The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Martin Shkreli Proves that Your Life Is Meaningless to Elites

So, a lot of people are happy that Shkreli, the infamous “pharma bro” who raised the price of Daraprim, a 62 year old life saving drug used for serious parasite infections and to treat HIV, by 5,500 percent has been sentenced to jail for seven years.

The catch is that he was sentenced for securities fraud not for jacking up the price of the drug.

Yes, that’s because securities fraud is illegal, but killing people by jacking up drug prices isn’t.

And that’s the point.

Your betters don’t want someone cheating them, but they don’t care if you live or die.

They really, really don’t. Understand that in the core of your being.

There are others who have jacked up the price of life saving drugs. For example, Heather Bresch, the CEO of Mylan, who makes Epi-pens, isn’t in any danger of seeing the penitentiary. Then there are the jacked-up prices for insulin, which, while not quite so dramatic in percentage terms, comes to $400/month in the US, for a drug that the inventor gave away.

People have definitely died, my “favorite” was a guy begging on Twitter for people to fund him or he couldn’t afford his insulin next month.

He’s dead now.


Folks, they don’t care if you live or die. If dead means more money for them, they’re okay with it. This is true in the US, but it’s also true in Britain and increasingly true in the developed world.

If your masters think you’re worth more dead than alive, dead is fine by them.

The results of the work I do, like this article, are free, but food isn’t, so if you value my work, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.


Doctors Paid More by Opiate Manufacturers Prescribe More Opiates


The Bleak View of the World’s Problems (Or: They’re All Going to Have to Die)


  1. Hugh

    I agree. We are cattle to them: the rich, elites, the Establishment, Trump, the Republicans, the Democrats, Wall Street. The list goes on.

  2. realitychecker

    “If your masters think you’re worth more dead than alive, dead is fine by them.”

    Reciprocity works best in most circumstances. Have I mentioned that before? 🙂

  3. Gaianne

    Well done!

    Simple truth, plainly stated.

    Sadly, not many people can let themselves notice, no matter how much their noses are rubbed in it.

  4. Rich

    Best post ever, accurate, succinct, analytical and first-n-foremost, damning.

  5. e. a. foster

    I do trust none of this comes as a surprise to you, given this is the U.S.A. you are writing about. It has always been this way, so why expect it to change. Now in many other western countries in the world, things aren’t like this at all. they have health care, drugs are part of the program, etc.

    Many are not happy about the increased cost of the drugs named in the article, but this is the U.S.A and they all think capitalism is the holy grail and part of capitalism is you make money and the rest of society be dammed.

    Just north of the U.S.A. is Canada, which as a health care program and even generic drugs. Perhaps when Americans get tired of dying to provide the financial elites even more money they’ll get with the agenda and do as Japan, Canada, Europe, Australia, Twaiwan do, get a health care plan which works. I’m not holding my breath though. Americans seem to worship capitalism and the financial elite to the detrement of their own health and that of their children.

  6. someofparts

    “Your betters don’t want someone cheating them, but they don’t care if you live or die.

    They really, really don’t. Understand that in the core of your being.”

    Maybe millions of people do understand this, and not voting is an expression of that. Maybe pollsters should start looking for the If I’m Doomed Anyway, I’m Taking You With Me vote.

  7. Goyum. Of greater value than pigs, but not much else.

    It isn’t wither or no reciprocity works, just that it is inevitable.

  8. Jay

    Pretty Woman got one thing right. Markets don’t respect people, they respect credit cards.

  9. SnarkyShark

    There is no money in healthy people

  10. Sid Finster

    Long story short, the principal function of government is to prevent sociopaths from getting their hands on the levers of power.

    We are currently ruled by sociopaths.

    Meditate long and hard, O Ian! on the Iron Law of Oligarchy and the Iron Law of Institutions.

  11. S Brennan

    Fortunately; the “McResistance” is struggling to make a difference, “six ways from Sunday”, please give them your unqualified and unending support won’t you!
    “Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he is not currently urging Democrats to oppose Pompeo’s nomination to be Secretary of State or Haspel’s nomination to lead the CIA. So much for the #Resistance.

    The Democratic acquiescence follows a long pattern of tolerating human rights abuses and normalizing torture. When President Barack Obama declared that he wanted to “look forward, not backward,” and to close the chapter on the CIA’s torture practices without allowing any prosecutions for crimes that were committed, he ensured torture would remain a “policy option” for future presidents.”

