Martin Shkreli, Case One Of Ethics
Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “The world loathes Martin Shkreli, indeed he may have made himself “the most hated man in America.” He earned that reputation when, as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, he hiked the cost of Daraprim, “the drug … used to fight infections in patients suffering from AIDS and other conditions,” from $13.50 to $750 – a 5,000% increase. On February 4, 2016, he was called before a Congressional committee to testify about his actions. About all he did was smirk and plead the Fifth . . .” Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: I’ve got the story here:
The world loathes Martin Shkreli, indeed he may have made himself “the most hated man in America.”
He earned that reputation when, as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, he hiked the cost of Daraprim, “the drug … used to fight infections in patients suffering from AIDS and other conditions,” from $13.50 to $750 – a 5,000% increase.
On February 4, 2016, he was called before a Congressional committee to testify about his actions. About all he did was smirk and plead the Fifth . . .
Mike: Folks, audio won’t do this justice, so I’ll just play a minute or two of this. Watch this man testifying in front of the House of Representin’. First of all, I again have to ask the question: What business is it of Congress what his company charges for its drug? If they can pull that guy in there and ask him about the overpriced AIDS drug, then they can pull me in there and ask me why my monthly subscriptions are $7.99. [mocking] “Why did you raise your subscription prices, Mr. Church?” The same power to argue for one or the same power that is used to regulate the one or to ostensibly regulate the one would be the same power that you would have to use to ostensibly regulate the other. Neither of the powers should exist. Congress should not hold them. That is not a system of federalism.
All you Teddy and the Cruz boosters out there, here’s a question. Congress shall have the power to regulate interstate commerce, commerce with foreign nations and with the Indian tribes, right? The ratified intent of the term “regulate” is to make regular, meaning, in 1787 and 1788 when the Constitution was ratified, and George Nicholas was asked about that phrase in the Virginia ratifying convention. Patrick Henry and George Mason also said that the phrase would be used to form an oligarchy where Congress would regulate business and business activities. George Nicholas, on behalf of little Jimmy Madison and the rest of the shifty, crooked federalists said: Nah, nah, that’s not what the phrase means. It means to make regular. Congress won’t have any power that it doesn’t currently have. The power is mainly extended so that it can make rules to make commerce regular. In other words, free trade amongst the states. If one state decides to say: Well, cotton grown in North Carolina is illegal in Louisiana. Congress could make that regular.
As a matter of fact, for those of you that are looking for some form of a federal or national solution to overpriced medical care, one of the powers that Congress could invoke, and it does have this authority, to make the commerce regular, they could say that the states are forbidden under our power to make commerce regular, to make health commerce regular. They are forbidden from writing rules that prevent the sale of major medical insurance, for example. When you buy health insurance policies, it’ll say right at the bottom – read what comes after the asterisk and you’ll see that. They do have a power that they could use. They’re not going to use it that way but they could use it. There’s your Constitution lesson in four easy minutes.
This clown here, he smirks, he laughs. He laughs at Elijah Cummings, who is a member of the House of Representin’ from Georgia. I should play you – I’ll play you Jason Chaffetz and Trey Gowdy’s question. Trey Gowdy is just so pop- – I can’t stand to listen to the dude, but he did make a point when he told the guy: No one is trying to indict you here. How are you going to incriminate yourself? What do you need the Fifth Amendment for? Nobody has charged you with anything. Of course, you’d need the Fifth Amendment in that instance so they can’t charge you. Elijah Cummings actually does ask the moral question. He actually asks, he tells the guy, this Shkreli clown, he actually tells him: I’m going to ask you personally to consider the pain and suffering of tens of thousands of people that need and cannot afford that drug. Of course, I would ask Elijah Cummings: Dude, why’d you vote for Obamacare then? What’s made the insurance policy that would make the drug as part of the insurance policy, who’s responsible for that?
“Martin Shkreli: If morality is relative, why are we outraged?” People are livid at this guy. They’re’ outraged at him. They’re mad at him. I don’t know the story behind the drug or the increase in the drugs prices. I’ll just plead ignorant here and go with the testimony we just heard, or the lack of testimony we just heard, and about the question of whether or not what this guy did and what this guy is doing, what these companies are doing, whether or not it is ethical. I believe the answer to the question is: No, it’s not ethical. You’d have to have an understanding of ethics that is based upon the revealed and known truth. What is truth? Conformity of the mind to reality.
Today we live in a culture and in a civilization – we talked about this just a few moments ago – that prizes the accumulation of paper dollar notes over actual wealth. We live in a culture that prizes the distant and tenuous “friendship” of people via social media over actual friendships, which are difficult. You don’t remain friends with someone for a long period of time if you’re not going to have – you’re going to have disagreements. You’re going to have fights. You’re going to have arguments. You’re going to have hissy fits. You might even have real fights. If you’re really friends and you really wish to remain friends, then, like anything else, you’re going to have to work at it. Anything you’ve had to work at like that I say makes you wealthier. That’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about whether or not people that, from a distance have decided to invest in a publicly-traded company, and that the publicly-traded company then, in exchange for that, agrees to turn a profit. In other words, it agrees to return to the investor dollar notes.
