hidden tax of deregulation

Hidden Tax of Deregulation: Introduction

hidden tax of deregulation

A hidden tax of deregulation is a burden placed upon every US citizen who participates in the economy as a consumer. It is a hidden tax paid by all and at no time are we fully aware of our tax burden.

A Hidden Tax of Deregulation is paid by everyone living in the United States. Since Ronald Reagan, the deregulators have controlled all three branches of our Constitutional government. As a result, since 1980 the greed of corporate executives has been the driving force behind the high cost of everything in the United States.

The United States, often touted as the land of opportunity and fairness, is facing a harsh reality: the unchecked power of corporations, particularly within the pharmaceutical industry, is leading to dire consequences for everyday Americans.

The recent surge in profits among the top pharmaceutical companies, coupled with exorbitant price hikes on life-saving medications, showcases a disturbing trend that demands immediate attention.

This editorial delves into the historical context of lax federal regulations and the misguided ideology behind them, highlights the stark disparity in consumer prices between the US and international markets, and presents compelling recommendations to pressure corporations into prioritizing ethical behavior over profit margins.

A Historical Trail of Deregulation: From Reagan to the Present

The erosion of reasonable federal regulations on corporations began gaining momentum during the Reagan administration. The proponents of deregulation argued for a “trickle-down” effect, asserting that by freeing corporations from stringent oversight, they would invest more, create jobs, and ultimately benefit the broader economy. However, history has shown that this ideology primarily benefits the wealthiest, leaving everyday citizens vulnerable to the whims of profit-driven conglomerates. This misguided approach was a turning point that set the stage for the present-day corporate power grab.

Pharmaceutical Profiteering: Hidden Tax of Deregulation

The recent analysis by government watchdog Accountable.US underscores the alarming extent to which large pharmaceutical companies have exploited this lack of oversight. Despite claims that price hikes are essential to fund research and development, evidence points to a troubling reality: between 2019 and 2021, these companies spent more on stock buybacks and dividends ($125 billion) than on research and development ($112 billion). This blatant prioritization of shareholders’ interests over patients’ lives exposes a deeply flawed system that disregards the most vulnerable.

Global Disparities in Pricing: Hidden Tax of Deregulation

One of the most glaring injustices is the glaring price gap between US consumers and those abroad. This disparity not only highlights the excessive pricing practices of corporations but also reveals the absence of effective measures to ensure fairness and affordability for American citizens. While these pharmaceutical giants rake in billions in profits, patients are forced to choose between their health and financial stability. It’s clear that the current system is fundamentally flawed and favors corporate wealth accumulation over the well-being of the population.

Hidden Tax of Deregulation: Holding Corporations Accountable

To rectify this deeply troubling situation, a multifaceted approach is necessary. Here are 5 demands that must be considered outlined below. I expand upon these and add some additional ideas later.

  1. Stricter Regulations: The federal government must reevaluate and strengthen regulations on corporations, especially within critical sectors like pharmaceuticals. The unchecked pursuit of profit at the expense of human lives cannot continue.
  2. Transparency and Accountability: Corporations should be compelled to transparently disclose their pricing strategies, profit margins, and spending allocation to the public. Accountability is a key step toward reestablishing trust.
  3. International Price Parity: Legislators should explore mechanisms to ensure that US consumers are not overcharged compared to international markets for essential goods and services, particularly medications.
  4. Incentives for Ethical Behavior: Implementing tax incentives and benefits for corporations that prioritize ethical practices, community well-being, and equitable pricing will encourage a shift toward responsible conduct.
  5. Consumer Empowerment: Empower consumers with accurate information about pricing, alternatives, and the impacts of their purchasing decisions. Informed consumers can collectively influence market dynamics.

The Imperative for Change: A Call to Action

The current situation is a stark reminder that the welfare of the nation’s citizens must take precedence over the interests of a privileged few. It’s time for both lawmakers and citizens alike to rise against the tide of corporate greed and demand meaningful change:

Hidden Tax of Deregulation: Engage in Advocacy and Awareness

Every concerned citizen can play a role in advocating for a fairer corporate landscape. Social media, grassroots campaigns, and community forums can be powerful platforms for raising awareness about the consequences of unchecked corporate power. By sharing stories of individuals who have been negatively impacted by high drug prices and unethical corporate practices, we can create a groundswell of public support for reform.

