Hate And Fear As Addictions

I’ve written about this before but re-doing it once again because it is an important concept. I am approaching this in a rather clinical manner, seeing my history of nursing.

I find this especially important at this time. Right now, the midterms are over. Yet by and large people are more likely to be acting out emotionally, not thinking rationally. And that’s the goal of the parties and media machines. React, don’t think. Feel, don’t question. Get angry, even when you don’t know why.

When you focus your mind on emotional outrage, offense or fear you are not trying to find solutions to problems. You are seeking to satisfy your emotional state. The biggest problem with this is how people keep going from one outrage to another to another. When was the last time you personally were notin one of these states?

The biggest reason you are always in some heightened emotional state is because of the media. Fear, anger and offense sell. It’s profitable. So they make it continuous. Day after day, each media source trying to come out with the next outrageous headline to put you in one of these states. What stories are you most likely to share, forward to your friends and family, blast on loudspeakers, etc?

Now here is the biggest problem. Anger, hate, fear and offense are addictions. I mean that in the literal sense of the word. Most Americans, if they look at themselves honestly and objectively, can see the pattern of addiction in their own behavior.

Anger, hate and fear cause the same chemical responses in the brain as drug use. Especially resembling methamphetamine use, they cause a chemical response of increased adrenaline production coupled with heightened endorphin production, especially norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine.

What is worse is that addictions keep getting worse as time goes on. Drug addicts develop what is known as tolerance. That is to say, the same dose becomes less effective over time, so they seek more and more, higher and higher doses of the same substance. Or they seek new substances that will give them the same euphoria, then continue on with the pattern, often mixing substances until they are taking a cocktail of chemicals which slowly damage and poison their bodies.

One of the most damaging long term effects of chronic stress and anxiety is increased stress hormone production, which leads to high blood pressure, digestive disorders and weight gain. So keeping yourself in a state of chronic stress willingly truly is damaging and even potentially lethal, shortening your life span while decreasing your quality of life.

I know some people will claim that comparing these emotions to addiction is ludicrous. However, look at how much pleasure people derive from watching horror movies. Violent sports like football. War movies. Cop shows. All of these portray events which in real life are atrocities, tragedies. However, when we are dealing with the news, atrocities are being played out in real life, not dramatized.

So, what are some of the behavioral signs of addiction?

First, the addict cannot control the behavior. They consciously or subconsciously seek the object of addiction on a frequent basis. This continues even after they have identified the addiction. Remember, alcoholics and ex-smokers often refer to themselves as “recovering”, indicating they have not beaten the addiction even years after giving it up. Instead, they keep the addiction under control.

If addiction is not controlled (such as an addict in denial), the addiction gets worse. They develop tolerance. They seek out more and more of the object of their addiction. In this case, they will actively seek out things which cause the stressful state they desire. Check the comment sections on Progressive pages or RT and you will find many whose sole purpose on that page is to express anger and seek conflict. Many who dislike Trump subscribe to his Twitter feed. Others seek out story after story attacking Trump, Russia or whomever else offends them by mere mention of the name.

That tolerance may have begun as having some reaction to stories that came up in the media but over time they began to seek those stories more and more frequently. Eventually, they could not go even a few hours without genuinely needing that stress. They actively seek out things that provide that stress multiple times a day. That can include news by TV, internet or discussion, sports, movies, TV shows, computer games and other influences.

That stress spills over into their everyday lives, causing more problems. Like an addict, they will seek out those who share the addiction in the form of similar viewpoints, rejecting opposing anyone with opposing views. Express a dissenting view and they commonly become abusive. That includes to their family and friends.

The only way to deal with this problem is to deal with it on a personal level. The first step is admitting a problem exists. Be honest with yourself, look in your mental mirror and see if the description fits. Then take action accordingly.

We all need to be engaging in interventions with family and those in our social circles.

Addicts always make excuses and divert responsibility. There are no excuses. The social and political environment is not an excuse. The food you eat is not an excuse. Chemtrails are not an excuse. The responsibility is on the addict and should not be allowed to be cast elsewhere. Don’t be an enabler.

Some readers may want clinical documentation of this comparison. Is that really needed? Behavioral evidence should really be sufficient. If you really want the clinical documentation, there is a lot of it available online but separately addressing amphetamine use and anger. I’m just giving a cross reference. I’ve read the clinical information which merely confirmed my theory.

Side note: The example I originally used in this theory remains valid. That example was racism. If a person is racist against (for example) black people, it does not remain against only black people. A racist continues expanding their bigotry and hate to include Hispanics, Muslims, Jews, Atheists, etc until it becomes hatred of anyone that is different. However, that is far from the only example, as noted above. So, this is not directed at one political or social leaning. It applies universally.

Julian Assange

I’ve been considering writing something about Julian Assange and Wikileaks for quite some time now. For brevity, I’ll just refer to Assange because basically he is Wikileaks. Because I stand so much for freedom of speech and the press, it may seem strange I have not written anything about him until now. However, so much has been presented by larger voices than my own, spoken with clarity, validity and passion. Lee Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Caitlin Johnstone, Jimmy Dore have all spoken out about Assange, sometimes multiple times.

