Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rich greedier; poor sicker

Posted By on Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 2:06 PM

Trickle down economics? Please! How about trickle down bullshit? They create it, we wallow in it. Learn to love it, people, because this is our reality.

From Reuters:

Charitable giving by wealthy Americans dropped by more than a third between 2007 and 2009 as the worst U.S. recession in decades put pressure on the nonprofit sector, according to a study released on Tuesday.

While almost all rich Americans -- more than 98 percent -- donated to nonprofit groups last year, the average amount fell to $54,016 in 2009 from $83,034 in 2007 and $91,928 in 2005, the third biennial Bank of America Merrill Lynch study found.

"We obviously did see a decrease in the actual dollars given, that's not surprising given the times," Claire Costello, national foundation executive for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, told Reuters.

More than 800 people with a household income of more than $200,000 and/or net worth of at least $1 million -- excluding the value of their homes -- were surveyed by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. The average wealth of the respondents was $10.7 million.

Read the entire article, by Michelle Nichols, here.

Meanwhile, the number of American's without health insurance continues to balloon as Republicans go overtime, bloviating about their desire to strangle health care in Congress — promising to lock up our country's legislative branch for two full years in an effort to benefit their corporate buddies and give the rest of us the finger. Why would they want to accomplish anything productive and helpful? No one's paying them for that, unless you count their paycheck and government health care — which we pay for with little choice.

Also from Reuters:

Nearly 59 million Americans went without health insurance coverage for at least part of 2010, many of them with conditions or diseases that needed treatment, federal health officials said on Tuesday.

They said 4 million more Americans went without insurance in the first part of 2010 than during the same time in 2008.

"Both adults and kids lost private coverage over the past decade," Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a news briefing.

The findings have implications for U.S. healthcare reform efforts. A bill passed in March promises to get health insurance coverage to 32 million Americans who currently lack coverage.

But Republicans who just took control of the House of Representatives last week have vowed to derail the new law by cutting off the funds for it, and some want to repeal it. Experts from both sides predict gridlock in Congress for the next two years ...

Read the rest of this article, by Maggie Fox, here.

And, no surprise here: People are avoiding emergency rooms these days, even when they need them most. Why? They don't have insurance, and even if they do they can't afford health care.

Again, from Reuters:

Despite expert recommendations to seek treatment if shortness of breath, chest discomfort and other telltale signs of a heart attack don't improve after five minutes, a new study suggests that typical sufferers still stall more than two hours.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., with about 1.25 million heart attacks occurring each year and a quarter of patients succumbing to the event.

About half of all heart attack deaths occur within one hour -- usually outside of a hospital.

So, why have these delays persisted despite educational campaigns to inform people about the symptoms of a heart attack and the importance of seeking timely treatment?

"The fact that the greatest duration of delay in heart attack care is with the patient and not in the health care system goes beyond just an education gap or lack of awareness about symptoms," said Ting. "More complex issues are involved and the solution is not going to be a simple one."

In research published last year, for example, Ting and his team found that people without insurance or underinsured were more likely to delay heart attack treatment.

Read the rest of this article, by Lynne Peeples, here.

Note: Reuters is a news service basted in the U.K., similar to the Associated Press in America. While American media outlets are picking up these stories, they don't seem to be doing too much to further them.

So, here's the scoop:

The rich just bought themselves an election. It's in their favor for the rest of the population to remain uniformed, unintelligent, underpaid, under-insured, on edge and out of their way.

Expect very little to come out of the next Congress as the divided house locks horns with each other in an effort to make their corporate backers happy and preserve their precious, if pathetic, political careers.

It's not about you, and it never was. All of this rhetoric, the promise to avoid compromise and forward movement in our legislature, health insurance companies' stranglehold on your family's health; it's about them and our new plutocracy, which is a government where the wealthy class calls the shots.

Not wealthy? Well, suck it. Until you're willing to educate yourself and stand up for your rights — and until you can convince others to do the same — we're screwed.

Here's the late comedian George Carlin, several years ago, explaining what the real owners of our country want. Sound familiar?

Rhiannon "Rhi" Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes snarky commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.

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