Tag Archives: can t afford health insurance

The Human Cost of Ideology – NYTimes.com

11 May

For more than a year, House Republicans have energetically worked to demolish vital social programs that have made this country both stronger and fairer over the last half-century. At the same time, they have insisted on preserving bloated military spending and unjustifiably low tax rates for the rich. That effort reached a nadir on Thursday when the House voted to prevent $55 billion in automatic cuts imposed on the Pentagon as part of last year’s debt-ceiling deal, choosing instead to make all those cuts, and much more, from domestic programs.

If this bill were enacted, estimates suggest that nearly two million Americans would lose food stamps and 44 million others would find them reduced. The bill would eliminate a program that allows disabled older people to live at home and out of institutions. It cuts money that helps low-income families buy health insurance. At the same time, the House bill actually adds more than $8 billion to the Pentagon budget.

via The Human Cost of Ideology – NYTimes.com.


A Tale of Two Towers: 8 Spruce Street and One World Trade Center

11 Oct

Spruce Street and One World Trade Center I took part in last Wednesday’s Community/Labor March To Wall St. in New York City. I met some musician buddies at Washington Square Park and we marched to Foley Square with the New York University group, though none of us are affiliated with NYU. From Foley Square, a bit Northeast of City Hall. There we joined up with the main crowd, and a passel of musicians, and headed on to Liberty Plaza, flanked and guided by police all the way.

Not long after we left Washington Square Park, say a five or six blocks out, I noticed this building ahead, and I kept tracking it all the way down:

NYC - Civic Center: 8 Spruce Street

Photo of 8 Spruce Street by Wally Gobetz

That’s a new luxury apartment building at 8 Spruce Street, just south of City Hall. It was designed by starchitect Frank Gehry.

Does anyone who lives there care about us marchers? I thought. It’s a pricy building, with studio apartments starting at $3770 a month, which is over $42,000 per year, and two bedrooms at $6045 per month, almost $61,000 per year. I’m thinking that, no, the folks who live there are more likely in the 1% who’re living high off of banker’s bonuses than in the 99% who can’t afford health insurance and who won’t have pensions when they retire.

More likely than not, they think things are pretty much OK as they are. Maybe the bonuses are a little slim, but the rabble down here marching to Liberty Plaza, we don’t figure in their view of the world. They have no empathy with us.

But then how could they?

My father was an engineer. He worked in an office. But his work took him into coal mines to collect samples and to inspect the coal face. He knew that mining was dirty and dangerous work and believed that no one should have authority over coal miners unless they’d worked in the mines themselves. Continue reading