Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Real Money

Does it seem like humanity has slowed down to a trickle? There are so many despicable characters roaming around these days, it's hard to find what amounts to good news. Let's take, for example, Martin Shkreli. It could be that his shoes were too tight, or it could be that he has four consonants in a row in his last name, but whatever the case, this guy is a real whatever the opposite of mensch is. He is the guy whose company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of one of one of their drugs five thousand percent. A pill that once cost thirteen dollars and fifty cents was jacked up to seven hundred dollars apiece. These pills were Daraprim, used to treat toxoplasmosis and HIV.
So, you're really sick, and you need medicine. Let's hope you have insurance, first of all, since thirteen fifty a pill is still a little steep if you're taking more than one a day. Now go ahead and figure on that seven hundred dollar pill. Nearly five thousand dollars a week if, as I suggested, you're taking just one pill a day. That's when we enter that tricky world of insurance money. Big money. Profound money. Outrageous money.
And you might think that is how our friend Martin found himself in jail. Nope. You can hate on Mister Shkreli all you might like to, but it's his company and he can charge whatever he likes for his medications. You don't have to pay it. Free country. Free enterprise. And all that. And he can say whatever he wants about Congress on Twitter. Free speech and all. And he doesn't have to answer questions that Congress gives him because of more Constitution stuff. He is going to trial for using millions of dollars from one business to bail out another which he had bankrupted via a failing hedge fund.
If this all sounds a little confusing, it's probably because folks like Martin Shkreli don't have to make sense of their lives. They are far too busy making and losing other people's money to live life in the fast lane. Of course, that's not what Martin would like us to believe. He would like us to see him as a Horatio Alger story, who saw a need for children who needed his help. And if he happened to make a boatload of money while pursuing this altruistic dream? That dream that just happened to include buying a one-of-a-kind Wu Tang Clan album for two million dollars.
And maybe that dream didn't include being found guilty of security fraud. Which is too bad because now young Martin is going to jail. Maybe for twenty years. At one pill a day, that works out to a little more than five million dollars. That could buy a couple Wu Tang Clan albums.

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