ode to Capitalism…..”
It’s not really so much of a mystery that the government makes the same mistakes over and over. They want to. They choose to. They are hand in hand with the big corporations. While they come up with plan after plan to take money away from us little guys yet seem dumbfounded on how to control drug companies and the health industry from ripping off Medicare and Medicaid. The budget plan that Paul Ryan will announce today will surely be yet another attempt to benefit the rich and marginalize the rest of us. By privatizing more and more of our social programs like they want to, the insurance, health, and drug industries will grow in leaps and bounds. It’s not even Democrats vs Republicans anymore…it’s the whole business of government. It is depressing and tiring to listen to all the baloney they serve us.
I think I will go stick my head in the sand now for a little while:(
Yeah Jane, the “head in the sand” strategy is very appropriate for these types of times. But you must remember that the government is us. We elect the representative who do these crazy things; most times we elect them over and over again! Everyone seems to think that their guy (or gal) is ok; its the others who are the problem. We gotta get past that mentality if we stand even a remote chance of changing things. My State has a senator who has been in office for more than thirty years. This year I will be pledging my time and money to make sure this is his last term. Until we get the old leadership out nothing will change. It takes small steps by each of us to see change.
You are right again. I feel calmer today and not so whiny. They are just people after all, kinda like us, flaws and all. You are a good influence on me…I need to keep an open mind. Thanks for being you.