N O J U S T I C E … N O P E A C E

While some take the phrase “NO Justice, NO Peace” as a provocation by the oppressed it is in essence an explanation of why there is no peace in various communities. For instance one never hears of war and oppressive regimés within the communities of the wealthy that is because they have their justice. As a matter of fact the laws are generally written just so the rich are guaranteed justice.
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The problem arises when that same level of justice is denied others, either on communal bases or on larger, even national and international stages.
Thus, those who risk their freedom and even their lives by marching, sitting down or otherwise chanting:

N O … J U S T I C E

NO … P E A C E

are literally pointing out that there are communities where there is a judicial inequity which is creating sense of social unrest and that until that judicial inequity is adequately rectified they will continue to experience no peace therefore they will not rest. Despite what some may think people don’t risk their lives and the well-being of their families and communities of friends and associates because they are being treated equitably by the system ruling over them: be that an economic system or the governmental system designed to enforce that economic divide which is the root of their concerns.

N O … J U S T I C E

NO … P E A C E

movement.
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Roger Willis Mills, II
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Whose in charge? Not the people!

Depending on the particular poll you choose between 55% and 60% of eligible voters cast a ballot. However, if we were to look into this a bit further we can extrapolate that as of 2013 there were approximately 242,470,820 adults living in the US. Of that 242,470,820 adults (approximately, depending on the source) 136,489,372 actually cast ballots for President. This makes a total of 56.3% even bothered to cast ballots. Now when you consider that approximately 53% of those who cast a ballot for Trump did so simply to vote against Clinton and would rather have had a viable third option. And that approximately 46% of those who cast a ballot for Clinton did so simply to vote against Trump and would rather have had a viable third option that the system doesn’t allow. Yes, there are “third party” candidates, but as long as the DemoPublican/RepubliCratic Duopoly get to decide who get to debate before the American Public they are never quite viable.

Thus, only about 56% of adult Americans either got to cast a vote or decided to cast a vote. Of that 56% only about 50% of them actually cast a vote for a candidate instead of against a candidate. That means only about 28% of Americans either Clinton or Trump. If we are generous and split that down the middle (Clinton having won the Popular Vote make that generous. And since your argument is that is in charge that makes this point relevant) that means only about 14% of Americans decided this election.

In other words, Donald, the American Population is not in charge and that definitely includes me, Sir. However, I and other Americans have the legitimate right to bitch and complain about the thoroughly corrupt and rigged system that decides for us who will get to claim to represent the vast majority of Americans who feel anything but (as you claim) that they are in charge.

Now who is in charge? Considering that it took approximately $7,000,000,000 (That’s seven BILLION with a “B” dollars) to elect a person to an office that pays a total of ($400,000 annual salary, along with a $50,000 annual expense account, a $100,000 nontaxable travel account, and $19,000 for entertainment) for a grand total of $569,000. Now let’s consider this information: If, for simplicity’s sake, we split the cost of the campaign in two equal parts we end up with each candidate’s bit for the presidency (for an office that pays $569,000) costs $3,500,000,000. That means that each candidate’s run for office cost was $3,499,431,000 more than the president can get paid for his term in office. When it cost $3,500,000,000 to get elected to an office that will pay a deficit of $3,499,431,000 we end up with the office costing 99.98% more than it pays for the winning candidate.

Thus, you have no leg to stand on when you claim that the American People are in charge. Therefore, the only people that can afford the cost of electing an American government is the Billionaire Class. It is really the 1/10 of 1% who are in charge not the American people.

The US Healthcare System

“When a worker in the USA loses his/her job (and dismissal in the US is easy), the person loses not only his/her salary, but also their medical care (and that of their family). This condition has a huge impact on work discipline in the USA, which explains why the US has the lowest number of days lost through strikes in the developed capitalist world.”

In the developed industrial countries of the world there are basically three ways of financing and providing medical services to the population of a nation.”

