American poor people pay over 75% tax, while the rich pay nothing


(BluePrintRandom) #82

the current healthcare system is designed to make money at every step.

we should be moving to make drugs cost less not more,

colleges should be where R&D happens and discoveries should be everyones.

The current system is killing people with control of the market / monopolies.

“It’s not price fixing if you buy everyone” needs to stop.


(BeerBaron) #83

It costs about $2.6 billion to develop a new drug - a large part of which is due to the regulatory requirements in the health care system that you believe to be “unregulated”.

Universities do contribute to R&D, but getting a drug to market requires extremely costly patient trials involving doctors and hospitals, who need to get paid to run the show.

Let’s say you got the taxpayers to foot the bill for all that and make drugs “free”. You would only “save” 14% on total health care expenditures.

Let’s say you got rid of 100% of the profits made by insurers, you wouldn’t even save one percent.

Here’s the deal, the only way to save big time on health care costs is to pay healthcare staff less, reduce coverage and get rid of regulation that (supposedly) protects patients. None of your family-friendly little ideas would have a game-changing impact on health care costs. There’s no “nice” solution. Sad, but true!


(Ace Dragon) #84

I know right now, there is arguably an area of common ground regarding the idea of preventing drug companies from hiking the price of a bottle of pills more than 5000 percent (which has actually happened). Even a lot of conservatives support regulation to prevent such spikes.

In other areas, there should be a system in place that makes it easier for businesses to start producing generic versions of a drug as soon as the patent expires.

That would go with an earlier post of mine talking about fighting actual health crises such as an increasingly sedentary and overweight population.


(Renzatic) #85

The BIO is basically a giant lobbying organization for the pharmaceutical industry as a whole. Though I have no doubt that developing new drugs does cost a pretty penny, I’d still take what they say with a grain of salt. For example, of the billions pharma companies spend yearly, only 17% is allocated to R&D. The rest of that money is spent basically on advertising, courting doctors to prescribe their new drugs, and for commercials to convince people to ask their doctors for them.

That said, I don’t have much of a problem with the pharmaceutical industry in abstract. I don’t think they’re outright villains, out to poison us with placebos peddled for a profit. The generally do good work. The medicines they produce save millions of lives every year.

Though with THAT said, it’s also hard to deny they’ve become pretty greedy these last couple of decades. They’ve successfully pushed for laws preventing congress from negotiating drug prices, for preventing US citizens from importing the same medicines offered here for the considerably lower prices they’re offered elsewhere, and raise prices on various older, though still effective medications that have long since seen an ROI simply as a matter of course, because, hey, who’s going to stop them?

Like pretty much everything these days, our situation with our pharmaceutical industries isn’t this clear cut good vs. evil, black vs. white argument some people like to make it out to be. Though it’d be remiss to say there isn’t tons of room for improvement on this front.


(BluePrintRandom) #86

with this device we can 3d print drugs.


(Renzatic) #87

One day, it will. That’s proof of concept, maybe 50 years from now stuff.


(BluePrintRandom) #88

what I am saying is there are creative solutions to all these problems.

we need automated doctors at home also
(a few test strips + a ai = don’t need a doctor for many use cases)

side note

fun fact - with a atomic level 3d printer + a strong laser one could vaporize recycling materials, weigh the atoms and sort them, and then 3d print a 3d printing head from e-waste.


(BeerBaron) #89

Yes, it has happened and to great fanfare it has been dragged through the media as an example of some supposedly systemic problem. What hasn’t been so widely reported is that within a month a much cheaper alternative was offered by a competing company. The catch? It’s not FDA-approved.

So whose failure is it? Those profit-seeking companies that obey the rules of the market, or the regulatory bodies that fail to get things done in a timely manner?

It’s just whatever came up when I looked for an actual number and I see no reason to believe that it is wildly inaccurate. Of course a lobbying org will use that number, because it speaks in their favor.

That source you posted says it itself: 17% is an extraordinarily high amount for a company to spend on R&D.

It’s true that advertising budgets are somewhat larger than R&D, but the rest of that money is spent on every expense that the company has, not just advertising. Advertising (at least in theory) pays for itself, without it there would be less revenue to spend on everything else - including R&D. It’s a mixed calculation and it works reasonably well.

