This is just a great article focusing on one industry among several ripping all of us off. I’m fortunate that I’m relatively healthy for my age so I have limited medical prescription costs with retiree benefits but I can imagine the overall cost for those Americans that rely on multiple medications to survive. As an elderly friend said it’s a daily fight for survival deciding on buying food or paying for medical costs in 2023 America. It’s truly disgusting that these corporations hold such malevolent power over our daily lives. Not only big pharma, but other types of insurance companies are ripping us off for homeowners and fire in my part of the country ( I’ve heard other states also are being punished for disaster coverage) and I’m paying out exorbitant fees for fire coverage that I’m almost to the point of dropping my homeowners’ to “save” monthly costs but then add car insurance, etc. When do we ever get a break ? So let’s go ahead and elect the party that wants to glorify capitalism and deregulate industries as well as kiss the behind of fossil fuel donors! I just saw a clip about California Governor Newsom’s lawsuit against the big fossil fuel corporations alleging lying and subverting studies about environmental damage and health impacts from fossil fuel usage. Hopefully that will bring some attention to corporate greed vs. well being of consumers. But Americans aren’t figuring it out that there is only one party that is trying to help all Americans ( admittedly some flawed Democrats exist that block advances we need) and unfortunately the complicit MSM isn’t about to enlighten viewers to the facts. The networks must have their “both sides “ narrative muddying up reality just for clickbait profit.

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It is not just homeowners in areas prone to disaster, like Florida, that have to pay outrageous premiums, because the cost of insurance is spread throughout the country, or areas in which the insurer is licensed.

People who live in the Pacific NW, for example, pay for the payouts of people who live in Florida, because expenses (insurance payouts) are spread among customers regardless of where you live. So the next time you see a premium increase, the insurer has underwrote the policy by spreading the loss among policy holders

The same for any insurance, auto, health, boat, plane, personal effects, and once premiums go up, they never come down.

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I'm starting a movement that will increase the disposable income of most Americans and make health care affordable to all. If we are going to break out of the political morass we are bogged down in, we are going to need outside of the box ideas and outside of the establishment politicians. I invite you to check it out and give me some feedback: https://thesingularmovement.substack.com/?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=substack_profile

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It's important to note that big pharm is largely not interested in curing diseases, rather just developing therapies that make us dependent on repeated use to address their symptoms. The government really needs to take the lead on finding cures and we should make it more accountable for doing so. With regards to outlandish pharmaceutical prices, might there be another way to skin this cat? How about patent reform? Limiting the duration of a patent on pharmaceuticals to a dollar amount of gross profit. That would provide the incentive for research and development and take the free market argument away from corrupt politicians.

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So correct, drugs don't cure, as a general rule (exceptions are anti biotics which can cure sepsis, gonorrhea and syphlis. Steroids have some success, but most only work so long as you are on the regimen, but a steroid regimen over months, is deadly. You wind up with diseases oft he endocrine system.

Most research and development are government funded, or partially funded, and would be exposed by lies, if the media didn't rely on PhRMA advertising money. (PhRMA supports the major corporate media. I have a spread sheet which I update, every time I see an ad on MSNBC for a new drug, there are already 81 drugs on the list, and rising.

Insulin was developed in the late 19th Century and is long out of patent, but PhRMA spends money on tweaking a molecule or two, (with tax payer money) and files for a new patent.

The pen injector used for the likes of Insulin and anaphylaxis (Epi pen) was developed by DARPA for use by soldiers as a protection from nerve gas. It costs only a few dollars to make, and the drug is long out of patent, but they charge a ridiculous almost a thousand dollars, so much that your doctor has to fill out special paperwork (meaning you have to pay the doctor), for a refill.

When Mylar, the maker of Epipen, was called out on the fact that it cost only $20 to make an Epipen, but charge a $1,000. it simply redesigned the pen and package, obtained a new patent, most likley with tax payer funds)

PhR MA and politicians who suck on PhRMA's teat, are responsible for hundreds of thousands if not millions of death. It is worse for life saving medical equipment, especially implants.

