“The price of the lifesaving Covid-19 medication #Paxlovid will more than double in the coming months, drugmaker #Pfizer announced Wednesday. The change in list price comes as the US transitions from a system in which the government purchased the medication and provided it free to everyone to a more traditional commercial marketplace. “The list price, before insurance, will be $1,390 for a five-day course, Pfizer said. That’s 2.6 times higher than the $530-per-course price paid by the US government, which provided Paxlovid free to patients during the pandemic. “Covid-19 vaccines also increased in price as they went through a similar transition to a commercial market, rising about fourfold to between $115 to $130 per dose.
Some call it Peak Capitalism. But we’re way beyond that now. Others term it Capitalism Run Amuck. But again, way beyond that. I’ve heard Post Capitalism. Maybe…, but that could be too easily confusing.
I had it the other day…, the perfect term for where we are at this very moment (United States only, for lest we forget, being a new country, we are BEHIND the rest of the Western World in these matters i.e. Free Market Capitalism Versus Social Welfare…) Alas I forgot to make a note of the term I’d concocted. For now, let’s settle on Out Of Control Capitalism, and/or Weaponized Capitalism.
One thing we know for sure from history. It is only a matter of time before the masses that comprise 99% of any nation state’s population, unable to live even the most basic existences of dignity, rise up, revolt and tear the whole corrupt system crumbling down, murdering many a number of the 1% along the way. That’s History 101. This is the WHY behind Europe being so far ahead of us on the Social Welfare and Happiness scales. They’ve already been through this. Many of them multiple times. Let us hope there is something that be done in the form of a compromise between true democracy, social welfare, equality, basic human rights to lives of dignity and our more capitalist leanings.
I’m finally watching BAND OF BROTHERS for the first time. Was waiting for the right moment. Yes it’s very good. Does it deserve to repeatedly be the highest rated show of all time (IMDB 9.4), I cant say either way with conviction. Rating art is so transitory. We see something that deeply moves us and we immediately want to rate it a 10 and exclaim “that’s the best show of all time!” Six months later we’re saying the same thing about another show. I believe the long-standing hype over BOB is due to the fact that it isn’t just a piece of momentary fiction somebody penned and had filmed like the other contenders in the top 5, all fanboy extremism and fantasy experiences come to life (we all know their names… but for those who don’t, The Wire, Breaking Bad and The Sopranos all consistently fight for the top spots; none of them I even believe belong in the top 5 to be honest. I’m not a fan of glorifying gangsters liars and theives. Don’t get me wrong. From an artistic point of view i get the temptation. And even the lure as an audience member. Breaking the laws, administrative or ethical, is an easier road for our protagonists to travel. Successes are easier to come by. That makes it an easy way out for authors and screenwriters, and a more extreme experience for the audience. If there are obstacles in the way for our anti-hero, just have them kill somebody. Easy. And that sums up the IMDB Top Five TV category except for the subject of this post. (I’m omitting nature docs for obvious reasons… but questioning the decision.) Band Of Brothers is different. There is no imaginary depraved antihero. Only heroes. Heroes galore. The show is securely based on real life. And it feels like real life. It’s a history that gets farther and farther away from us. It feels so far away now. We haven’t had a generation like The Great Generation since then. From my own Gen X on down, the world we live in has consistently produced generations weaker, more selfish and more disinterested in service to greater causes. Some may disagree and tout the work we’ve done to fight climate change or MeToo or BLM through the years, but compare that to charging a battlefield full of angry Germans with guns grenades and tanks aimed at you with the full knowledge that you or ten others are surely going to die in the next ten minutes. Psh. I’ll say it. It’s easy to commit yourself to noble causes from the comfort of your own home or out in the streets. Compared to going to war. The whole time I’m watching BOB I’m in awe of these men. My skin has goosebumps. Their heart and souls so courageous and single minded. And I’m filled with gratitude. Brought to tears with gratitude. For the sacrifices these men made for us, for Europe, for the world, for humanity. World War II was in fact a battle of nations. And that’s how we frame it for contextual understanding. But from the top of the pyramid, one clearly sees WW II, as with many wars but not all, was a war for the ideologies that would rule and guide every almost human on earth