Martin Shkreli, a pharmaceutical entrepreneur was arrested yesterday and social media erupted in a flurry of cheers that the man who gained recent fame for buying pharmaceutical companies and raising the prices of older drugs, was finally arrested for his crimes of using his wealth to hurt the public good.
Of course there is no crime of using one's wealth for hurting the public good, but most people think there should be, and Shkreli should be the first defendant.
Shkreli was arrested for allegations having nothing to do with raising the prices of drugs he owned. The charges were that Shkreli committed fraud by using money raised in one hedge fund to pay off loses in a prior hedge fund.
But what we want to examine is the scoundrel who had the audacity to raise the prices of something he owned that people needed. How dare he!
Ownership of private property must always be sacrificed to the public good. We all agree on that, right?
For instance if you develop a new app, or a web site, or even if you're a lawyer who writes a really good motion after weeks of research that others need, then you should be forced to give up your property- your work- if others really really need it. Or at least be forced to sell it to others at what some other committee- call it the "committee on fair prices for what people really really need" decides what the fair price should be. That's only fair, right? No one man or woman or company should be able to charge what they want for something if society (whomever that is) decides that others really really need it.
This is the American way, right?
It's in our constitution, correct?
"From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs." We think it's in the first or second amendment.
Let's say you do thousands of hours of work and find a perfect piece of property and negotiate a really good price. And a few weeks later the "committee on fair prices for what people really really need" decides that the people really really need a park, or a hospital or a reeducation center on that property. Then it's only right that although you bought the property with your own money and took the risk, that you should be forced to sell it to help others. Right? Wealth shouldn't entitle you to keep for yourself something others want and really really need, right?
It's the same with Mr. Shkreli's decision to raise the prices of drugs of companies he bought. He took the risk. He spent his own money. Others could have done that. But he did. They didn't. But because people really really need the drugs, he had no right- none! to raise the prices of the drugs he owned. His ownership- his right to his private property must fall to the needs of society. Right? There oughta be a law.
Mr. Shkreli should be arrested and prosecuted for raising the prices of a product he owns because other people really really need it.
The concept we are expounding upon is called Altruist-Collectivist Ethics. And it has a foundation in law and government. So long as the law is the law of the Soviet Union, or China, or Cuba, or Nazi Germany, where private property rights were outlawed or severely restricted and all rights had to be weighed against the needs of the people. And the needs of the people were decided by a "people's committee", or a "Fuhrer" or someone named Castro.
Yeah- go after Shkreli for raising prices. So long as you drape yourself in a communist or nationalist-socialist flag.
Or if you want a rational explanation of rights and why property rights are the foundation of all rights, read this.
See You In Court.
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