U.S. health care: profits over people

 by Martin Hart-Landsberg

Reports from the Economic Front | July 31, 2017

The US health care system produces healthy profits while leaving growing numbers of people without access to affordable, quality health care.

The US is one of the only advanced capitalist countries without a system of universal health coverage.  Tens of millions are uninsured, and many millions more pay for insurance that is either too limited in its coverage or too expensive to use.  What we need, and could implement if political realities change, is a “Medicare for all,” single-payer system of national health insurance.

As the organization Physicians for a National Health Program explains:Read More »

Growth of Democratic Socialists of America reflects growing rejection of capitalism


People’s World | August 04, 2017

Growth of Democratic Socialists of America reflects growing rejection of capitalism

DSA delegates vote on a resolution. Photo by @People4Bernie on Twitter

CHICAGO – It was shoulder to shoulder on the third floor of Student Center East Thursday on the campus of University of Illinois at Chicago. Hundreds of members of Democratic Socialists of America filed into a meeting room where a generous assortment of antipasti was laid out.

About 1,000 DSA members were here this weekend for the 2017 DSA convention. Almost 800 of them are voting delegates or alternates who were elected by some 25,000 DSA members across the country. Thousands joined DSA this year confirming that “socialism” is not the dirty word it once was in America. With a boost from the Bernie Sanders campaign, a campaign by a self-described “democratic socialist,” young people in droves have been declaring for socialism as the solution to the nation’s ills.Read More »

FACE OF AN ECONOMY: Debt burden of U.S. citizens, and tale of a museum

A Journal of People report

Debt is a big burden of US citizens. The burden appears unbearable.

Recent media reports from the U.S. said:

A couple caught in ‘financial spiral’ jumped to their deaths in Murray Hill on July 28, 2017.

Citing law enforcement sources the media reports said:

A pair of Manhattan parents claiming financial woes jumped to their deaths early Friday — leaving double suicide notes pleading that their two kids be cared for.

The bodies of 53-year-old chiropractor Glenn Scarpelli and his wife, 50-year-old, Patricia Colant, were found in the middle of the street on 33rd Street between Park and Madison avenues in Murray Hill after the pair jumped from the ninth-floor window of a 17-story corner office building on Madison Avenue at about 5:45 a.m., police said.Read More »

U.S.: Unions and organic farming help workers and environment in Coachella Valley


People’s World | August 03, 2017

Unions and organic farming help workers and environment in Coachella Valley

Rafael Navarro, 72 years old, still works as a farmworker. He works in a grove of organic Keitt mango trees, belonging to Ava’s Mangos, the largest mango grower in California. Among other jobs, he sets traps for moles, which eat the roots of the trees. | David Bacon/PW

Forty-one years ago I was a young organizer for the United Farm Workers in the Coachella Valley, helping agricultural laborers win union elections and negotiate contracts. Suspicion of growers was a survival attitude. I was beaten by the son of one rancher in a vineyard, while trying to talk to people sitting in the vines on their lunch hour. When I met with workers in another field, my old Plymouth Valiant convertible was filled with fertilizer and its tires slashed.

By those standards, I could see that HMS Ranch Management, which manages day-to-day operations for ranch owners, was different. I’m sure Ole Fogh-Andersen, who ran the company, would have preferred that the laborers he employed voted against the union. But when they did vote for it in 1976, he sat down and negotiated. It took quite a while – he was no pushover. But Ruth Shy, a former nun who taught the virtues of patience and persistence, got most of our union committee’s demands into the agreement. I did the field job of keeping everyone on board.Read More »

Trump’s Fossil-Fueled Foreign Policy


Countercurrents.org | July 31, 2017


Who says President Trump doesn’t have a coherent foreign policy?  Pundits and critics across the political spectrum have chided him for failing to articulate and implement a clear international agenda. Look closely at his overseas endeavors, though, and one all-too-consistent pattern emerges: Donald Trump will do whatever it takes to prolong the reign of fossil fuels by sabotaging efforts to curb carbon emissions and promoting the global consumption of U.S. oil, coal, and natural gas.  Whenever he meets with foreign leaders, it seems, his first impulse is to ply them with American fossil fuels.Read More »

In rural Florida, unions seek solidarity with immigrant workers


People’s World | July 21, 2017

In the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump won some working class voters by appealing to the indignity and insecurity that these people face under capitalism. Though Trump’s rhetoric made a show of concern for working class issues, it was ridden with noxious themes that divide the working class – racism, misogyny and xenophobia. Instead of rallying behind demagogues like Trump, we should seek an alternative.

The AFL-CIO has sought this alternative in its support for immigrant workers. In March, the labor federation gave its support to AB450, a bill in the California legislature that would prevent law enforcement agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement from carrying out warrantless searches and demanding workers’ confidential documents without a subpoena. The AFL-CIO has also denounced Trump’s plans to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and supports a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented workers.Read More »

Sweezy at sixty


MR Online | June 13, 2017

Quote from Chief Justice Ed Warren in Sweezy v. New Hamphsire

This article from The Higher Edition blog commemorates Sweezy v. New Hampshire at 60 years—the first supreme court ruling in support of academic freedom. However, the author makes some intriguing observations about the concurring opinion in Sweezy (by Justice Frankfurter), which established what are known as the “‘four essential freedoms’ that should be outside the reach of government, i.e., ‘to determine on academic grounds who may teach, what may be taught, how it shall be taught, and who may be admitted to study.’” The author argues that this part of the opinion can be exploited by “universities-as-corporations or universities-as-individuals…to start asserting their autonomy as a form of academic freedom.” Given the fact that “administrations have taken steps to expand their supervisory role into areas previously reserved for faculty jurisdiction, from curriculum planning to oversight of the accreditation process,” this is indeed a worrying prospect. —Eds.

Read More »

Trump siding with Wall Street over working people


People’s World | July 11, 2017

Trump siding with Wall Street over working people

Protest against Wall Street and corporate greed. | Jeffrey M. Boan/AP

For over thirty years, the wages of working people have been flat, and pensions continue to be replaced with inadequate 401(k)s.

Economic uncertainty plagues millions of families in their working years and continues into retirement. And now, Donald Trump and his secretary of labor are making these problems even worse.

Last year, at the end of the Obama presidency, the Department of Labor approved the fiduciary rule, designed to keep workers from having their hard-earned retirement savings pocketed by unscrupulous financial advisers:Read More »

How Vast Amounts of Land Have Been Stolen From Black Americans

by Julian Cola

teleSUR | June 30, 2017

Africans were released into the bowels of a wretchedly racist society after having been enslaved for centuries in the United States.

“It was almost as if the earth was opening up and swallowing Black farmers.”

This passage is from Pete Daniel’s book titled “Dispossession: Discrimination Against African American Farmers in the Age of Civil Rights.” It alludes to the untold acres of land seized from Black farmers and rural landowners over the last century.

Though African-American farmers currently comprise less than 2 percent of all farmers in the United States and only 1 percent of rural land is owned by African Americans, that situation was radically different shortly after the Civil War.Read More »