Needless deaths because of sociopathic greed.

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Thanks for the education. It's a sad world we live in. Years ago people used to say "we have the best medical system in the world." I used to reply, you've never had to use it, have you? You don't hear people saying that anymore, so perhaps that's progress. If you're interested in doing something about it, I'm starting a movement to make changes to how we are taxed, how benefits are distribution and how we pay for healthcare. It's called the Singular Movement. I'm sure you will hate something about it, but am also sure you'll like something about it. It's a work in progress, so participation and feed back are welcomed.

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Add to the list of almost all Senate Republicans on the take from PhRMA, Menendez D-NJ, PhRMAs rep in the Senate. This is not a both sides do it, but PhRMA does contribute to Democrats as well as Republicans. Highlighting the real problem. We gave the best government money can buy, and I do not see an end to money in politics, because politicians are addicted and beg for the money. No money and no re election campaign.

Which causes me to ask cui bono, who benefits. More accurately Reps and Senators really don't get paid that much.

Position Salary per annum

Senators and House Representatives $174,000

Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico $174,000

President pro tempore of the Senate $193,400

Majority leader and minority leader of the Senate $193,400

That's seems like a lot, to those who labor for $25,000 to $100,000 a year, they also get per diem With their families they have to support two households, their home district or state, and themselves in DC.

Many chip in and rent large houses or multi storied apartments. They have to have money for dining and entertaining or meeting in fashionable restaurants, and an appropriate wardrobe, not to mention transportation

Now consider that, and consider that so many are lawyers. Granted that many are incompetent and lazy lawyers, but lawyers make much more than a Congress persons salary. So why leave a lucrative profession for public office, unless there is a pay off.

MTG is rich in her own right, her and Boebert have one thing in common ; ATTENTION WHORES., and IMHO, a quality shared with many if not most politicians.

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I agree. We need to pay Reps and Senators more to attract better talent and to alleviate their need to prostitute themselves.

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I agree but I see a problem, in that enough is never enough, there is no end to the insatiable appetite of people, especially politicians and executives and capitalists, for money and power.

Pay them a million dollars a year and they will still prostrate themselves for another million or two.

I am of the opinion,but can't prove it, because I lack the resources, that most of our Congress critters use their position and insider knowledge, to fatten their purses, and that is one reason they hang on so desperately till they die of natural causes.

Public service is a myth, just as joining the armed forces out of patriotism is a myth, it is a career choice, with a risk, lower ranks enlist because they need jobs, a skill, a career or have been influenced by Call of Duty. Officers often because of government subsidized education, like the Academies and ROTC, and even a career choice, a guaranteed retirement income and health care. With a government paid (service academies) or subsidized higher education, they are in a better position to find a substantial post retirement career, than an enlisted person, especially a Marine grunt, an infantryman, or an artillery man.

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I 100% totally agree!

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Sep 19, 2023·edited Sep 19, 2023

Rafael Warnock was the top recipient of industry contributions in 2022.

13 of the top 20 recipients were democrats.


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Interesting. An explanation could be that PhRMA is buying influence with Warnock or his community, but worth keeping in mind. Just like Hakeem Jeffries would not be in office if he was not the chief recipient of AIPACs, donations.

As I said, we got the best government money can buy, and every country, group, corporation has money in the fist to buy influence. Question is that do the politicians that they buy, or try to buy, bend to their will and demands.?

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Sep 20, 2023·edited Sep 20, 2023

They are just strategic and do whatever it takes.

"Big Pharma’s influence is more than just manpower and deep pockets, health care insiders say. It knows how to play Washington like a game."

As the time and other articles note, the industry is incredibly savvy about where and how to spend. They have a great track record picking winners, and know how to influence the overall votes so it always plays out their way. As Bernie said a few years ago they are comparable to sugar ray Robinson - never defeated.


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Great article and thank you for putting it forward. Medicare rightly deserves the price breaks that have been created with this small handful of drugs. I say, keep going, get more drug prices lowered. Every big business that does business with our government rips off the government!!! And we know who pays for that, US, the taxpayer!

