The Dutch used to have interesting names for classifying people. There was ‘Penis jujubes’ (originally: Droplul), which amounts to Liquorice Penis, which captions the non-Dutch titles dick, asshole and idiot. The other one was ‘Penis Aqua Rosa’ (originally: Lulletje Rozewater), which gets us Rosewater Dick, which is an expression for a man that has no backbone, a man that is weak and submissive. The latter one seems to apply to the US Congress in a few ways.
You see, the article ‘Drug company boss Martin Shkreli refuses to testify to Congress‘ gives us part of it all (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/feb/04/martin-shkreli-refuses-to-testify-congress-drug-daraprim), an issue that might be seen in the wrong light, if you only go by the one side of the story. You see, this is situation that Congress and their US laws created for themselves. Even if we get the ’emotional’ statement: “One member begged him to examine his conscience“, we all seem to ignore, that this is something Congress achieved all by themselves. You see the quote “Earlier, Shkreli and Turing’s chief commercial officer, Nancy Retzlaff, were criticized for hiking the price of Daraprim despite the fact it is the only government-approved treatment for the rare infection toxoplasmosis, which can be fatal for some Aids and cancer patients and endangers babies in-utero” is at the core of this.
Instead of setting up the law that fairness was at the centre of it all, politicians set the speculation that every pharmaceutical company and their fields would be ‘distributed’, that there was no overlap (for the larger extent), as such pharmaceutical had a clear field for maximised profits. How long did you think it was going to take before someone weaselled themselves into that crowd, with the simple goal of maximising his Return-on-Investment? The United States of America has always been about capitalism and living the dream. Martin Shkreli is doing just that, now we get what some might call ‘sissy noises‘ from the Halls of Congress!
Let’s be Frank (or Punch and Judy; whatever works for you), what Martin Shkreli does is utterly unacceptable, yet, it is Congress that did not legislatively clip the wings of unbridled greed. They sat around as President Bill Clinton called for the end of the Glass–Steagall Legislation. As the majority remained silent additional doors to greed got opened. In all this, the lack of visionaries in Congress, even after 2008 lacked action when it came to protecting the citizens of the United States of America. So when I see the response from a member of congress “member begged him to examine his conscience“, I will kindly tell that congressperson to cry me a river and I’ll do so whilst playing worlds tiniest violin.
Congress is in an emotional state, suddenly crying for those who cannot afford it, yet what clear provisions in legislation has it given to the coffers of the United States? You see when we consider November 23rd (at http://www.forbes.com/sites/antoinegara/2015/11/23/pfizer-and-allergan-merger-ranks-as-biggest-ever-pharmaceutical-deal) and we see “On Monday, Pfizer PFE +0.10% and Allergan unveiled an all-stock merger that will allow the combined company, Pfizer PLC, to move its headquarters to Ireland and focus on corporate cost cuts“, which is set at $160 billion, you better believe that this impacts the taxability of that corporation by a lot. As far as I can tell from the surface, the total of pharmaceutical mergers LAST YEAR ALONE is well over 600 billion, so half a trillion dollars, all now going via Ireland. How much noise is congress making there? Or do these ‘respectful’ members of congress have a few too many friends in ‘those’ circles? Better to loudly focus on the one man out as Pfizer, Allergan and a few others. Can we all agree that the difference of 600 billion, being taxed at 25%, or being taxed at 17% is worth moving house over? You see, I love Sydney, but when someone tells me that moving will get me $48 billion, I will start singing ‘My heart is in Ireland‘ and I will enthusiastically pack my bags. You see, I can always get a second apartment in Buenos Aires and life of my self-made cash cow, getting me $50K a day and still allow me to double my fortune before I retire, making me live of $200K a day until I die. That is the track that Congress left open. This can be seen (at http://www.forbes.com/sites/antoinegara/2015/11/23/pfizer-and-allergan-merger-ranks-as-biggest-ever-pharmaceutical-deal), the quote there “move its headquarters to Ireland and focus on corporate cost cuts“, can be seen as ‘tax cuts’ and now guess what a chunk of those cost cuttings will go? You probably guessed it, the gents (ladies too) of the board of directors of Pfizer.
So, when I state to the person in Congress ‘go cry me a river’, I am being pretty serious. For the mere reason after all those hard words that the media published on how this was going to get stopped, on how some African American in a non-circular room (according to whitehouse.gov) decided to call for ‘Closing Corporate Tax Loopholes’ in July 26th 2014. I am guessing that this was unsuccessful as Pfizer basically walked out with well over half a trillion. The move started in November 2015 and the press has been absent of any failure to stop Pfizer from moving away from the American non-tax havens, towards the shores of paddy’s Irish Whiskey and the real tax havens.
Let’s be clear, that this does not excuse Martin Shkreli from the acts he is doing, or would it stop me from legislatively going after Martin Shkreli if I could. The mere reality is that it will be close to impossible to do because the US Congress had enabled much of what Martin Shkreli did, which is not what they intended to do, yet it is what is the non-emotional result, so in that matter ‘examine his conscience‘ applies to a much larger extent to Congress and its need to clean up the mess that allows corporate American to get around taxation. A mess congress might not be willing to fix for the simple speculation that when not re-elected those members of Congress need to rely on large corporations for their next pay check.
I am not the only one on this horse, as far as I can tell ‘the New Yorker’ and a few others are starting to realise that no matter how objectionable the acts of Martin Shkreli are, there is now a focal point change. This focal point is about how Congress itself is part of the problem, not part of anyone’s solution (at http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/everyone-hates-martin-shkreli-everyone-is-missing-the-point), how there is an unlabelled coffer with funds to buy items of survival for people who cannot afford it. The New Yorker states it as “mysterious corporate bargaining, and occasional charitable acts“, this includes (as I personally see it) Pfizer and their transplanted plus 600 billion, moving to Ireland.
So even when we consider the acts of Martin Shkreli to be vile and evil, how is the inaction of Congress not worse? How is it that we cannot condone the acts of a failed administration, whilst the acts of a person who was in it for the money from day one to be such a surprise?
A man that graduated from Bernard M. Baruch College of the City University of New York, who became a hedge funds manager, ‘evolved’ as an entrepreneur and who is living the American dream.
How are any of the unfolding elements a surprise to anyone?