The State of American Society as 2015 Begins

Published on Global (first on WSWS), by Andre Damon, Jan 6, 2015.

As the New Year begins, the social crisis gripping tens of millions of working people in the United States is worsening. Hunger, poverty and long-term joblessness remain at the highest levels in decades, while vital social services continue to be slashed.

One would never know this from reading the press, watching the evening news, or listening to the statements of politicians. The official discourse is dominated by the supposed revival of the American economy, characterized by record corporate profits and stock prices. The fact that the great majority of the population finds it increasingly difficult to make ends meet finds no reflection in the media or official politics.  

The incoming Republican-dominated Congress, working with the Obama administration, will focus on cutting corporate taxes and business regulations, planning new wars, and expanding the repressive apparatus of the state. No representative of the political establishment, including the supposedly outspoken liberal Elizabeth Warren and the “independent socialist” Bernie Sanders, is proposing any significant measures to address the deepening social crisis.

The constant of domestic policy—enthusiastically pursued by both big-business parties—is an unrelenting assault on the working class.

Critical social programs are being cut further. Last week, funding for a two-year temporary increase in fees paid to doctors who treat Medicaid patients expired, leading to a reduction in payments of up to 43 percent. The fee cut will lead doctors to stop accepting Medicaid patients under conditions where millions more low-income people are being added to the Medicaid rolls as part of Obamacare.

This week, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reported that another one million people are scheduled to lose food stamp benefits next year as a result of the imposition of a three-month limit on food stamps for childless adults. Federal food stamp funds were cut by billions of dollars on two separate occasions over the past three years.

These regressive and antisocial policies are being reproduced at the state and local level. The city of Detroit, which just exited from the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history after slashing municipal workers’ pensions and health benefits, is notifying the owners of 35,000 occupied homes that they will be foreclosed upon unless they pay back taxes. The threatened foreclosures could affect nearly 100,000 people, or one in seven of the city’s residents … //

… (full text).


NASA’s iconic ‘Pillars of Creation’ image gets amazing hi-res makeover, on Russia Today RT, Jan 7, 2015;

Operation Helicopter: Could Free Money Help the Euro Zone? on Spiegel Online International, by Anne Seith, Jan 6, 2015: Fears that the euro zone is heading for deflation refuse to abate. Now, many economists are demanding that the European Central Bank hand out money to consumers to stimulate the economy. But would it work?
It sounds at first like a crazy thought experiment: One morning, every resident of the euro zone comes home to find a check in their mailbox worth over €500 euros ($597) and possibly as much as €3,000. A gift, just like that, sent by the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt …;

Empirical evidence now irrevocably shows banks create money out of thin air, on RWER Blog, by Lars Syll, Jan 6, 2015;

Tanzanie: retour en famille de plus de 600 filles fuyant l’excision, dans Star Africa, par APA, le 6 janvier 2015;

Lessons on the Struggle for Health Care as a Human Right, What happened in Vermont where a so-called single payer proposal died? on Dissident Voice, by Kevin Zeese, January 5, 2015.

Comments are closed.