What message is the cartoonist trying to convey in regards to what’s important to pharmaceutical companies operating in a capitalist system?
1. Capitalism – an economic system where private individuals and businesses can produce, own, and sell goods or services to make a profit. Businesses and individuals are free to make profits as supply and demand dictate. Businesses and individuals compete to stay profitable with some regulation/standards set by the government. Under capitalism, individuals and companies can own land and profit from that ownership.
2. capital – capital can be defined as the money a person has available to start and maintain a business, or the resources a person owns to produce wealth.
3. profit - profit is the amount of money made by an individual or company selling a good or service. It is the difference between the amount of money made and the cost of providing a good and service. Under capitalism, companies and individuals that sell goods and services do so driven by the desire to make money; the money made is profit.
4. supply and demand – with the law of supply and demand, both the supply and demand for a service or product determine the price. If there is a high demand for a product (example: a lot of people want a particular brand of gym shoes) the price will generally be high because a lot of people want the item and the owners of the item know they can make a lot of money from the item based on the demand for it. By the same law, if the supply of an item is high (example: there are plenty of a particular brand of gym shoes available) the owners will generally set the price low in order to compete with other individuals or companies that may be selling the same good or service. If a product or service is readily available, the buyers (consumers) have plenty of options on where to purchase the good or service and will purchase wherever they can find the better price. If the supply for an item or service is low, the demand for that good or service goes up, and therefore, its price goes up as well.
5. government regulation – a law issued by the government to control how a business is run and to ensure the safety and standards of the product or service being provided. These laws generally exist to protect the buyers (consumers) and to also protect the environment. They also exist to protect the people who work for companies (i.e. in factories).
6. profit motive – when individuals or companies are in business motivated by the desire to make money.
7. privatization – when a business or service transitions from being run and operated by the government to being run by private individuals or companies.
8. employers and employees – employers are those who own a company or business and the employees are the individuals who work for them in order to receive some sort of compensation, generally in the form of wages, a paycheck.
1. If the motivation for individuals and businesses who provide goods and services is to make profits, what possible impact could the desire for profits by private owners have on the following:
- the employees. .think in terms of the employee’s wages, benefits, and working conditions.
- the buyers/consumers. .think in terms of the quality of products or services available to consumers . .think about how material goods are valued and priced. .think about how safe or unsafe a product or service might be based on the motivation to make profits.
- the environment/ecosystem. .think in terms of the raw materials needed to produce manufactured goods. .think in terms of the by-products of the manufacturing process in factories. .think in terms or air, water, and soil quality. .how are animals that we eat and animals we do not eat effected by the desire to make profits?
2. Is there a such thing as too much profit or wealth? When does greed become a factor, and what are the local and global implications of that greed?
3. Should the government provide everyone’s basic needs, or should privatized companies be able to provide those needs? Basic needs include: housing, food, education, and healthcare.
4. Should private individuals or companies be able to own land or should land be made available to everyone according to need?
5. What is the connection between Capitalism/profit-motive and poverty/homelessness?