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by Peter Moskos

August 29, 2011

Our taxes. Their Police.

Speaking of rich people buying the services of the state, it seems the Justice Department is now doing the dirty work of pharmaceutical companies by cracking down on Google which got paid to run ads for Canadian drug companies. That's not free speech. That's illegal because Congress says it is.

So the Justice Department is going to enforce a law (which, granted, is part of their job description--but the Justice Department has a lot of discretion as to which laws they want to enforce) passed on behalf of rich companies.

Remember, our Congress prohibited the government from negotiating drug prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries. If that's not a giveaway to rich pharmaceutical companies, I don't know what is! And it weren't legal, it would be called bribery. Wes Metheny, a senior vice president for public affairs at PhRMA, the main lobby for the pharmaceutical industry, said:
The industry still opposes allowing the government to negotiate drug prices and letting people import drugs from abroad. He said there is "no guarantee" that either would lower costs.
It's so shameless.

Turns out Medicaid gets the cheapest deals on drugs the prices are, get this, government regulated. Maybe we should increase regulation. Or maybe we should let the unencumbered free market lower prices.

I mean, anything would be better than a crazy cycle where:

1) Corporations give money to politicians to pass laws to ensure price fixing so we all pay more for each and every prescription drug sold in America.

2) Any monopoly-breaking anti-trust effort is attacked by taxpayer funded law enforcement agencies--the long arm of the Department of Justice, no less! The government cracked down on Google because Google has the audacity to run ads for Canadian drug companies. Seems the law trumps free speech when corporate profits are at stake. I guess Google isn't paying them enough. Besides these ads are chump change to Google. But keeping drug prices artificially high is big buck to Big Pharma.

3) The pharmaceutical corporations, in turn, funnel their government enforced profit (but just some of it) back to politicians. After all, corporate donations are constitutionally protected free speech.

But how could that ever happen here? It would be so blatantly corrupt and unfair for all of us to be forced to give our money so the rich can make more. This is America.


Anonymous said...

Can't beat them... join them... if you can... Your sole vote is not gonna change anything, Professor Moskos. Hope one day you might take on politics... good luck!

PS: Please don't be Dem or Rep...(Am I dreaming?)

PCM said...

You're dreaming. I'm a Democrat. Maybe it's the Chicago in me.

Until there's a viable third party, what's the point of being independent?

Anonymous said...

Until the top 10% earners and taxpayers(corporate included *wink wink*) all becoming Independent, then we might have a chance to steer our way through the Dem-Rep dominated politics. OR poor people actually can be united through the internet maybe? Thanks facebook/twitter for Egypt and thanks research in motion/blackberry+encrypted sms for London riot 2011.
However, money is undoubtedly the lighter in American politics as usual.

Anonymous said...

A two party system is the minimum illusion needed to obtain the definition of a democracy.

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