Bernie Sanders on economic inequality, police violence


This 26 May 2016 video from California in the USA says about itself:

Bernie Sanders: “I Do NOT Want Local Police Looking Like Occupying Armies Intimidating People”

61 thoughts on “Bernie Sanders on economic inequality, police violence

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  27. U.S. life expectancy is dropping, for the first time in 22 years. The reason: growing economic inequality.

    Last month, the National Center for Health Statistics announced that life expectancy in the United States fell from 78.9 years in 2014 to 78.8 years in 2015. It was the first decline since 1993. 0.1 years may not seem like much (hey, just 36 days!), but what it means is that in 2015, 86,212 more Americans died than the number the year before.

    The death-surge wasn’t caused by social differences; life expectancy declined for both men and women, and for whites and Hispanics. (African-American life expectancy remained steady.)

    It wasn’t caused by the rise in a single disease, as was the case in 1993 because of HIV. On the contrary, there were increases in eight of the 10 leading causes of death.

    So what was it? Here’s a strong suspect: the rise in economic inequality.

    I caused quite a stir, five years ago, when I mentioned on MSNBC that the United States has the fifth most unequal distribution of income in the world. Politifact, in a rare moment of lucidity, rated this as “True.” But the problem has gotten worse since I said that – much worse.

    The Gini Coefficient measures income inequality. In 2007, just before the “Great Recession,” it stood at .463 in the United States. Six years later, it had risen to .482. What that means, in an economy as large as ours, is that the rich got richer and the poor got poorer — to the tune of more than $300 billion a year.

    “Poverty Stinks” was an extremely popular pop-music band in Finland in the 1980s. But as my friend Aaron Swartz used to say, it also kills. Poverty kills.

    According to a study by the Brookings Institution released last year, men in the top 10% of incomes live 14 years longer than men in the bottom 10%. So as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, the poor also get deader.

    Life expectancy is a good proxy not only for income equality, but also social cohesion. Look at what happens when that cohesion disappears. When the Soviet Union broke up, life expectancy in Russia plummeted from 69.5 years in 1988 to 64.9 years in 1993. There, like here, multiple causes of death skyrocketed. It took a quarter of a century for life expectancy in Russia to recover.

    Last week, when the new Congress convened, we saw wall-to-wall coverage of the House’s effort to cabin the Office of Congressional Ethics, followed by wall-to-wall coverage of President-elect Trump telling the House to stop screwing around, and get to work repealing Obamacare.

    Americans are dying in growing numbers. Isn’t that simple fact worthy of attention by our national leaders?

    The problem is not that the emperor has no clothes. It’s that the emperor has no heart.

    Courage,

    Alan Grayson

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