by Paul Buchheit, mirrored from Common Dreams
There are so many to choose from. Every one of these selections is an act of corporate treachery that takes billions of dollars from the American people.
1. Selling Medication For Up To 100 Times More Than It’s Worth
Pharmaceutical companies reap billions of dollars in subsidies for research and development, but they’ve successfully lobbied Congress to keep Medicare from bargaining for lower drug prices. An extreme example is Gilead Sciences, the manufacturer of the drug Sovaldi, which charges about $10 a pill to its customers in Egypt, then comes home to charge $1,000 a pill to its American customers. Other outrageous examples are noted by Ralph Nader.
As a further insult, Americans are cheated when corporations pay off generic drug manufacturers to delay entry of their products into the market, thereby forcing consumers to pay the highest prices for medicine.
2. Paying Their Employees With Our Tax Money
Walmart made $19 billion in U.S. profits last year, and the four Walton siblings together made about $29 billion from their personal investments. That’s about $33,000 per U.S. employee in profits and family stock gains. Yet they pay their 1.4 million American employees so little that the average Walmart worker depends on about $4,000 per year in taxpayer assistance, for food stamps and other safety net programs.
3. Giving Money to Executives Rather Than Investing in the Future
Corporations are spending trillions of dollars on stock buybacks, which use potential research and development money to pump up the prices of executive stock options. Apple alone is spending $90 billion to repurchase its own stock through 2015. Walmart doesn’t provide a living wage for its workers, but its company management spent $7.6 billion, or about $5,000 per U.S. employee, on stock buybacks, in order to further boost the value of their stock holdings.