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Once again an appalling overreach for bribes from Republicans who want us to think they’re( helping us???)

There is nothing in my mind from information thats pretty factual , to tell me of one positive thing Republicans have done or want to do for regular Americans . Nothing.

Its a plethora of one lie after another to pretend to be helpful to us ( the people) , when in reality its their payoffs from Big Pharma, Oil and Gas, Corporations in general that handle the Republicans benefits . Also wannalook like Democrats , Manchin , Sinema .

Im not saying Democrats are not benefitting but nothing like the Republicans devotion to Corporate Welfare and its spoils.

The Supreme Court Conservatives. Engaging on slightly higher level bribes , trying also to lie their way out . The chaos created by routinely lying about what we can see clearly thats happening in dissonance with their stories. They protect the avarice of Republicans and republicans protect this group on supreme court. What a lovely arrangement . All but the wealthiest are expendable w/ both .

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As long as we have a failed Press, which is what we have, we cannot count on the people to even understand what is going on. The press should be regulated and have to live by standards, but as it is right now, they just make up stuff, call it an opinion, or call themselves pundits, and get away with influencing millions of Americans with their lies. So few people can even tell the truth anymore, or understand the real problems that we are in a bad position when voting is our superpower and too many people squander it with ignorance or inaction. Read this piece from the Daisy Koz about the interview of Trump that is much talked about. This shows how deeply troubled our press is. https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2023/9/18/2193974/-NBC-MAY-HAVE-ALREADY-LAUNCHED-INVESTIGATIONS-INTO-WELKER-TRUMP-INTERVIEW-FOR-NEWS-RULES-VIOLATIONS?detail=emaildkre&pm_source=DKRE&pm_medium=email

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I understand your concerns and they are valid, but a regulated press is what keeps authoritarians and dictators in line, Be it Hitler, Mussolini, Orban, Putin, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Libya, and many African and Asian countries.

The inherent problem of freedom of expression and democracy is that their liberalism enables its authoritarian to gain power and destroy it.

IIRC, it was Osama bin Laden, or someone of his ilk,. that said that democratic rule and freedoms will be used to destroy Democracy and western civilization, and the Maggots are facilitating and speeding up the destruction of western democracy and culture

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Sep 19, 2023·edited Sep 19, 2023

My error, I meant a regulated press is what keeps dictators in power. not in line.

Apparently there are some memes, that pop up, when I meant something else. However you are correct. I misspoke. Thanks for pointing it out.

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Not sure why you say, "but, a regulated press is what keeps authoritarians and dictators in line..." I am arguing for regulation. I do not consider our press regulated. Where we clearly agree is that press needs to be well regulated. I am arguing that it is not and that is the problem.

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Our press is not regulated, by the government, not yet, but when the fascists get control it will be regulated, Hitlers Germany had a well regulated press, so does Orban's Hungary, and Putins Russia... You can only regulate (control) speech and public information in an autocratic government.

On the other hand, the press is self regulated, by their need for advertising, funds of which pay the majority of fixed and variable expenses and subscriptions going to profits. There is a cabal of corporations that handle and place all advertisements

And some uncomfortable news. Article 1, of the Bill of Rights is misused by the left, right and middle. It simply says, that CONGRESS shall make NO LAW, abridging the right of speech.

The sentence does not include, persons, municipalities, states, corporations, political parties, universities. Which also means that they can be held civilly or criminally liable,( like Trump or Fox) for what they say, especially when, like Trump threaten violence or knowingly lie to the public in the manner which does harm.

I agree that ethically and morally, the media should be honest, and not condone,let slide or perpetuate lies, such as what happened days ago on Meet the Press, where tNBC gave Trump the publicity he needs and loves and the opportunity to spread his lies and disinfo, with hardly a real fact correction or challenge from Kristen Walker of Meet the Press in her premier appearance as host. Welker spent minimal time calling out Trump's lies. Most of Trump's false claims were simply ignored by Welker during the interview. When Welker did make an effort to correct Trump, she missed opportunities to establish the facts and sometimes validated Trump's false premise.

