***update: the March of Dimes has reversed their position on this, most likely in response to public outrage. Or a giant drop in donations.
**edited to add: here is a link to a blog post by Michele, who has posted the pharmaceutical companys' contact information, if you feel that doing something might be more productive than angrily ranting. Now, on to your regularly scheduled tirade**
Boy, I sure am sick of people getting screwed over by big business and the US Government. I'm really not sure which of them is worse. I could write a post every hour until my fingers fell off and still not even scratch the surface of the appalling lack of liberty and justice for all around here. Tax cuts for the rich while soldiers die for lack of equipment, gazillion dollar bailouts for Wall Street and Detroit with big fat bonuses for executives while families across the country go without health care, adequate child care and education, regular attacks on freedoms of every kind, and the list goes on and on. Today, though, I really want to vomit. The FDA has proudly announced that they have approved the first drug ever to prevent premature birth. Too bad they didn't mention that it has, in fact, been in use for years at a cost of $10-20 per injection, and that research and development was funded with tax dollars, and now they've allowed a pharmaceutical company exclusive rights to it, and the company is charging $1,500 per dose. You can read all the disgusting details here, and you can be sure it's a bad deal all around when even Fox News is pissed off about it.
Outrageous, right? How can this even happen? Here's how: it's all about the money. The pharmaceutical industry spends a lot of cash paying off lawmakers in exchange for legislation that guts the powers of the agencies that are supposed to be regulating the industry, and it's perfectly legal, thanks to all those legislators sucking up campaign donations and fact-finding trips. Here's the FDA's page on 'partnerships'. I especially like how they come right out and say they're looking for ways to get drugs approved without incurring a cost to the government. It's like high-class panhandling. Or hooking. Actually, now that I think about it, I find both of those things infinitely more respectable. And it's just going to get worse, now that the Supreme Court has decided that corporations cannot be restricted in their political spending. Big business will not rest until they have sucked every last cent from citizens like you and me, and destroyed the soil, the water and the air in their neverending quest for more, more, more. What a bunch of greedy, ridiculous bastards.
But that's the inherent flaw in democracy, isn't it? People are greedy, and government by the people means the people in government vote to enrich themselves at the expense of all the rest of us. It won't last long, though: it's simply not sustainable. So stock up on canned food, water, wine-making equipment and warm clothes. You probably won't need those guns and ammo, though- as it turns out, humans are social creatures and rapidly build thriving, happy, communal groups in post-disaster situations when they are sans government 'assistance', and then these lovely new communties are even more rapidly destroyed when government control is reestablished. If you're interested in this, an excellent book is Rebecca Solnit's 'Paradise Built in Hell'. So the coming apocalypse is for the best, really. I'm sure that those of us that survive the massive crash of resources will be much better off. Plus we'll be much skinnier, and that's super important.
Also, the March of Dimes can kiss my ass. In exchange for hefty donations from the pharmaceutical industry, they have endorsed this sickening travesty. The blood of the tiniest of the tiny is on their grasping outstretched hands, and their hypocrisy is astounding beyond words.