Walmart Cares

Walmart Cares

Full comic at the New York Times

Last week was littered with news about Walmart being terrible, so it was pretty much like any other week. The Waltons may be the most egregious offenders, but most companies treat their employees like shit because it’s profitable, and there aren’t enough regulations to prevent them from being shitty.

If I could, I do all my shopping at Costco, which seems to be relatively decent. But I’m a poor freelancer and can’t afford to be ethical all the time. I’m sure my budgetary constraints have helped close mom and pop stores, and continue to contribute to the poor conditions of Amazon’s warehouse employees. I’m a monster.

Unbridled consumerism is a year-round problem, but if you know anyone who’ll be shopping on Thanksgiving Day, make that asshole sit in a bathtub full of gravy until they reconsider their priorities.

Republican Recipes for the Hungry

Republican Recipes for the Hungry

read the comic at Medium

Massive cuts to SNAP recently went into effect, exacerbating the country’s already tragic hunger problem. Since the poor don’t make campaign contributions, the GOP couldn’t give a shit. When sequestration threatened to make air travel inconvenient for themselves and their donors, politicians from both sides rushed to exempt the FAA from the cuts.

Hunger is a year-round issue, but if the holiday season is making you feel exceptionally generous, consider donating to your local food bank. If you’re in my neck of the woods, the Greater Boston Food Bank helps many local families.

Cholesterol Overhaul

Cholesterol Overhaul

Read The Strip at the NYTimes

Last week the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology issued new guidelines for cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. Those guidelines direct doctors to prescribe the drugs to millions of patients who previously didn’t need them.

Most statins are generic now, and some have argued that because of that, the new guidelines can’t be a pharmaceutical cash grab. I’m no math whiz (Brockton High Mathlete, 1994-1997), but if their margins are small, a way to boost profit out of a generic drug would be to increase the volume sold, perhaps by expanding the patient pool by a couple million or so. I was only med-school adjacent in college, but it turns out that these guidelines also set off doctors’ bullshit detectors over the weekend.

I’m not doubting the efficacy of statin drugs for those who truly need them. Like all medications, they come with benefits and side effects that should be carefully considered by patients and their doctors. Since we live in a world where most of us can’t afford to eat healthy or have the time to exercise, pharmaceuticals may be the only way we can combat heart disease until society starts to value our health over our productivity and contributions to GDP.