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Archive for the ‘A money’s life.’ Category

The pharmaceutical industry makes an exorbitant amount of money on brand name drugs. After proprietary patents run out, the rest of the drug companies can make their own generic brand of the drug, using the formulation of the original research company. The way things stand, the research company gets to market its drug at an inflated cost for up to fifteen years, recouping the research dollars, they put into the development of the drug, and then the drug becomes available in a generic version. The generic version is generally 50% cheaper than the original.
 
The Ontario government suggests some changes to this time honored and carefully controlled market. They suggest generic drugs should be available for 25% of the initial brand name drug cost. This upsets the old boy network of pharmaceutical sales – BUT would greatly help the consumer and put less of a strain on health care costs.
 
If they are going to change the system, they might as well make some more changes that seem inevitable. Drug stores complain about the amount of money they can make: they have a set rate of eight+ dollars to fill a prescription, plus the mark up they add to the price of the drug. The bottom line should be how could we reduce the amount of money a sick person has to pay to stay healthy. And drug stores should lead the way.
 
Pharmacies would never willing give up that “eight dollar dispensing” fee, but when the entire process is looked at in a modern, more productive light, certain inevitabilities are exposed. Why do we need a person to count out individual pills: this is a less sterile environment, the pills are subjected to human contaminants and any airborne contaminants in the store, plus human error when counting drugs. I’ve personally received incorrectly processed prescriptions. When you pay for 120 pills, the only way to know there are 120 pills in a hand-counted pill bottle is to count them. I sometimes divide my pills in half, and have found shortfalls over 20 pills. This becomes a real problem when you bring it under sight to a pharmacy’s attention. You’ve paid for the full dose, and they claim they’ve given you the full dose, but you only received 100 pills. It your word against theirs, and no one ever wants to admit to an error.
 
Standardization in manufacturing would end this problem, ensure the drugs are counted under sterile conditions and make sure the amount is computer checked. Certain drugs are always prescribed by doctors in standard doses: it’s a redundant system that costs the consumer too much money.
 
It makes too much sense, which is why it will be a long time before they surrender that old method of making money. Everyone talks about modernization, but it runs into roadblocks when old money making schemes are threatened with new, safer and cheaper solutions.

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Like any business, artistic value depends on promotion, style and recognition.  Unfortunately, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and new art relies on critics, galleries and “experts”, to gain popularity.  If it is beautiful to look at, it could take years before it becomes worth anything.  I’ve been told my art surpasses some of the new art styles, but I still need that “provenance” to be recognized and appreciated. This is like being “recognized” as an unknown talent, even if there is no talent there.  A picture with 3 stripes just doesn’t seem like art, but after someone promoted the artist, the painting had an $8,000.00 price tag.  Well, nothing in life is fair.  You need luck, and lots of it.  Knowing the right people helps; it applies to jobs, opportunities, glory and fame, and, of course, the chance to make a lot of money.  Check out http://www.spoiledink.com/danae

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In 1880, the philosopher Thomas Malthus made a prediction that is now affecting our society in ways he couldn’t foresee, but are eeirily similar to his general theory on population control.  When you remove war, plague and other problems, population growth will skyrocket, unless a natural disaster occurs.  Taken alone, this is an excellent argument for space colonization and exploration.  We need to re-examine what is important in life, and put the world’s fabulous wealth to work on it.

Malthus theorized that population growth would soon overwhelm the planet’s resources, then overused and depleted resources would be insufficient to supply the world; therefore, people would die off.  He calculated that technology and resources expand arithmetically, but people grow geometrically.  Geometric growth is the old double a dollar trick: if you take a dollar, then double it, double it again, and keep doubling it everyday, you would have over a million dollars within a month.  It’s a straightforward mathematical progression, and when applied to our population, it’s easy to see that there will be too many humans for this Earth to sustain if we keep increasing our population the at the current rate.  Longer life through better medicine adds to the problem.  Here’s how it applies to literature and writers. 

In the Victorian age, there were a great many readers, and every writer, if they were able to create something worth reading, would stand a good chance of being published.  Today, there are thousands of writers out of work, just because publishers are inundated with manuscripts and have the luxury of selecting only the very best.  It could be argued that some of the so called “great” writers of the past wouldn’t stand up to the numerous rejection slips every author receives before someone decides to take a chance and publish their book.  There are many other reasons the Victorian age produced so many new ideas and so many new authors, but the main reason was an empty playing field, and an audience thirsting for new and bizarre ideas.  Now the playing field is packed, the benches and stadium  crowded, along with the dressing room and the parking lot.  It’s hard to find an original idea that is truly unique, because with so many minds thinking of every permutation and every twist and turn, it is hard to come up with something fresh and original.  Some say that’s why
Hollywood does so many re-makes of old ideas.  With so many people writing free blogs, or publishing their stories for free on certain websites, it’s hard to get a publisher to pay good money for a story.  That is, if they actually get a frustrated talented author to withstand the long wait lists and offer a story that is fresh and interesting.  It really begs the question, why do we read what we read.  Will anyone ever read this?  Chances are, with the countless, unknown and possibly excellent blogs clogging the internet, no one ever will.  People read less books today.  TV and the internet changed the dynamics in ways we are still studying.