Hold Elected Officials Accountable: Hidden Tax of Deregulation

Elected officials have a responsibility to represent the interests of their constituents. Constituents must make their voices heard by communicating their concerns and expectations regarding corporate regulations and pricing fairness. Holding town halls, writing letters, and engaging in discussions with representatives are effective ways to ensure that the issue remains a priority on the political agenda.

Strengthen Consumer Organizations

Consumer advocacy groups should join forces to amplify their impact. These organizations play a crucial role in advocating for fair pricing, transparency, and ethical behavior from corporations. By pooling resources, sharing information, and coordinating initiatives, these groups can exert greater pressure on corporations to change their practices.

Leverage Shareholder Influence

Shareholders possess a significant degree of influence over corporations’ decision-making processes. Ethical investment funds, pension funds, and individual shareholders can leverage their ownership positions to demand responsible practices from the companies they invest in. By pushing for transparency, ethical guidelines, and a focus on social responsibility, shareholders can drive corporations toward more ethical behavior.

Support Legislation to Change the Hidden Tax of Deregulation

Lawmakers have the power to enact meaningful change through legislation. Citizens should actively support bills aimed at curbing corporate power, ensuring pricing fairness, and prioritizing consumer well-being. Contacting legislators, attending hearings, and participating in advocacy campaigns can help propel these crucial pieces of legislation forward.

Foster Ethical Corporate Culture to Mitigate the Hidden Tax of Deregulation

It’s not just external pressure that can bring about change; corporations themselves must recognize their role in society and commit to ethical behavior. Consumers can reward companies that demonstrate social responsibility and transparency while boycotting those that prioritize profits over human welfare.

In the pursuit of a more just and equitable future, every citizen, lawmaker, and stakeholder must rise to the occasion. By advocating for stricter regulations, pricing parity, and a renewed focus on ethical behavior, we can reclaim the balance between corporate interests and the common good. The tide of change begins with us, and together, we can pave the way toward a society where profits are no longer prioritized over people.

Conclusion: Building a More Just Future-Hidden Tax of Deregulation

The current scenario is a glaring testament to the urgent need for a recalibration of our values and priorities. The unchecked corporate power that has emerged from decades of misguided deregulation is jeopardizing the lives and well-being of countless individuals. The time has come for a collective response that challenges the status quo and demands that corporations be held accountable for their actions.

The undeniable link between the lack of reasonable federal regulations, unchecked corporate power, and the suffering of American citizens is a wake-up call that cannot be ignored. It’s high time that our nation shifts its focus from facilitating unchecked corporate wealth to safeguarding the well-being of its people.

By taking decisive actions to regulate corporations and ensure equitable pricing, we can pave the way for a fairer and more just society, where human lives are prioritized over profits. The moment for change is now. In the words of Jimmy Buffett, “Fuck all them West Nashville Grand Ballroom Gowns.” It is time for the people to demand ethical behaviors from giant corporations even if regulations force them to behave fairly and equitably, and that will put an end to these corporate hidden taxes.

By Politics-as-Usual

Roger is a retired Professor of language and literacy. Over the past 15 years since his retirement, Roger has kept busy with reading, writing, and creating landscape photographs. In this time of National crisis, as Fascist ideas and policies are being introduced to the American people and ignored by the Mainstream Press, he decided to stand up and be counted as a Progressive American with some ideas that should be shared with as many people who care to read and/or participate in discusssions of these issues. He doesn't ask anyone to agree with his point of view, but if entering the conversation he demands civility. No conspiracy theories, no wild accusations, no threats, no disrespect will be tolerated. Roger monitors all comments and email communication. That is the only rule for entering the conversation. One may persuade, argue for a different point of view, or toss out something that has not been discussed so long as the tone remains part of a civil discussion. Only then can we find common ground and meaningful democratic change.

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