So, businesses are complaining the American workers are taking too many bathroom breaks---missing too much work----and workers are afraid to go to the hospital because of cost and work or lose wages because of the bad food from lack of Federal oversight and global markets.
These few decades saw Clinton neo-liberals and Bush/Hopkins neo-cons moving global food from China and India and other Asian nations in return for opening up those markets to US global BIG AG and MEAT. This hit the low-income and poor hardest as much of this developing nation food went to cheap food national chains as we find in Maryland and especially Baltimore. Baltimore City pols push those cheap food national chains in what has been labeled FOOD deserts rather than build a REAL local food economy in each community in Baltimore. Immigrants and low-wage workers both have been hit hard with FLU-LIKE SYMPTOMS but these last several years of Obama has all venues of food being filled with developing nation food while food grown and processed in the US is being sold to overseas rich. I am sure I am fighting digestive problems from dairy products from WholeFoods for example. So, this open door to global foods with no nation of origin will have Americans experiencing every food-borne illness and disease listed in my last blog.
AS CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS PRETEND TO BE BUILDING PREVENTATIVE HEALTH CARE EVERY POLICY THEY IMPLEMENT IS TEARING DOWN THE STRUCTURES THAT ACTUALLY DID ALL THIS.
U.S. Flu Cases Continue to Climb
Southwestern states hardest hit, but infections still not at epidemic levels, CDC says
WebMD News from HealthDay
WebMD News Archive
By Dennis Thompson
FRIDAY, Jan. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Flu season continues to tighten its grip on the United States, with 35 states now experiencing widespread influenza activity, federal officials reported Friday.
The flu seems to be hitting young and middle-aged adults the hardest this year, rather than seniors or children, said Dr. Michael Jhung, a medical officer in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Influenza Division.
About 61 percent of the 2,622 flu-related hospitalizations this season have been for people between 18 and 64 years old, Jhung said. Typically, seniors 65 and older account for more than half of flu hospitalizations during a season.
This could be because the H1N1 strain of flu is the most prevalent this season, and most younger adults don't get a flu shot, said Dr. Daniel Spogen, chair of the department of family and community medicine at the University of Nevada School of Medicine.
"The ones that tend to be sick this season are young and otherwise healthy adults," added Spogen, who's also a board member of the American Academy of Family Physicians. "If you take a look at the data, the people who are getting sick enough to be hospitalized are the ones who didn't get their flu shot."
Across all age ranges, about 40 percent to 45 percent of people get an annual flu shot, Jhung said. But only 31 percent of people 18 to 49 years old usually receive a flu vaccination, he said.
Young and middle-aged adults also were disproportionately affected during the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, Jhung added.
Another reason for that trend: Until the 2009 pandemic, the H1N1 flu strain had been dormant for several decades, leaving younger adults with little immunity to the virus.
Still, the number of deaths related to either the flu or pneumonia this season remains slightly below epidemic levels, the CDC said.
An estimated 6.9 percent of all deaths in the United States this season have been caused by flu or pneumonia -- just under the epidemic threshold of 7.1 percent. Ten children have died from the flu so far this season, the CDC said.
I have spoken before about how it was the Federal Department of Health and Human Services and its local counterpart that would have required by law that city infrastructure from water to waste was rebuilt a few decades ago as everyone knew system failure was near---THAT IS BUILT INTO OUR WATER AND SEWAGE MONTHLY BILLS. When a city gets to the point Baltimore is with its third world breakdown and pollution of public waterways that run through neighborhoods---YOU HAVE NO PUBLIC HEALTH IN THE CITY OF BALTIMORE. Very, very, very neo-conservative Johns Hopkins has been public health for decades and it controls where all that Baltimore City revenue from water and sewage bills went because WE ALL KNOW BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT AND JOHNS HOPKINS HAS CONTROLLED CITY HALL FOR DECADES.
When Bernie Sanders passed through Baltimore and shouted----this is a third world city-----he was simply looking at the building infrastructure----he didn't even cover the third world public health brought to Baltimore by Wall Street Baltimore Development and very neo-conservative Johns Hopkins and their pols.
Baltimore's Inner Harbor has algae blooms in the summer with huge fish kills and signs saying DO NOT FISH all because we have no public health department.