Literally every interest group has people lobbying for favors. You probably have a couple on your side too. I’m not going to defend politicians that are suckers for lobbyists, but shaming lobbyists for acting in their own interests is just going to fail. You’ll never get rid of greed.


(Herbert123) #90

This is enlightening in regards to the 1% super rich. Most people tend to over-exaggerate. Russia stands out, though…

This one shows how much people in a certain country assume the top 1% rich own, and compares that to what that group actually owns per country.

Here’s what people in a certain country think the 1% should own, and compares that to the real numbers.

Source:


(Renzatic) #91

I have no problem with companies seeking profits, so long as they’re not exploiting a situation that could potentially put hundreds of thousands of people at risk. What Shkreli did was a textbook definition of profiteering and price gouging. He bought the off-patent rights for a pill decades old, had no investment beyond the initial cost to obtain said patent, then proceeded to bump the price up from $13 a pill, to $750, simply because he could. In the meantime, all the people who were reliant on that drug found themselves unable to afford a medication they were easily able to afford previously, all because the rights to market that medicine changed hands. Who knows how many people suffered due to it?

And the FDA not being able to respond quickly enough? It was a manufactured crisis, spurred on for entirely superficial reasons. There are plenty of situations where you could blame the FDA for being too slow, too stringent, too arbitrary, but this isn’t one of them. For good or ill, they have to make sure a drug does exactly what it advertises, without any severe undocumented side effects. They can’t just put aside their standards, and rush things that shouldn’t be rushed simply in response to some random guy suddenly deciding avariciousness makes for a great business model.

You know, I don’t entirely disagree with you on this. Everyone is looking out for their own interests. If a certain special interest wants to lobby for certain special treatment, I can’t exactly blame them for the attempt.

Though I can blame congress for consistently being more considerate of the interests of their donors over their constituency.

And you’re right. You can’t get rid of greed. I’d go so far to say that a little bit of greed isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s when it gets out of control, bald faced in its audacity, widespread in its abuse, that it becomes an issue. Such is the situation illustrated above. There’s really no excuse for that.


(Ace Dragon) #92

That will be right before the calls for heavy regulation by the government because some genius armchair doctor decided to make an experimental tweak to a drug to cure his ailing grandmother. BPR says he desires a future where everything is open source, open sourcing the drug formulas to where someone with no biology knowledge can put an extra molecule in could end up killing a lot of people.


You take the “evil” pharmaceutical companies out of the equation this way, but you only trade one perceived issue for another one.


(Renzatic) #93

There are some things where open sourcing some part of your business or research can net you a ton of positive results, but I wouldn’t consider it the go-to solution for everything. Even if Solution X worked great for Situation A, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll net you the same results when applied to Situations B, C, D and E.

Just because something sounds good in theory doesn’t mean it’ll be good in practice.


(BluePrintRandom) #94

if we distribute 3d printers, automated gardens, solar panels, ad hoc mesh networking stations, and electric cars, we SOLVE peoples problems and then have them working on fixing stuff for everyone instead.

imagine if all the greatest minds were allowed to tinker in meatspace - test - document - and upgrade all the systems we give out.

and yes, any tool that is capable of great good, is capable of great harm.

care would need to be taken not to kill us all, (Just like everything else)

Take design off net -> modify

3d print at the atomic level

test -> push results to git

Vaprozie item -> sort to atoms

Redesign using mind or even neural network or both,
print new version - test again

we can all benefit each other basically,
we are all working for each other but don’t depend on each other.


(BeerBaron) #95

Presumably no one, otherwise you would’ve seen them dragged in front of the TV cameras. Or you would find a GoFundMe for someone who can’t afford it, asking for help.

In any event, there are many drugs that are extremely expensive, that don’t have cheap alternatives and that some people cannot afford. Getting outraged about that one case isn’t going to change that.

Sorry, but that’s just nonsense. The FDA is the only reason why Shkreli was able to pull it off. The drug in question has been available worldwide in generic form, for decades, far cheaper than even the 13$ charged before the hike. There aren’t any patents on it. It’s really just the brand and the associated FDA approval that makes it valuable for the US market.

Yet, you think the problem is that some market player took advantage of this situation, as opposed to the regulation that allows the situation to arise in the first place.

The FDA doesn’t actually do that and can’t actually do that. They withdraw drug approvals all the time.


(Ace Dragon) #96

How are you going to test a pill, are you going to take it and push the results if you’re still alive a day later?