I highly respect to work of the people I mention. So the challenge for me was to find a different take on the issue which has not been covered. I hate repeating the same talking points, seeming to parrot what others have said, no matter how valid. Between the points that have been covered and having written extensively about censorship in the past.

There is one aspect which has been barely mentioned and it is something I tend to focus on a lot. What would Assange’s motive be, what profit would be in it for him?

If you ask this question openly to Russiagaters and Julian haters, you can never get a clear answer. It is always some vague nonsense about “sowing chaos”, “causing division” or some similar claptrap. I expect the reason they think there is any validity to their view is because these are people who can think no more clearly than the drama queens they are. These are people who are addicted to Jerry Springer, the Kardashians, Big Brother and other trailer trash, mindless shows that portray people of their own mindset, that causing problems is a valid profit motive in and of itself.

Anyone of even the slightest intellectual capacity does not think in those terms. The fact that those shows are popular in the US says a lot about this country and it is nothing positive.

If charges against a person are prosecuted in a court of law, to genuinely prove guilt three things must at minimum be proven- Means, motive and opportunity. In this case, means and opportunity are there. Motive is the aspect in question and yet MSM and influences in our own government attempt to divert all attention or make up the most insane, flimsy, unbelievable motive imaginable. Yet to reality show addicts it sounds completely reasonable. Though even on reality shows, the instigator is never satisfied with the initial drama. They continually attempt to add to that drama. Something Assange has not done.

The narrative of Russiagaters and Assange haters consistently make vague claims that Wikileaks and Russia are tied together, yet cannot offer any evidence to that effect. They claim Wikileaks has never published anything critical of Russia. Which is an indication they have never looked at the Wikileaks website, with tens of thousands of pages of Russian documents implication corruption in that country. Yet they ask you to believe. Never type in www.wikileaks.org and see for yourself.

They ask you to believe Assange promoted Trump by omission of leaked documents against Trump. They never mention that Wikileaks does not hack anyone, they publish documents which are provided to them and carefully verified. Which is why Wikileaks has never had to retract a single document in 12 years.

They ask you to believe that no person or organization could have altruistic ethics and standards in the pursuit of truth. Even as they claim to have those ethics while taking money from war profiteers. Money in steady streams which they stand to lose if enough people believe what Wikileaks publishes just enough to ask questions and demand answers. Their income sources have been known to lie, cheat, steal, cause the failure of nations, enslavement and outright murder of millions of innocent people globally. For the goal of enslaving and murdering millions more, as long as there is profit in it. Yet those war profiteers and their paid media, their owned elected officials are allegedly “the good guys”.

They ask you to believe that Wikileaks posted falsified images of DNC emails after they or Russia hacked the DNC servers. Yet they cannot explain why the DNC servers have never been subpoenaed or examined by the FBI. They cannot explain exactly what was inaccurate. They cannot explain why anyone would bother creating tens of thousands of false documents if they had gone to the trouble of hacking the DNC. They cannot explain why the DNC fired 5 people in July 2016 because of those emails. They cannot explain Seth Rich’s murder. They cannot explain why the DNC never released the original emails to illustrate any difference between the leaked and original documents.

They ask you to believe that Assange fears rape charges which were dropped in 2012. Or he fears going to court for not showing up for a court hearing related to the same dropped charges.

They ask you to believe he fears imprisonment so much that he has remained imprisoned for 8 years without medical or dental care.

They ask you to believe he wants to get rich while remaining incarcerated and unable to spend the money.

Where do you find any profit motive for Assange and Wikileaks in any of the above? They have been targeted and threatened, fought entire governments to remain online and continue publishing the truth.

Assange and Wikileaks are rare today but for so many of us are completely trustworthy, honorable and respectable. The absolute opposite of their detractors. They fight for truth.They fight for freedom of the press. They already belong in all modern history books and in future history books for generations as heroes. We should all strive to have that level of dedication to the truth.

The ones who all belong in prison are those whose guilt is revealed on the Wikileaks platform, who seek to silence and punish those who reveal the truth.

Renewed Push For Trickle-Down Economics

Lately we are seeing a renewed push for trickle-down economics. Of course, this is all based on the claims that the economy is doing well, even with tariffs, sanctions, etc.

Let me address the claim that the economy is doing well first because that is a complete fabrication.

The major part of this claim is based on the performance of the stock market. I have been covering this issue quite a bit for some time. The stock market rose in the last few years because of stock buybacks. Absolutely none of that has to do with the consumer economy and is often at direct odds with the job market. In January this year, a positive report came out stating employment and wages were up. The following day the stock market had a massive drop.

In recent months we have heard of companies laying workers off due to tariffs. Yet the stock market only decreased after the interest rate went up.  Laying workers off runs in tandem with decreasing production. Yet they can only decrease production if consumer sales are on the decline, even with tariffs. Tariffs cause a price increase of similar products across the market, so any increase at all means the same product will remain competitive with other manufacturers. Example: If Ford must increase prices by 10%, so must Toyota, GM, etc. Layoffs are not necessary unless all vehicles are selling less. Then the decrease comes only after the decreased sales are evident.