The following is my English rendition of an excellent article by a good friend Señor Arias from San Felipe, Yaracuy, Venezuela.

health-care-as-of-gdp

When a worker in the USA loses his/her job (and dismissal in the US is easy), the person loses not only his/her salary, but also their medical care (and that of their family). This condition has a huge impact on work discipline in the USA, which explains why the US has the lowest number of days lost through strikes in the developed capitalist world.

In the developed industrial countries of the world there are basically three ways of financing and providing medical services to the population of a nation.

  • The first is known as a National Health Service, where the majority of the funding is publicly provided and the services are also publicly provided.
  • The second is known as National Health Insurance. Where the healthcare is publicly funded (through a system of public insurance) but the health services are provided by private institutions (hospitals, clinics and/or private doctors.)
  • The third is a system that is privately funded (predominantly through private insurance, with the private insurance companies manage the healthcare system), and healthcare providers are also privately owned and operated. In this model, unlike the previous two, the accumulation of corporate earnings being of a private nature plays a decisive role in the shaping of the health system.

This model, which has been actively promoted by finance capital (banking and insurance companies), both at the level of each country and internationally (with the active support of the world bank and the World Health Organization (WHO), highly Influenced by the federal government of USA), is the liberal model (in Neo-Liberal economic terminology). This model is also being promoted by a large number of economists on health issues in Europe and trying to imitate Latin American countries. Many of these economists have close connections to international finance industries and have a clear neoliberal sensibility. This model is the one that exists in the United States of America. It is clearly the most expensive of the three systems as the US spends more on healthcare than any other country in the world (17% of GDP), it is also the most unpopular in advanced nations (64% are unsatisfied with the way it finances and organizes its healthcare system.) It is also the most inefficient healthcare system of the three mentioned above (40% of hysterectomies, 48% of cardiac catheterization and bypass, 28% of angiograms, 40% of angioplasty and 12% of the interventions of cataracts are unnecessary.) And, it is the most inhuman (32% of people who suffer from terminal illnesses, indicate that they are worried how they or their families will pay their Medical Bills).

The Political Causes Of This Liberal Model

Healthcare in America is a huge economic problem as most bankruptcies in the US are caused by healthcare debt. As always, behind any economic problem there is a political cause: the enormous economic, political and media power of the corporate class in the US is truly staggering. This is accomplished by the owners and managers of large corporations, financial, industrial and service that shape the economic life of the US. It was this corporate power who pushed for the private funding system of healthcare used in the US (unlike most European countries), based on payments from workers and employees of a company and their employers to private insurance companies who collude with suppliers (such as doctors, hospitals, etc.) of these healthcare services.

This system was established by the Taft-Harley Act (which President Truman vetoed but whose veto was overruled by a right wing Congress). The financial world especially insurance companies, favored this act because it facilitated and made possible the great private insurance expansion. The corporate world also supported this way of funding healthcare in the US through collective agreements (signed by representatives of workers and employers), which define the contributions of workers and employers to Private Insurance Companies. It is these Private Insurance Companies which are the ones who manage the healthcare system. This system guarantees a control by employers over their workforce, owing to the fact that not only wages, but also the healthcare of the worker and his family, relied on his work.

In this scheme, the level of coverage of a worker depends on the strength that the union (and only 11.1% of North Americans belonged to unions in 2015) can have on the highly decentralized collective agreements. In companies where unions are strong, it is likely that their employees have relatively good healthcare coverage though never comparable to what citizens in nations with a national healthcare system or with a national health insurance system enjoy. But if the unions are weak or non-existent, healthcare coverage is even less robust or non-existent. Hence the enormous diversity in levels of healthcare coverage in the US. And to further complicate the situation, for those who do not work, the individual private insurance is extremely expensive, and prohibitive in cases involving any chronic illness.

What Has Been Done Through “Obamacare”?

