I don't know how anyone could ever justify and rationalize stealing money from the elderly and taxpayers. It seems so wrong; indefensible, really. Jeez...
If you know someone who thinks everyone is corrupt, or self serving, well... that’s one way people rationalize their own unethical behavior.
The meaner you are, the more assholes you meet.
When someone says “liberals are just virtue signaling” they probably are a horrible person because they don’t believe humans can behave ethically/altruistically.
Or they observe a commonality in human nature, that signaling virtue is a real phenomenon in the competition of a certain species of social apes. And that espousing such views doesnt guarantee their feasibility nor does it mean that the signaler has actually arrived at an ethical understanding of the subject.
EX: Used to be vegan. Saw how monstrous the self-righteous were. Realized that promoting the development of "good", intelligent, ethical, and free people was far more helpful than being an individual in a society of millions of individuals. And maybe a society of such people would be far more conscientious, especially in regards to the treatment of animals, than what we have now.
Also that psychopathic/sociopathic actors could negate my puny individual protest and competing for social rank over them would probably be more helpful than being an "individual" in the liberal sense
When you think of the entire chain of supply and logistics involved in running the modern world, you are inexorably meshed with the world of evil and the "impure". As I said, it does far more good for ethical entities to take rein of this thrashing beast than to posture purity. You might even have to be cunning, brutal, and cold to ward off those who simply don't give a damn. Especially the psychopathic and sociopathic agents.
The world doesn't exist to provide a nice solution set where you can have the conveniences of modern living without the massive externalities of war (to secure and maintain logistical routes) and pollution. To be quite honest, I think the world is inherently a tragedy to those who seek to do only "good".
Helping potential moral agents, aka your "neighbors" (physical or spiritual), with better leverage in the social ape rat race has more impact. You strive to throw off the worse leaders of men and install the better leaders of men.
I was going to go on but forgive me for balking out of a lengthy explanation that isn't structured yet. It's been a while since someone has challenged my stance like that and my intuitons need more editing, so to speak.
So it seems to me you are projecting after all. There's nothing wrong with 'virtue signalling' whether we do it by nature or not. It's ALWAYS brought up in the context of trying to shame white men for being supportive towards women and minorities.
Pot meet kettle.
Reminds me of this: https://www.reddit.com/r/india/comments/6rbpr9/why_is_lying_...
One of the US attorneys wasting our federal tax dollars prosecuting the parents even pointed it out: they bribed the college the wrong way, by not buying them a building like they were supposed to. "We're not talking about donating a building...we're talking about fraud."
So the injured parties here are the universities, and their complaint is they got cut out on the bribe dollars. Which is fine and all, but I don't understand at all why that's our problem. That's the universities' problems, and they should feel free to sue their employees for not sharing bribes appropriately.
Health care fraud actually hurts people and steals from the federal government, so there's two good reasons to spend our resources prosecuting it.
And the legitimate applicants who were rejected.
The difference between a Penn reject and a Berkeley accept or vice versa isn’t likely to be terribly big if at all notable.
In the few stories I’ve seen, the parents have not committed.
The skilled nursing system in this country is broken, with no meaningful oversight other than an annual inspection which everyone knows is coming. Lengths of stay are unnecessarily long and the quality of care is unbelievably sub par. Despite all of this, fraud at this level is pretty astounding, and should serve as a wake up call for the government to more aggressively monitor all facilities, or outsource monitoring from the States to private agencies.
The phrase "Robber barons" from 19th century was hardly overstated. America is once again reaching a stage where a large enough fraud and criminality offers an exit strategy into the ruling class.
With that kind of money, their children really don't need to cultivate careers... and even if they wanted to, surely they could do it the old fashioned way? And if they fail, parents can bail them out?
Or is it primarily driven by greed, and the parents want the kids to make a lot of money, so the family has even greater wealth?
Besides the education part though, the other thing I've seen with wealthy families is appointing kids to high positions in a family business, or saying they are "in real estate." I'm not sure why they just wouldn't do that instead of bribing colleges, but maybe if their kid is set on doing something the family will "make sure they can."
Some families even surreptiously won't want to let their kids learn or step out on their own, they want to be involved in everything even after they are adults. The kids in that case must allow that to happen, but probably not too hard to "give up" if you get to drive a luxury car and live in a classy apartment building regardless of employment.
In fact that might benefit society an awful lot.
Getting them into college is just the natural extension of this 18 year spending spree.
It's "status" but anybody can look at say, Ivanka Trump for example, and see right through it.
The people that matter can't, that's their target.
By which I mean, other socialites.
If someone has billions, he doesn't need to worry about the side doors. Just pay $10M to get admitted to HYP.
Look, I may have gotten all this for free, but I'm smart enough to deserve it. I might even have done it myself.
Rich people see the reality of this and of course want to help their kids ensure a comfortable place in this hierarchy, while the hoi poloi still think’s about getting an education and working hard lol
Maybe we should ask ourselves why/how these people ended up with so much economic power in the first place?
