Congress' response to all this? They would like SNAP and Social Security recipients to go find a job.
We already pay dearly for energy, medicine, banking, and telecommunications services. But a little research reveals that we're paying more -- much more -- in a variety of ways that our business-friendly mainstream media won't talk about.
1. Drug Companies: The Body Snatchers
A report by Battelle Memorial Institute
determined that the $4 billion government-funded Human Genome Project
(HGP) will generate economic activity of about $140 for every dollar spent. Although that estimate iscontroversial
, drug industry executives say
it's just a matter of time before the profits roll in.
Big business is quickly making its move. Celera Genomics was first, as the company initiated a private version of the genome project, incorporating
the public data into their work, but forbidding the public effort to use Celera data. Abbott Labs is developing products
based on the HGP. Merck's
automated biotechnology facility was made possible by the HGP. Two-thirds of the products at Bristol-Myers Squibb
have been impacted by the HGP. Pfizer
is starting to make big profits from its genome-based cancer treatments.
But the industry is going beyond profits, to the actual privatization of our bodies. One-fifth of the human genome
is privately owned through patents. Strains of influenza and hepatitis have been claimed
by corporate and university labs, preventing researchers from using the patented life forms to perform cancer research.
As if to mock us while taking over our public research, some of the largest drug companies haven't been paying much in taxes. Pfizer
had 40% of its 2011-12 revenues in the U.S., but declared almost $7 billion in U.S. losses
to go along with $31 billion in foreign profits. Abbott Labs
had 42% of its sales in the U.S., but declared a loss
in the U.S. along with $12 billion in foreign profits.