The first attempt to reform appeared in the campaigns of Jesse Jackson (who I had the pleasure of advising) in 1984 and in 1988. Jackson is leader of the rainbow movement (Rainbow Coalition, which was the alliance of progressive forces, unions, civil rights movements, environmentalists and feminist within the democratic party), supported by the socialist and communist parties. Such movement demanded the establishment of a national health insurance system, similar to the Canadian healthcare system. Canada had originally had a system like the USA until in the 1960s. That system was changed beginning in the Canadian Province of Saskatchewan which was ruled by the Canadian Socialist Party, where private insurance underwriting was banned which insurance was underwritten by the public.

Later, President Clinton extensively borrowed important elements of Jackson’s program and incorporated such demands in his program (with the substantial change to maintain the private insurance companies control of the system.) He, Clinton, establish a working group in the white house, directed by his wife, Hillary Clinton to formulate his healthcare proposal.

The Clinton Proposal was incorporated by Barak Obama in his program. It aimed to reduce the extremely high number of Americans who had no healthcare coverage (thus causing more deaths than AIDS) . However, despite the fact that the title of the program promoted by President Obama is called Universal Healthcare, the fact is that even with the full implementation of his program, there are still 27 million citizens and residents without any coverage, and double this number with inadequate coverage. The Obamacare law requires all employers to provide private insurance to their employees, or that every citizen or resident must purchase a health insurance policy on his or her own without regard to the price of the policy (in the same way that any owner of a car must have car insurance). But the level of mandatory coverage is very inadequate to meet the needs of the average working citizen of the US much less those living in or near poverty. The biggest problem is that Obama did not deal with insurance companies. These insurance companies have financed much of the political campaigns in the US, including that of Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton. These Insurance Companies will gain even more power under President Trump, who has nominated a person for Secretary of Health who is known for his opposition to the reforms carried out by the Obama administration (equivalent to minister of health). This will further worsen the problems created by the implementation of the liberal model of healthcare of a country. It is a model that liberal economists are trying to implement in Europe and in Latin America. It is also promoted by big financial interests, including private health insurance companies who are becoming more and more prominent in Latin American healthcare systems. This expansion provided predominantly by the conservative parties of liberal persuasion that have dominated the European and Latin American Governments Pro-Imperialist (Americans) during the period 1980-2016 in the midst of the crisis of capitalism.

Editors note: What is thought of as conservative in the US is often considered liberal in other parts of the world.

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Señor Arias’ original Spanish version is as follows:

Cuando a un trabajador se le despide (y el despido en EEUU es fácil), este o esta pierde no solo su salario, sino también su atención médica (y la de su familia). Esta medida tiene un impacto disciplinario enorme sobre el mundo del trabajo, lo cual explica que EEUU tenga el menor número de días perdidos por huelgas en el mundo capitalista desarrollado.

En el mundo capitalista desarrollado hay básicamente tres formas de financiar y proveer los servicios médicos a la población a nivel de todo el Estado. Uno, que se conoce como el Servicio Nacional de Salud (National Health Service), donde la mayoría de la financiación es pública y la provisión de los servicios es también pública. El segundo modelo es el Seguro Nacional de Salud (National Health Insurance), donde la financiación es pública (a través de un sistema de aseguramiento público) y la provisión de servicios es privada. Y, finalmente, el tercer sistema es el que es financiado privadamente (que se realiza predominantemente a través de aseguramiento privado, siendo las compañías de seguro privadas las que gestionan el sistema sanitario), y en el que la provisión de servicios es también privada. En este modelo, a diferencia de los dos anteriores, la acumulación de beneficios empresariales de carácter privado juega un papel determinante en la configuración del sistema sanitario.

Este modelo, que ha sido promovido activamente por el capital financiero (la banca y las compañías de seguros), tanto a nivel de cada país como a nivel internacional (con el apoyo activo del Banco Mundial y de la Organización Mundial de la Salud, altamente influenciada por el gobierno federal de EEUU), es el modelo liberal (en terminología económica, neoliberal). Es también este modelo el que está siendo promovido por un gran número de economistas en temas sanitarios (de clara sensibilidad liberal) en Europa y tratandose de imitar en paises de latinoamerica, muchos de ellos próximos a la banca. Este modelo es el que existe en EEUU, y es, a todas luces, el sistema más caro (EEUU es el país que se gasta más en sanidad en el mundo, un 17% del PIB), más impopular (el 64% está insatisfecho con la manera como se financia y organiza el sistema sanitario), más ineficiente (el 40% de histerectomías, el 48% de operaciones de cateterismo cardíaco y bypass, el 28% de angiografías, el 40% de angioplastias y el 12% de intervenciones de cataratas son innecesarias) y más inhumano (el 32% de personas que se están muriendo, es decir, que tienen enfermedades terminales, indican estar preocupadas de cómo ellas o sus familiares pagarán las facturas médicas).

