https://twitter.com/TheRickyDavila/status/956988429723668480 After pocketing a $5 billion tax cut from the GOP Tax Scam, Pfizer decided to end all of its Alzheimer's and Parkinson's research. Then they did exactly as it was predicted, they fired 300 scientists and used that money to buy back their stocks. https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo...rts-into-alzheimers-and-parkinsons-treatments Pfizer has announced plans to end its research efforts to discover new drugs for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. The pharmaceutical giant explained its decision, which will entail roughly 300 layoffs, as a move to better position itself "to bring new therapies to patients who need them." http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-pfizer-20180108-story.html As it happens, Pfizer signaled how it would apply the tax savings even before the final passage of the tax bill: The company announced a $10-billion share buyback on Dec. 18, four days before President Trump signed the tax cut into law. That buyback was on top of $6.4 billion left to be spent from a previous buyback plan, and was accompanied by a 6% increase in the company's stock dividend, which will be worth roughly another half-billion dollars a year. For comparison's sake, Pfizer's entire research and development budget averaged about $8 billion a year from 2014 through 2016. Pfizer's diversion of its tax break to shareholders parallels its behavior the last time American companies received a tax holiday on repatriated foreign earnings. That was in 2004, after corporations promised to apply their tax savings to hiring more workers and investing in their business. Instead, they laid off workers, bought back their shares, and pumped up their CEO compensation. Pfizer brought home more than any other company in that amnesty, $35.5 billion, according to a 2007 investigation by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. From 2004 through 2007, Levin reported, Pfizer bought back more than $27 billion in stock and reduced employment by 11,748 workers. Woohoo, feel that sweet, sweet trickle-down at work! This will certainly make America great again! But as long as purely economic considerations drive drug R&D, the prospects for progress are dim. The Republicans who drafted the corporate tax cut promised that it would lead to more business investment and therefore economic growth. But as Pfizer demonstrates, all the incentives run in the opposite direction: More investment in shareholder welfare, less economic growth, and less attention to what corporations are supposed to exist for — improving people's lives.