every rich man is a thief


But whenever I have said this, I have been told no, that the market bla bla and all. Now in the midst of this pandemic, an American company has been given exclusive rights to make an antiviral drug that would be used in managing covid19. With this exclusivity, they will profit from it for 7 years, during which time even if generic drugs were developed, Americans would not be able to buy. I don’t know what to call it. But i have been informed it is not greed, so I leave it to the rest of you to come up with a descriptor.

Why I say it is theft. Listen to this

Gilead Sciencesโ€™ remdesivir was developed with at least $79 million in U.S. government funding, according to a paper published last week by KEI. The origins of the drug came after the 2014 Ebola outbreak in western Africa, which spurred research into potential antiviral medications to control future potential pandemics.

You can read more here

Hooray to the free market where we are told the government should keep off the markets while at the same time it is busy subsiding big companies, carrying out deregulation and all.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

45 thoughts on “every rich man is a thief

  1. Ron says:

    In a free market companies compete for business absent of any government interference or protections in the form of subsidies, regulations, patents, copyrights and bailouts. Once the government becomes involved it ceases to be a free market and soon becomes a plutocracy.

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      is there anywhere there is a fully free market?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nan says:

        There are lots of FLEA markets … is that the same thing? ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Liked by 2 people

      • Ron says:

        Aside from the black market, no. But Hong Kong and Singapore come closest to offering the greatest economic freedom.

        Like

        • basenjibrian says:

          Almost everyone in Singapore lives in government-subsidized housing and benefits from a variety of other subsidies and freebies. And the government can be quite…authoritarian. Hardly the Randian paradise you appear to proposed.

          Hong Kong? The eternal whiff of tear gas is interfering with my ability to prepare a reply on that question!

          Like

          • Ron says:

            Well, I did write they offer the greatest economic freedom — not the greatest social freedom. And it’s somewhat unfair to blame Hong Kong residents for protesting the actions of their communist overlords in Beijing.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            Always carry water to wash the teargas ๐Ÿ˜

            Like

          • Barry says:

            Personal Freedom: 1 – Sweeden; 2 – Netherlands; 3 – New Zealand; 26 – USA
            Economic Freedom: 1- Hong Kong; 2 – Singapore; 3 – New Zealand; 5 – USA
            Human Freedom: 1 – New Zealand; 2 – Switzerland; 3 – Hong-Kong; 15 – USA

            Source: https://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/human-freedom-index-files/2019-human-freedom-index-update-2.pdf

            Liked by 1 person

            • basenjibrian says:

              Pshaw! We are always Number One. And our Glorious Leader is Making Us Great Again.

              CATO has a very…ideological…perspective. Not sure their definition of “economic freedom” would exactly paralle4l mine.

              Like

              • Barry says:

                The Human Freedom Index is co-published by the Cato Institute, the Fraser Institute, and the Liberales Institut at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Their definition defined in the Executive Summary. See Country Data Tables for scores.

                Here’s some other freedom indexes contradicting the American myth of being the “Land of the Free”. Of course Trump would claim all the data is nothing but lies…

                Reporters Without Borders – Worldwide Press Freedom Index:
                1: Norway
                2: Finland
                3: Sweden
                7: New Zealand
                48: United States of America

                Economist Intelligence Unit – Democracy Index:
                1: Norway (9.87: Full democracy)
                2: Iceland (9.58 Full democracy)
                3: Sweden (9.39: Full democracy)
                4: New Zealand (9.26: Full democracy)
                25: United States of America (7.96: Flawed democracy)

                Freedom House – Freedom in the World
                1: Finland (100)
                1: Norway (100)
                1: Sweden (100)
                8: New Zealand (98)
                53: United States of America (86)

                Freedom House – Freedom of the Press
                1: Norway
                2: Netherlands
                3: Sweden
                22: New Zealand
                33: United States of America

                The Wall Street Journal and Heritage Foundation – Index of Economic Freedom
                1: Singapore
                2: Hong Kong
                3: New Zealand
                18: United States of America

                Political Instability Task Force Funded by the Central Intelligence Agency – Polity data series
                1= (with 31 0ther countries) New Zealand
                53= (with 19 other countries) United States of America

                On Wikipedia’s List of freedom indices, only 3 nations receive the the highest grades in (a) Freedom in the World, (b) Index of Economic Freedom (c) Press Freedom Index, and (d) Democracy Index:
                Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland
                The United States gets the highest grade for (a), but falls short on (b) and (d) and well short on (c)

