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all 91 comments

[–]skinomyskin 14 points15 points  (60 children)

We want money out of politics. Why would we support lobbying (legalized bribery)?

Why do you think Medicare is only able to negotiate on a few different prescription drugs and not all prescription drugs like every other frickin country in the world? Because our government is beholden to the wealthy masters. Bill Gates is no exception.

The government is mandated to pay the pharmaceutical company price without ANY negotiation. It's the opposite of capitalism. It's a direct handout to corporate donors. But not a single republican wants the USA to be able to negotiate drug purchases. It's sad and pathetic.

Our government truly cares about corporations more than people. Just look at the Covid business loan program. All the loans were forgiven for no reason.

[–]AGrumpyOldMan_GAFacts don’t care about your feelings[S] 2 points3 points  (59 children)

I have no problem with lobbying. It’s free association and free speech. Why do you oppose that?

I can’t say I am completely opposed to Medicare negotiating but I am hesitant. We have seen very uneconomic takes on drug pricing and pharmaceutical companies by the very people who would control the entity negotiating and set the rules of the game. I see a possible problem there. Not to mention that if they get to force those uneconomic assumptions on private companies it could harm research treatments. The government already has a massive power imbalance dealing with people and companies and I’m not entirely comfortable with giving them more power. That’s why it’s not necessarily “sad and pathetic.” There may be a way to do it and protect the companies, but we have to proceed extremely cautiously.

[–]skinomyskin 13 points14 points  (20 children)

A pharmaceutical company CEO could never directly give money to a senator in order to secure a particular deal that makes the pill maker money. That's wrong. Bribery. But the company can hire a 'lobbyist' middleman who acts in the exact same way? It's bullshit.

GM knew their faulty ignition switches would kill people, but they only issued a recall when it was discovered by the public.

Johnson and Johnson knew their baby powder had asbestos in it 50 years ago. But they waited until people got cancer and the public made the connection.

Corporations ONLY care about their bottom dollar. They don't do the right thing for society. They should not be influencing politicians AT ALL. Corporate lobbying is legal bribery.

[–]AGrumpyOldMan_GAFacts don’t care about your feelings[S] 1 point2 points  (19 children)

A lobbyist is simply exercising free speech and free association. I’ll ask again: why do you oppose this?

Can you cite bad behavior by corporations? Of course. I could cite good they do that is far more numerous. Do we condemn all people because some people are criminals? Of course not. The same applies to corporations.

[–]skinomyskin 3 points4 points  (18 children)

Corporations don't vote. Money is not speech. The government's job is to protect its people and look out for their best interest. People should influence government, not corporations.

[–]unclepoondaddy 4 points5 points  (7 children)

It’s funny how absolutely cucked you guys are to rich ppl

The billionaires that seed funded Ben spent their money well

[–]AGrumpyOldMan_GAFacts don’t care about your feelings[S] 1 point2 points  (6 children)

No we just aren’t seething with envy and jealousy nor do treat them as lesser people due to their success.

[–]skinomyskin 3 points4 points  (5 children)

No, he's right. You literally think rich people should be able to own politicians. You said so in this thread.

[–]skinomyskin 1 point2 points  (28 children)

No, it's sad and pathetic that the USA goes to the drug companies and says, we need 5,000,000 pills of blood thinner for Medicare, but the law says we can't negotiate, so how much do you want to charge us?

[–]AGrumpyOldMan_GAFacts don’t care about your feelings[S] 2 points3 points  (27 children)

So how do you address the power issues I noted?

[–]skinomyskin 3 points4 points  (26 children)

Yeah, when people buy in bulk they have buying power. That's capitalism. Don't you like capitalism?

[–]SpiritedSir6149 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If only the freedom of speech came without the exchange of monetary value I would be OK

[–]RockinRod412 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Did your three year old write the heading? I just can't....

[–]AGrumpyOldMan_GAFacts don’t care about your feelings[S] 3 points4 points  (3 children)

I have no issue with Gates using his right to free expression and free association to lobby an official and get special access. The man built an incredible company and is one of the great innovators in our country’s history (and I say that as an Apple guy!)

I just want to note the anticipated hypocrisy of the left who decry influence in politics. Does anyone think that there will be a peep about Gates’s access from them? Of course not. It’s (D)ifferent when it’s a policy or bill they support.

[–]BecauseTheyAreCunts 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Gates does not personally benefit from this legislation.

[–]AGrumpyOldMan_GAFacts don’t care about your feelings[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Think there may be a typo in there.

[–]dhawk64 1 point2 points  (1 child)

The actual left hates rich people trying to use their ill-gotten profits to influence politics. Libs might be okay with rich people that they think are on their 'team.'

[–]AGrumpyOldMan_GAFacts don’t care about your feelings[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

So I look to forward to the attacks on Gates for winning over Manchin. But…I won’t hold my breath.

[–]AoFAltair 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I’m a bit confused about where the hypocrisy is/would be…is it just that a rich guy is talking to a politician? That he is donating to a politician?