Seems more affordable than I thought, considering in the other scandals people were dropping $500k+.
18 years this went on?? This is what surprised me the most.
Look at the indictments produced by the Mueller investigation. Politics aside, some of those people were doing real shady shit for years, and they would have gotten away with it cleanly had they not gotten entangled with the campaign.
It seems to make sense to me now. All the fear mongering over immigrants and drugs flooding across the border when an American company (Purdue Pharma) engineered the worst actual drug epidemic in generations makes me wonder about the effectiveness of spending literally billions on the "War on Drugs" while not addressing the real issues.
I doubt it’s because of either the magnitude or harm caused, more like the ease of prosecution.
> There’s little motivation for law enforcement to search for white collar crime, and little support for prosecuting it.
How is what I said a specific example of this?
I think they would do well to simply state some students are admitted based on whether they bring something worthwhile to the college, including but not limited to: academic achievement, artistic accomplishment, athletic prowess, background diversity, gender balance, interest diversity, and financial contribution/desirability, but if students graduate from the school then they have probably proven that they are at least minimally qualified to attend.
It has never been a level playing field, and there are always qualified students who are rejected for reasons completely beyond their control. One bit of consolation for those rejected from all of their elite schools is that it may be easier to excel at a non-elite college, improving your chances for admission to an elite graduate program. And seriously, who really wants to pay $50K+ a year to a college/country club only to be saddled with crippling student loan debt after graduation, debt that even bankruptcy cannot expunge?
I love a deserved smear, but Shkreli doesn’t deserve half as much as what he got from the uneducated public, nor his unnecessarily long jail sentence.
I cannot imagine a more tone-deaf defense of this scoundrel. Where exactly do you think insurance companies get their money?
I’m not saying he did nothing wrong (some jail time and monetary penalty was in order, but not the severity that was issued). I take issue that he was sacrificed for the public because of his brash showmanship, and the broken system marches on with little complaint. Epi Pen and insulin manufacturer execs still walk free, and they did far worse.
> He raised prices on those who could pay: insurance companies.
With the implication that that makes what he did OK. Well, it doesn't. One way or another, the costs get passed on to consumers and taxpayers, which is to say, everyone. Spreading the pain so that it is not immediately apparent to any one individual doesn't change that. It is simply not the case that insurance companies are independent wealthy entities who "can pay" without any negative consequences to anyone else. It is in no small measure this mistaken assumption that has led to the mess that the U.S. health care system is currently in.
What he did was entirely legal, and in no way should've impacted his fraud sentencing. But exacting revenge on a single person (through overly punitive prison sentencing) does nothing to fix systemic issues. Someone with talent that could be redirected in a positive way (his financial analysis and engineering acumen is proven) is cooling his heels in a jail cell for years, and the American healthcare system is as broken as it was before.
I've seen happen before , and was just as dismayed with how the person in question was treated relative to the severity of the crime(s).
Because the health care market in the U.S. is uniquely dysfunctional at the moment. One of the reasons for this is that most people are unwilling to accept the consequences of free-market economics in the health-care market, specifically, that some people cost more to maintain than they contribute and so on a hard-nosed economic analysis they should simply be allowed to die (or euthanized). So what we have now is a system that starts with free-market rhetoric, but then applies a ton of patches and hacks so that people are insulated from free-market consequences. That just doesn't work. And part of the reason it doesn't work is that it opens the door for rent-seeers like Shkreli to move in.
> What he did was entirely legal, and in no way should've impacted his fraud sentencing.
Like I said, I am not taking a position on whether his sentence was fair or not, I just don't know. The only thing I'm taking a position on is the validity of defending Shkreli on the grounds that he was merely "raising prices on those who could pay."
> "We want to hurt no one. We're here for the bank's money, not your money. Your money is insured by the federal government, you're not gonna lose a dime. Think of your families, don't risk your life. Don't try and be a hero."
Is that tone deaf, or might it work? I bet it would work. When the financial harm is spread out thin, people take it less personally. That's why people regularly fight back against muggers, but we very rarely see anybody take vigilante action against hospitals, the pharma industry or insurance companies when hospitals charge $10+ for a single aspirin pill and insurance companies spread that harm thin.
> When the financial harm is spread out thin, people take it less personally.
That is certainly true, but that doesn't make it any less harmful. In fact, it is precisely the thin spreading of the harm that causes people to be complacent about the real underlying problems. The result is that by the time people become aware of the problems again, they have become much more serious and concomitantly more difficult to solve (c.f. the 2008 financial crisis).
I didn't say it makes it less harmful. I said it makes the defense tonally aware. The people using the defense are aware of the psychological bias people have when harm is spread thin.
