What? It’s Friday already?

Okay, so I have to admit to you that Friday caught me a little off guard, and there most certainly will not be 1,000 words for you to read today. But, in my defense, I work on the first Thursday of every month, something I forgot to take into account when I decided to post every Friday morning. And because I worked a hard 10 hours today, and drove a tiring three more, I’m tired. I don’t really have anything worthwhile to say because I don’t have the presence of mind to actually write it.

But I would still like for this post to be productive, so I ask a question (which will no doubt reflect the fact that I live in the middle of politics now). What role does government play in our lives? I ask that question because of this article. I’m sure it happens with a lot more than just this one drug, but I am still floored by the fact that millions of people are suffering from a disease that is not only preventable, but actually reversible. Okay, so it’s not an outbreak of bubonic plague, but the point still remains that millions of people are suffering from a perfectly cureable disease. All because some necktie behind a desk decided that the investors would be happier if we sold this drug for $2,000 a dose instead of $200. Or $20. Or whatever. I’m not even sure how this makes sense! Let’s do a little math:

Let’s assume there are 1 million people suffering from macular degeneration. The average American wage is in the low to mid 40,000s, but let’s call it 50k to make it easier. So most of these people can’t afford to spend $24,000 a year on this medication. They just can’t. But of those 1 million, the top 1%, or 1,000 people, can.

$24,000 x 1,000 = $24 million

Now, let’s say the necktie decideds to sell this medice for $200/month. Still $2400 a year, but much more affordable, especially to someone who values their eyesight. At this rate, let’s say now 1/3 of the suffering can pay.

$2400 x 333,000 = $799.2 million

Go to the extreme and propose this medicine costs a mere $80/month ($960/year), and all people suffering either pay or are covered via medicare. Now look at the math.

$960 x 1,000,000 = $960 million

Now, I realize that these numbers are gross profit and don’t reflect the cost of production, but can anyone tell me why 24 million is a better number than 800 million? Or 960 million? If anyone has a good explanation, help me understand why this math is wrong.

Which brings me to my point. What exactly is the purpose of government? I guess the most correct answer would be something about providing and caring for the people of its nation, or something to that extent. So where is our provider? Why hasn’t the government found a way to provide this treatment to the people who deserve it? I mean, at some point you have to stop and ask yourself what the government really does for its people. I’ve always been a supporter of the Iraq war, yet I have to admit there are a lot of better ways to spend the nearly $1 Trillion dollars we’ve spent funding it. It’s great to see the Iraqi people free from a terrible dictator, but while we’re spending millions of dollars to blow up empty buildings, then millions more to rebuild them later, we could be spending that money somewhere else. Say, maybe to support music programs which are being epidemically cut across the country. Or perhaps on nursing homes, or maybe towards medical research, or maybe towards finding familes for orphans, or helping the homeless find jobs and lives again.

I don’t like the fact that I’ve come off very unsupportive of the war, and also of the fact that I’ve just sounded amazingly democratic (I’m still very much not). And I realize that American welfare would never have benefited from that money, even if we hadn’t spent it on the war. But it’s a thought.