Yes, We Can Stop Drug Price Gouging! Here’s How!

Fleecing patients is Big Pharma’s preferred business model, but we can and should end drug price gouging.

We human beings sometimes do some terrible things in pursuit of the almighty dollar. But to our credit, one moral line we humans don’t cross is to profiteer by gouging sick people on the price of medicines their lives depend on.

Unless, of course, you count executives of giant pharmaceutical corporations as human beings. Fleecing patients is their preferred business model, but we can and should end drug price gouging.

It’s a scream, then, to watch Big Pharma fall into a sky-is-falling fit over our government’s long-overdue move to give us patients some bargaining power over this monopolistic industry. Under President Joe Biden’s anti-inflation policy passed early this year, our Medicare program can now negotiate drug prices on our behalf.

This will drastically lower what you and I are now forced to pay to the profiteers. For decades, Congress has coddled the corporate gougers (who maintain by far the biggest lobbying army in Washington), allowing them to manipulate the patent laws and rig the system. Thus, we Americans pay two to three times more than people in other countries for the exact same medicines.

Oh, wail drug executives, bloated profits give us the incentive to keep developing innovative new cures. Hold it right there, Slick — most basic drug development is done by tax-funded medical researchers, not brand-name market hucksters. Mega-drug outfits like Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb spend more on advertising, exorbitant executive salaries, lobbying and big stockholder payouts than on research. Still, these same greedhounds are suing Biden, howling that making them negotiate is an unconstitutional “taking” of their income. But — Hello! — these scoundrels have been taking our income, health and lives for years.

I’m with Biden on this — as is 80% of the public (including 77% of Republicans) who favor making the gougers negotiate. You go, Joe! To stay informed and involved, connect with Public Citizen at

Why Are Far-Right-Wing Extremists Worshiping John C. Calhoun?

A few days ago, the city of Savannah, Georgia took an important symbolic step toward racial inclusiveness, naming one of Savannah’s 23 historic public squares for a Black woman.

Susie King Taylor, born in 1848 to enslaved parents, became a renowned educator, setting up schools for emancipated children and adults — a laudable role model in America’s ongoing struggle to extend equal opportunity to all. Before adding Taylor’s name, though, the name that had been plastered on that square 170 years ago — John C. Calhoun — had to be subtracted. Council members did that last year, finding the South Carolina senator and two-time vice president unworthy of any public honor. Why?

Well, why would Georgians of 1853 create a monument to a lawmaker from another state? Answer: Slavery. No politician in our history has been a more vehement apologist and promoter of human enslavement than Calhoun. Thus, racist Southern leaders revered him. A rich son of plantation privilege, Calhoun owned dozens of slaves. More shamefully, he built his political career by fabricating a hokey economic theory asserting that slavery was such a “positive good” that even white workers in Northern factories should be converted to slave laborers.

Worst of all, Calhoun opposed the democratic ideal of majority rule, crying that it allowed the many to “interfere” with the freedom of the elite propertied class (his own) to do what they wish with their “properties” — including slaves. He even favored outright plutocracy, proposing that the rich should be given a special right to overturn laws they don’t like.

While Savannah is doing the right thing by saying no to this autocrat, beware, for the Koch brothers’ network of today’s plutocratic billionaires is now exalting Calhoun, furtively organizing to impose his plutocratic order over us. To learn more, go to:

Jim Hightower