Thoughts from a Yellow Dog Democrat living in Olympia, in the great BLUE state of Washington

I am a liberal because it is the political philosophy of freedom and equality. And I am a progressive because it is the political path to a better future. And I am a Democrat because it is the political party that believes in freedom, equality and progress. -- Digby

Monday, November 15, 2004

Frame 2

We Cannot Undermine Our Last Line of Defense Against Gross Misconduct

The court system is the great equalizer. It protects the minority opinion, opens records to expose the truth, and makes public wrong doing.

Merck is just the latest in a series of corporations who have hidden information from the public -- to the tune that the NYT says beginning in 2000 the first studies showed Vioxx caused heart attacks and since then there have been as many as 27,000 excess deaths to the present day. We need access to the courts to punish companies like this --yes, punish. Here's from their financial statements at

Consolidated Statement of Income
Merck & Co., Inc. and Subsidiaries
Years Ended December 31
($ in millions except per share amounts)
2003 2002 2001
Sales $ 22,485.9 $ 21,445.8 $ 21,199.0
Costs, Expenses and Other
Materials and production 4,315.3 3,907.1 3,624.8
Marketing and administrative 6,394.9 5,652.2 5,700.6
Research and development 3,178.1 2,677.2 2,456.4
. . .
Income from Continuing
Operations Before Taxes 9,051.6 9,651.7 9,948.1
Taxes on Income 2,462.0 2,856.9 2,894.9
. . .
Net Income $ 6,830.9 $ 7,149.5 $ 7,281.8

They advertised that drug, pushed it, lied about it --"It's a wonderful day!!" -- charged $3 per pill and THEY KNEW IT WAS KILLING PEOPLE and they had a net income on average of $7 Billion dollars per year.

It is immoral not to punish a company like this who deliberately harmed people for profits.

If you know your product will fall to pieces on highways, unhinge during impact a mini-van back seat where children commonly sit , your gas tank explodes during a minor accident, the beef your selling was raised in a feed lot next to cattle with a disease that can be caught through ingestion -- or you are responsible either through direct action or neglect of poisoning our water, land, air, shoreline -- YOU NEED TO BE PUNISHED. Obviously reputation means nothing to these people so they need to be punished where at the point where they do care --their bottom line.


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