Opponents of democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders label him as a "socialist." Instead of denying the controversial moniker, he embraces it. He openly admits that he is a "socialist democrat," akin to the Scandinavian countries. He favors universal health care, tuition-free college education based upon merit, and a progressive agenda. Whether you support him or not, one thing no one can deny about Sanders -- he is issue specific.
We have become accustomed to being taken advantage of by banks, insurance carriers, utility companies, credit card providers, and other giant industries. Two recent news stories have a couple of big businesses taking things to another level.
First is the Volkswagen scandal, where the automaker was forced to admit that it rigged diesel vehicles to trick smog tests to show fewer emissions. Reportedly, the true nitrogen oxides emissions were as much as 40 times higher than were shown by the cheating software it installed. The car maker, which exported cars to the US and elsewhere, also sent a mess for its customers and additional air pollutants for all of us.
And then there is Turing Pharmaceuticals, which last month raised the price of the drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750.00 PER TABLET! The drug is used to treat a potentially life-threatening infection that comes from a parasite caused by eating undercooked meat or drinking contaminated water. One thing is for sure, no one likes a parasite.
Turing founder and CEO, hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli attempted to defend the 5,500 percent price increase during a recent CBS News segment. You be the judge of the charming Mr. Shkreli and his demeanor and defense.
Senator Sanders (I-VT) and Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD, 7th District) have been in the forefront of congressional leaders investigating prescription drug price gouging, and there is little doubt that Shkreli has greatly aided the Sanders' campaign.
One wonders whether the conduct of these two companies is the exception or the rule.
Sanders has a contribution section on his website where donors can pledge as little as $10. VW and Turing Pharmaceuticals need not bother. They have already given more than their fair share of support to Sanders.