I have no doubt $700 million was spent on fixes------we know how fixes don't result in anything!
VEOLA ENVIRONMENT and other large corporations have had control of Baltimore's water and waste for a decade or so-----rather than have a functioning Baltimore public works staffed with local workers steadily fixing this problem.
Baltimore faulted for dumping raw sewage into Jones Falls
By Timothy B. Wheeler December 15
A new report details how Baltimore has deliberately dumped more than 330 million gallons of raw sewage over the past five years into the Jones Falls, which flows to the Inner Harbor.
Elsewhere in the city’s 1,400-mile network of aged underground pipes, the report by the Environmental Integrity Project notes, there have been more than 400 complaints of sewage backing up into homes.
The intentional overflows — releasing 15 times as much sewage as the city has reported spilling from pipe breaks and blockages — are coming from two openings in the sewer system that the city was supposed to close years ago, according to the Washington-based environmental group. The releases are intended to avoid sewage backups into homes from the city’s leaky, overloaded sewer system.
The report, based on public information requests, comes as the city is nearing a deadline for fixing the system that it will not meet.
City officials say they have spent $700 million on sewer repairs to comply with a consent order signed in 2002 with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Maryland Department of the Environment. The order, settling a lawsuit brought against the city for polluting local waters, requires an end to chronic overflows by Jan. 1.
But with just over two weeks to go before the deadline, the city has completed only about half the repairs and upgrades it pledged to make, according to the report.
Jeff Raymond, spokesman for the city’s Department of Public Works, said municipal officials hope to get an extension from state and federal regulators. But he added that he couldn’t discuss how much longer the overhaul would take until a new timetable is filed with the federal court. Officials previously said they expect to spend more than $1 billion to complete it.
The environmental group and local activists are calling on state and federal regulators to grant the city no more than five more years to finish its sewer work, in keeping with a campaign the city has embraced to make the harbor swimmable and fishable by 2020.
“They need to get it done,” said Eric Schaeffer, a former EPA official who directs the Environmental Integrity Project. “It’s been 13 years now,” he said. “They need to pick up the pace.”
Activists also are insisting on alerting people around the Inner Harbor to the health risks of kayaking, sailing or otherwise coming into contact with water frequently contaminated with sewage.
“We’re seeing a lot more people out on the water boating and fishing,” said David Flores, the Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper, contending that the city ought to be more open about how much sewage is being spilled into the harbor and the streams that feed it.
Decades ago, the city designed its sewer system to overflow into the nearest stream whenever sewage backed up in the lines. Since signing the consent decree, the city has closed 60 of 62 built-in relief valves. But officials say that if they close the last two overflow outfalls on the Jones Falls, it could cause sewage to back up into homes and businesses throughout much of the city.
“Our regulators are aware that these are open,” Raymond said. City officials plan to plug the overflows “down the line,” he added.
Many of the overflows are occurring because of a problem with the pipe feeding into the century-old Back River wastewater treatment plant, officials say. The city planned to issue a contract last summer to remedy the backups by pumping sewage into massive holding tanks, but officials rejected the low bid because it was more than $100 million over the $300 million municipal engineers had estimated.
City officials are reviewing the project to figure out how to lower the cost, Raymond said. Construction is now projected to begin in 2017 and take three years.
Activists contend that the city isn’t being open enough about how much sewage is being spilled or what risks the public faces. Water samples taken regularly by the city since 2009 show potentially unsafe levels of fecal bacteria occur frequently in the Inner Harbor and the lower Jones Falls.
Republicans worked from the time FDR and New Deal created this Federal system of protections for public interest health and human services and anti-monopoly laws to protect small businesses to get rid of all those Federal departments-----from Department of AG----to FDA----to Department of Education----to Medicare and Medicaid------all geared to protecting American health and environment so what happened in Asia and especially China did not happen in the US and for several decades it worked-----bringing Reagan/Clinton to office to move US corporations overseas to avoid all those protections. The devastation brought by US global FOXCONN corporate campuses and factories to citizens in Asia was remarkable -----complete disregard to human life brought by Clinton Initiative and Bush neo-cons partnered by Chinese et al leadership made rich by handing its citizens to this mess.
