23 August 2016   Leave a comment

This post has little to do with world politics, but it is about the issue of governance and why so many people around the world are questioning the legitimacy of the system. The Mylan Corporation recently raised the price of a life-saving drug delivery system called the EpiPen.   The drug itself, epinephrine, is a very inexpensive generic drug but Mylan bought the rights to the delivery system, an autoinjector that delivers a carefully calibrated dose.  When Mylan bought the rights to the EpiPen in 2007, the pens cost about $57 each; the company now charges more than $500 per pen.  To make matters worse, many insurance plans do not cover the cost of the EpiPen.  What is reprehensible is that the compensation for Mylan’s CEO, Heather Bresch, went from $2,453,456 to $18,931,068, a 671 percent increase between 2007 and 2015 even though the pen changed not one bit.

In a very curious case, the German government has a recommendation on the legislative table that would require all citizens to “stockpile five days of drinking water and 10 days of food supplies.”  The report was prepared by the German Interior Ministry and is predicated on the assumption that the country might face developments that could “threaten our existence.”  This policy is unusually dramatic and based upon some sort of existential threat that would suggest the complete collapse of the German state for a period of time.  The question is what kind of threat is the Interior Ministry worried about?

In September, China will be hosting the G20 meeting, an annual meeting of the heads of the largest economies in the world to discuss the state of the global economy.  The upcoming Beijing Review is devoted to the issues that will be on the table.  One of those articles addresses the need to rethink globalization.  I sincerely doubt that the issue as such will be discussed since it is too cosmic for a useful conversation.  But I have no doubts that the issue of globalization will be part of every discussion about every aspect of the global economy such as trade, investment, and migration.  The article is a useful overview of ways to think about how globalization should be managed.


Posted August 23, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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