Side note: The same manufacturers did not increase production or hiring when they got a tax break. 

So, Ford is laying off, as is GM, Harley Davidson, GE and more. Sears is bankrupt. Apple has announced decreased production. Toys R Us is gone, as are numerous other retailers and others are scaling back. The only retailers I have heard are expanding are Family Dollar and Dollar Tree.

There have been claims that US Steel is building new plants. US Steel said that is not true.

In fact, many are claiming that new jobs are being created in manufacturing. That’s not even possible. If retailers are closing locations or even going bankrupt, that means jobs are being lost. Fewer jobs means fewer consumers and less consumer spending. So if production were to increase, who the hell is buying the additional products being produced? Nobody, that’s who.

It does not end with production. Less consumer spending means services are impacted, from insurance to cable to massage to fitness centers to taxis and on and on. At each level, profits are lost, jobs are lost, income is lost, consumer spending is lost.

The fact is that trickle-down economics has never worked, is not working now and has no possibility of working in the future. Economies do not work from the top down, they work from the bottom up.

One of the tenets used to promote trickle-down is that the people at the top are job creators. As you can see above, this is not true. Consumers are job creators. Most of the highest paying jobs in this country and globally are occupations that produce nothing. Corporate executives, stock investors, fund managers, bankers. These are people far more likely to demand the elimination of jobs and reduction in wages to preserve their own bloated incomes than to ever create jobs.

Historically, production and trade predates investing. Even today there are “less developed” small societies that may have leadership positions but manage to have assigned workloads, methods of sharing and yet have no money. Barter systems require no money yet have plenty of jobs. Not for profit organizations, including some hospitals have jobs, expand to create more jobs and profits go back into the company and employees. Small local businesses create lots of jobs and used to provide many, many more than they do now, before they were forced out by corporations. In all the above cases, guess how many jobs get deported offshore to other countries? Small retailers may purchase goods for sale from foreign suppliers but small manufacturers do not export labor.

We cannot keep believing the same lies we have been fed for decades, doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. We cannot believe when we are told the economy is doing well while it is not our personal economy doing better. We cannot believe jobs are being created if we have no opportunity to replace the jobs we have been laid off from or have no room for advancement. If you are overworked, still broke and struggling, the entire narrative should be falling flat. If you can look at anything objectively, you can see through these deceptions.

The Diversity Of The True Left

One of the most interesting things about the true left, aka Progressives, is our diversity.

The right and centrists have certain homogeneous traits. The far right is typically either poorly educated and proud of that fact or they are educated and set on taking advantage of the less educated ones. Centrists tend to be better educated in general but middle class who think they are much higher on the feeding chain than they actually are.

In each case, right and center, the ones at the top take advantage of those lower down, who never examine the lies they are being told. In most of both cases, they are predominantly white and, while they call themselves Christians, they fail to follow the tenets of their own religion.

I am being quite serious when I say that those to the center left tend to have the highest intelligence and sense of empathy. In today’s terms, center left means far left of neoliberals and slightly right of Marxism.

Any form of extremism is extremism. Whether far left or far right, there is no balance and any extremist system is bound to fail, if not by it’s own shortcomings, then by massive resistance which results in outright violent conflict. While ethically I do see value in Marxism sans fascism, I understand that our society has not evolved to a degree that it is realistic at this time. First and foremost because of the means of motivation which have been conditioned into our culture. If I thought it were realistic, I would be for it. Not in our lifetime, though. We have a long way to go.

Back to the main subject.

Progressives span a wide variety of people across cultures and subcultures, races, genders, religions, income levels and education levels. Too often we are portrayed as lazy or wanting something for nothing. Yet most of us are employed, most educated. In fact, I would venture to say a larger than average percentage of us can be classified as workaholics.

Not all of these people are running for any office but they are all examples of who is on the true left.

Dr Jill Stein. Harvard educated and magna cum laude (Harvard College) physician and social/environmental/political activist who has run as the Green Party nominee in every election since 2012. Prior to that, she ran for various elected offices in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010 in Massachusetts.

Professor Richard Wolff. Marxian economist known globally, has taught at Yale, University of Paris, University of Mass-Amherst, New School University-New York, the Brecht Forum, University of Utah and City University of New York. Has a weekly radio program and appears on various leftist TV shows and radio programs in addition to writing.

Dr Ajamu Baraka. 2016 Green Party VP Candidate, most people know. He has also served as founding executive Director of the US Human Rights Network, served on the boards of Amnesty International, the Center For Constitutional Rights and Africa Action and is an Associate Fellow at the Institute For Policy Studies. Prolific and powerful speaker and writer.

Aaron Mate. Journalist who never fails to ask the right questions and challenge interviewees when they speak obvious falsehoods. Currently at The Real News Network, he has also reported for Democracy Now!, The Intercept, Vice, Al Jazeera and the Toronto Star.