Below you see Obama doing just as Republicans have been wanting for decades------dismantling every Federal agency tied to public health and welfare and he is doing it as he promotes Trans Pacific Trade Pact and International Economic Zones -----because we cannot have those Federal agencies when the goal is to devastate the US worker and environment.
If you look at the health disparity in BAltimore as regards people of color and low-income you see the results of Clinton neo-liberalism and Baltimore's tie to a neo-conservative Hopkins all while politicians in BAltimore run as Democrats and media even call them 'progressive'. The young black leaders coming out to run for office in Baltimore all are trained in this same global neo-liberal policy not knowing where it takes their communities----THEY HAVE SIMPLY BEEN TOLD TO SAY THIS.
WAKE UP BALTIMORE----IT'S TIME TO GO SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC TO BRING QUALITY OF LIFE TO CITIZENS IN BALTIMORE.
Obama wants to reorganize, merge federal agencies
Andy Medici, Staff Writer 1:42 p.m. EST February 2, 2015(Photo: William Thomas Cain, Getty Images)
President Obama wants Congress to give him the power to consolidate agencies and create new departments – merging parts of agencies such as the FDA, Health and Human Services and Commerce Departments.
The Commerce Department, the Small Business Administration, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Investment Corporation and the U.S. Trade and Development agency would all be merged into one new department, under President Obama's 2016 budget proposal.
The budget also combines the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service and the FDA's food-related inspection programs into one new agency with HHS. The different programs already have significant overlap, according to the budget.
"FDA and FSIS can each have jurisdiction over the same category of food at different points in the food chain: a cheese pizza and its ingredients are regulated solely by FDA, but both agencies play roles in regulating the components and manufacturing of a pepperoni pizza," according to the budget request.
Under the budget proposal President Obama would submit plans to consolidate and reorganize executive branch agencies to Congress for fast-track consideration as long as it reduces the size of government or cuts costs.
"The Administration will continue to work with the Congress and stakeholders to identify opportunities to make the Government more efficient and effective," according to the budget request.
This is how you know you have NO PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT IN BALTIMORE. These conditions will expand all over the US under Trans Pacific Trade Pact and International Economic Zone policies-----Baltimore was simply allowed to live under these conditions for decades because a very, very, very neo--conservative Johns Hopkins and Wall Street Baltimore Development was allowed to gain complete control of Baltimore City Hall because of crony corrupt political machines and politics brought down by Congressional pols like Ben Cardin----John Sarbanes------Elijiah Cummings----and Barbara Mikulski----all serving Hopkins running as Democrats and bringing all that corporate lobbying money back to Baltimore to keep the political system crony----THAT IS WHY BALTIMORE WAS ALLOWED TO BECOME THIRD WORLD. THIS IS WHY BALTIMORE IS FILLED WITH FRAUD AND CORRUPTION.
All any social democratic pol needs are Baltimore citizens creating voter networks to support a candidate -----don't worry about the crony campaign donations and media.
This is how you know all the health related funding that pretends to come to BAltimore never makes it and you know health organizations like Maryland Health Care for All----a Hopkins organization that works to install global corporate health policy while posing progressive----are all lying----and the non-profits tied to them know this.
Baltimore Youths Have It Worse Than Those in Nigeria
A global survey of 15- to 19-year-olds living in vulnerable cities shows that social support and outlook are driving factors in health outcomes
When a teenager from East Baltimore was asked to describe his neighborhood, he spoke of “big rats going around in people’s trash, vacant houses full of squatters and needles on the ground.” A young woman in New Delhi, asked the same question, described the dirt and the “dirty water found lying on the roads,” while a young man in Ibadan, a large city in Nigeria, spoke of the smell of urine and streets “littered with paper and other refuse.”
All three teenagers live in the poorest neighborhoods in their communities and were surveyed as part of the “WAVE” study, a global research project that examines the well-being of adolescents in vulnerable environments around the world. Led by Dr. Kristen Mmari, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, the survey assessed health challenges faced by 2,400 15- to 19-year-olds from impoverished areas in Baltimore, Shanghai, Johannesburg, Ibadan and New Delhi, as well as their perceptions of their environments.
The researchers found many similarities—in all five cities, adolescents were exposed to unsanitary conditions, substance abuse and violence—but the differences between each area were especially compelling. Overall, teenagers in Baltimore and Johannesburg, despite being located in comparably wealthy countries, had far worse health outcomes and tended to perceive their communities more negatively.
