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Entries in Wealth Redistribution (11)

Friday
Sep212012

DNC - Romney Deceptively Edited Redistribution Clip - Cut out Obama Talking About Innovation, Competition, Free Markets 

Key Point: Mitt Romney's campaign this week has pounced on a 14-year-old clip of Obama speaking about "redistribution" in October 1998 at a conference in Chicago, in which the future president seems to extol the virtues of redistributing wealth.

Yet NBC News has obtained the entirety of the relevant remarks, which includes additional comments by Obama that weren't included in the video circulated by Republicans. That omission features additional words of praise for "competition" and the "marketplace" by the then-state senator. 

http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/19/13971913-in-rest-of-98-clip-obama-speaks-of-competition-and-the-marketplace

In rest of '98 clip, Obama speaks of 'competition' and 'the marketplace'

President Obama is seen speaking at a conference held at Loyola University in October 1998 about city government and public policy, in which then-Illinois state senator talked about making government more efficient.

By Michael O'Brien, NBC News

 

Updated 11:29 p.m. — Mitt Romney's campaign this week has pounced on a 14-year-old clip of Obama speaking about "redistribution" in October 1998 at a conference in Chicago, in which the future president seems to extol the virtues of redistributing wealth.

Yet NBC News has obtained the entirety of the relevant remarks, which includes additional comments by Obama that weren't included in the video circulated by Republicans. That omission features additional words of praise for "competition" and the "marketplace" by the then-state senator. 

In the whole clip, Obama says:

I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody's got a shot.  How do we pool resources at the same time as we decentralize delivery systems in ways that both foster competition, can work in the marketplace, and can foster innovation at the local level and can be tailored to particular communities.

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Obama continues in a few words after that to describe the use of tax credits in setting public housing development policy in Chicago as an example before concluding.

The video circulated by Republicans, which has used as fodder for an attack on Obama, includes a longer reflection by Obama about talking about how government action can be effective. But the clip has been cut short after the word "shot;" Obama's words about competition, the marketplace and innovation are omitted from the clip. 

Romney has nonetheless seized upon this clip as his campaign looks to regain its footing after the release of a surreptitiously-recorded video of the GOP presidential nominee speaking at a private fundraiser in May. Romney's campaign has been bogged down in criticism from conservatives and Democrats alike since the release of the clip, in which Romney talks about how he couldn't count on the support of 47 percent of Americans, since they pay no taxes, and are "dependent" on government.

The Republican candidate has used it as campaign fodder as recently as Wednesday.

"This is how America works. It does not work by a government saying, become dependent on government. Become dependent upon redistribution. That will kill the American entrepreneurship that’s lifted our economy over the years," Romney told donors at a fundraiser this afternoon in Atlanta. "The question of this campaign is not who cares about the poor and the middle class? I do.  He does. The question is who can help the poor and the middle class? I can! He can’t!"

Thursday
Sep202012

NHGOP TO OBAMA: REDISTRIBUTION DOESN'T MAGICALLY FIX ECONOMY

Concord, NH- While Governor Mitt Romney is talking about how to make a strong economic recovery, we find out that President Obama would advocate for redistribution and government dependency. No wonder why unemployment in the US is so high. The President's "You didn't build that" attitude continues to show his lack of understanding for the American entrepreneur and the personal sacrifice that goes into building a business. 

"Even though our state's economy continues to outperform the national average, the hardships on small business owners are just as prevalent in New Hampshire," said New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Wayne MacDonald.  "President Obama does not understand the fundamentals of our nation's economy. This is a man who believes that the redistribution of wealth will magically fix the economy and that business owners didn't build their businesses. 

"The success of this country, and the great state of New Hampshire, was built upon small businesses. The increasing regulations and tax hikes on these businesses only makes the foundation crumble. We need a president who will strengthen this foundation. Governor Mitt Romney talks about promoting personal responsibility and hard work, which will lead to an economic recovery, not redistribution and dependency."