Jimmy Dore. While Jimmy is a comedian, he is a voice to be reckoned with, having been on The Young Turks for years, he has his own show on Patreon and YouTube. Any Progressive can love watching him go on a heated rant because he never holds back. He travels the country doing stand-up comedy which is politically intense. His show usually has Stef Zamorano, Ron Placone (who also has his own show on YouTube and also travels doing political stand-up) and frequently Graham Elwood.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. A New York Representative who is making a name for herself on the left. I do not always agree with her on some subjects but she shows promise. Considering the fact that she was a waitress not long ago and has risen to using her first day of her apprenticeship to stage a protest in Nancy Pelosi’s office, I would not call that lazy.

Tulsi Gabbard. Representative from Hawaii who stood up for equal representation for Bernie Sanders during the 2016 election, stepping down from a top position in the DNC. She has traveled to Syria, stood up to the power structures in DC and is an Army veteran. Highly Progressive on many subjects, though again I cannot claim I always agree with her.

Bernie Sanders. Yes, I know some of you will be pissed I did not put him first. On many subjects, he is highly Progressive and extremely vocal on those issues. I still believe he should have won in 2016. He is one of the most energetic members of Congress and definitely one of the most Progressive until recently. This is merely an example, not an endorsement. I have stated clearly what I feel his failings to be previously.

While this is a rather short list, they are some of the most visible. These are all strong voices who work hard and always have. They are capable of seeing and caring beyond themselves. They work toward improving this country and this planet for someone besides the extremely rich. They do not divide people nor do they try and convince one sector of society that that sector is superior to others. They try and unite us all, which is precisely why they encounter so much opposition. None of them endorse the concept of something for nothing.

Not in popularity but in effort, I’d like to include myself in this list. Anyone claiming I want something for nothing could not be more wrong. I am a diagnosed workaholic. I began working when I was 12. Over the years I have been a dishwasher, chef, veteran, auto/diesel/turbine mechanic, assistant military instructor, web designer, freelance writer and a nurse. Right now I work 32–48 hours a week, try and stay on top of issues and attempt to write 4–5 articles a week while making virtually nothing for doing so. If you read my articles, you can see that I do my own research and am not averse to running numbers to prove my point. In fact, I may be spending more at times than I earn from my writing. Does any of that sound lazy or selfish to you?

It used to be a standard that employers provided for medical care for employees in this country. I even had that when working in a convenience store while in college. Now that idea is being considered selfish on the part of the worker. How did we, as a nation, come to care more about the profits of the rich than the suffering of the many?

It used to be a standard that people earned a days pay for a days work in this country. Again, how did this become too much to expect? It is not in any way unreasonable to ask multi-billionaires to part with some of their accumulated hoards which they could not spend in 100 lifetimes so that this country is truly prosperous.

All of this has come about as a result of corporations owning the means of information. It is beyond time to turn off corporate media and see them for what they are.

It is beyond time to look around and see how close to the edge we are as a country. That when we turn our backs on each other, we have nothing left. It is only through diversity that we will gain unity and change the way things are going. The road we are on now runs directly to epic disaster as few Americans have ever dreamed. 

How Universal Healthcare Is Best Pt III

This post was published on Medium and Steemit on 9/5/18. 

In the first two parts of this series, I examined and pointed out things which are more factual and can be validated quite easily. Now to delve into things which are more murky but clearly show which side of ethics any person is on. Including how much they are willing to blindly follow corporate propaganda.

Advertising- I mentioned before that insurance policy holders pay for $millions spent on advertising by insurance companies PER DAY. It comes to $billions spent per year. TV, internet, snail mail, email, telephone, “free” health fairs, advertising products (key chains, bags, etc), newspapers, magazines, you name it. YOU pay for ALL of it.

Hint- NONE of that money is being spent on medical care.

No Debate- Where do most Americans get their information about the universal healthcare debate? Corporate media. The very same media corporations that collect the advertising $billions every year. Whom do they have as guest speakers to discuss these issues? If they discuss the issue at all, their “guest speakers” invariably come from insurance companies, lobbying firms or politicians who have received large sums of money from the insurance industry. Possibly WAR Street “experts” who sell stock in insurance companies. Even when a recent Libertarian-funded study proved universal healthcare would save $billions, numerous corporate media outlets ignored the actual study and instead interviewed the author of the study, who argued against his own findings, yet had no hard numbers, made no revisions to the actual study. He’s a Libertarian. Of course he will argue against the truth which he, himself, revealed.

So, who represents the pro-universal healthcare side? Basically, nobody on corporate media. That side of the “debate” (sic) consistently states that universal healthcare costs too much, yet never explains how that is possible, considering the costs I detailed in part one of this series. Nor the benefits detailed in part two. Those are never discussed at all. Americans have become so accustomed to having one sided corporate opinions spouted as fact that they never even question that only one side, the corporate side, is represented. Such is the danger of allowing corporate media to do your thinking for you.