For example, Trump claimed that former Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) supports killing babies "after the baby is born." Welker responded, "Democrats writ large are not talking about that." But Northam did not support infanticide. He expressed support for an existing Virginia law that allows for third-trimester abortion when three doctors certify that carrying the pregnancy to term would "likely" kill the mother. He also said he would sign legislation to reduce the number of doctors required to make the certification from three to one. During an interview, he said the decision of whether to attempt to resuscitate a non-viable infant after birth would be a discussion between the mother and the doctor. Welker, however, allowed Trump's specific claims about Northam to go unchallenged. Source, recent article on https://popular.info/

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Our press used to have government regulation and standards and that is not tied to fascism. It is tied to saying that if you are going to be called news you have to use facts, not fiction. I also think that ownership of media should be regulated since it is tied to our democracy. We should not have foreign ownership of our press, at least not more than 25% total. That is a regulation I think we should have. Should our press end up being owned by Russians. There are other regulatory things that should happen, and frankly, I think the government should have fined Fox a lot more than they payed Dominion for the lies they spread, and shut them down, and removed Murdoch from ownership. He is a foreigner who dominates in multiple media markets after deregulation for selling tabloid news. Ronald Reagan deregulated ownership of the press, and we are seeing more and more independent press destroyed by both costs, and by frivolous lawsuits by the right wing to shut them down.


Regulation belongs in all industries. That does not mean hampering speech, but at least we need trustworthy sources. Clearly schools could do a lot more to teach media literacy, but these skills also come with teaching critical thinking. I had assumed that the reason Trump agreed to be interviewed was that some rules would be set that would keep him from being fact checked. That same thought is raised here by a former NBC correspondent.


That this is business as usual and growing increasingly so, is very disturbing. As everyone sees that Dominion took a lot, but not all, and there are no further consequences for Fox News, I mean, it should have been shut down, perhaps they are all going that way now. And, the very gullible American population will just be sucked right in. Who needs China, Russia, Iran and North Korea sending bots to the people, when the nightly news that we are supposed to be able to trust is doing their work for them? Also, our journalism schools clearly need to have more diversity of people for us to have good press.

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Trump is very smart at lying. He knows his cult followers do not listen to anyone else's opinion but the right wing stations and now the left are changing and morphing into right wing stations also. To confuse the low information Democrat voters and non-english speaking. I see a big push for a right-wing dictatorship, thanks to Garland not prosecuting the ringleaders of the 1/6 insurrection. Of course we can thank Biden for not firing Garland and for promoting free trade with dictatorships the last 40 years as well. No one is defending democracy is my point. The humans need to start planning to grow their own food and defending themselves from the zombies, in my opinion.

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LMAO. I fear jumping on the shame Biden train, for fear it will add to the Trump train. In that regard I will crawl over broken glass to vote for Biden, because I am really voting against Trump, and that is what a recent poll has taken. People are voting for or against Trump, not for Biden.

His sins are many. He appointed Garland, and never fired him and the Trump humpers, that Biden made schedule F civil servants, and to add injury Biden revoked the best tool that Trump left him, EO 13957 that created schedule F civil servants (embedding Trump appointees into cabinets as protected civil servants He could have used that EO to reverse the damage of Trump, but he revoked it.

He expanded oil drilling in the Gulf, off the Atlantic coast and in Alaska, while pretending to be an environmentalist.

He has been a leader in supporting Ukraine, but refused to provide them with sorely needed F-16's and HIMARS, which would have stopped Putin's expansionist programs, and it took Poles, Danes, and Swedes to provide at least F-16's thus forcing his hand, and yet he still delayed by requiring Ukraianian Pilots to be fluent in English. Which is nonsense, it is easier to translate flight and maintenance manuals, and Ukrainian pilots already know how to fly fighters, all they need is to be able translate controls and instruments from English to Ukrainian. Obviously this is just a stalling tactic. Like Elon Musk, he is terrified of Putin's nuclear phallus. Why not just throw open the door and invited Putin in to take over the west. For that is what he and Musk are doing.