  12. coloradoblue

    And they, all of them, R’s and too many D’s don’t care how or why you die. Can’t afford to see a doctor or buy that medicine. Shot at work, at school, in a playground, a theater. Shot by a maniac or a cop. Killed on the job. Killed by a defective product or adulterated or poisoned food. Killed by our capitalist system. Killed in too many other ways too even think about.

    They don’t care and never will. Personally I hope I live long enough to see the tumbrels roll through the streets of America.

  13. Heliopause

    Here is America’s greatest philosopher on the subject:

  14. Willy

    I’ve spoken much about successful sociopathy, but (for most IMO) it’s far too unsettling a thought that the playground bully who rubbed your nose in dog poo then cleverly got the teacher to excuse him for it, is succeeding quite well at corporate life. And the higher up one goes, the more of them are there, quite cleverly masked as normal decent humans.

    Instead, there’s the callousness which comes from success, which I have observed in own self. After being ruined by SS and their self-deceiving henchmen, I observed that even in my normal emotional self, that my own empathic humility was a direct function of my own life trials. The more “successful” I’d been the less caring I’d been.

    Now I can pick and choose who I want to do business with. I’ve chosen to be with my own kind. And, whenever I can get away with it, I reciprocate against evil. And no, in my world evil isn’t that which hurts my little feelings, or that of a few others, or is simply an outspoken member of the wrong team. It’s that which continuously revels in ruining empathic others, or is far too oblivious or self-rationalistic that they don’t make rational sense anymore.

    Heather Bresch is a direct beneficiary of her father, S-Joe Manchin, who’s also voting to roll back Dodd-Frank. Is he a SS or has he just lost his empathy? I dunno and don’t really care. Vote the asshole out. He is not good for us. He doesn’t represent us.

  15. Tom W Harris

    @Ten Bears:


    Nice detour into unity-killing identity politics.

  16. Some Guy

    “Martin Shkreli Proves that Your Life Is Meaningless to Elites”

    We needed (more) proof?

  17. Is there a better word for how we all are treated?

  18. Tomonthebeach

    What Shkireli only proved is that there are successful psychopaths in business.

    Of course, now that the federal government is being run “like a business” for business, by business men; we are becoming all to aware that there are many successful business men who appear to be psychopaths.

    To me, the broader question is what attracts such people to business, and what policies and practices enable them get away with ruthless and heartless tactics to succeed on such a scale? Or perhaps more realistically, what can be done to identify and derail these bastards before they harm people?

  19. WheresOurTeddy

    Thank you for your blog Ian. I send Barack apologists to your Could Obama Have Fixed The Economy article constantly. I merely want to remind the oppressed and oppressor alike what JFK said:

    Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable.

  20. different clue

    What is goyum? Does someone have a definite definition?

  21. different clue


    I think the Overclasses and their armies of Applied Sustained Violence Processing Technicians are hoping for a violent revolution attempt so they can try out their new technologies on it.

    The LRAD deafenizer/ cochlea-melter, the portable Raytheon Oven-Ray Outdoor targeted demonstrator-cooker/ crowd-roaster, odorless cancer gas, unfeelably enters-the-body-through-the-skin cancer juice applied to selectively targeted doorknobs, etc. Fast-acting heart-attack gas, topically applied heart-attack juice, etc. Tiny little one-use murder drones to spray individual doses of nerve gas on the target, suicide bomb-drones designed to be flown right up to the target and then detonated, etc.

    Visible mass demonstrations and uprisings are a non-viable approach going forward. Those who think otherwise are welcome to try. They should be aware that their “leaders” in that effort might well be judas horses tasked with leading the angry herd into the killbox.

    If one wishes to undermine and tear down the current OverClass/ Ruling Class, one might have to begin thinking about seemingly-non-violent methods of steady erosion, resource deprivation, revenue-stream blockage and attrition and redirection, etc.

  22. different clue


    Since Manchin operates out of West Virginia, the only people who can vote him out are citizens of West Virginia.

    The only way that citizens of West Virginia can make their vote count the most against Manchin is to vote Republican. That would have the highest chance of removing Manchin because a Republican vote is both subtracted FROM Manchin AND added TO the Republican . . . thereby counting twice as much as if it had gone to a Third Party . . . which would merely subtract a vote FROM Manchin.

