Shake It Off

I think many of us want to shake off a few of the latest news reports.

A jury convicted peanut butter company executives of fraud and conspiracy. The company’s CEO reportedly directed subordinates to “Just Ship It,” though they were waiting on contamination test results for batches of product prior to shipping. The company’s tainted peanut butter killed nine people and sickened hundreds.

Volkswagen has admitted to blatant cheating on US emission tests. The stock price plunged. CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned. Consumer confidence has gone the way of the stock price.

Martin Shkreli and Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price of a drug that has no generic competition. Online HuffPost Business reported, “Shkreli and Turing Pharmaceuticals attracted widespread negative attention this week after The New York Times reported the firm hiked the price of Daraprim from $13.50 per pill to $750 in a single day. [Emphasis added] The medicine is more than 60 years old, but has no generic competition, mostly because so few patients need it. Those who do must take the drug to fend off a deadly infection called toxoplasmosis, which afflicts people with AIDS, babies born with HIV, and those with some kinds of cancers. According to Slate, Retrophin implemented a similar price increase for a kidney medicine when Shkreli ran the company. (Note the update: 7:35 p.m. 22 September—Shkreli said Tuesday that Turing would lower the price of the drug an unspecified amount “in response to the anger that was felt by people.”)

Consumers should be angry. Tainted food, pharmaceutical price gouging, emissions cheating by a respected automobile manufacturer. Have corporations’ integrity gone into the toilet?

Victims of tainted peanut butter can’t shake off the death of loved ones. HIV babies and cancer patients can’t shake off diagnoses. Volkswagen’s image and trust is tainted. Once loyal customers are shaking off a brand they used to trust.

Watching for Stop Sign Runners

Watching for Stop Sign Violators

Local Sheriff Deputies were out in force today giving tickets to violators who routinely ignore a four-way stop. The officers positioned themselves in strategic locations to catch violators. We must be strategic and vigilant consumers, identifying and calling to question violators of trust who are eager to take our hard-earned money.

(Note: the officer pictured is strategically on the sidewalk, not roadway).

Jesus said to his disciples, “Look, I’m sending you as sheep among wolves. Therefore, be wise as snakes and innocent as doves,” (Matthew 10:16).

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