This past week has seen two "scandals" brought to light.
First, we had the former hedge fund manager turned pharmaceutical CEO Martin Schkreli increase the price of an important drug for patients with compromised immune systems upwards of 5000%. Shortly after that story bombarded the media outlets, the Volkswagen news came out. Rather than come up with technology that actually met EPA emission's regulations they came up with technology that cheated those regulations. Software was installed to recognize when emission tests were being done, demonstrating regulation numbers when the rest of the time the cars emitted much much more pollution.
While I'm no Pollyanna, it's stories like these that deal a low blow to my faith in humanity. I heard someone say in response to the Schkreli story that this is a byproduct of a capitalistic society. If we support capitalism, we are supporting this type of behavior. And that got me thinking, do capitalism and "being a good person" have to be mutually exclusive? Since I live my life trying very hard to not harm or inconvenience other people, I would classify myself as a good person. But I'm also not a capitalist. If my life revolved around making money, would my views on humanity be skewed. Would I screw someone else over without batting an eye? It's easy for me to say I wouldn't, but does the need for making money just turn everyone who does so into an asshole?
This Schkreli guy is indeed an asshole! If you haven't read about him yet, the list of jerky things he's done in the quest for wealth can be found here. I wonder if this is a guy who has always been inconsiderate of others or if it's a byproduct of becoming a capitalist.
Then we have VW. This is a company who had really come into its own here in the last few years. It was thought of as a trusted company of mid-priced cars that were helping the environment. And what blows my mind about the whole thing is that the time and money was taken to cheat the system. Now a half-million people could very likely not be allowed to register their cars again. This company made billions on their lies and will most likely pay a pittance (as most companies do when fined by the government) while each of their customers could be out 35 grand each.
It seems like "we'd" have all the tricks and jerky maneuvers figured out and be able to regulate accordingly. Instead, there's always a new trick - something else done to rig the system. What a shame this ingenuity is so often used for evil instead of good.
Between the 2016 presidential election clown car and the rich jerks they "work" for, I'm going to need to start taking a Xanax when I watch/read the news. It's just too much!
the friday 56
8 hours ago