In Baltimore, which is located in the world’s richest nation per capita and just 40 miles from the White House, adolescents exhibited considerably high rates of mental health issues, substance abuse, sexual risk-taking, sexual violence and teen pregnancy. In comparison, adolescents in New Delhi exhibited far fewer of those behaviors and outcomes, despite residing in a much less prosperous nation.
The reason for this, Mmari discovered, is rooted in the way teenagers interpret their surroundings. “How kids perceive their environments is really important,” she says. “That’s what’s driving many of these behaviors.” For example, a young man in New Delhi and a young man in Baltimore may both live in neighborhoods with poor living conditions and little opportunity, but because the teenager in New Delhi is able to see his environment in a more positive light, he is less likely to experience to adverse health problems. “He paints a different picture.”
But why do teenagers in Baltimore and Johannesburg have such a dark outlook? According to Mmari, one could point to a combination of environmental and social factors, including the exposure to violence and a lack of social support, which were found to be less prevalent in the three other cities.
“When you look at how they perceive their environments, kids in both Baltimore and Johannesburg are fearful. They don’t feel safe from violence,” says Mmari. “This is something we didn’t really see in other cities. In Shanghai, for example, there wasn’t a great deal of violence. You’d ask kids about their safety concerns, and they would say something like, ‘I’m afraid of crossing a busy street.’”
Community violence was a major concern for girls in Baltimore and Johannesburg, many of whom didn’t feel safe even in their own homes. Violence was also found to predict comparably higher rates of pregnancy and sexual assault in the two cities. A staggering 50 percent of 15- to 19-year-old girls in Baltimore, and 29 percent of those in Johannesburg, had been pregnant in their lifetime, and more than 10 percent of girls in both cities report being raped or assaulted by someone other than their partner in the previous year.
Adolescents in Baltimore and Johannesburg also had relatively lower levels of “social cohesion,” a phrase used to describe the emotional support provided by one’s family and neighbors. In Baltimore, many poor teens grow up in single-parent homes and have a father in prison, while those in Johannesburg tend to lose their parents to AIDS.
“In those cities, kids were much more likely to live in a one-parent household,” Mmari says. (Or, as a youth in Baltimore described it, “The kids are being raised by themselves.”) “Whereas in Delhi, most of these kids are still living in two-parent homes, so they are getting much more support.”
It’s clear we have a lot of work to do in the United States. “When you think about poor adolescents, you may instantly think of a child in Africa because there are poorer countries there, but it’s not really the country that is important,” Mmari says. “Right here in Baltimore, we have kids who are much worse off than those in African cities. The inner-city kids who are exposed to all this violence are who we should be thinking about.”
Clinton neo-liberals are trying their best to rewrite FDR New Deal history ----basically it was a recovery policy moving large amounts of Federal revenue to public works projects-----taxing the rich and corporations 90% to recover the massive frauds that brought the Great Depression----where Obama and Clinton neo-liberals and Bush neo-cons are taking the US right now------these public works included all kinds of public hospitals and clinics-----public water and sewage ------all kinds of things that lifted quality of life and health----and the Department of AG and FDA amongst others were tasked to see this quality health was kept. It all worked well------until global pols took control to defund and dismantle all those Federal agencies a few decades ago. What these global pols are waiting for in moving forward with the next FEDERAL PUBLIC WORKS-------is whether we install Trans Pacific Trade Pact or not. If installed TPP would sent $1 trillion in public works to global corporations where much of it would be lost to fraud and immigrant labor getting most of the jobs. If we have a social Democrat like Bernie Sanders who speaks of a Federal Public Works----we see him mention more than not the need to keep it public and not outsource. If this is the case----then Baltimore for example would rebuild its public works department hiring tons of city citizens to do all these same public institutions including those tied to public health.
IT MATTERS HOW WE VOTE----IT MATTERS THAT WE KNOW PUBLIC POLICY -----WE CANNOT KEEP ALLOWING CLINTON/OBAMA WALL STREET NEO-LIBERALS AND BUSH/HOPKINS NEO-CONS LIE/CHEAT/STEAL THE US INTO BEING A THIRD WORLD ECONOMIC COLONY.
You notice Obama is making a civilian corp of non-profits-----further dismantling our public sector.
Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal" Sealed the Deal in 1932Mark Twain and Henry James both used it, but it was FDR who etched it into the history books.By Alex Kingsbury Jan. 17, 2008, at 5:00 p.m. + More
Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt delivers his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
The phrase "new deal" came into the English lexicon long before its mention at the 1932 Democratic convention that propelled Franklin D. Roosevelt to the White House. Mark Twain and Henry James both used it, but it was FDR who etched it into the history books. It wasn't intended to be so. A speechwriter penned the line, but neither he nor FDR thought it was particularly memorable. Nor did it refer to any specific set of remedies for the serious crisis in which the republic found itself.
America was in dire straits three years after the crash of 1929. The New York Stock Exchange had lost nearly 90 percent of its value. Thirteen million people were out of work, and an estimated 34 million Americans had no income whatsoever. People in Iowa and Minnesota armed themselves to prevent banks from foreclosing on their farms. And by the summer of 1932, some 25,000 World War I vets had descended on Washington, camping out near the steps of Congress and asking for money. When they were forced out of the city at bayonet point, revolution seemed very much in the air. No wonder Americans wanted a reshuffling of the cards they'd been dealt.
It mattered little to the public that Roosevelt had no idea what the New Deal would entail. "I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people," Roosevelt told the convention during his acceptance speech. Once in office, Roosevelt pushed a litter of new programs into existence, each marked by an acronym synonymous with New Deal legislation: the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps), the CWA (Civil Works Administration), and the WPA (Works Progress Administration), to name but a few.
But the New Deal's eventual impact went beyond staving off social upheaval, re-establishing trust in the currency, and putting people back to work. "It was the first time that Americans thought of their government as a solution to the problems that individuals and society at large were experiencing," says Jean Edward Smith, a political science professor at Marshall University and author of FDR. Roosevelt stopped pushing New Deal legislation by 1938, after the courts ruled some programs unconstitutional.
I like the author's comments to Bernie's economic plans----Bernie does more to mirror FDR but falls short on what all would look like-----being vague is unfortunately an election ploy. What he states that is important is building small businesses---his emphasis on co-ops is simply mainstream talk----his emphasis on breaking from global trade deals makes it more possible to rebuild those local economies---and his emphasis on Expanded and Improved Medicare for All will see Federal revenue coming again to build public health institutions. All of this can work for the American people or can be co-opted by Wall Street if we leave nothing but Clinton/Obama neo-liberals in office in Congress----the state houses----and our local city halls.
WE NEED SOCIAL DEMOCRATS IN ALL DEMOCRATIC PRIMARIES. ALL OF MARYLAND POLS ARE CLINTON NEO-LIBERAL OR IN BALTIMORE BUSH/HOPKINS NEO-CONS. GET RID OF THEM!
A TWELVE STEP PROGRAM TO RESTORE PROSPERITY: THE BERNIE SANDERS PLAN
Posted on December 7, 2014 by L. Randall Wray | 18 CommentsBy L. Randall Wray
Here’s a summary of the plan Bernie Sanders has set out, along with my comments (in italics).
1.) We need a major investment to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. $1 trillion investment to create 13 million decent paying jobs and make this country more efficient and productive.
Agreed, but let’s not settle for a mere 13 million jobs. We need twice that. And, of course, the “price tag” is irrelevant—so long as we create useful jobs that pay living wages, we can “always afford” to pay for them. By creating jobs we are not just investing in infrastructure, but we are also investing in our people, enhancing their participation in our society and providing them with the means to support their families. We can always afford that.
2.) The United States must lead the world in reversing climate change and make certain that this planet is habitable for our children and grandchildren. Millions of homes and buildings need to be weatherized, our transportation system needs to be energy efficient and we need to greatly accelerate the progress we are already seeing in wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and other forms of sustainable energy. Transforming our energy system will not only protect the environment, it will create good paying jobs.
Agreed. Millions of additional jobs can be created, at the wage and benefit package we decide to pay. We can train an army of the employed to bring the USA into the 21st century, much as the New Deal’s job programs brought America into the 20th century. We’re going to need to go well beyond these infrastructure-type jobs, however. We also need to put people to work providing care services for our aging population.