Another factor is society’s overall success and increasing level of education.  To get a half decent job, you need education.  Today, it is quite common for someone to possess B.A., Master’s Degree or PhD.  That means a greater proportion of our society can write, and write well.  With a hulking pile of unread and well written manuscripts clogging an Editor’s “in basket”, it’s quite possible that some of the well known writers of the past would not be published today.  Perhaps their story lacks sparkle, their writing style is trite and outdated, or the author couldn’t deal with the countless rejection slips that are now part of the job.  Based on this, what was published in the past might not be published today.  A loss to literature?  Not quite.  We have literature coming out our ying-yang, and a book about talking animals discussing their political situation, although clever and satirical, doesn’t sound like a real page turner.  Sorry George Orwell, but Animal Farm might not pass muster and end up in some rejected file.  Possibly.  Television, radio and the Internet are changing our society in ways that will not be fully understood until some future date.  Perhaps when sociologists have had the time to read everything and make an original conclusion.  

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Money.  That’s what I want…Gotta have it, need to have it, but to what depths will you sink just to get some?  I was walking along downtown Vancouver today, and the wind blew a $5.00 dollar bill past a group of people.  To a person, they all dived on it.  It was so pathetic it was hillarious.  I think I saw the 5 first, but I wasn’t about to jump in the melee to claim it.  Just as a joke, I threw a quarter on the ground as I passed…just to make a point…

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Banks don’t even enjoy art…they just look at the price tag…like a Monet, Turner or DaVinci…they know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
I recently had a revelation: I now understand the significance of starving children holding out tiny hands for food and the shiny brass plaques on the door of a bank.
They don’t need handouts…all the uninformed line up to deposit money in their coffers…the banks turn around and invest this money, make a killing in interest, then charge you whenever you need to withdraw enough to buy food to live. A capitalist might think that’s a normal attitude, but a realist understands it’s the same way rich people have been sticking it to the underdog since the days of Babylon and the building of the Egyptian pyramids. The shivering, starving, and huddling masses have the upper classes walking all over them, getting them to wash their cars, and then not even paying them enough to get a drink of water. Bottled water is not cheap…next time I blow a buck on a bottle of water, I’ll make sure it’s a Perrier.
I don’t like getting walked on, but I have so many footprints on my bad back I look like the path to a beer stand on the fourth of July. I can’t afford a bank account…they don’t pay interest, and they have fees for every transaction I’d ever make, so it’s basically cheaper just to keep the money under my mattress. Cash only…sorry, no cheques. No wonder the ruling classes are trying to institute a cash-less society…if your money is in the hands of a greedy bank, you don’t have as much as your little booklet states you have…even if you close your account, they charge you for that…it’s easier to withdraw all your money, then never use the account again. Unfortuntely, that will work in reverse…they automatically withdraw monthly expenses, and if you have nothing, it shows up as a negative amount…after a few years, they’ll come knocking, demanding what you now owe them…and you don’t have to do a single darn thing.
No one ever said life is fair…it’s nasty, brutal and short…Edmund Burke made that comment a long time ago, and it’s as true today as it was then. It seems the moral of all this is you should stick it to your neighbour before he gets a chance to stick it to you. Never trust anyone with a smile and an Italian suit…and, stay away from banks with shiny brass plaques on their doors…those brass standards are a domineering, commercial group of investors…investors that need your money to make them more money, and you won’t see dime one of it…but you will see them taking dimes a plenty for the priviledge of letting them use your money to make them more money. Life always goes around and what goes around doesn’t always come back…it ends up in the luxuriant pockets of those bankers that always smile when you make a nice deposit. Need a loan? We can help…you’ll pay it off for the rest of your life, but we’ll lend you a few bucks…banks were created by someone with lots of money, and they will continue as long as money is a class symbol, and turns life into a endless fight to get your fair share…an oxymoron, as your share is never fair. Too bad, so sorry…we’re closed…use our credit card…only 15% for each transaction.

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This was a real comedy of errors.  After a bad accident, I began painting again, as part of my physiotherapy. I have always painted.  After a while, I became a better artist (but still disabled), and created a new style, unique and enjoyable.  After people have bought some, I suppose I’m now considered a struggling artist (note pic of bamboo), and have sold several similar paintings. (now a veritable designers list of colours…)

The painting in question here went for $75.00.  That person then sold it to someone for $300.00.  That person sold it for $950.00.  Then that person sold it again for $2,800.00.  I found this out because the last person wanted to confirm my “pedigree” and purchase more of my art. 

When I found out how much he paid, I was both angry and elated that my work could command such a price.  Then again, it made me wonder why I couldn’t have sold it for so much.  Like a hall of mirrors, artists are elevated in a buyers eyes, and they sometmes only see the actual painting in a monetary value. 

The fact that they like the painting helps, but when they think it is worth more than they paid, they become like an investment banker and only consider profit.  I find the whole transaction hilarious, as it really does define the modern art scene on many levels.  If a famous artist can paint 3 bands of colour, then charge 5 figures, the art ceases to be something of beauty and is reduced to a mere asset: something someone says is worth money.  Whether it is pleasing to look at is no longer an issue; commercialization has invaded the art world and now dictates who and what sets the price.  Some of my art can be seen at www.ringo.com/danaef, or www.myspace.com. or www.spoiledink.com/danae, or contact me and I will send some examples.  By the way, the top of this blog is part of a larger painting I created in watercolours. 

I’ve never bothered with self-promotion, I’m still working on a web-site, but anyone interested in my art can access a wide selection and a good price.
I’m at danaefitzgerald@shaw.ca
a jaded but honest artist

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