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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Connecting Dots

Let's connect some dots. A recent PBS broadcast stated that 1 percent of the US population possesses 38 percent of the country's wealth. In The Shock Doctrine Naomi Klein writes (p. 444) that "In December 2006, a month after [Milton] Friedman died, a UN study found that 'the richest 2 percent of adults in the world own more than half of global household wealth.' The shift [in income patterns] has been starkest in the U.S., where CEOs made 43 times what the average worker earned in 1980, when Reagan kicked off the Friedmanite crusade. By 2005, CEOs earned 411 times as much." The NYTimes recently reported that the Commonwealth Fund indicated that the US ranks last among industrialized nations in the accessibility, quality and efficiency of its health care system. An article by David Leonhardt in the NYTimes of April 9 (p.C4) cited a US Census Bureau report stating that the median annual family income in the US declined by 1 percent between 2000 and 2007 (to $60, 576.00, this figure of course inflated by that upper 1 percent of wage earners who rake in the 7-digit incomes). NBC news recently reported that the dropout rate for public high schools in multiple areas of the country is at or near 50 percent. Public reports have indicated that the US has the highest percentage of its population in prison of any industrialized nation. The Federal Reserve Board is not immediately and directly accountable to the executive or legislative branches of government in its day-to-day operations, to say nothing of the voting public. And we are undertaking, at the cost of $12 billion a month, an immoral occupation of a sovereign state. Connecting these dots creates the outline of a monstrosity. Am I anti-American? Absolutely not. I am pro-equality (as in Liberté, Fraternité, Egalité) pro-democracy, pro-humanity, and I am an unwavering supporter of transparency in government and campaign finance reform. I also support nationalization of the Federal Reserve System.

No kidding it's time for change.

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