Discover more from Bad Crow Review
Things To Do, And Capitalism Sucks
Links are at the end, my beautiful friends, the end.
I have various sorts of physical and mental housekeeping to do for a few days, so I’ll be back Saturday.
Meanwhile, though, capitalism wants to kill you, or at least doesn’t care if you get sick or die. The latest proof is courtesy of Dutch giant Royal Philip’s division responsible for manufacturing CPAP and other breathing machines.
A Pro Publica investigation in partnership with Northwestern University’s graduate school of journalism and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette discovered that CPAP machines sold by Philips Respironics to relieve chronic sleep apnea and other breathing issues made use of a noise-dampening foam which deteriorated inside the machines and sent various chemicals and foam particles into the airways of the users.
Philips knew about the problem for a decade, receiving thousands of customer and practitioner complaints that should have been passed to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but weren’t. And the reason they weren’t is that the division was immensely profitable, generating the better part of $1 billion in profits during the course of the decade when evidence of the problems was withheld from authorities.
(Not for nothing, but the company sold hundreds of thousands of these units to the VA and veterans.)
The problems weren’t limited to machines sold in the U.S.; Philips is a global concern, and the story notes that the company have told shareholders that they’ve set aside €350 million to cover any EU damages.
To review: Royal Philips let people get sick and perhaps die because the machines they were selling were profitable to the point that the penalties the company might incur were not sufficient incentive to stop making people sick.1
This is obviously not just a Royal Philips problem; it is a capitalism problem. You will have difficulty finding an industry in which problems were not concealed to prevent a dip in profits. Our little fossil fuel problem has been accelerated by companies which, similarly to tobacco companies, knew for decades and denied for decades that they were making the climate inhospitable to humans.
It is a feature, not a bug.
Cake, “Showroom of Compassion.2”
And that, Comrades, is all I got. See you in a few days. Share this if you like it, and consider subscribing if you’ve not—it’s free unless you want to pay.
Be well, take care, overthrow the capitalist killers if you get a minute.