The Corporate Predator
The nation-state is in decline. It’s being replaced by corporate predators operating at a global level.
Here’s an example of some very successful “global citizens” running a company called Gilead Sciences (via Jeffrey Sachs).
Gilead makes ~$15 billion a year in profit by gorging on the coffers of the US government’s medical insurance programs.
They do this by selling an anti-viral treatment for Hep-C. They didn’t develop this drug, they bought the patent and they merely manufacture it.
The cost of manufacturing this drug is $1. They sell it for $1000.
They can get away with charging this much because corporate lobbyists inserted a clause into the Affordable Care Act that prevents the US government from negotiating drug prices with drug companies. In other words, they can charge whatever they like even if it kills patients who are delayed care due to the costs (like patients at the veteran’s administration).
Being a predator has been good for Gilead, as you can see from the chart below. The blue wedge is from this exploit.
Of course, Gilead doesn’t pay US taxes on all of this profit. Even though the bulk of the sales of this drug are made to patients in the US, they send all of the profits to corporate shell in Ireland where these billions aren’t taxed.
Gilead isn’t alone. There are tens thousands of corporate predators doing the same thing in finance, pharmaceuticals, etc.