3.) We need to develop new economic models to increase job creation and productivity. Instead of giving huge tax breaks to corporations which ship our jobs to China and other low-wage countries, we need to provide assistance to workers who want to purchase their own businesses by establishing worker-owned cooperatives. Study after study shows that when workers have an ownership stake in the businesses they work for, productivity goes up, absenteeism goes down and employees are much more satisfied with their jobs.
Mostly Agreed. We need to think beyond restricting job creation to our nation’s private undertakers. A federal government program of direct job creation—at a living wage—eliminates the necessity of using tax breaks and wage subsidies to try to induce the undertakers to create jobs. A Universal Job Guarantee Program ensures everyone can work at a living wage. Private undertakers will need to offer similar conditions in order to compete. However, there is room for workers’ cooperatives: let workers join together and propose projects. (This is what Argentina experimented with in its Jefes program.) The Job Guarantee program can pay wages in the coops for some predetermined period (say, 18 months), letting them get on their feet. If the coops can out-compete private undertakers, let the undertakers go under.
4.) Union workers who are able to collectively bargain for higher wages and benefits earn substantially more than non-union workers. Today, corporate opposition to union organizing makes it extremely difficult for workers to join a union. We need legislation which makes it clear that when a majority of workers sign cards in support of a union, they can form a union.
Agreed. Eliminate the barriers to unionization. Capitalism is a rigged game, giving far too much power to the undertakers. As J.K. Galbraith argued long ago, unions are a necessary second leg to the countervailing powers stool. The third leg, of course, is government. But our government’s leg is hanging on by a thin thread. If anything, unions need more power today than they had in the early postwar period because our government is practically impotent.
5.) The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is a starvation wage. We need to raise the minimum wage to a living wage. No one in this country who works 40 hours a week should live in poverty.
Yes. $15 per hour with full and free health, childcare, education, maternity leave, and retirement benefits would be a start.
6.) Women workers today earn 78 percent of what their male counterparts make. We need pay equity in our country — equal pay for equal work.
Agreed, and the best way to ensure that is to provide a universal job guarantee program that pays a living wage with full health, childcare, education, maternity leave, and retirement benefits to ensure that no private undertaker could pay women less than that. Beyond that, we’ll need to ramp up anti-discrimination enforcement.
7.) Since 2001 we have lost more than 60,000 factories in this country, and more than 4.9 million decent-paying manufacturing jobs. We must end our disastrous trade policies (NAFTA, CAFTA, PNTR with China, etc.) which enable corporate America to shut down plants in this country and move to China and other low-wage countries. We need to end the race to the bottom and develop trade policies which demand that American corporations create jobs here, and not abroad.
Here I have to mostly disagree, because I think the Senator is focusing on the wrong issue. We do need fair trade—to ensure that global undertakers do not exploit desperate workers around the world. We need to block imports of any goods or services produced in inhumane conditions anywhere in the world. However, NAFTA and so on have little to do with trade. These have to do with protecting “intellectual property rights” and forcing “free markets” run amuck on the rest of the world. We need to overturn all of these “agreements” that have devastated developing nations and enriched Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and USA Agri-business. Forget the factory jobs. Factories will never again be an important source of work for Americans. Most factory jobs will be taken by robots, anyway. What we need, instead, are good jobs in America. Forget about taking jobs away from China and the developing world. When the USA and the UK developed, they did not have to compete for factory jobs with more developed and wealthier nations. Give the developing world a chance to join the developed world. The already wealthy nations need to focus in jobs in services, with a scattering of jobs in high tech industry, agriculture, and construction. Our workers today and in the future will work with humans, not with machines.
8.) In today’s highly competitive global economy, millions of Americans are unable to afford the higher education they need in order to get good-paying jobs. Further, with both parents now often at work, most working-class families can’t locate the high-quality and affordable child care they need for their kids. Quality education in America, from child care to higher education, must be affordable for all. Without a high-quality and affordable educational system, we will be unable to compete globally and our standard of living will continue to decline.
