Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Q Toon: Atlas Shkrugged

I'm posting this week's cartoon a little earlier than usual because of a full schedule at home on Christmas Eve. And again, it's not a Christmasy topic, although I'm kicking myself that I already used both A Christmas Carol and It's a Wonderful Life as the basis for a cartoon just a few weeks ago:

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
✒Dec 23, 2015
Martin Shkreli came to national attention as the 32-year-old Shkrooge who bought the patent on Daraprim, a drug needed by HIV/AIDS patients, and promptly raised the price of the medication by 5,000% -- from $13 per pill to $750. For each individual pill. His response to the instant and near-universal condemnation of his inhumane money-grubbing was to wish that he had raised the price even higher.

Last week, Shkreli was arrested for securities fraud:
“Shkreli essentially ran his companies like a Ponzi scheme, where he used each subsequent company to pay off the defrauded investors in the prior company,” U.S. Attorney Robert Capers told the press in a statement after Shkreli’s arrest.
Prosecutors deny Shkreli's whine that the charges are related to his Daraprim price gouging. I wouldn't be surprised, however, if the price gouging were not directly related to his need to pay off some of those previously defrauded investors.

Martin Shkreli embodies everything that is wrong with our present economic system, which places little or no value on actually producing things of  any actual useful purpose day to day. Oh, sure, you can become a billionaire by inventing the next flashy new app consumers can use to shout "Look at me!" on the internet.

But why bother with any of that when the real money is in hiding other people's money under a shell and moving it around a lot?

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