Las causas políticas del dominio del modelo liberal

Como siempre ocurre, detrás de cualquier problema económico (y el sistema sanitario en EEUU es un problema económico enorme) hay una causa política: el enorme poder, no solo económico y financiero, sino también político y mediático, de lo que en EEUU se conoce como la Corporate Class (clase corporativa) (es decir, los propietarios y gestores de las grandes empresas financieras, industriales y de servicios que configuran la vida económica del país). Este poder fue el que presionó para que el sistema de financiación de la sanidad no fuera público (como en la mayoría de países de Europa), sino privado, a base de los pagos de los trabajadores y empleados de una empresa y de sus empleadores a las compañías de seguros privadas que, a su vez, contratan con los proveedores (tales como médicos, hospitales, etc.) la provisión de servicios. Así quedó fijado en la ley Taft-Harley (que el presidente Truman vetó pero que el Congreso –controlado por las derechas- aprobó). El mundo financiero, y muy en particular las compañías de seguros, favoreció esta ley que facilitó e hizo posible su gran expansión. Y el mundo empresarial también la apoyó, pues fijaba que el modo de financiar los servicios sanitarios era a través de los convenios colectivos (firmados por los representantes de los trabajadores y por los empresarios), que definen las aportaciones de trabajadores y empresarios a las compañías de seguro privadas, que son las que gestionan el sistema sanitario. Este sistema garantizaba un control por parte de los empresarios sobre su fuerza de trabajo, debido a que no solo los salarios, sino también la asistencia médica del trabajador y de su familia, dependían de su trabajo. Cuando a un trabajador se le despide (y el despido en EEUU es fácil), este o esta pierde no solo su salario, sino también su atención médica (y la de su familia). Esta medida tiene un impacto disciplinario enorme sobre el mundo del trabajo, lo cual explica que EEUU tenga el menor número de días perdidos por huelgas en el mundo capitalista desarrollado.

En este esquema, el nivel de cobertura de un trabajador depende de la fuerza que el sindicato pueda tener en los altamente descentralizados convenios colectivos. En aquellas empresas donde los sindicatos son fuertes, es probable que sus trabajadores tengan una cobertura de sus necesidades asistenciales sanitarias relativamente buena (aunque nunca comparable a lo que cualquier ciudadano tiene en los sistemas nacionales de salud o en los seguros nacionales de salud). Pero si los sindicatos son débiles o no existen, la cobertura sanitaria es menor o inexistente. De ahí la enorme diversidad en los niveles de cobertura sanitaria en EEUU. Y para complicar todavía más la situación, para aquellos que no trabajan, el aseguramiento privado individual es sumamente caro, y prohibitivo en el caso de que tengan una enfermedad crónica.

¿Qué ha hecho el Obamacare?

El primer intento de reforma apareció en las campañas de Jesse Jackson (al cual tuve el placer de asesorar) en 1984 y en 1988, dirigente del movimiento Arco Iris (Rainbow Coalition, que era la alianza de las fuerzas progresistas, sindicatos, movimientos de derechos civiles, ecologistas y feministas dentro del Partido Demócrata), apoyado por los partidos socialista y comunista. Tal movimiento exigió y consiguió que se estableciera un Seguro Nacional de Salud, semejante al sistema sanitario canadiense, que originalmente había tenido un sistema parecido al existente en EEUU hasta que en los años 60 se cambió en una provincia canadiense (Saskatchewan), gobernada por el Partido Socialista canadiense, prohibiendo el aseguramiento privado, pasando este aseguramiento a ser público.

