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Mr. Contradictions: The Mixed Premises of Martin Shkreli

Updated on October 24, 2016

What Shkreli Fails to Engage In Properly


For the Good of the Investors

What Martin Shkreli gets completely wrong is the notion that raising the price on the drug Daraprim encourages “altruistic” outcomes. By maximizing profits for his company, Shkreli ought to be proud of his ability to recognize the bottom line. His morality lies in the fact that he identified the possibility for increasing funds through raising the price of the drug. The acuity with which Shkreli employed reinforces his stance as a viable businessman. It's just too bad that he failed to see that all of this activity is the epitome of capitalism not the evil that is altruism. Like most media outlets, Shkreli doesn’t fully comprehended the ideas of an unfettered market. In fact, news sources (taught by backward academics) espouse simplistically that greed is a vice and self-sacrifice is virtue. It’s ironic that the news coverage points to the “cruelty” of capitalism when there exist no fully free, non-coercive systems in the world today. So, when such a story as Shkreli’s comes along, the idea is that this is just another example of markets gone awry and that people suffer. This is anathema to the actual definition of capitalism. Under such a system which offers to the rational, thinking person the opportunity to flourish to make his or her life better, no one can state honestly that it hampers or deters anyone from achieving happiness; that private property is an insidious form of considering people; that there is a contradiction between having money and having the sense to trade with others in freedom. Even before you provide the drugs, the company must exist. And for it to exist, Turing Pharmaceuticals must earn the rewards of what results from entering into business. In order to be a feasible institution for improving the lives of its clients, it must first turn its efforts into dollars.

Shkreli understands the metrics of the deal without the absolute comprehension on of how capitalism works and that it is moral. He smuggles in the notion of helping others as a primary rather than a consequence of conducting good business. Altruism isn’t about helping others. Quite the contrary. It is about exploitation and making sure that suffering and misery are values. It says that any man must serve others and that that is his moral purpose in life. Should Shkreli and others of his ilk sacrifice their lives, their work, their talent in the name of satisfying others’ whims? Should he be lambasted and attacked for turning a value in the marketplace into a profit? Altruism says yes. Capitalism says resoundingly, no. It is up to the entrepreneur to offer the best product for the best price and for the consumer to choose whichever product to buy for what he or she can afford . Neither individual would be able to do so without the mind of the capitalist. For it is with his or her thinking power that such products and services might come into existence. Just because the drugs are for preventing death does not make them any different from any other product or service on the market. If for any reason such individuals that can’t afford the drugs that Shkreli offers, it is quite rational that they seek the help of family and friends and private charity. But the point of the matter is the making of money to support the company. It’s a shame that such a bright young man never sat down to study the rudiments of capitalism.

He is merely a mercantilist. He works on behalf of serving a “greater good.” But there is no such thing. He feels that it is his duty to deliver drugs to people who may despise him and besmirch his name. And to collapse, to give into the pressure only exacerbates his position as a contradictory, altruistic businessman. And it wasn't greed that did it. It was his sacrificial actions which have brought him to the point of being a shmoo. Instead of standing confidently on his decision to increase drug prices, Shkreli kowtowed to the demands and allowed Web cretins to tarnish his name, disavow his legacy, and bring down a shining light in the pharmaceutical world. And what all this comes down to is the fact that the existence of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ought to cease. The FDA distorts the market and causes havoc to play a role in medicine. It has lead to the failure of an industry which should be left to the free market. For his role in trying to influence the FDA, Shkreli should be criticized, not for his business decisions. In a laissez-faire society, these sorts of things would be minimal if nonexistent. Prices would be in the hands of the companies despite what the "public" reaction to their choices would be. What Shkreli and most other chief executive officers flunk in the class of capitalism is the fact that they should serve their own interest and have the benefits of others be the results of their labor, not their main intention. For him to backpedal and reverse his position only clarifies his poor quality as a leader. He ought to take into consideration the good of his own profits. He could have shown that he had a backbone and stood up for the cause of capitalism. To him, seemingly, his only concern was to appease the naysayers and the backlash he faced after the decision to raise the drug price over 4,000 percent. It would give willing consumers the impetus to produce more in order to be able to purchase the drugs. If government regulations had not been enforced upon the market, then it would not embolden companies to try to get around such constraints.

It is alarming to read that a drug can go up in price by so much only because the FDA stands in the way of pharmaceutical companies from achieving the benefits which go along with an uninhibited playing field. For those who cry that Shkreli was too “selfish” and “egoistic” they don’t know either of the proper definition of these words. He is neither selfish nor possessive of an ego. Skriel represents the man who could have been. He used his business acumen to demonstrate prowess in the world of hedge fund management. He built up enough wealth to launch Turing Pharmaceuticals. His desire to give to others ahead of his company and damn his own profits is an act of evil selflessness. He is a man of mixed premises and is ruled by his emotions. His capacity to think has been hindered by factions calling for him to lower the price of Daraprim. What is most disturbing is the fact that he spouts the wonders of capitalism but cannot live up to his own ideals. As the Internet has shamed Shkreli for reasons that are wrong, he ought to be shamed for his ineptitude regarding doing good for his own company.


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