    Are people ready to do that? Specifically, are Real Democrats ( Sanderistas and etc.) willing to endure the Republican pain which goes along with a sustained effort to purge, burn and exterminate every trace of Clintobamacrat cancer and plague germs from out of every corner of the Democratic Party? Are Real Democrats even prepared to see politics in such reality-based terms?

  23. Willy

    @ different clue,
    Manchin can still be a poster child for anybody who should be primaried. As in, what is it we don’t we like about their kind? Tribal conservatives may be oblivious to principles, but independents are, IMO, becoming more desperate for representative integrity if these ever larger pendulum swings are any indication.

    Right next door, Lamb won despite “bulletproof” gerrymandering. So if it can happen there… I don’t know if he’s a yet more clever breed of corporate shill. But if not, shouldn’t he go on the good list of representatives with qualities we want from our representatives?

  24. Hunter

    Identify, locate and hunt the oligarchs. Leave the good ones alone. Devour the baddies.

  25. Ché Pasa


    The good ones? I haven’t found any. Perhaps you could name a few.

  26. Us, you and I, of greater value than pigs but not much else: cattle, perhaps three-fifths human, to them, who are “superior” to us, and would be our masters.

    I appreciate your concern Mr Harris, but it’s the 21st century, them transcends ethno-religous boundaries, just as the word I’m looking for. Everything in this thread from Ian’s post through all the comments good bad or indifferent point to the same mindset, and I think the word that best describes it transcends its ethno-religous origins.

  27. different clue


    You are correct about primarying the Clintocrats. One hopes the primarying effort is made against Manchin. If Manchin such a primary, defeating Manchin in the general election would be a step towards breaking the power of the Clintobamacratic Owners of the DemParty.

    The Clintobamacrats are called different names by different people in different contexts: Vichy Democrats, Blue Dog Democrats, New Democrats, DLC Democrats, etc. If every one of them can be defeated in every single election, then the DemParty officeholder cadre might be purified down to a group of Sanderists or Social Populists or Neo New Dealers or whatever we want to call it representing those areas where such a person could get elected.

    They could then go Red Gingrich on the Othercrats and the Republicans. They could “burn down the House” and the Senate too until they were able to take over the way the Gingrich Republicans were. They they can legislate their program into reality and build in the anti-overthrow safeguards which FDR wanted to build in but didn’t live long enough to. And zero compromise with any pro-Elite types who would want to remove any future “Henry Wallace” types from any tickets.

  28. realitychecker

    @ Ten Bears

    Top definition
    1. A Hebrew word used in the Jewish Scriptures (a.k.a. the Old Testament). The word literally means “nations,” and is always used within these scriptures to refer to the nations of the world. Significantly, within the Old Testament, Judah (the Jewish nation) itself is called a “goy.”
    2. In the Old Testament, the Jews were called to be a nation separate from the other nations, which were all Pagan. And so, colloquially, all non-Jewish nations came to be called “goyim” as in “the nations” from which the God of the Old Testament had called upon the Jews to separate themselves.
    3. A word used by some Jews to refer to Gentiles (non-Jews). The word can have derogatory connotations, such as the word “black” when used to refer to a persons of African descent. It can be neutral or negative depending on the context and the intent of the speaker.

    Singular = goy
    1. “Gather together, gather together O shameful goy” – Zephaniah 2:1 (Referring to the Jewish nation)
    2. Jews don’t eat pork, goyim eat pork.
    #goy#gentile#non-jews#nations#biblical hebrew
    by Frakseno January 30, 2007

    Food for thought?

  29. highrpm

    If one wishes to undermine and tear down the current OverClass/ Ruling Class…, simple (que…:”laughs”) stop patronizing their products. start w/ cars, rock ‘n roll, hollywood, news, google….nah. won’t work. impossible. can’t live w/o their shit.

  30. Procopius

    Yeah, I was thinking about that. Shkreli is in jail, but he was kicked out of the company before he was even put on trial, and they never lowered the price.

  31. different clue


    O ye counselor of despair . . . . .

    If we can all live without half their shit and decide which half we can’t live without and which half we can live without, we can undermine them halfway right there.

    I don’t have a car. I have a TV but it isn’t hooked up to anything. I don’t use google except under duress for email from work, because google is the email service my job picked for us all. I haven’t seen a movie in several years. It can be done. Step by step. Over the next few to many years.

  32. Troy Davis

    Well, this is not true in France and most other advanced, ie civilised, western countries. Its true in the US which is a backward country socially, yes. But thats an exception in the rich world.

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