Main detractors- Who are the main detractors voicing objections to universal healthcare? There are the obvious corporate entities mentioned above. Insurance companies, advertising agencies and media companies that make huge sums of money from the current system. However, there are local insurance agents and their employees. I understand their concerns though most of them have other revenue streams because insurance agents tend to cover multiple forms of insurance. Plus drug companies who are often in bed with the insurance companies. Consider CVS buying Aetna insurance while they also run clinics in many of their locations. CVS has one of the largest drugs by mail systems in the country. So they control the medications and collect the profits from premium to clinic to pharmacy.

On top of that, there are those who believe the claims of “death panels” and so forth, which makes no sense when you consider a system that has the benefits I’ve already laid out. They can never answer why Medicaid and Medicare have never had such “death panels”, aside from those imposed by the capitalist insurance and drug companies that have been involved since GWB privatized parts of it.

We cannot mince words about it. There is no shortage of people who are literally cruel. They enjoy the thought of others suffering, as long as they are not suffering or even inconvenienced. Some don’t even care if they pay more but get less, as long as they can feel somehow instrumental in the suffering of others. These people cross all religious, ethic and gender boundaries.

Human ethics- The saddest part of all of this is that so many Americans have the opinion that healthcare is a privilege, not a right. As long as they have their own, it doesn’t matter if others get sick, possibly chronically, or if the “other” person dies. Most interesting in the prevalence of this sentiment is how many claim to be “Christian”. While Christianity is supposedly a belief system that speaks clearly of caring for your fellow human more than you care about money.

Those who even think about ethics are in favor of universal healthcare. It hurts us to see our fellow human beings suffer, sicken and die for lack of access to healthcare. We cannot stand seeing people unable to afford crucial medications, making decisions between medication and food. Or asking themselves if that nagging, increasing pain in their stomach or chest can wait another month, another year. Is that purple spot or oddly shaped mole that keeps getting larger a concern? Can’t afford to think about it.

“I hate Socialism!”- Since I began this series, I have encountered a number of people who use this argument. The interesting part is how many of them are on SOCIAL Security. Hmm, where do they think that name comes from? It comes from the fact that it is a SOCIALIST concept and always has been. Social Security is funded by society for the benefit of society. The people paying into it now pay for the benefits of those collecting on it now. The same is true with Medicare and Medicaid.

Let me repeat that definition of Socialist programs. A Socialist program is any government program or policy which is funded BY society for the benefit OF society and the members of that society.

The others who argue against universal healthcare are members of the system which profits from the current system. Insurance corporations, lobbyists, politicians who get “donations” from the above, insurance agents, advertising companies. Note that these people rarely work in the same sense of the word that manual laborers do. They will claim that manual laborers need to work harder, work multiple jobs, “get an education” (In what? They cannot answer.), leave their children in daycare while they work 80 hours a week (until they become sick and never mind the cost of child care), don’t have children, don’t buy a vehicle, don’t eat out, don’t have that latte.. Oh, and be sure to get lots of exercise and watch corporate media in between.

Karma- The blindest part of this viewpoint is that younger people who pay into the system at this point are getting sicker. They lose days of productivity because of illness. They lose income because of it. They pay less into the system because of it.

The logical end result of this is that you wind up with huge numbers of people winding up with chronic illnesses, possibly disabling illnesses, unable to work, unable to make a living. What happens then? They get kicked off of insurance and placed on Medicaid and SSI. So they are no longer contributing to the system, they are a drain on the system.

The insurance companies get to keep their profits, taxpayers pick up the bill and fewer people are paying in. Such a system is doomed to failure because it is unsustainable. The worst part is how much of it is preventable.

End points- Some people want to blame Russia or China or immigrants or whomever they can for the failure of the current system. This is not anyone else’s fault, this is purely an American problem brought on by greed. That greed is at many levels. I’m sure with the details I have offered that I have only offered the most obvious culprits, yet it is still not discussed openly.

So, call me a Russian troll, tell me I hate my country because I think all Americans should have health care without going bankrupt. Call me a Socialist like it is a dirty word because I care about society. You can offer insults but until you can explain how the current system is better for everyone, not just the most affluent, you have no argument as far as millions of us are concerned. Even for the low upper middle class, the cost of access to medical care is slipping out of reach at this point.

Is universal healthcare perfect? Probably not but name a system that is perfect. When I say “best” I mean just that- best. Not perfect. When we come up with a perfect system, let me know. We’ve never been there and no country has been. That’s not even on the horizon as long as we keep fighting the fight of money over human life and well being. This is not about “perfect”. This is about the greatest good at all levels for the greatest number of people.

How Universal Healthcare Is Best Pt II

This post was published on Medium and Steemit on 8/30/18.

When I state universal healthcare is best, let me clarify what I mean by “best”.

I am speaking in medical outcome and ethical terms. When I say “best”, I mean that universal healthcare offers the best medical outcome for the largest number of people at the most reasonable cost.

