Is it political if I tell you that if we burn coal, you’re going to warm the atmosphere? Or is that a statement of fact that you’ve made political? It’s a scientific statement. The fact that there are elements of society that have made it political, that’s a whole other thing.
High-tech executives are the ones who don’t want to let the market work. If they really faced a shortage of high-tech workers in America, they’d pay higher wages. In fact, the wages of programmers, systems designers, software engineers and others have barely budged over the past decade, adjusted for inflation. High-tech firms want skilled foreign workers because they don’t want to pay more than they’re paying now. According to the latest government statistics, the median wage for new H-1B holders in computer-related occupations is only $50,000 – way below the median wage for those occupations in the U.S., and even below the starting salaries of new U.S. graduates in these fields. So I’d say “no” to increasing the number of H1-B visas.
The corporations that profit from permanent war need us to be afraid. Fear stops us from objecting to government spending on a bloated military. Fear means we will not ask unpleasant questions of those in power. Fear permits the government to operate in secret. Fear means we are willing to give up our rights and liberties for promises of security. The imposition of fear ensures that the corporations that wrecked the country cannot be challenged. Fear keeps us penned in like livestock.
If you want to live like a Republican, vote Democrat.
Freedom is not enough. You do not wipe away the scars of centuries. You do not take a man who for years has been hobbled by chains, liberate him, bring him to the starting line of a race saying, ‘You are free to compete with all the others’, and still justly believe you have been completely fair. Thus it is not enough to open the gates of opportunity.
The first thing you need to know is that America wasn’t always like this. When John F. Kennedy was elected president, the top 0.01 percent was only about a quarter as rich compared with the typical family as it is now — and members of that class paid much higher taxes than they do today. Yet somehow we managed to have a dynamic, innovative economy that was the envy of the world. The superrich may imagine that their wealth makes the world go round, but history says otherwise.
To this historical observation we should add another note: quite a few of today’s superrich, Mr. Romney included, make or made their money in the financial sector, buying and selling assets rather than building businesses in the old-fashioned sense. Indeed, the soaring share of the wealthy in national income went hand in hand with the explosive growth of Wall Street.
Not long ago, we were told that all this wheeling and dealing was good for everyone, that it was making the economy both more efficient and more stable. Instead, it turned out that modern finance was laying the foundation for a severe economic crisis whose fallout continues to afflict millions of Americans, and that taxpayers had to bail out many of those supposedly brilliant bankers to prevent an even worse crisis. So at least some members of the top 0.01 percent are best viewed as job destroyers rather than job creators.
That is not the issue.
So the Supreme Court — defying many expectations — upheld the Affordable Care Act, a k a Obamacare. There will, no doubt, be many headlines declaring this a big victory for President Obama, which it is. But the real winners are ordinary Americans — people like you.
Good health is a prerequisite to the enjoyment of ‘pursuit of happiness.’ Whenever the miracles of modern medicine are beyond the reach of any group of Americans, for whatever reason - economic, geographic, occupational or other - we must find a way to meet their needs and fulfill their hopes.
For one true measure of a nation is its success in fulfilling the promise of a better life for each of its members. Let this be the measure of our nation.
President Kennedy, Special Message to the Congress on Urgent Health Needs, 2/27/62 (via jfklibrary)
I have used the “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” line ad nauseum about this very subject. The problem is, the very people who oppose this sort of thing (meaning public healthcare) only seem to want to apply that phrase to themselves, or use their own very narrow, selfish interpretation of what that actually means.