He is a Catholic and as such anti abortion, and has said so publicly, and that is why Congress did not pass a Protect Women's Health' legislation, while in that short 22 day interregnum, that Democrats had, before the new congress was sworn in, the Democrats did pass legislation to protect gay marriage.. Gay marriage, while frowned upon, by the Catholic Church does not have the antagonism that abortion has. Abortion is forbidden by the church because it reduces the number of faithful, and religious dominance is the leit motif of Christianity and Islam. It is a numbers game.

The same that motivates the "Replacement theory" hawked by Tucker and White Christian Nationalists.

I used to think that a totally mixed nation was our salvation, but after the Rwanda genocide, the caste and religious problems of India, and even the racism of Russia and China (yes the governments of those countries have racist policies).

I am afraid there is no redemption for the species. In a blue eyed world, a brown eyed person is a scapegoat, and vice versa. If there is no apparent reason to scapegoat, oppress and demonize those who aren't like you, then humans will invent one, even tribalism doesn't provide refuge. Look at how gays and women are treated within their own tribes., world wide.

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I plan on voting for the lesser of two evils like I have my entire life. I just think that Biden may be intentionally keeping the economy going to hand it off to the oligarchs. Only time will tell. Trump is much worse than Biden.

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"Pay the capitalist, or die" The GOP do believe in freedom of choice. Government ownership of medical, food, housing and clothing is needed in order to save trillions of dollars and provide more financial security and have less lunatics running around stealing stuff and using drugs.

In a capitalist society it is guaranteed that you're going to have to pay a lot of bills,

but you are not guaranteed a job that pays enough to pay the bills. With an overpopulated planet, children that are born into this kind of a society, will just be chewed up by law enforcement. Eventually it will implode, which America is currently doing. FDR was the only great leader, and the right wingers hate it him and put in term limits,

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One of the reasons, in fact the main reason for drug abuse and deaths is Reagan s War on Drugs, the war he started with Iran Contra, and the use of the CIA to import cocaine to pay for the weapons that Israel sold to Iran.

You don't need drugs if you legalize weed, nationally, and people die from opioids, because they are illegal, and thus very profitable for the corner boys to the cartel and everyone in between.

And to make them cheaper, and to meet demand, cocaine and heroin are now being laced with fentanyl, which is like the Corvair, dangerous and deadly in any quantity.

The only way to win the WOD is to legalize weed, coke and poppy products, then have he government regulate and tax the industry. Because people will always turn to drugs, especially the wealthy and celebrities. On top of which the WOD, has its roots in racism.And racism is still at it's roots., that it feeds the prison industrial complex is another reason that it won't be "won"

CBP, DEA, ATF, sheriffs, police would be out of a job,or hav a reduced staff, and if you put these thugs jobs at risk, there will be an outbreak of crime and murders (by LEO;s) just to prove that they were needed. Imagine a nation of millions of unemployed and organized LEOs, well you don't have to imagine, we have MAGAts, Oath Keepers, Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers, even FBI, IRS agents and Secret Service.

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By the way, even without the CIA messing in drugs, poverty alone will increase the crime rate with no drugs at all. Humans will steal food and kill to survive. Even turn to cannibalism

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I support the legalization of all drugs also. But I also support poor farm, so that everyone can contribute. I support self supporting prisons. For life. Everyone needs to be productive, even the mentally ill. The old people can answer calls at call centers also.

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Bob my friend, we are at odds on that one. Between that and your maximum wage, you seem to be stuck in some Dickensian night mare, the Hobbsian world of Stalin's Russia and the Libertarian/Randian ideal. As epitomized by Art 12 of the 1936 Soviet Constitution (very libertarian like Marx). which says in simple terms, if you don't work, you don't eat.