Wednesday
Jul112012

Dr. Jack Charles Schoenholtz - Affordable Care Act, Supreme Court, How Healthcare Became Wealthcare for Big Insurers

"The Managed Healthcare Industry--A Market Failure," by Dr. Jack Charles Schoenholtz, examines the past 40 years of healthcare insurance leading to the Affordable Care Act

RYE, N. Y. (MMD Newswire) July 10, 2012 -- Now that the Supreme Court decided the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, the founding medical director of Rye Hospital Center, Dr. Jack Charles Schoenholtz shows how the insurance industry has moved from promised healthcare coverage for the general public to the managed denial of care for them while harvesting premium profits.

In this 2012 expanded second edition of "The Managed Healthcare Industry--A Market Failure" (ISBN 1439280614), Dr. Schoenholtz analyzes the past four decades where legislative and economic changes caused healthcare in the U.S. to become unsustainably costly, and Americans to have both a lower life expectancy and higher infant mortality rate than that of the 33 largest industrial nations.

Professor Schoenholtz explains why special companies were at first created outside of the "business of insurance" to manage the delivery of healthcare, and how these organizations either failed to thrive or ended up swallowed by the shrinking group of today's giant insurers and HMOs. The book also shows how insurers lobbied state and federal governments pretending to save on healthcare costs and "improving" healthcare but were in fact misinforming employers and patients, and preying on them and their doctors with unhealthy, coercive incentives that created a "failed market."

This unique textbook looks at the beginning of the healthcare "cost-containment" era, when HMOs were first introduced, goes on to demonstrate how previous administrations have used the federal antitrust laws and the Supreme Court to shield the insurance and managed-healthcare industries. He pays particular attention to the 1974 enactment of ERISA, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, to give readers a better understanding of the origins of company benefit plans and the role of privatized, managed Medicare and Medicaid.

"I shed light on the arcane healthcare insurance industry from its inception until our current situation," says Dr. Schoenholtz. "The book examines the ethics of doctors involved in externally managed care and scrutinizes the fundamentals of the historic new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and how it will actually work for the United States with its Exchanges, expanded Medicaid, and Accountable Care Organizations."

Schoenholtz shows readers how the Affordable Care Act can reduce expensive healthcare costs for employers, too, while still upholding promised benefits for their employees and all the country's citizens alike. By weaving together political, social and economic information, his book offers the only comprehensive approach to this timely debate.

Charles U. Daly, Director Emeritus of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation says, "Then I started reading. I was hooked. You have created a thoughtful, useful and comprehensive analysis of a sick mental care system that is overpriced, ineffective and unjust. Long, long ago I worked on congressional relations with the West Wing of Kennedy's and then Johnson's White house. We struggled to round up the votes needed to make significant changes in health care. We failed, as did our successors, until Obama appeared on the scene to once again press the issue. So thanks for a fine piece of work that should be read and heeded by all concerned."

"The Managed Healthcare Industry--A Market Failure," (CreateSpace, N. Charleston, SC, February 18, 2012, 602 pp.) is available at online channels and bookstores everywhere, and as paperback at Amazon.com (free for Kindle members).

About the Author:

Dr. Jack Charles Schoenholtz was trained in psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in White Plains, New York. He teaches as a clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at New York Medical College, and is a distinguished life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and fellow of the prestigious American College of Psychiatrists. He is the medical director of Rye Hospital Center, board member for six years of the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems, and the first representative from the APA to the Practicing Physicians Advisory Council of the managed-care insurance industry's National Committee for Quality Assurance. His work has been featured in newspapers, magazines and medical journals, as well as in the Wayne Law Review.

Saturday
Dec172011

Project Censored - #Occupy4USChildren 

 

Become a Project Censored Subscription Member for $5 a month and get the newest Project Censored Book for Free! 

You can find this post at: http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/occupy4uschildren

 

 

Mickey Z.

“The amount of poverty and suffering required for the emergence of a Rockefeller, and the amount of depravity that the accumulation of a fortune of such magnitude entails, are left out of the picture, and it is not always possible to make the people in general see this.”

