Is it really that complex?

To the editor:

Why are the prices of prescription drugs skyrocketing? “Well, it’s very, very complex,” we are told by the corporate overlords and their underlings. Graham Jaehnig’s article, “Many Are To Blame for High Medication Prices,” in the November 6th edition of the DMG, with the accompanying incomprehensible Rube Goldberg diagram detailing scores of numerous arrows and greedy pockets, represents a noble attempt to explain the, apparently, unexplainable. Why are drug prices so high? Because there are fewer and fewer impediments to greed.

While our state and federal government representatives openly snipe at each other like middle schoolers on the playground and ever so cleverly squirrel away any potentially beneficial legislative initiatives so that they never see the light of day, business as usual seems to be the order of the day. We’ve got the best state and federal government that money has already bought.

It appears to me that a capitalist system can bring out the very best and the very worst in people. It’s clear that some people flourish when they are allowed to directly profit from their hard work, ingenuity, and dedicated efforts. When those people are allowed to flourish, many others can benefit from the products and services that they create. While some flourish, many others get lost in the shuffle.

America’s economic success has been built, to a substantial degree, on the unrewarded efforts of enslaved people and the continuing oppression of dispossessed indigenous people. The ongoing legacy of this exploitation is demonstrated by the fact that, on a per capita basis, the United States has more of its citizens in prison than any other country in the world; more than North Korea, Syria, or Myanmar.

The next time you look down your nose at the immigrant who cleaned your hotel room, picked your fruit, or packaged your chicken, check out your own family tree and ask your elders how your people were treated when they came to these shores.

Why can’t we seem to change anything for the better? Is it really that complex? Those who profess some form of Christian belief should consider, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Either everybody counts, or nobody counts.


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