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Six Quick—But Very Important—Points About Coronavirus and Poverty in the US

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/03/10/six-quick-very-important-points-about-coronavirus-and-poverty-us

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Seven. Poverty increases the risks of poor nutrition and the foundation of a strong immune system, food deserts being one example of many. Addressing poverty in meaningful ways goes dendritically throughout society in very positive modalities. Hiding or denying poverty only results in time bombs of social problems in myriad shapes. It is past time for a less cruel country.

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Eight. Having health insurance might not mean squat. Seattle recently had a free, four-day health clinic at which people could obtain free medical, dental, and vision care. Three thousand people attended. Half of them–half!–had health care, but could not afford the deductibles and co-pays required to address their needs.

The story is here:

~https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/gig-workers-fall-through-the-public-health-safety-net-as-covid-19-spreads/

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A disease of the body compounded by a disease of the soul

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I don’t know about you, but I believe the US might take some lessons from China on dealing with this virus, but obviously we can’t admit they know anything.

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This article explains that what is happening to poor people in dead-end jobs, with poor nutrition and desperation turning them to excesses in junk food (all they can get), alcohol use and synthetic opioids and had them fantasize that #45 would do something for them. This election cycle they are likely not to show up to vote at all.

~https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/03/shit-life-syndrome-trump-voters-and-clueless-dems/

"Overall in the United States, “Suicides have increased most sharply in rural communities, where loss of farming and manufacturing jobs has led to economic declines over the past quarter century,” reports the American Psychological Association. The U.S. suicide rate has risen 33% from 1999 through 2017 (from 10.5 to 14 suicides per 100,000 people).

In addition to an increasing rate of suicide, drug overdose deaths rose in the United States from 16,849 in 1999 to 70,237 in 2017, more sharply increasing in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that opioids—mainly synthetic opioids—were involved in 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017 (67.8% of all drug overdose deaths).

Among all states in 2017, Ohio had the second highest rate of drug overdose death (46.3 per 100,000). West Virginia had the highest rate (57.8 per 100,000).

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“Almost 1 in 3 Americans—more than 100 million people—have deficient health coverage, with copays and deductibles that effectively prevent them from seeking or receiving needed care in a timely manner.
~https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/03/10/insurance-executives-waive-copays-coronavirus-reminder-medicare-all-would-eliminate

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You’re doing your math, lamonte7. If the 15 million had jobs with paid sick leave and more than $10.22 an hour, maybe they would choose to buy health insurance coverage. My bet is they are doing the best they can to avoid getting ill and saving their pennies for actual health CARE when they need it…

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I agree, Apple. I am so sorry if I implied blame, either on people dealing with poverty or anyone who has success. It’s just that without a guaranteed living wage, and without government oversight to guarantee it, the current second and third generation millionaire business owners living now are disregarding the basic rights and needs of workers, exploiting hundreds and thousands and even millions of us. So these people have been educated to use neoliberal capitalist exploitative practices without ethical, moral or legal motivations to CARE about the outcomes for workers.

The earning and buying power of three US generations has stagnated since 1970. This has most US households carrying $8000 in credit card debt, with no savings with which to deal with, say, a couple weeks or month of no pay to deal with the coronavirus “self-quarantine,” or a house fire, or a flood, or an illness…

The book, Dark Money by Jane Mayer, shows how these people are using their billions to limit government power to reign in their greediest impulses.

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How many people in America do you know, lamonte7, who admit they cannot afford something? Especially something as essential to themselves (and maybe their families) as health care? In my experience, that is taboo here. I have never had anyone admit to me they could not afford health care. It makes people even more vulnerable to exploitation than we already are.

As a matter of fact, when Google came into SF and raised rents and home prices 400%, and my brother-in-law could no longer afford his business rent nor his home in 2013, rather than ask for help or even let anyone in the family know how bad it was for him, he paid his taxes, left a note on his Nissan, and jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge to his death.

What happened with Google was they put in a 3000 person hub within 45 min of SF. Google was bussing workers from SF to their facility and back. So many people came at once to rent and buy homes, with those $150-200K salaries, that home prices soared and landlords got their local legislator cronies to abolish rent-control laws from the 1980’s so rents rose 400% and they sent out notices for long-standing residents to vacate within 30-60 days. This happened both at my brother-in-law’s home and business storefront in the Castro district.

The government had many resources devoted to health improvements, including the development of vaccines and coordinating efforts toward such ends in academia. The danger is that this administration is pushing for the privatization of the fruits of such expenditures by taxpayers over generations to line the pockets of less and less people.

Article 4 of the Constitution provides for the government protecting its citizens from invasion. In the 18th and 19th centuries, this put limits on how military personnel could invade people’s homes and steal their resources, or Britain could invade the seat of government. And those things happened – note Civil War history.

In modern times, the invasions are to our privacy, to our health, with pollutants poisoning our air, water, soil and food. And the protections provided since the 1970’s such as the Clean Water Act have been systematically watered down and now rescinded by the very corporations who are doing the most polluting, in the name of “energy independence.”

So the best, highest purpose of government is to protect its citizens, not to fight endless wars and undermine the integrity of other countries to steal their resources for multinational corporations.

May I suggest all us “residentially/economically challenged” people occupy the District of Criminals until the Orange Menace and his minions die off from the Corona virus???

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DC = District of Criminals – starting with the White House itself!! Good One!!