Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Take back the country from the rich

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By Ray Hanania

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The pandemic gave license to politicians and businesses to pursue their own needs and priorities over the needs of the public.

It’s all political BS, of course, when people claim the economy is great. It’s not, unless you are making a fortune. Everyone has seen the cost increases for groceries. Everything has gone up.

RayHanania 1

Ray Hanania

When the prices skyrocket and then drop, slightly, politicians disingenuously argue the price crisis is over. It’s not. Prices went up because big corporations exploited the pandemic dramatically, increasing their profits.

You know things are really bad when television ads are dominated by one industry. If you haven’t already noticed, the pharmaceutical industry dominates TV ads.

These are the medicines that appeared on TV that I counted just during the past three days: Jardiance, Uqora, Sotyktu, KIsqali, Ozempic, Ingrezza, Ocrevus, Vraylar, Rinvoq and Keytruda.

That’s not even the whole list of drug ads bombarding us every day. It also doesn’t include the guerilla marketing campaigns that have been launched on social media.

Ozempic supposedly will help you lose weight.

Americans are among the most overweight people in the world. The solution isn’t a drug. It’s self-control. Stop eating so much and so often.

But the domination by the drug companies of TV advertising should worry all of us. It speaks to the fragility of our economy that they are the one industry that can afford those hundred thousand dollar a week campaigns, per city or market region.

Billions are being spent to market these drugs, which means that the drug companies are making astronomical profits.

So why are drugs that help save lives so expensive?

Unchecked pharmaceutical greed.

Next to the foreign government of Israel, which is among the top of the list of entities that donate the most money to our elected officials, the pharmaceutical companies are right behind them, directing millions into the campaign coffers of members of Congress and the Senate, and in many local elections.

That should worry us because those who face health challenges don’t have anyone fighting for their rights.

Advertising molds public perception. The drug companies know the formula is in their favor. In any given audience, only a small segment needs those drugs, so the others don’t care. They don’t need to listen to the “dangers” that each drug poses to people, detailed in a rapid-voice in the last half of the commercial.

Imagine, half the commercial time is spent telling you about all the bad things that could happen by taking their drug.

I’ve given up believing that our national politicians really care about us. They don’t. They only care about their re-elections. They will do and say anything to get re-elected, because most enjoy huge powers and profits from their elected positions.

There should be more controls over these national politicians. Also, there should be limits on the amount of money they can collect.

Certainly, we should block foreign countries from donating money to their campaigns either directly or through their followers or sub-PACs.

The focus should shift to universal healthcare. Many foreign countries provide free healthcare to their citizens, like Israel, for example. So why are we giving them billions in financial aid when that money should go to our people?

We don’t do enough for the poor. We don’t do enough for patients who have cancer that has grown through their lives.

When do you think our politicians do so much for foreign governments and for big corporations like the pharmaceuticals? Because they get something in return. For every billion spent, the recipient returns about 1% in campaign donations.

That seems like a terribly unbalanced equation, unfair to Americans.

I think it is time that members of Congress and the Senate start putting the interests of Americans first, above the special interests and above corporate greed.

Healthcare should be free in America. This country should stop taxing Social Security. When we experience a pandemic, we should impose price controls.

I am not in favor of term limits for elected officials. I believe term limits come from voters at the ballot box. But we should change our election system to allow everyone to run in an open and equal contest funded by government.

Government should provide a fair platform for candidates to present their ideas and credentials. Eliminate fundraising and campaign donations. By making all candidates equal, good ideas can rise.

If you want to take back this country from foreign countries and greedy corporations, we need to change the election system and stop allowing the rich and wealthy, who don’t care about the public, to dominate our lives.

Ray Hanania is a former Chicago City Hall reporter and award-winning columnist. Visit hanania.com for more opinion.

1 Comment

  1. Ray Hanania on March 18, 2024 at 10:05 am

    The list of drug ads keeps growing … I;ve added more int he few days since writing the column:

    avysmo
    jardiance
    skyrizi
    uqura
    sotyktu (psoriasis)
    kisqali, (for long life)
    ozempic
    ingrezza
    ocrevus
    vraylar, (anti depressant booster)
    rinvoq (for joint pains)
    trylesta
    opdevo
    yurvoy
    vyvgart (myasthenia gravis)
    otezla
    lybalvi

    RAY HANANIA



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