for generations. It was very simply put a battle for freedom. A fight between autocratic imperialism and fascism versus democracy, and most likely free market capitalism. And if it weren’t for these men, this generation, our lives would be very very different. Our kids… the horror… would we even have kids in a world ruled by an imperial Japan and a fascist Germany? Who knows. Glad we never had to test it. It’s easy to see why Band Of Brothers has been so popular and well-rated for 20+ years. In my opinion it should be required viewing for everyone. Not just here — for surely we owe this generation a debt of gratitude we can never repay and need to know it, and to help sow a seed in the minds of everyone how far away we drifted from this level of commitment to the greater good that lasts beyond our own life, but also in places like China Iran Arabia Afghanistan Russia. The instinctive drive and passion for real freedom. The willingness to do anything to get it. I am often taken to day-dreaming about our Iranian or Arabian brothers and sisters, anyone living in an Islamic led country really, and my thoughts often quickly land on “I do NOT understand why they subsist in such subhuman conditions for so long and don’t rise up to fight and topple that regime and demand freedom and democracy…”. It’s something I ponder constantly. Of course that ideology has been bred into us here in the States. We cannot help but think that. It’s been hard-indoctrinated for 200+ years into us. I often wonder if we’ll abide by it when the time comes in our own country. And we take freedom for granted. Not to say we aren’t thankful for it. We are. Those of us born into it. It’s a given. But our Iranian Chinese Russian et al brethren have never been free. God. Consider it. The Russian people have never lived free. Just a consistent changing of the dictators in charge with anew name of the system. The Chinese people have never lived without a deep seeded, traumatizing fear of being thrown into a concentration camp if they “do something wrong”. And our Islamic brothers and sisters… well that’s nothing less than hell on earth. Still. After thousands of years. Never free for even one day. God that’s disturbing. I am moved to stillness now thinking of it. Their tragic plight. Simply because of where they were born. And how blessed we are. Simply because of where we were born. Meantime… Band Of Brothers has got a hold on me. Dominating my thoughts, theses and theories for now. It provides a lot to chew on. It’s substantive. Not throw away. It’ll stay a long time. Grateful.
Of course this could be perfectly fine if the entity, in this case a country, has a strong economy and GDP — how much revenue it collectively produces per year — that could easily pay the debt off at any time. This is expressed as Debt to GDP. It’s a simple ratio that measures an entity’s debt compared to how much it produces in revenue per year if it were to start paying that debt off now. The smaller the number, the better. The larger the number the more difficult it will be for that entity to pay off this debt.
Traditionally when a country reaches a debt to GDP ratio of 50%, lenders start to take notice and become concerned. Greece and Italy are prime examples because they are consistently in the news for flying much higher than 50% and getting into trouble with the EU and their lenders. Germany being the economic powerhouse of the EU — just as the High Command of the Third Reich planned it once World War II started to turn toward an Allied Powers victory (study this; the information is out there — they meticulously planned out how to create a “Fourth Reich” thinly disguised as a unified Europe controlled by Germany. Of course they never foresaw the behemoth the United States would become post a nuclear world… ) — is always left to pick up the debt payments of Italy and Greece and any other European country who falls behind on their debt payments and agreements.
For some reason Japan is allowed to run a debt to GDP ratio of some 250% and nobody seems to mind. [research].
The United States’ debt to GDP is now 129%. The highest it’s ever been is 134% during the Covid Pandemic Recession. This corresponds with other periods when the federal government ran large budget deficits: the Reagan-Bush years of the 1980s and early 1990s; the G. W. Bush years during his “War On Terror” and the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent Great Recession; and the pandemic-caused recession of 2020 during the Trump years when federal debt spiked to an all-time high of the aforementioned 134.8% of GDP.
In terms of the current fiscal year, the United States is as always addicted to spending, with no real feasible plan in place to bring down the debt.
“A Treasury Department report last week showed that the deficit — the gap between what the United States spends and what it collects through taxes and other revenue — was $1.5 trillion for the first 11 months of the fiscal year, a 61 percent increase from the same period a year ago.”