There is no actual debate on this conclusion unless you prefer entities that sabotage a system for personal gain. Capitalists that try to torpedo such a system for profit. Malevolent system administrators that go against evidence based medical criteria with the explicit purpose of making that system fail. Each of these do so at the cost of human suffering and life.

Of course, we are having this discussion in a country that has left millions without medical care, millions bankrupt in an attempt to afford care. Millions with permanent disability or dead for the sake of profit. As a nurse for decades, I find that situation unacceptable.

Most Progressives know that a recent Koch-funded (Libertarian) study found that universal healthcare would save consumers over $2 Trillion over 10 years. Yet that study does not bother to touch on any of the points I raise in this article, all of which mean the actual amount saved would be far greater.

In part one, I detailed how universal healthcare is the most cost effective system by eliminating extraneous costs that have nothing to do with actual delivery of medical care. But it goes beyond that. Universal healthcare provides societal and economic benefits inside and outside the medical system which improve the economy as a whole. Here are only some of the benefits universal healthcare offers to the economy.

1- Increased disposable income. Because universal healthcare costs less than our current system, it results in more money left in the pocket of the average citizen. For most people, that money will be spent in the general economy. The economy operates on money being spent. That is how jobs are created. I’ve detailed before how money spent at a grocery store supports numerous jobs such as cashier, manager, maintenance, truck drivers, farmers, ranchers, food processors, dock workers. So the same holds true here.

2- Living wage jobs. Expanded access to healthcare would mean people using that access. The end result would be an increased need for doctors, PA’s, nurse practitioners, nurses, CNA’s. Those are obvious but it goes beyond those jobs. You would need more radiologists, radiology techs, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, dietitians, psychologists/psychiatrists/therapists, pharmacists/pharmacy technicians, medical equipment supply specialists, medical equipment manufacturing engineers, medical waste specialists.. The list goes on.

3- MORE disposable income. With all the jobs listed above making a living wage, that means a considerable number of professionals with disposable income. Most of that income would be spent in the general economy, buying food, clothing, cars, homes, eating at restaurants. At each stage of consumerism, jobs are maintained and created. These workers pay taxes which are (ideally) spent supporting schools, libraries, maintaining roads, etc, in each case maintaining if not creating more jobs, more consumers, more taxpayers.

4- Decreased bankruptcies. Millions of Americans per year declare bankruptcy due to medical bills. With universal healthcare, this would be almost if not completely eradicated. The result would be the preservation of credit ratings for responsible people. Which would prevent them from falling prey later to predatory lending practices by payday and high interest lenders, being denied credit, mortgages, etc. Businesses, especially smaller businesses, lose money to bankruptcies every year, causing a cascade effect leading to those small businesses closing or declaring bankruptcy themselves. This would slow that process considerably.

5- Early detection of chronic illnesses. Millions of Americans have chronic illnesses which are only diagnosed when they become advanced or even critical because they cannot afford routine care which would detect those conditions at a much earlier stage. More of these conditions would be detected before they become severe to critical. In many cases this would prevent catastrophic illness. Meaning they would live longer, healthier, happier lives. Not to mention it is far less costly to provide preventive care than corrective to critical care. The cost of one ICU stay for one patient would pay for insulin and testing supplies for hundreds of diabetics for a year. This is NOT an exaggeration of any kind.

6- Stress/anxiety/depression. Medical issues alone can cause stress, anxiety and depression. It doesn’t matter if the illness is chronic or acute. In addition, medical bills can cause the same emotional issues. Combine the two sources of emotional distress and the effects can be devastating. Each one alone can affect self esteem, how one sees themselves. It is no personal failure when one cannot afford medical care, medications, hospital care, etc yet in our society today it is made to seem (by some) to be a personal failure as a human being when you are unable to afford these things. It becomes an issue which many people are too ashamed to discuss openly with friends and family members. Look at the cost of medical care today and it is no wonder so many struggle with the bills involved, putting off care until it can no longer be put off. We live in a country where a series was successful where a teacher becomes a meth dealer simply because of his medical bills and fear for his family’s welfare because of that. The series would not have been successful if it had been a scenario which was less realistic.

7- Health conditions related to stress/anxiety/depression. Always remember that chronic negative emotions can cause physical health complications of their own. High blood pressure, ulcers, obesity, malnutrition, increased tendency to self medicate with alcohol or drugs, gastric disorders, etc. By instituting a system where these negative emotions are lessened, we prevent many of the physical complications which increase the cost of health care. For those who already have these medical issues, stress makes them worse and harder to control. There is no way to truly predict just how much money this would save in the long term but my personal guess (as an experienced cardiac and neurological care nurse) is that the amount would be highly significant.

Now, this list is probably incomplete and could well be added to. However, these are aspects I have not personally seen/heard anyone else discussing to date. Which sucks, considering we’ve had at least two years of discussion about the issue. Just keep watching my page for views you don’t find in other places.

Of course there would be some negative effects involved. I consider all of those ethical concerns and will cover that in part III of this series, coming soon. Long as I don’t get bumped off by some insurance agent before I write it.