Che Guevara

Shortly after my recent article about the frightening state of the world’s children was posted, I received a request to narrow my focus to the good ol’ USA. In other words: why should all of us be occupyingfor America’s kids, too?

Wow…where do I begin?

Hmmm…I could start at birth and talk about the prevalence of toxins in breast milk or the dangerous vaccinations and pharmaceuticals imposed upon almost every child or the endless assault of pesticidesGMOs, additives, and other chemicals that have become part and parcel of the American way of life.

Perhaps I could shine a light on the car culture and point out how, for example, the leading cause of death for children aged 5 to 14 in New York City is pedestrian automobile accidents.

Each of those concepts (and many others) could—and just may—end up as a separate article. However, considering what passes for discourse these days, I think another approach is essential here.

Republicans grumble about welfare queens and Democrats somberly discuss “shared sacrifices” and, of course, there’s the callous Libertarian fantasy of an even playing field. So, I’ll eschew the poetics and stick—as much as possible—to the cold hard facts as we go directly to the heart of the American Dream façade.

This one goes out to all the willfully deluded and overly entitled souls who smugly maintain that low-income Americans are too lazy, stupid, or dishonest to earn enough money to pay their ever-mounting bills.

To follow is but a small taste of the insidious and escalating poverty here in the land of opportunity. (FYI: Primary source for ensuing statistics)

Define “Poverty”

As it stands, the federal poverty level is absurdly and maliciously low: $22,050 a year for a family of four. Thus, the following numbers are inherently skewed as research has shown that such a family would need twice as much money simply to cover basic expenses.

So, when I tell you that 21% of all US children—15 million in all—live in families with incomes “below the federal poverty level,” a more useful and compassionate estimate would be 42% or 30 million.

With that crucial caveat in mind, here are some of the many reasons why we must #Occupy4USChildren:

  • Children make up 26% of the US population, but are 39% of the people who live in poverty (the poverty rate is higher for children than any other age group)
  • Every day, 2,660 children are born into poverty
  • Children and families are the fastest growing group among the homeless, making up 40% of the homeless population
  • One in 50 US children currently homeless

Poverty and Geography

  • Mississippi and the District of Columbia have the highest rates of child poverty, both over 25%
  • Fifteen other states (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia) have child poverty rates above 20%
  • The South is the region with the highest rate of child poverty: 42% of Southern children live in low-income families

A quick side trip to my hometown of New York City, where I turn to Doug Henwood, who recently offered these sobering realities:

  • The richest 10% of New Yorkers have 58% of total income
  • The richest 5% have 49%
  • The proverbial 1% has 34%
  • The city’s median income is $28,213
  • The average income of the top 1% is $2,247,515
  • The income of the top 10% of New Yorkers is 582 times that of the poorest 10% (in Brazil, that ratio is 35 times)

By more general locale:

  • 47% of kids in rural areas have low-income families
  • Urban areas: 40%
  • Suburbs: 30%

By race/ethnicity:

  • The overall US poverty rate for white children is 11%
  • Asian children: 13%
  • Hispanic children: 31%
  • Native American children 31%
  • Black children: 34%

Poverty and Health

According a recent Columbia University study, poverty, defined as living below 200% of the United Stated Federal Poverty Level (FPL), was determined to take away 8.2 years of health, meaning poor people have 8.2 fewer years in which they are healthy than someone above 200% of the FPL.

In addition, children who struggle with hunger are:

  • Sick more often, recover more slowly, and are more likely to be hospitalized
  • More likely to experience headaches, stomachaches, colds, ear infections, and fatigue
  • More susceptible to obesity and its harmful health consequences as children and as adults
  • Predisposed children to emotional and behavioral difficulties, academic problems, and tend to be more aggressive and anxious

In 2006, researchers found: “Children in low-income families start off with higher levels of antisocial behavior than children from more advantaged households. And if the home remains poor as the children grow up, antisocial behavior becomes much worse over time compared to children living in households that are never poor or later move out of poverty.”