Universal, free, education is needed from cradle to grave. In public schools. All Americans, no matter their age, should have a right to free public school education from pre-school through graduate school. There is no plausible excuse for rationing public school education. Our nation can no more have “too much education” than it can have “too much happiness” or “too much kindness”. Here the only question is whether we have the resources to expand the supply of public education. At the college and university level, the answer is obvious: the supply of PhDs greatly outstrips the number of openings for faculty; all we need to do is ramp up federal government financing of public universities. At the elementary and highschool levels, we need more teachers. The solution is better pay, and free education at our teacher’s colleges. One of the main barriers to producing more teachers is that the cost of college is prohibitive—who wants to incur tens of thousands of dollars of debts to become a lowly paid school teacher? Eliminate all financial barriers to college education.
9.) The function of banking is to facilitate the flow of capital into productive and job-creating activities. Financial institutions cannot be an island unto themselves, standing as huge profit centers outside of the real economy. Today, six huge Wall Street financial institutions have assets equivalent to 61 percent of our gross domestic product – over $9.8 trillion. These institutions underwrite more than half the mortgages in this country and more than two-thirds of the credit cards. The greed, recklessness and illegal behavior of major Wall Street firms plunged this country into the worst financial crisis since the 1930s. They are too powerful to be reformed. They must be broken up.
Agreed with the sentiments but we must go further. Shut them down and investigate their leadership for crimes. Indict where there is evidence. Prosecute and convict as many as possible. And then incarcerate the guilty. Breaking up Wall Street’s banks is not sufficient. They should be shut down, and a stake driven through their evil vampire blood sucking hearts. Return to small, segmented banks and mutual saving and loan associations. They promoted the capital development of the economy.
10.) The United States must join the rest of the industrialized world and recognize that health care is a right of all, and not a privilege. Despite the fact that more than 40 million Americans have no health insurance, we spend almost twice as much per capita on health care as any other nation. We need to establish a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system.
Yes, take Wall Street out of our health care system. Provide free universal health care with a single payer—the federal government. Limit private health insurance to elective nose jobs and tummy tucks.
11.) Millions of seniors live in poverty and we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country. We must strengthen the social safety net, not weaken it. Instead of cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and nutrition programs, we should be expanding these programs.
Agreed. Eliminate financial barriers to seniors working—let them collect their Social Security benefits while they continue to work without penalties. And guarantee employment at a living wage to any senior who wants to work. And, yes, raise all Social Security benefits to the maximum now paid. It makes no sense to penalize workers who made less during their working lives with less retirement pay. Those who earned more while working had a chance to accumulate private savings and private pensions. There is no justification for giving them more generous Social Security benefits. Pay all seniors a living pension through Social Security and give them free healthcare through Medicare.
12.) At a time of massive wealth and income inequality, we need a progressive tax system in this country which is based on ability to pay. It is not acceptable that major profitable corporations have paid nothing in federal income taxes, and that corporate CEOs in this country often enjoy an effective tax rate which is lower than their secretaries. It is absurd that we lose over $100 billion a year in revenue because corporations and the wealthy stash their cash in offshore tax havens around the world. The time is long overdue for real tax reform.
Partially correct. Eliminate preferential treatment of capital gains and unearned income. Tax all income—no matter the source—at a progressive rate. Impute all corporate profits to owners and tax it as income. Eliminate all corporate tax breaks and subsidies, but also eliminate corporate taxes. Tighten accounting standards to eliminate tax avoidance by shifting or hiding profits. Punish off-shore income by imputing it to owners with double the tax rate applied to income earned domestically. The issue is not “lost” tax revenue. Uncle Sam has the magic porridge pot—he doesn’t need the revenue. The issue is fairness and promoting the public interest. All income—no matter the source—benefits the recipient. As we economists say “money is fungible”. Whether it is wage income, interest income, or capital gains. At the same time, no public purpose is evident in moving income offshore for tax purposes. Discourage that by taxing it at twice the normal rate. Not because Uncle Sam needs it, but because he ought to discourage creation of tax havens. Yes, I know it is hard to catch. So tax it and then impose very high penalties for evasion. Uncle Sam will never catch all evaders, but he can make them fearful.
Outlaw corporate buy-backs. Eliminate stock options awarded to CEOs, or tax gains on those at confiscatory rates. No public purpose is served by either corporate buy-backs or stock options. If corporations do not serve identifiable public purposes, take back their corporate charters and subject owners to full personal liability for all debts and misdeeds of the firms.
Let’s see how many people would want to own Citibank or British Petroleum if they would be held liable for crimes and misdemeanors of those firms.