Immigration Mathematics

Part of the right wing and some centrist objection to illegal immigrants is their claim that those immigrants claim benefits and cost too much money. The entire argument is patently false on many levels.

I am not going to bother contradicting the claim that illegal immigrants claim benefits. That’s no use. They will always swear up and down that they personally know illegal immigrants who have told them to their face personally that the immigrants they are speaking of are collecting benefits. Which of course, negates one of their other popular arguments, that illegal immigrants don’t speak English yet the arguer never speaks Spanish.

So, let’s take the opposite argument. Let’s say that ALL illegal immigrants are collecting benefits and run some numbers based on that.

Right now I live in Alabama. The top income tax rate here is 5%. Welfare accounts for 5% of the state budget.

Then we have the federal budget. Welfare accounts for 4% of the federal budget, while housing (all housing programs) accounts for 1% of the federal budget. For ease of computation in this example, we’ll say 5% for welfare. No need to make anything too complicated.

Let’s assume a median income tax rate of 15%. Combined with state tax, that gives us a simple 20% tax rate. We can use that as a calculation which is fairly accurate for an example.

In each case, when we say welfare, that refers to ALL welfare programs regardless of immigration status. gender, etc. At this point, some people are going to claim that this means 10% of their taxes go to welfare. Sorry, that’s not the way math works. While the combined tax to the person is 20%, the total amount of their tax going to all forms of welfare remains 5% of what they pay in. So, with those numbers in mind we can start calculating.

Again, simplicity. If you make $100,000 a year and pay 20% to taxes, that’s $20,000. If 5% of your taxes goes to all forms of welfare, that comes down to $1000 a year. That is 1/100th of your income. So for each dollar you earn, you pay one penny to feed and house poor people. Probably less than you spend on movies, restaurants and lattes or beer.

Now, the estimate is that illegal immigrants number 11 million people out of a country of over 330 million people. That equals 3% of the population. So, assuming that every single illegal immigrant collects government benefits, we have more numbers to work with.

Back to the above, assume you pay $1000 a year to all forms of welfare. With illegal immigrants comprising 3% of the population, also consider 3% of welfare is paid to them. That comes to $30. Per year.

Of course, some will argue against using the entire population as an equation. Let’s increase it. Some estimates say that 40% of the population gets public assistance in some form. So we will multiply by 4. Now you have $120 paid to illegal immigrants per year. That’s $10 a month. If you make $100,000 a year, that is. If you make less, you pay less. If you make $50,000 a year, that’s $5 a month. Less than you may spend at McDonald’s in one trip.

I know the math I am using is somewhat flawed but I am actually using the highest numbers for calculation, not the lowest estimates. Not all immigrants claim government benefits and damn few people reading this make $100,000 a year. The point here is illustrating exactly how ridiculous this argument truly is.

We can take this argument even further. Let’s look at where that money goes.

Welfare is spent just like money. So when it is spent on, for example food, here is what happens:

When money or food stamp benefits are spent at a grocery store, it does not simply buy food. It pays the cashier, the manager, the stock people, maintenance people, truck drivers, food processing jobs, farmers, ranchers, equipment/sales/service people who support farmers and ranchers, health department inspectors and more.

Without welfare programs, millions of jobs would cease to exist and grocery prices would increase. Those millions of jobs would cause loss of more jobs as those incomes were eliminated from the economy.

If your argument is that Americans need more support, I will absolutely agree with you. How about we take that money from the military budget? How about we increase taxes on the rich, corporations and stock speculators? Have you heard how many jobs are being eliminated just from auto factories? How about we stop subsidizing corporations who take the money and buy back their own stock with it?

How about we subsidize our own people instead? Last I heard, no corporations went to bed hungry, died from lack of medical care, skipped buying insulin because they could not afford it, became homeless because they were laid off.. Immigrants did not cause any of those problems.

So you can stop making excuses for your racism. We see you for what you are.

Now Is Our Time

The midterms are officially over. Say what you will about recounts taking place, the races, the campaigns are done.

Trump has been in office for coming on two years. Are you tired yet of hearing about every single tweet, every offensive word he speaks? Aren’t you looking for something, someone who opposes his actions? You know, some Resistance? Or do you just want to keep looking for things to be offended by?

Have you realized yet that if Trump is impeached, we wind up with Pence, who is even worse?

By this point, if you are even remotely conscious, you know the corporate Democrats are truly no better than Trump and the Republicans. They use nicer words. That’s all. In the end, they bow to the same corporate owners, start even more wars and smile while doing so.

However, now is OUR time.

While many will try and postulate about the 2020 presidential race, we are almost a year away from the DNC choosing their nominee before the campaigns are ever announced. Unless they have already chosen, which is a distinct possibility. No matter because whatever the case may be, discussion is basically useless at this time.

Yes, MSM is going to be starting to discuss 2020 immediately to divert your attention and manipulate your attention. Does not matter. Before the first campaign actually begins is at least a year away.

That makes this time crucial for us. It means we have a full year to wrest control of the real discussions going on. To force those discussions onto issues which actually matter. To demand actual policies. When Democrats talk about how Republican policies are so bad, we need to be screaming, “Then what are you doing about it?! Not in 2020, now?!!”