                Corruption Perceptions Index:
                1=: New Zealand
                1=: Denmark
                3: Finland
                23: United States of America

                Simeon Djankov, World Bank Group – Ease of doing business index:
                1: New Zealand
                2: Singapore
                3: Hong Kong
                6: United States of America

                World Justice Project – Rule of Law Index
                1: Denmark
                2: Norway
                3: Finland
                7: New Zealand
                31: United States of America

                Pew Research – Religion
                Government restrictions on religion:
                Low: New Zealand
                Moderate: United States of America
                Social hostilities involving religion:
                Low: New Zealand
                High: United States of America

                Like

              • makagutu says:

                By the time he is done in 2024, America will be really great

                Like

  2. Like Lao Tzu once said to his student, Sally Wannaboinker, “Sally, to you I say these great words in regards to the rich. Heed them well. Remember them always for they are true. Here they are: Fuck the rich! The greedy bastards suck ass!” I’ve always loved that ole Lao Tzu! Wise man.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. One of the principles of free markets is that buyers and sellers have to be on equal footing in order for them to strike a bargain. Unequal footing leads to prices which aren’t governed by market forces. No one would think it’s okay to hold a gun to someone’s head and force them to pay more for medicine.

    When that gun is someone’s illness, it magically becomes okay.

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      It is amoral to do this with people’s lives

      Like

    • Barry says:

      The problem is that very frequently the buyer is not on an equal footing. The natural tendency is for sellers to merge until the become a monopoly and keep out any new players in the market.

      Liked by 1 person

      • makagutu says:

        The buyer is usually at a disadvantage

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ron says:

        To be concise, a free market is defined as a voluntary exchange of goods and services based on supply and demand. It’s a truly democratic process in which you vote with your wallet based on personal preferences.

        The unequal footing occurs when established businesses petition the government to enact legislation that makes it difficult for new startups to enter the market.

        Like

        • basenjibrian says:

          There are a lot of other ways non-government actors interfere with the markets, Ron. There are non-state actors who use violence, for example. Sometimes in collusion with the state, of course. And a completely free market is not always the socially best approach.

          Like

          • Ron says:

            Voluntary exchange precludes the use of violence. Nor am I an anarchist. The proper role of government is to protect the rights of the individual; so extortion, racketeering, murder, theft, arson, vandalism, rape, sex trafficking and other criminal activities would still be prohibited and prosecuted.

            Like

            • makagutu says:

              So it means the govt must still be involved in a free market?

              Like

              • Ron says:

                Only to the extent that it functions as a guardian and protector of individual rights; primarily against the initiation of force by other individuals or groups.

                Like

                • makagutu says:

                  So it would not be possible to have a free market without some sort of government involvement, either as a guarantee of security or some other such function

                  Like

                  • Ron says:

                    Entirely possible given that all it requires is people who are willing to exchange goods and services on a voluntarily basis.

                    Like

                    • makagutu says:

                      I think in the days of batter trade and no globalisation or nation states, this was possible

                      Like

                    • Ron says:

                      Voluntary exchange is the rule rather than the exception for the majority of your day-to-day transactions. Governments and criminal gangs (but I repeat myself) are the only organizations that demand you deal with them under threat of violence — and the latter at least have the integrity not to pretend that they’re doing it for your own good.

                      Like

                    • makagutu says:

                      Voluntary yes but the government is always there. Taxes. Regulations. Cess. And all

                      Like

                    • Ron says:

                      The government exists because people choose to live under the authority of others based on the mistaken assumption that they can leverage that authority to their advantage. Bad government invariably reflects the moral failure of the society in which it operates.

                      Like

                    • makagutu says:

                      Is there a way to do without government? Any time people have tried to secede, it has not been pretty

                      Like

                    • Ron says:

                      Probably not. Humans seem to be predisposed to organizing themselves into hierarchical structures, even in small groups, though I’m told that some native American tribes proceeded only on decisions that received unanimous consent — i.e., after every member had had his or her say and agreed to accept whatever proposal was under discussion. Whether or not that’s possible to do on a larger scale is hard to say, but seems rather doubtful, especially in a pluralistic society with competing interests. Diversity is not our strength, no matter how often that mantra gets repeated. And to deny this fact is to deny historical reality and live in a world of self-delusion.

                      Like

                    • makagutu says:

                      Diversity isn’t our strength. We don’t like the other, whoever they are

                      Like

          • makagutu says:

            There are quasi-state actors whose influence on the market is just as big.

            Like

We sure would love to hear your comments, compliments and thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s