8 June 2010

The first subject? Something starting with Z. Zoloft and the Tube.

When did it start? I seem to recall something called the “Council on Competitiveness,” headed by the then VP and dunce James Danforth Quayle back in the early 90s. The goal was to eliminate governmental regulations on “certain” industries. President George Herbert Walker Bush (father of the idiotboy President W) issued a regulatory moratorium. Genius move. The energy industries were immediate beneficiaries, as the removal of rules regarding environmental wastes, etc., allowed for them to once again spew their crap into the atmosphere. If I remember correctly, a state had 7 days to complain about the newly formed cloud of crap spewing from the local coal plant or else the new emissions level would become the standard. Seen your mountains lately? This is part of the reason why… Digressing, another HUGE beneficiary was Pharma. Back then they were just Pharma. Now they are Big Phucking Pharma.

Part of the whole Quayle Competitiveness debacle was the “fast track approval” of drugs. Chemical compounds (drugs) that the FDA would have never approved were getting rubber stamp with little or no regard to side effects. Zoloft, my Z word of choice, is an alleged treatment for severe depression and obsessive–compulsive, panic, and social anxiety disorders. Zoloft’s usefulness has often been in question – “modest to minimal,” said the FDA – but the side effects have not. Does the greatly increased risk of suicide justify the use? Do the increased violent tendencies in kids taking the medication seem worth the benefit? Hardly. But 29 million plus Americans are prescribed Zoloft and its generics. 10% of our fellow citizens…

To the tube part of this. In 1997 the FDA legalized the advertising of drugs on the Telly. The United States is the only industrialized nation that allows this. Crazy huh? I spoke to a doctor in the early part of the 2000s and she said that the advertisements were possible the worst thing that could happen. Suddenly, people could self-diagnose in 30 seconds. Overactive bladder? Restless leg syndrome? No worries. Pfizer has the drug for you! Bad cholesterol? Good cholesterol? We’ll fixitol! Never mind the list of side effects either… Got a limp dick? No worries. 30 seconds and you’ll be fixed, and be even better if you can avoid the liver or kidney damage, heart attack or stroke. A 4 hour hard on, though rare, will require immediate medical attention. You’re old lady will be a little sore too.

We gave them free reign to do things without restrictions, somehow drinking the punch that if the world of the rich gets better, it will improve the world for us poor. We should be running out of punch soon, because the only things getting better are the lives of the rich. Drugs cost more and more, and Big Phucking Pharma’s profits are at records every quarter. Energy costs more and more, and the energy companies report record profits every quarter. And for us at the bottom waiting for that trickle, what do we get? Liver damage because we wanted a boner. Brown skies because we stopped watching what these bastards throw into the sky at night.

We were better off as a people with heavy regulations. The companies made money before the regulations were lifted. The people on top still make bundles. But at the bottom, our quality of life suffers. The air sucks, but thank god the coal companies can pass their savings on to us in lower electricity bills, right? I mean, mine might get lower some day. Our health care sucks, and the prices are outrageous, but thank god Big Pharma can pass their wealth on to us in the form of lower drug costs. It could happen. Bring back the regulations. As a society, we were far better off with them.

Filed under:La Voz del Norte — la voz @ 0:52 am
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