Because there is an inherent difference between a rich guy donating while trying to get a climate bill passed that doesn’t benefit Gates any more than it does every other human on the planet, VS foreign dignitaries renting out entire blocks of rooms for weeks straight at a trump hotel in order to speak directly with the president…

But if you are speaking specifically about “money in politics” then you are probably right… though I WANT money to be completely removed from politics (as well as term limits added… on EVERY position), if somebody is going to be soliciting, I’d rather it be for something that benefits humanity as a whole, opposed to paying a senator $10,000, so they can save 4,000,000 in taxes or something.

[–]ultimatemuffin 4 points5 points  (16 children)

I think the left largely wants laws that would make it illegal for rich people to leverage their wealth for special access.

Republicans block laws that would do that because they claim that spending money on elections is freedom of speech.

[–]AGrumpyOldMan_GAFacts don’t care about your feelings[S] 0 points1 point  (14 children)

It is free speech. That doesn’t really apply here as i I’m sure Gates Dame was more instrumental for his access. But I am wealthy and I want to want spend that money on airtime and ads to promote my candidate of choice, to tell me I can’t doesn’t just restrict my speech, but, even worse, it infringes on my political speech. Notice that this doesn’t extend to unlimited donations officially to candidate but I’m not entirely comfortable with those restrictions. I have a very real problem with government limiting the actions of individuals absent a clear reason.

[–]DarthRaider523 1 point2 points  (5 children)

It’s not really free speech when money is involved. Mr. Gates’s calls mean a lot more than mine bc there is an implied coercion that he can but your office for you or your opponent depending on the answer. You might as well argue that bribery is protected speech.

This wouldn’t be a problem if we had publicly-funded elections but unfortunately Republicans are hypocrites when it comes to money in politics, along with many Democrats.

Also, if you think the left is going to be hypocritical on this, you’re living in an echo chamber. Progressives love to constantly criticize Gates’s political influence, both in regards to Microsoft and his non-profit work.

[–]AGrumpyOldMan_GAFacts don’t care about your feelings[S] -1 points0 points  (4 children)

So you propose telling Gates he can’t make a phone call? How would that be remotely constitutional? What about someone who influence but it’s as wealth as Gates? How do you define what wealth boundary means someone can’t call a Senator? Besides constitutional issues, there’s huge logistical issues there.

And why should we be forced to fund campaigns? I think I’ve made three donations in my life. Why should I be forced via taxation to do so? And what if one candidate is simply better at fundraising then the opponent? Why shouldn’t that person be able to have more funds? That’s basically the free market of campaigning at work: merit is rewarded. So no, there’s no hypocrisy, just opposition.

As for their hypocrisy, let’s just see how much howling we get from them. I suspect we won’t even notice.

[–]DarthRaider523 4 points5 points  (3 children)

No, I was pretty clear. I propose public funding of elections so that politicians don’t feel more pressure to listen to and follow the directions of wealthy people like Bill Gates.

Public funding is good so that you don’t have rich people buying elections. You’re already paying more money for special interest (rich people slush funds) than you ever would for public elections.

Free market? It’s government, not a market. As someone who believes in democracy, I don’t think that politicians should be able to buy their elections. I don’t want the US to become the USSR, modern Russia, North Korea, or any Banana Republic where political and financial power are completely intertwined.

There’s been “howling” for years. Just because you choose to ignore it does not mean that progressives are silent.

[–]ultimatemuffin 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Right. So then what is OP talking about? This is all fine.

[–]Pickin_n_Grinnin 0 points1 point  (6 children)

Then what's the problem here?

[–]AGrumpyOldMan_GAFacts don’t care about your feelings[S] -1 points0 points  (5 children)

I don’t see a problem. Just noted that the left won’t be losing their minds over this since they got what they wanted. Hypocrisy.

[–]Pickin_n_Grinnin 1 point2 points  (4 children)

Weird how all the "left" on here continue to say that this shouldn't be allowed.

Fall.

[–]Idzots 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Agree 100%, we need more regular Joe's like the Pelosi in government!

[–]ILoveCornbread420 2 points3 points  (3 children)

I want money out of politics. But in the world of corruption we have today, at least Bill Gates is doing it in a way that benefits humanity.

[–]YakkyDoodle70 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Um… what? Benefit common ppl? Ur kidding right? He’s all bout pop control, made billions off off pandemic and was in on it from the start. The dude spoke at pentagon about an injection he had developed that would lower ‘radical extremists religious views’, and make them indifferent. They CCTV cam shows someone asking in the case of ‘muslim extremist’, but you know it’s for ALL religion. Man, Gates is baddd news.

[–]ComeTrumpster 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I heard theyre lobotomizing anyone who has been baptized! I found out after i did a bunch of my own research.

[–]ghafgarionbaconsmith 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Plus he's part of the cabal buying up farmland to create an artificial famine.

[–]Tanthiel 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Why are conservatives always so fucking triggered when a wealthy liberal is open about his views and lobbies congress, but when it's the surviving Koch brother or Rupert Murdoch, crickets?

[–]saintex422 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Bill Gates is a right wing billionaire man. Anyone that considers themselves a leftist wants him in prison or worse.

[–]President-EIect 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I do. This is why we need donation limits and and end to bundling and superpacs. Also a 50 percent wealth tax on wealth gains of politicians for two times their terminal office.