These guys aren't the only ones to comment on Pfizer's cynical overseas move, but I like what they've done with the topic.
For those who missed it, one way to lower your legal, if not patriotic, obligation to support the United States is to merge with a foreign company and pretend they acquired you, which makes you foreign, which allows you to more effectively shelter your profits from American taxation.
Burger King did this a year ago, merging with Tim Horton and becoming a Canadian firm, which will cost the American taxpayer between $400 million and $1.2 billion over the next three years. And then last week, they closed down a bunch of Tim's in the US, in some cases suddenly enough that they had to ask customers to leave.
Last year's move inspired some good cartoons, including this Stuart Carlson piece, mostly because Burger King denied they were doing it for tax purposes, handing cartoonists a treat that many couldn't resist.
Part of the weirdness in this country is the faith people have in corporations, which I guess is linked to their loyalty to the one percent.
The little weasel who stirred up a hornets' nest by buying the rights to a vital drug and promptly rocketing the price had to back off in the face of public outrage, but this week he announced that, in fact, yeah, he's still doing that.
His chief commercial officer explained to the press, "Drug pricing is one of the most complex parts of the healthcare industry. A drug's list price is not the primary factor in determining patient affordability and access."
Well, perhaps that's true and it's only a way to rip off Medicare, Medicaid and the insurance companies, but the AMA's membership has called for an end to advertising of prescription drugs, saying that it drives up the price of medicine by creating patient demand for more expensive treatments over equally effective but older, more affordable ones. (New Zealand and the US are the only countries that currently allow ads for prescription drugs.)
Meanwhile, Mike Luckovich offers this take on the Pfizer/Allergan inversion, which mostly reminds me of the things that go through my mind every time I see a Cialis commercial, which is, first of all, to wonder what's so romantic about separate bathtubs and whether it's a good image for a drug that is supposed to combat shrinkage, and, second, to think that the warning they slip in about not drinking alcohol to excess if you take Cialis belongs right up there with Q-Tips telling you not to insert them into your ear.
In any case, today's headline is drawn from a story that I suppose only the old folks remember.
Somewhere -- I'm not being coy, I just can't remember -- I heard someone propose that, if these companies want to move off-shore, that should somehow impact their right to lobby and to contribute to campaigns.
I'm not sure of that, since foreign entities certainly dive right in, but I wouldn't mind running it through the courts to see.
In any case, there is a literary, if not a legal, precedent to be cited.
(Y)ou and I would never have heard of him, reader, but that, when the president of the court asked him at the close, whether he wished to say anything to show that he had always been faithful to the United States, he cried out, in a fit of frenzy,—
"D——n the United States! I wish I may never hear of the United States again!"
I suppose he did not know how the words shocked old Colonel Morgan, who was holding the court. Half the officers who sat in it had served through the Revolution, and their lives, not to say their necks, had been risked for the very idea which he so cavalierly cursed in his madness.
If the GOP wins next November and Ruth Bader Ginsburg doesn't stay on the bench until 2020, "running it through the courts" will become a completely futile gesture, of course, but that's another topic.
Sean Kleefeld recently posted a few Gordos and offered some reflections on the strip.
Being a couple of thousand miles from the US Southwest and knowing absolutely nothing about contemporary jazz, there was not a lot in Gordo for me to relate to.
On the other hand, it was visually gripping and I remember just enjoying looking at it, which brings two things to mind:
1. It helps me appreciate the stories of my artist friends who talk about their own fascination with the comics and how they copied them and eventually developed their own style.
My drawing ability is limited to baths and curtains, but even I was entranced by Gus Arriola's work, and, if that's what it takes to grab my attention, it at least gives me a hint of what the entire section did for them.
2. It's an example of how you don't have to understand something in order to dig it. There is a sad uptightness in people who can't just relax and go with the flow.
Kleefeld wonders why the reprinters of great comics haven't done a volume of Arriola's work, and I wonder, too.
However, there is plenty of good stuff out there, and with Hannukah starting next week and Christmas not far behind, you should go explore Tom Spurgeon's extensive gift guide for comics fans, which includes some very worthwhile discounts even if you intend to keep the stuff for yourself.
Not that I'd want you to neglect the links in the righthand gutter here. My shopping's done, but I've still got to pay for the stuff.
Still, 40% off at Fantagraphics is pretty inviting and I can't blame yez for hitting that one.