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a couple of years of living in extreme poverty as a child growing up and you and Thom may become may become more enlightened, about human nature. Capitalism in its current form will take humans back to the dark ages. Chile now has a maximum wage that I disagree with. Only for workers and twice the minimum wage. That is a Dickensonian maximum wage. My proposed maximum wage is about 10 to 15 times the minimum wage for ALL ! When America turns into a typical third world crime ridden dictatorship where unlimited greed is worshiped, remember I told you so!

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My mother and father separated on Christmas eve in 1946, I grew up in a single mother household with two sisters in a government project, while my Mom worked, 1st for tips, as a waitress then landed a job as a bank analyst, with three children to support. She got passed over for raises, though she trained men, one of whom became her boss, when she complained she was told that the men had families to support, she told them that so did she, the Branch manager told her to find a husband, and that was that. I started earning my own money at age 7 by shoveling snow for stores, charging a quarter, and hauling paper and tin cans, in my little red wagon to the junkyard at the end of the street (before we moved to the project, earning enough to buy used bicycle ($7) and a steeple shaped radio ($7) which had to be grounded to a screen, a porcelain piano doll (no piano) and a glass bead pink neckless for mom

As a teenager I made more than mom, mowing lawns (push mower), setting pins in a YMCA bowling alley ($.10 a line) and three paper routes,for a short time it was four, but gave it up, as it was the Morning Enguirer which started early morning before sunrise and had me walking through a grave yard, and still I was late for school.. I caddied at Melrose Country club, on weekends and midweek, when the doctors and lawyers gathered to talk business (One bag, 18 holes $6, 2 bags 18 holes $12, plus standard $1.,00 tip if lucky the caddy master would call me out on ladies day, usually 9 holes $3.00 with $.50 tip, and almost always carried doubles, Made more money than mom, and that enabled me to buy Dairy Queen, candy, drinks at the soda fountain and helped to make Christmas for my sisters. As well as Saturday Matinee for me and my sisters.

Your idea of a maximum wage is indeed appealing, though a concept like yours always has unintended consequences. I can easily see a Republican government, using the maximum wage in the same wage as Chile, or Dickensenian England.

My mother grew up in poverty. I was born at the tail end of the depression, my grandmother and great grandmother, all they knew was poverty. I would probably be in poverty had I not made some fortuitous choices, starting with joining the Armed Forces,two months before I turned 18.

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First mistake was letting the drug industry advertise and literally take over a large percentage of TV airtime. We are paying every penny of that, not to mention the commercials are nauseating and crafted to brainwash you.

Our society needs to get some perspective on management and CEOs in general. There is no ONE person right for any given job. Education and skill-sets do make a difference, but there is no magic in any of it or any one person. So why give one person the lion's share? It's because the boards of the big corporations are corrupt as well as morally bankrupt, AND THEY ARE INTERCONNECTED.

Look-up this article by Visual Capitalist: "Visualizing How the 50 Largest U.S. Companies are Connected". The diagram is mind-blowing!

Where did I initially learn that "I scratch your back, you scratch mine" exists? I believe it was from Thom Hartmann.

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Sep 19, 2023·edited Sep 19, 2023

Acc to Open secrets:

"The pharmaceutical industry has traditionally favored Republican candidates, giving 55 percent on average to Republicans, since 1989. This trend was reversed in 2020 when Democrats received 61% of all pharma/health products contributions — the highest proportion they had received in at least the last 30 years. "

Now, 4 of the 5 largest individual recipients of industry donations are democrats, and 13 of the top 20 recipients are democrats.

Open secrets combined pharma with health care products for purposes of calculating industry spending.

From open secrets:

Party Split:

Dems: Dems: $15,193,108 $15,193,108

Repubs: Repubs: $11,002,100 $11,002,100

Others: Other: $127,915 $127,915

All Candidates:

Total to All Candidates: $26,323,123 $26,323,123

Incumbents Only:

Total to Members: $22,314,956 $22,314,956

House # of Members Average Contribution Total Contributions

Democrats 211 $39,208 $8,272,901

Republicans 203 $32,221 $6,540,996

Independents 0 $0 $0

TOTAL 414 $35,782 $14,813,897


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