Open-source drug creation wouldn’t even be in the same league as something like Blender. If someone downloaded a “build” and the drug had a “bug”, the user could be dead or severely ill before he had a chance to submit an issue ticket. That is a heck of a lot worse of a consequence than losing half an hour of work because the application quit.


For good or ill, they have to make sure a drug does exactly what it advertises, without any severe undocumented side effects.

Even now with the documented side effects, I would really want to make sure the cure isn’t actually worse than the ailment. Are you willing to deal with a little bit of joint pain if resolving that gives you several other problems?


(Renzatic) #97

There are two reasons why people single out that particular pill above all others. For one, the price hike was astronomical. Pills go up in price 50%, 100%, 200% regularly. In and of itself, a price hike isn’t at all unusual. That pill went up a whopping 5000%, and the major reason given for such a extreme hike was that “well, you know, it needed to be more expensive…”

Which leads to reason No. #2: Martin Shkreli is a tremendous douchebag. Regardless what you think about the ultimate fairness and/or righteousness of his actions, you have to admit that the guy could probably drive even the most pro-choice person to keep abortion legal, just because it might keep another one like him from being spawned upon the world.

The extreme hike, the fact no good reasons were given for said hikes, and the fact the person responsible had the kind of personality that could drive a nun to chuck a brick at his face help create a media storm that served as a microcosmic example of EVERYTHING WRONG WITH THE COUNTRY TODAY!

Though in the end, hospitals found a dirt cheap, not quite as effective, though still good alternative, and Shkreli ended up spending a 7 year stint at Club Fed for defrading his investors. All’s well that ends well, I guess.


(BluePrintRandom) #98

open source everything, however Drugs would be done in a more controlled environment

people would be building CPU / GPU / Solar Panels / space ship designs / impulse thrusters / vacume chambers / scale models / all sorts of things.


(Ace Dragon) #99

I think people would be more inclined to trust the pharmaceutical companies (who tend to hire people with degrees in biology and maybe chemistry) than some ragtag group of FOSS lovers whose knowledge came from YouTube or online forums.

The former might use healthcare as a vehicle of profit, but you can be assured that most of the people they hire know what they’re doing. People won’t bypass for-profit companies on grounds of virtue or cost, or Autodesk would’ve gone bankrupt years ago.


(BluePrintRandom) #100

I am talking about a long term restructuring of society.

and just because I open a pull, does not mean it gets merged into main.

this way people can really positively impact the whole world man.
I don’t know about you but that is why I am here.


(sundialsvc4) #101

When I see a caravan of people being made to walk like so many cattle across the length of Mexico to arrive at the American border, I don’t see “asylum seekers.” I see people who are being ruthlessly exploited with every foot-fall, right where they are. I see them being used as pawns in a wretched rich-man’s game, by people who care absolutely nothing for them as human beings despite their effusive talk.

I know that wealthy but misguided businessmen are pushing The United Nations to simply declare that every nation should have “open borders,” so that this kind of abuse can be made much more efficient.

Per contra, vast numbers of people came from Europe and landed on Ellis Island to begin the legal immigration process, to become citizens and the ancestors of millions of modern-day Americans. Their naturalization certificates are sometimes still proudly displayed by those ancestors.


Nothing protects the human rights of someone who steals over a border-line, and frankly, not much actually protects a legitimate “asylum seeker,” whether-or-not asylum is granted. Far, far better to work to improve the lot of that person in their own country, through humanitarian efforts and improved relations with their host governments. But this will not give you a cheap and easily-exploited supply of labor.

The USA cooked-up the non-immigrant visa … today, an alphabet-soup of such programs … specifically to evade the “or involuntary servitude” restriction of the 13th Amendment, which was found by the courts to prohibit the indenture programs used in the Northern manufacturing towns. These people risk deportation if they lose their “sponsorship,” a.k.a. indenture. They don’t have cars, or places to live, except as provided for them by their “sponsoring agency.” They are: indentured servants. (“Unconstitutional, but who cares?”)

There’s a lot of “pure false-ness” spiraling around these discussions, as we’ve seen being played out in this thread. False-ness meant to conceal the actual human-rights abuses that are daily going on, and that have even been made official. If your attention is easily distracted by a readily digestible “meme,” you won’t address the problem clearly enough to begin to bring about reform and social justice.