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Income Inequality and Societal Health

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Mary Bell Lockhart       (Page 2 of 5 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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About 10% of the working age population has applied for unemployment assistance this generates our official unemployment rate. Since seeking a job is a necessary condition for obtaining assistance, unemployment recipients are actively trying to return to "producing" something. The unavoidable conclusion is that there can't be many "people who refuse to produce anything" receiving government assistance. They may be out there, but they're not living on your tax dollars.

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This reminds me of the phantom "welfare Cadillac" that conservatives claimed a woman of course a woman of color drove, back in the day. Supposedly the Caddy, that strangely could never be located, was funded by the taxpayers.

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Why are some of us so irrationally distrustful of our fellow human beings? Why did a "tea party" crowd verbally assault a man with Parkinson's Disease who sat at a rally with a sign saying he needed health care coverage and they might too some day. They called him a communist, threw money at him and taunted that he was just looking for a handout. It was sickening to see someone abused in that way. (One of his tormentors has now come forward to apologize, expressing shame for his behavior.) And now, why are our elected representatives who supported health insurance reform being subjected to threats of violence, racial and ethnic slurs, and acts of vandalism? All they have done is extend to all Americans the access to health care enjoyed by people in all the other advanced nations of the world.

The answer to "why?" rests, in part, in purposefully ramped up mob behavior. However, another more significant part of the answer can be found in a book I recently read: "The Health of Nations: Why Inequality is Harmful to Your Health" by Ichiro Kawachi and Bruce P. Kennedy. This book is a real eye-opener for those who would see. Their prescience, in 2002, of the recent economic collapse is astounding. Years before it occurred, they touched on all aspects of the collapse - the housing boom, the deregulation, the power of corporations, the media, consumerism, income inequality, credit debt and even the derivative trading on Wall Street!

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I'm a retired public health worker focused these days on supporting a variety of progressive issues, such as criminal justice reform, energy efficiency, environmental protection, universal health care, civil rights, and worldwide peace and (more...)

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