The Minneapolis Star Tribune
Baby boomers are spoiled brats?
Do you know that it is a crime to sleep inside a parked car when you are in Palo Alto in Silicon Valley, CA? All over the country as well as key cities all around the world, the rate of poverty increases year after year. Some people do not have places to sleep which is why they sleep inside their cars. But lately there was a petition to ban homeless in this situation because it affects the residents’ quality of life.
Alnernet reported on this earlier this month that in Palo Alto where billionaires live and dine and where more than 90% of homeless people do not have access to food and shelter, unbelievable anti-homeless laws have been passed. Los Angeles has been called the homeless capital of America and it is here were quality of life laws were created which are mean to protect and improve their quality of life but on the contrary are not helping at all. But even so, countless homeless people and some that have managed to acquire RVs or recreational vehicles with a built in toilet and bath, come to Los Angeles to seek employment and hopefully for a better cut of life. Some cities that are near Los Angeles simply do not want to provide ordinances as well as facilities to help the homeless like toilets and showers in the fear of being flooded with homeless people.
But studies say that homeless people often stay where they used to live since they still need their connections. This is why the homeless sleep in their cars because they have simply no other place to go. Being homeless start from getting laid off from work and then being evicted from their homes or rental apartments because of non-payment of rent. When a person that has been evicted has no family or friends to help him, his last resort is to stay in the streets while those that have managed to find a place to stay may not stay for a very long time. Aside from staying on the streets they may stay in their cars instead.
But there are several things to consider as you sleep in your car in the evenings in Los Angeles: it is illegal to park your car in commercial places in the evenings, those that will be caught will be given an expensive ticket but for repeat offenders, impounding the vehicle is the result. This leaves the poor with nowhere to go but to sleep in driveways and in private communities. Unless a law is passed to improve the living conditions of the poor this practice will still continue.
Policymic had a great point to make about Bayer last week. It was a surprise to hear that a huge pharmaceutical company like Bayer claim that the drug that they have manufactured to help fight cancer was not intended for the poor. This was disclosed by Bayer’s very own CEO, Marijn Dekkers. Many were amazed that such a huge and successful company could ever claim this! Big companies like Bayer compete with each other in the quest to find the next best cure or the best life-saving medication. But if pharmaceutical companies reveal that what they are doing is just to make money then they should possibly rethink about their goals.
Dekkers’ reckless quote was possibly due to his anger at another pharmaceutical company from India called Natco Pharma Ltd. Natco was awarded a license to create a generic version of Bayer’s Nexaver which is a drug that has been developed to treat late-stage cancers of the liver and kidney. The new Natco generic drug will only cost $177! This is a 97% reduction from a $69,000 price Bayer had for Nexaver.
The license was granted to Natco basically because there was no cheaper alternative to Nexaver in India. The country desperately needs drugs like this to cure people especially those that belong to low income families.
Dekkers was quoted in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek: “We did not develop this medicine for Indians.” He further mentioned: “We developed it for western patients who can afford it.” Still another representative from Bayer informed India Supreme Court that the price for their anti-cancer drug was actually “reasonably affordable.”
Other pharmaceutical companies like Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Merck & Co. will possibly find themselves at the same situation when India starts to create alternatives for expensive medications so that most of their poverty-stricken residents could afford to get well.