Economics: Krugman on the Fed’s rate decision, and those lovely institutions called banks.
Krugman – The Rage of the Bankers
This article says a lot about our economy, and is the starting point for the health care articles that follow.
A stunning stat about pay seems impossible but actually is true – flatline wages
Health Care: The article above bridges directly into the next one.
Health Insurance Deductibles Outpacing Wage Increases, Study Finds
The headline above might be obvious. How could deductibles not rise faster than wages when wages aren’t increasing? And what do deductibles often get spent on? Drugs! (Our next stop.)
Drug prices – ‘Pharma bro’ Martin Shkreli and the very American debate over maximizing profit
Why we can’t stop US drug companies from charging astronomical prices
Capitalism at it’s finest – raising a drug’s price from $13.50 to $750 just because you can, and because you want to make a profit. (Here we get back to my point that capitalism isn’t moral, or immoral – it’s amoral [as in the pursuit of profits doesn’t have any morals; they’re simply not a consideration].)
For those of us who are a bit more morally attuned to the fact that drugs are often necessary for the health of human beings, there was the expected negative reaction. That produced, among other things, the following response.
Clinton proposing $250 monthly cap on prescription drug costs for patients
The key here is to note that this response has a major difference from the current system (set up largely by the drug industry to guarantee the ability to make profits).
The one thing you need to know about Clinton’s war on high drug prices
It should be noted that the extensive negative publicity has led to the rollback of some of the more outrageous price hikes. That may not be enough to prevent hearings and/or legislation on the matter. Stuff like this tends to prove that bipartisanship isn’t dead – what politician of either party wants to come out in support of companies that raise prices like this?
Back to economics, briefly. If there’s any question about the amorality of capitalism, this story might be the slam-dunk on the issue of making money any way you can.
‘Happy birthday’ to all of us – Judge gives world a gift, says song belongs to everyone
(As a former librarian, I was aware of the difficulty (impossibility) of getting a copy of the Civil Rights documentary ‘Eyes on the Prize.’ According to NPR today, the rights restriction that made it unavailable was because of the scene where people sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to Martin Luther King, Jr.)