By Martin Shkreli
You’re not really angry with me, you’re angry with capitalism.
It wasn’t my idea, capitalism. No, they thought of that a great deal of time before I was born. They were tired of kings but afraid of a classless system, so here we are. Living in a country where a great deal of hard work will maybe keep you off the street but not much else, and probably only if you’re white or know some white people that could vouch for you. It’s not just us, either. It’s the whole world. Every facet of human life is regulated, in some way, by a faceless corporation that’s been around in some form for longer than any of us ever will be. I just happen to run the only corporation that happens to make this very specific, very effective Aids medication, and I hiked up the price by 5,000% because I knew my install base would pay it. They do love their Aids medication.
I should not have been allowed to do what I did, but I was. So here we are. I’m not going to get ahead by playing nice. I had a product that a specific niche audience wanted very badly and would pay a high price for. If they couldn’t? Well, I’m sorry, but that’s just the brakes. Nobody is making you buy my product. Just because I happen to sell something that helps people fight Aids doesn’t mean I’m going to give it a way. I’m not a hero, I’m a businessman, and raising the price of something this coveted is just good business. I’m one of the only companies that even has a product that fights Aids! What about all the companies that don’t make anything that fights Aids, like Pottery Barn or Best Buy? Why don’t you write cruel articles about them? Throw garbage at their families? You might not agree with my price point, but at least I’m doing something for Aids treatment. What have you done? That’s what I thought.
The official reason for the Aids medicine hike? So I can make better Aids medicine. Bet you feel pretty stupid now, huh? How do you think we make better medicine? You think we just pour some more science juice into a different beaker until it turn the right color? Sometimes. But most of the time it takes money to make science happen. It’s not just medicine that does it, either, it’s everyone. When Sony was getting ready to release CDs and they started selling cassette tapes for thousands of dollars a piece to fund production. Or that time McDonalds was getting ready to relaunch the McRib and the Whopper was $226.95 for a month and a half. Sure, not a lot of people bought the Whopper for that month and a half, but the few that did? They helped make the McRib happen. Don’t you want to help make the McRib of Aids medication happen? Buy some outrageously overpriced Aids medication today for the future of moderately overpriced Aids medication tomorrow.
It’s unfair that people would associate me with Aids as if I were preying on those with a life-threatening illness. As if I wanted people to get Aids so that I could profit, which is just simply not the case. I didn’t give people Aids anymore than an umbrella salesman makes it rain. Just because they don’t give away their product doesn’t mean it’s their fault when you get wet, just as it isn’t my fault when people that don’t buy my product get dead. The stakes may be higher, but the logic is sound if you’re a sociopath, and I am. Proud of it. We’ve always made good businessmen and we always will. It doesn’t mean I’ll go out of my way to hurt people, but I also won’t let emotions get in my way.
You think my umbrellas are overpriced? Then don’t buy one, see if I give a damn. Just don’t come crying to me when you get wet, because I won’t hear it. I didn’t make life rain on you, it’s not my fault you don’t have an umbrella, maybe you should have been more careful about when and who you went outside with? Tell me I’m heartless, that’s fine, maybe I am, but that doesn’t mean that I am unjust. I am just. I follow your rules. I am no criminal and I will not be treated as such. If you want people to play by different rules then you need to make those rules. I’m playing your game, change it if you have a problem with the way I’m playing, because I’m not rolling these dice any different than you saps.
People say that it’s a darker game I’m playing, where someone in my position would almost have to, in some way, be rooting for people to actually get Aids to make a buck or seven hundred off of them. On record, I say that of course that is absurd and grotesque. No one with a heart, soul and a mind could think such a thing about another human being. Off the record?
Does the umbrella salesman not hope for more rain?