Besides inflation, you also have the costs of a city wide manhunt and FBI bank robbery investigation. The taxpayers are paying for those as well, and they'll likely be more expensive than anything in the vault. But the bank robbers are tonally aware; they know they can suppress vigilantism by pointing out that the government will spread the harm thin.
Yeah, I know that's what you said. I'm saying you're wrong. Specifically, this bit:
> you're not gonna lose a dime
You will lose a dime. You will lose it in extra taxes or in reduced purchasing power of the insurance settlement you receive. And so will your friends and neighbors and strangers you have never heard of. And that's just the loss you will suffer from this one robbery. You will also lose a dime from the next robbery that the robbers get away with because people bought into this argument, and the next one and the next, until your cumulative losses will be large enough for you to feel the pain and decide to do something about it. And by the time we get to that point, it won't be just you feeling the pain, it will be everyone.
You're still missing the point. The intention of that character isn't to make a factually correct statement about how the FDIC system works; his intention is to suppress vigilantism. Pointing out that the people witnessing the robbery actually are paying for it is tone deaf.
Of course I understand that. But the success of the argument depends entirely on the people in the bank being short-sighted and considering only the short-term consequences to themselves and not the long-term consequences to society.
In any case, I believe this sort of thing would be covered by insurance or, in the worst case, the FDIC. Everyone with a bank account helps pay for those.
Agreed about missing the point. I just took the “dime” figure and ran with it.
Companies during the home loan crisis provided fake info(eg: fake income) to qualify for the home loans. And they got away with non-prosecution agreements and just fines. People's life savings were wiped out during the crisis.
If you rob a bank, spend all that money on lottery tickets, then leave a sack of money for the exact amount you stole in the lobby after getting lucky, do you think everything should be copacetic?
1. You still robbed the bank!
2. Gambling with someone else's money isn't virtuous.
I am willing to bet most startups’ financial decks have material mistatements.
> "So people are defending him on #1 because they think other people are too mad about #2? "
Yes that's my belief.
Imagine Mel Gibson was caught bringing weed into an authoritarian SEA country, and was sentenced to caning. Now imagine there were people celebrating that sentencing, because Mel Gibson is a racist. In this hypothetical, is he a drug smuggling racist? Yes. I wager you'd see people defend him though, and accuse people celebrating his caning as being biased by his racism.
As far as I can tell he's done two things;
1. Profited handsomely off of white collar crime while defrauding his original investors.
2. The whole Daraprim thing.
So people are defending him on #1 because they think other people are too mad about #2?
The effect of Shkreli’s actions, to me personally, are functionally the same as hackers who hack into FB... only to have FB pay them for exposing the holes in their security system. Shkreli exposed a hole in the healthcare system. That he did so opportunistically is legitimately kinda gross, but the net benefit of his actions is that guys like me are now way more aware of the broken system that allowed him to operate in the first place. THAT’S what he’s done that’s worth defending.
There are things broken with the way the criminal justice system judges the severity of crimes, but the idea that fraud shouldn’t be punished so long as investors get their money back leads to an even worse system.
Yes, it is. Very easy.
And why would a hospital buy so many pills if they knew they're eventually going to throw them away by the 100s?
And what supplier only sells low demand pills by the 100 count?
Here is another one where they charge $1 for uninsured patients that make less than 5x the poverty line (most Americans):
While not my original claim, my point remains, the 5000% number is incredibly misleading.
For example, let’s say that the price of the drug was $0. Then he raised it to $1. Is he an awful person for raising the drug infinite %? It’s simply bad reporting. If you hate Fox News and their headlines, you should also hate these headlines.
Yes, it is incredibly misleading. How many people are affected? In practice, do the end consumers see this price increase? What caused the price increase? When was the last price increase?
I understand, 5000% is a fact in the story. However, it is sensational and the exact reason why you see it in about half the headlines of the story.
I want to know how it actually is misleading in this particular case. You were happy to provide specifics before. If you don’t have any now, then it’s wrong to insist that it definitely is misleading.
I'm saying statistics can be used to sensationalize a topic which clearly HN is on this issue due to my down votes.
Note that I never defended his actions, simply stated that Shkreli is demonized for a stupid number with no context instead of focusing on his crimes - lying to investors - or the underlying issues that allowed him to raise prices - broken health insurance.
Shkreli ultimately just trolled the media too hard and they HAD to shut him down because if he kept going he was going to inspire a lot of copycats.
The second thing I didn't get is why they would spend so much money on USC, which is not even a top school.
It might not be "a top school" by whatever criteria you're using, but it's a very good school. Depending on what major you're interested in, it's very much elite.
E.g. here's the title of a recent article it took me 10 seconds of googling to find: USC Film School Turns 90: Famous Alums Gather to Share Memories of a Hollywood Incubator
Some other factoids:
Admission Standards Elite
Acceptance Rate 16%
generally admitting students who score in the top 7 percent.
As the scandal proves, that was way too much. Either that, or they were kicking out deserving poor people to make room for the bribed kids.