Amplifying progressive voices

Tag: Privatization

The U.S. healthcare system is cruel and dysfunctional

The U.S. health care system is broken and corrupt 
The U.S. healthcare system is cruel and dysfunctional. It’s also deeply corrupt. Below, we break down some of the reporting on America’s extraordinarily complicated healthcare system — and the private interests and craven politicians who are profiting off misery.

Medicare, the health insurance program providing single-payer care for senior citizens and people with disabilities, is being attacked from all sides. Despite its financial success and wide popularity, conservative politicians are increasingly emboldened to demand program cuts.

Profit-seeking private insurers are also taking advantage of an aptly named program: Medicare Advantage. Major insurance companies act as middlemen and find ways to cut services for patients so they can keep a growing portion of government payments for themselves. The Lever’s Matthew Cunningham-Cook reported last year that the largest-ever Medicare premium increase would pad the pockets of insurance executives who donated millions to the president’s election campaign.

Why It’s Dangerous To Get Sick In America

How the Plunder of Public Goods Transformed America and How We Can Fight Back

Charter schools, to be clear, represent the commodification of education, the privatization, and the marketization of a modern human responsibility in order to enrich a handful of private interests under the banner of high ideals. For decades, neoliberals and privatizers have painstakingly starved public schools of funds so as to set them up to fail. Then they have mass-tested them with discredited corporate tests to “show” that they are “failing.” This is then followed by a sustained media and political campaign to vilify and demonize public schools so as to create antisocial public opinion against them, which then eventually “justifies” privatizing public education because “privatization will improve education.” Suddenly “innovative” charter schools appear everywhere, especially in large urban settings inhabited by thousands of marginalized low-income minorities.

The issue of whether a charter school is public or not is often confusing to many because there is relentless disinformation from charter school promoters that charter schools are public schools when in reality they are privatized independent entities. Charter schools remain private, independent, deregulated, segregated entities even though they receive public money, are often called public, and ostensibly provide a service to the public.

The typical consequences of privatization in every sector include higher costs, less transparency, reduced quality of service, greater instability, more inefficiency, and loss of public voice. Privatization essentially undermines social progress while further enriching a handful of people driven by profit maximization. To date, whether it is vouchers, so-called “Education Savings Accounts,” or privately-operated charter schools, education privatization (“school choice”) has not solved any problems, it has only multiplied them.

Charter schools are labeled “public” mainly for self-serving reasons, specifically to lay claim to public funds that legitimately belong to public schools alone. If charter schools were openly and honestly acknowledged as being private entities they would not be able to place any valid claim to public funds and they would not be able to exist for one day. This presents a contradiction for defenders of charter schools who want to “have it both ways,” that is, be public when it suits them and act private when it serves them.

American Capitalism Has Produced Its Most Remarkable Innovation Yet: Breadlines

Soviet Russia’s food shortages were frequently held up as proof of the Communist system’s failure to provide for its citizens. But here in hyper-capitalist America, tens of millions of people are going hungry.

Scenes like this are all too common across America today, as food banks report record demand amid skyrocketing grocery prices. The US Census Bureau estimates that nearly twenty-five million people went hungry in April alone, thanks in part to the slashing of pandemic-era food stamp benefits.

Such queues are breadlines in all but name. Tens of millions presently do not have enough to eat in a country with a $25 trillion GDP, all while Congress debates the possibility of attaching new work requirements to an already inadequate and paternalistic food assistance program. Effectively, ordinary Americans are being hit with a three-punch combo of soaring food prices, benefit cuts, and fiscal policies explicitly designed to drive up unemployment.

As one commentator succinctly put it: “1) Too many people have jobs so the [Federal Reserve] raises rates to boost unemployment in the name of taming inflation. 2) People lose their jobs, making them need food stamps. 3) Politicians demand those same people get jobs to be eligible for food stamps, but the jobs are now harder to get.”

Want, cruelty, waste, it’s all here — the whole needless cycle symbolized by long lines outside of food banks in urban areas where there is more than enough to eat. God bless the free market.


American Capitalism Has Produced Its Most Remarkable Innovation Yet: Breadlines

On January 22, 1992, America’s newspaper of record published a front-page report detailing the long lines still appearing in Moscow and other Russian cities as hungry citizens sought out bread. Several weeks earlier, the USSR had finally collapsed, and breadlines – much as they had during the Cold War – persisted as the de facto symbol of the country’s dysfunction and crippling economic inefficiency.

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