It us we who need to be forcing discussions on universal healthcare, ending wars, increasing wages, immigration reform, police oversight, legalization of cannabis, election reform, publicly funded elections and more. We know they are not going to do it. We know corporate media is not going to do it.

Now is the time to turn off corporate media for good (if you have not already). If you find money to donate to political campaigns, now is the time you need to divert that money to independent media and help the message grow. Use the time you wasted on corporate media and explore more independent sources. When you find good ones, share those sources and help them gain an audience. Sources like Caitlin Johnstone, Jimmy Dore, Real News Network, Lee Greenwald, Chris Hedges.

Yes, of COURSE I would like to be included in that list!!!!!

Here is what you should not do. Share MSM articles which you hate. I don’t GAF what your comments are about the article. Neither do they. Every time you turn on their station, they get paid. Every time you open their article, they get paid. Every time you share the article for others to read, you help them get paid.

It’s like having two children, one is a monster and the other is well behaved. You spend all your time, effort, money and resources on the one who misbehaves. The more attention you pay the one that acts up, the more they act up because you are rewarding that behavior. Meanwhile, you never even noticed the good kid was sick and starving to death. You finally notice it after they’re dead. Then they finally get your attention. Until the other kid throws a tantrum at the funeral. You were also blind to the fact that the bad kid was poisoning the good kid.

It’s time to ignore the bad kid. Ground them, lock them in their room. Start spending time with the good kid. Both of you will be better off for it and the bad kid just may learn something.

You want things to change? The very first place to begin is with yourself. Change your habits. You want news with substance? Then help those news sources continue, grow and succeed. You want hope? You have to help create that hope. Stop asking for shit to be handed to you. You want a brighter future? Then stop turning off the lights all around you and seeking darkness. Call yourself “woke”? Sure doesn’t look like it when you lay there with your eyes closed.

Now is our time. Stop wasting it. Start doing things differently. Stop bitching and moaning and start talking about solutions. If you are not part of the solution, then you are the problem.

Welcome to my new website!

Welcome to my new website!

The name of this site is a shortened version of my own motto, “Issues unite, names divide.” This is my way of saying that it is common for people to be able to discuss many problems facing this country. As long as we stick to those issues, we can often reach across party lines and reach some consensus. If not agreement, we are more likely to engage one another with respect. Obviously there are no guarantees but chances are good. The problems begin when we insert names. Trump, Hillary, Bernie, RNC, DNC, Conservative, Liberal, Socialist, etc. Once any names are thrown into the equation, any consensus, any rational discussion is gone, no longer exists.

If you have not read my writing before, my name is Russell Meyers. In 2016 I was moderating and writing on social media during the campaign season. I did not attempt to attain any payment for my writing at that time, not wanting the accusations that payment affected my views. As of this time, I have no backers and still vehemently oppose corporate media, so it’s not likely I will gain any formal business funding. The money is not why I write what I do by any means. 

The point of my content is always taking a deeper look at issues. I think I generally succeed at offering viewpoints which are too easily overlooked. Or offering logical analysis which many fail to offer. 

I will be republishing articles on this page which I have published elsewhere, though categorized for reference. 

Since 2016, I began publishing on Medium. You can find my Medium page here. I also publish on Steemit and you can find that page here.

In between the social media writing and publishing written articles, I started a YouTube channel. You can find that here, though I have not kept up with videos for a while. I will be going back to that occasionally as my schedule permits. Videos are time consuming and production is less flexible. I can write text articles at my regular job but videos? Not so much.

I will not claim success or influence up to this point in my writing. Most of the content I have done to even try and gain a name has only been in the past year or less. Being a Progressive and in such competitive times, making a name doesn’t happen quickly. I have no real gimmicks, no “hook”. Just honesty.

Instead, my approach is valued by intelligent people who hate the divisive rhetoric, the hatred, cult mentality of the two major parties and not enough focus on how political decisions affect all of us in real terms.

I have idols whom I follow but can see not flaws but gaps in their approaches. I love Jimmy Dore but he doesn’t do much that has not been done. He does expand on it wonderfully. Chris Hedges is a Progressive god to me but he often uses high language which is above many people. While completely valid, some find him pretentious.

My own approach uses simple language and I try to break things down into manageable pieces. Many people today are only just waking up to many facts. I do not blame one person or one party for all of our ills but show how we are experiencing a logical progression which we have been headed for for a very long time. 

Then I try most often to suggest potential solutions to various problems.

My biggest goal is keeping a human focus in my writing. At times I will step back from overt politics in my writing and focus on purely human issues. 

I also hope to host guest writers and content creators over time. 

I would like to do more content creation and expand on it. I will be posting various funding methods along the way and hope to gain support from those that agree with my views and would like to read more. 

Special thanks to my wonderful girlfriend, who offers me emotional support in my efforts. She is also very much a humanist and shares my passions. For the record, she is the best woman I have ever met in all ways.