America was built on the idea that capitalism is the best type of economic system and the free market and the invisible hand can solve all problems.
Many people today believe this to be true. These people believe the market can only get ruined if the government were to step in to make and enforce regulation.
There is nothing wrong if you happen to be one of those people. After all, capitalism is as American as apple pie, bald eagles or putting bacon on anything we eat.
In the past week or so, there was a huge story about a CEO who raised the price of his medication that originally cost about $13 a pill by 5,500 percent. Keep in mind that this pill is crucial for the treatment of toxoplasmosis, a potentially fatal condition that can affect women and babies. A lot of people voiced their opinion about how “evil” this CEO is for doing such a thing.
However, if you happen to be one of those people I mentioned earlier, the type who believes in the free market, then you have no right to be outraged by the CEO’s actions. The CEO is simply playing by the rules of capitalism.
The only rule to capitalism is to get as rich as you can by any means possible. That would include raising the price of your medication by 5,500 percent. That is exactly what capitalism is all about.
Those who support a pure free market without any control by the government have no idea what they are truly asking for. These types of price hikes would be occurring more frequently than they currently are if it were not for government regulations.
Some will try to argue supply and demand would control the free market and not allow businesses from doing such a thing. However, there is one key problem with that thought.
The key assumption made is that there are an infinite number of suppliers and an infinite number of buyers in the market. However, that is false. There are many less suppliers than there are buyers. That gives all the power to the suppliers to set the price at whatever they want.
This problem is much more apparent when looking at goods that we cannot live without — mainly health care. Pharmaceutical companies, especially those whose products are needed to save people’s lives, are able to charge whatever they want because the only other option a person has is death, which really is not a choice at all.
A pharmaceutical company has taken Canada to court because Canada won’t allow the country to charge $700,000 for their medication. It seems that Canada will win the lawsuit, but there is nothing the U.S. can do in regards to how much a company charges for its product.
If you are okay with pharmaceutical companies being able to charge whatever they want for their products, then you are a true capitalist.
If you are repulsed by the act of a CEO raising the prices of crucial medications by 5,500 percent, then you cannot call yourself a true capitalist.
Capitalism is all about screwing over whomever you can whenever you can in the pursuit of capital. Whether it be defenseless patients, old ladies or young children, anyone is fair game.