Somebody asked me once upon a time: Are you and Simpson ever going to have a discussion on your show about GK Chesterton and his ridiculous system of economics called distributism? I haven’t read enough about distributism to have that conversation. David may have read enough. Maybe we will have it one day on a Wisdom Wednesday. I have read an entire book by Ralph Ancil about Wilhelm Roepke and a human economy. Roepke was a contemporary of Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek. Roepke was one of them at the same time. Roepke arrived at different conclusions than Mises and Hayek did. The reason that Roepke arrived at different conclusions is because Roepke had studied Christian ethics. He was a practicing Catholic at the time. He knew his ethics. He knew, philosophically speaking, that some things that pass as free market capitalism, as we call it today, aren’t free market, and capitalism in some instances is not a good thing. Marx might have had a point or two. Of course, Marx was a materialist. He didn’t have a point on that, but he did point out – and this will be denied by all you free market capitalists out there – he was basically selling a system of materialism.
Here’s what I think shows you the shocking lack of intellectual rigor among those that we live, are possessed by those we live among. You can continue to add to your pile – take, for example, Donald Trump. You continue adding to your pile. You tell everybody that you’ve added to your pile. [mocking] “My pile is bigger than yours is, na nee na nee boo boo!” You continue to gather to yourself dollars and dollars and dollars, kind of like the guy that ran the Super Bowl, who paid for the ad that was on during the Super Bowl that told the owner of the Rams: Dude, you’ve got $8 billion. When is enough enough? Well, in 2016, under our materialistic, free market capitalism system, it’s never enough.
As a matter of fact, Jimmy Buffett, who is otherwise a pretty good lyricist, has a song that says, “He that dies with the most toys wins.” No, Jimmy, he that dies with the most good works done and the most assistance rendered to those that needed it when you have it wins the game. When he considered the eternal consequence of everything that he did, that is an ethical man. I’m going to try to explain this to you in as few words as possible so we can all understand what the point of this is. Ethics comes about as a result of the concept that there is a supernatural world, your soul and my soul came from it, and to it we will return. If you’re a free market capitalist atheist, you’re not going to believe this and it won’t matter to you. If you’re someone that has denied the real truth of these matters, you’re not going to believe this. You’ll find a way to try and explain this away. You can’t explain it away. Woe to the person that does and takes that poor explanation to their grave.
You don’t want to die in a state of error having denied that. Ethics is then based upon – the easiest way to put this is – you can take the drug company example, of the smirkyness, you’re government and you’re evil and trying to regulate me. I don’t want you to regulate me. We can sell whatever we want for whatever price. Like the guy in the Super Bowl ad said, just because you can do it and it’s legal doesn’t make it right. He’s right. He has a point. That is the point. Imagine that the people that you are currently in an imbroglio over, some silly financial, imagine that you will know them and they will be with you, you will be among them for eternity. Then think about what it is you’re about to do or what it is that you just did to that person. That is what ethics are based upon. Any discussion of ethics begins with that.
If you’re going to be a jerk and if you had the chance while in this material world, in this corporeal form that we currently occupy, you had the opportunity, you had the means, you had the skill, you had the talent, you had the accumulated pieces of paper exchanged and you did not render an assistance, then you have acted unethically. This comes from a Greek tradition, by the by. When that tradition then meets and is then paired up with the moral code that is given to us in very stark, very detailed, very plain and very unambiguous terms by our lord, you combine the two and you have the order part of law and order. The ethics informs that. That’s why a study of ethics used to be requisite. You’d have to take ethics. Some of you people that are doctors today probably still have to – back in the day you
had to take ethics. You probably don’t have to take them anymore.
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I’ll give you another example of taking ethics and whether or not something is ethical or not ethical. How many of you people went to military academy? Some of you went to VMI. Some of you went to the Citadel. Some of you went to Annapolis. Some of you went to the Air Force Academy. Some of you went to West Point. Have I left any major military academies out? I think I covered most. [mocking] “Mike, I didn’t study ethics.” Yes, you did. You studied just war theory. Is it ethical to kill someone and call it a war? That is ethics. You did study ethics. Where is the study of ethics today? Where is the application of ethics, for Heaven’s sake? The judgment pornosphere – social media is what I call the judgment pornosphere. The judgment pornosphere is not going to ask the question of ethics. Instead it’ll be: Well, we have a free market capitalist system. They can charge whatever they want. [mocking] “Mike, are you saying we should have laws against it?” Obedience to the unenforceable. The point is you shouldn’t have to have a law against it, knucklehead. That’s the point!
End Mike Church Show Transcript