This is a continuation of a really long post posted recently. I have to take the book back to the library but can’t resist sharing some more of the book before tomorrow.
Chapter 4 is titled “You get what you deserve” and encapsulates various justifications for inequality.
He starts with some stats on property and the fact that minimum wage is “below the poverty line for a family of two, let alone a family of four.” It would seem obvious, with companies making massive profits — or even small net profits — that the owner class could afford to pay more than minimum wage. Because like Chris Rock said, the fact that we have to have a minimum wage law at all means employers wouldn’t pay you at all if they could. And by gosh, they are coming after every labor law that ever was passed including or maybe especially minimum wage.
Through the “science” of economism, however, conservatives can “prove” that increasing wages will not reduce poverty, but will increase unemployment. The argument starts out flawed because employees have NO POWER TO SET WAGES unless they are in a union. Even then, employees must be willing to go on strike and try to cost an exploitive employer so much in lost profit that they will agree to pay fair wages. Being on strike requires back up funds, courage, and risk. People who were the original strikers risked their lives and were killed by POLICE for daring to demand living wages. That’s how bad American employers don’t want to pay wages: they would rather kill people that make a nickel less for themselves.
Continue reading Economism part 2 of 2
The Age of Sustainable Development by Jeffrey D. Sachs (2015)
This is a book worth reading despite some egregious realities that are not even touched on at all (disability). It has a massive scope ranging from poverty and economics to healthcare and fertility, biodiversity and climate change, and more. With pictures! And graphs!
More than a bit depressing and overwhelming too since we humans were gifted with brains and mainly chose to use for exploitation and degradation of all of earth and life of all kinds.
I wanted it to read the chapter (11) on “Resilient Cities”
Continue reading The Age of Sustainable Development by Jeffrey D. Sachs
Pharmageddon by David Healy (c 2012)
About 20 years ago, I began having trouble eating. I wan’t even particularly hungry, so that made it hard. I began losing weight, which was okay by me (seems my weight has been a constant seesaw and not in a good way, usually always something bad causes it). The doctors said “stress” and maybe “ulcer” from stress. Watchful waiting was the course of action they opted for, and that, I think, is code for your health insurance won’t pay for any tests and we haven’t a clue without doing an endoscopy or something, and you’re not dying (because no one dies from an ulcer – usually not anyway), so it will be fine. About 30 or 40 pounds later, I continued to express concern that something was seriously wrong. Still, no one seemed concerned; maybe because everyone wants to lose weight?
Looking back now, I cannot decide to laugh or cry. Doctors were telling me stress was causing me to become sick and my employer at the time ended up fighting my sexual harassment claim based on their opinion that stress did not make me sick — because, they claimed, stress does not make you sick.
It was common knowledge at the time, and for many decades before that, that stress does, in fact, make you sick. However it turned out that it does not cause ULCERS, the single most common diagnosis for ulcers was, for many years, stress.
Continue reading Pharmageddon by David Healy
Money Driven Medicine: The Real Reason Health Care Costs so Much by Maggie Mahar (2006)
Obviously this book is out of date but it does discuss some of the continual issues that plague the US medical and insurance industries under the great invisible hand of the “free” market rules of supply and demand that result in our citizens paying more and more and having inflated medical prices and drug prices forcing people to choose between food and healthcare.
The fundamental reality is that it is NOT APPROPRIATE to apply the “laws” of supply and demand to healthcare.
Continue reading Money Driven Medicine by Maggie Mahar