Disabilities—whether directly linked to poverty or not—leave American children vulnerable to a lifetime of financial difficulties. According to the US Census Bureau (2006), “Persons with a disability are likely to have limited opportunities to earn income and often have increased medical expenses. Disabilities among children and adults may affect the socioeconomic standing of entire families. It is estimated that over 40 million people in America have some level of disability, and many of these individuals live in poverty.”

Welfare Queens: Real and Imagined

I could go on with the stats but let’s instead stop for some perspective: Billions of dollars are spent to bail out the rich while 54% of our tax dollarsfunds a global reign of terror known as the US military. But thanks tocorporate propaganda, we’re programmed to ignore the vast and corrupt enterprise of corporate welfare and to falsely believe that the poor in America are lazy leeches, coddled by an enabling nanny state.

Contrary to such despite dishonest media imagery, 55% of children living in poor or low-income families have a parent who works full time, year around.

“What’s so hard is that a lot of families are working so hard,” Dr. Megan Sandel, associate professor of pediatrics and public health at Boston Medical Center’s Grow Clinic told ABC News. “They are working jobs. They are earning money and their dollars just don’t go far enough.”

Two of the big reasons why the number of US children living in poverty has jumped by nearly 20% since 2000: higher unemployment and foreclosures. Studies show that nearly 5.5 million children live in families that have lost homes to foreclosures and 8 million children live in families where at least one parent has lost a job.

Those children who manage to either survive or avoid such an oppressive economic plight are then left to navigate a fraudulent system in which it is increasingly difficult to earn a living wage and/or afford health insurance.

Schooling is no longer a guaranteed path towards even relative financial security. In addition, the total student debt now exceeds the total consumer debt and will pass $1 trillion in 2012.

Such a bleak scenario can only leave us wondering what’s left for the vast majority of humans who make up the future of this country. Perhaps such a musing helps to explain why so many young people volunteer to wage illegal and immoral wars and why

7,225,800 American adults were under correctional supervision (probation,parolejail, or prison) in 2009.

#Occupy4USChildren

“Do not waste your time on social questions. What is the matter with the poor is poverty; what is the matter with the rich is uselessness.”

George Bernard Shaw

Let’s revisit a few details: Despite unfair and impractical US federal government standards for what qualifies as poverty, the numbers still remain staggering. Poverty has increased by 20% since 2000 and currently, 2,660 American children are born into poverty every single day.

Meanwhile, with help from a relentless corporate media, the general population is conditioned to remain oblivious to massive government subsidies for the 1% while demonizing the poor and scoffing at the activists struggling for justice.

So, as with my previous article, I must ask: Where do you stand on all this? Do you block it out or does it keep you up at night?

Do you want to live in a country where 1 out of 50 children are homeless while 1% of humanity accumulates vast material wealth?

If not, why aren’t you fighting back? If you can’t find a reason to fight for yourself, then just do it for all the children in every country. It’s now or never…

We are the 99%. Expect us. Join us…

#DeOccupyCorporatePropaganda. #OccupyClassWar. #Occupy4USChildren.

Mickey Z. is the author of 11 books, most recently the novel Darker Shade of Green. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on an obscure website called Facebook.

Friday
Jul012011

AJS - Are You Sick of Out of Control Government Spending? 

 



Are you sick of the out of control government spending? Are you tired of Congress just passing more and more debt onto future generations?

It is time to stand up and tell President Obama and Congress NOT to increase the debt ceiling and to pass substantive budget reforms which get our fiscal house in order.

Sign the petition.

In order to highlight this very important issue we have produced a video which shows how we are headed on the wrong path. Be sure to send it to your friends, co-workers and family- anyone willing to listen and be informed that greater government spending and debt are not going to create jobs, improve the country's fiscal situation or reduce unemployment.

Watch the video.

Thank you,

Stephen DeMaura
Americans for Job Security

Ps. You can now find us on Facebook!