Friday, February 12, 2016

You Bet It Is Embarrassing,

and you can about bet Congress won't do one damned thing to improve Social Security benefits for the most vulnerable.

Instead the assholes, taking their marching orders from their billionaire backers, are trying to find even MORE ways to screw the rest of us over.

For example, raising the retirement age so that even fewer of those on the bottom ever get it.

This is a national scandal:

Many researchers believe the gap in life spans from lower- to upper-income Americans started widening about 40 years ago, when income inequality began to grow. Earlier in the 20th century, trends in life spans were of declining disparities, some experts say, because improvements in public health, such as the invention of the polio vaccine and improved sanitation, benefited rich and poor alike. The broad adoption of medication for high blood pressure in the 1950s led to a major improvement for black men, erasing a big part of the gap with whites, said Dana P. Goldman, the director of the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at the University of Southern California. But medical improvements can also drive disparity when they disproportionately benefit affluent Americans; for example, cutting-edge cancer treatments.

The experience of other countries suggests that disparities do not necessarily get worse in contemporary times. Consider Canada, where men in the poorest urban neighborhoods experienced the biggest declines in mortality from heart disease from 1971 to 1996, according to a 2002 study. Over all, the gap in life expectancy at birth between income groups declined in Canada during that period. And a study comparing cancer survival rates found that low-income residents of Toronto had greater survival rates than their counterparts in Detroit. There was no difference for middle- and high-income residents in the two cities.

It started with the embrace of our political beliefs of the ruinous neoliberalism of Milton Friedman, and it has gone downhill ever since.

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