Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash

Red, who's definitely not the business half of Red & Black, has heard over the years – especially from politicians and the media – that drug companies are the bad guys. Charging astronomical prices for drugs. Disclosing dangerous side effects or that it's potentially habit-forming. OK, they may be legally required to disclose that information but they do it at either the end of TV commercials in a way designed to make you "tune out" or, once you buy the drug, in the tiniest print. (OK, be honest, how many of you read the little pamphlet that comes with your medication? Red doesn't, and she was the straight-A student!)

Now, those same companies are spending millions and millions of dollars researching, developing, and testing drugs to prevent or treat Covid-19. Red, like many people, is thrilled at the news of seemingly successful vaccines rolling out any day now. However, at the risk of getting an unwanted business lesson on the drug industry, she comments to Black about all those previous conflicting impressions about the drug industry.

Black knows better than to try and explain to Red how you have to amortize R&D (research and development) expenses, or the fact that drug companies are businesses (not not-for-profit) so have a financial obligation to its shareholders. Not to mention, the issue of why manufacturing drugs has moved overseas. At this point, the bottom-line (pun intended) is that without more information you can't determine if drugs companies are going to be the good guys (although there's a financial implication, and accounting entry, for "goodwill") or the bad guys.

Time will tell … but meanwhile it provoked Black to ask:

Does doing good have to be mutually exclusive from doing well?
Photo by mevans on iStock


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Did you know that April's Autism Awareness Month? I wasn't aware (pun intended) of it until I read our local homeowner's monthly newsletter and it caught my eye.


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Actually, last month the founding organization, the Autism Society, changed "Awareness" to "Acceptance" to foster inclusivity, as knowing about something is very different from accepting it. But I am guessing that is not the point of this call.


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Although it isn't autism, it reminded me of years ago when we found out that Natasha has learning disabilities.


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I think you mean DIFF-abilities.


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Of course, that's another thing I remember. I was focused on the negative aspects of her diagnosis until you asked me, point-blank, "Why are they called disabilities?" And proceeded to explain that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses.


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Exactly! Imagine the world if everyone excelled at math, but flunked English. Or, a world of lawyers, but no musicians. Some people are better at social skills, while others excel at handling technical data. Why not just say that people who have different skillsets and abilities have DIFF-abilities versus making them feel like they have shortcomings?
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Well, the Oprah interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was over a month ago, but I still see plenty of articles about it. It's really "stirred up" things in the Royal Family.


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Well, I guess it put "a bee in the royal bonnet." Although, I would not believe everything you read. Right after the interview, I read several articles suggesting the monarchy should end with Queen Elizabeth. I cannot imagine that happening.


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Oh, that isn't anything new. It's been going on for a long time; there was even talk of it when I lived in England decades ago. All the interview did was further encourage those who are already advocating it.


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At the risk of sounding like a broken record, but as I said in our Banter Bite, Talk About Getting The Royal Treatment, the Royal Family does seem to have "issues" in terms of race relations and dealing with mental illness. I can understand why people are questioning whether the monarchy, with its "old-fashioned" traditions and beliefs, is still relevant.


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But it's not like that's the only place those issues exist. Just pick up a newspaper, turn on the news – it's everywhere! Unfortunately, the Oprah interview put a very public face on it – The Royal Family, or The Firm, which is how the family and institution refers to itself.


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Who nicknames themselves The Firm? It sounds like a Netflix series, but with less class than " The Crown."
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