Más tarde, el presidente Clinton (que copió extensamente elementos importantes del programa de Jackson) incorporó tal demanda en su programa (con el cambio sustancial, sobre el programa de Jesse Jackson, de mantener y no sustituir a las compañías de seguros privadas), estableciendo un grupo de trabajo en la Casa Blanca, dirigido por su esposa, Hillary Clinton.

La propuesta Clinton, que fue incorporada posteriormente por el candidato, y más tarde presidente, Obama, en su programa, tenía como objetivo intentar reducir el elevadísimo número de estadounidenses que no tenían ninguna cobertura sanitaria (causando más muertes que las producidas por el SIDA). Ahora bien, a pesar de que el título del programa promovido por el presidente Obama se llama Universal Health Care, el hecho es que incluso con el pleno desarrollo de su programa, todavía permanecerían 27 millones de ciudadanos y residentes sin ninguna cobertura, y el doble de este número con cobertura insuficiente. La ley del Obamacare exige que todo ciudadano o residente tenga que tener una póliza de aseguramiento sanitario (de la misma manera que todo propietario de un coche debe tener seguro del coche), sin regular, sin embargo, el precio de la póliza. Y también exige a todos los empresarios que provean aseguramiento privado a sus trabajadores y empleados. Pero el nivel de cobertura obligatorio es muy insuficiente para cubrir las necesidades de la población. El problema mayor es que Obama no se atrevió a enfrentarse con las compañías de seguros (que han financiado gran parte de las campañas de los políticos, incluyendo la del Sr. Obama y la de la Sra. Clinton). Estas adquirirán incluso más poder bajo el mandato del presidente Trump, el cual ha nombrado como Secretary of Health (equivalente a Ministro de Sanidad) a una persona conocida por su oposición a las reformas realizadas por la Administración Obama, empeorando todavía más los problemas creados por la aplicación del modelo liberal en la sanidad de un país, un modelo que los economistas liberales intentan aplicar en Europa y en America Látina también, promovido por grandes intereses financieros, incluidas compañías de seguros sanitarios privadas que están adquiriendo más y más protagonismo en la sanidad española, expansión facilitada predominantemente por los partidos conservadores de persuasión liberal que han dominado los gobiernos europeos y latinoamericanos pro-imperialistas (estadounidenses) durante el lapso 1980-2016 de plena crisis del capitalismo.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide through a Collapsing Europe – by DiEM25ers Yanis Varoufakis & Srećko Horvat

The Hitchhiker’s Guide through a Collapsing Europe – by DiEM25ers Yanis Varoufakis & Srećko Horvat

This event took place on 3rd December 2016 in Zagreb’s magnificent National Theatre in front of an audience of at least 1200 people. Thanks Zagreb!

Yanis Varoufakis

This event took place on 3rd December 2016 in Zagreb’s magnificent National Theatre in front of an audience of at least 1200 people. Thanks Zagreb!

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Democratising Europe – interviewed by James Lock for NOW THEN magazine

Brexit, Trump, the rise of ‘illiberal democracies’ in Eastern Europe, Le Pen in France, Golden Dawn in Greece, the AfD in Germany etc, are all different manifestations of the globalised establishment’s inept handling of the inevitable financial sector collapse.

Since then, on both sides of the Atlantic, we witnessed colossal political failure at coordinating economic policy, with the establishment putting all its energies into cynically transferring the financiers’ losses onto the shoulders of the weakest citizens. As a result, a Great Deflation is now gripping Europe and the United States, reviving political forces that had lain dormant since the end of World War II.

Yanis Varoufakis

Screen Shot 2016-12-10 at 15.12.50.pngIn recent years we have seen far more of the workings behind the curtain of neoliberalism than we ever have before. This is in part, I believe, due to the work of Yanis Varoufakis. A Greek economist educated in Britain, Varoufakis first made headlines for his integral role as Finance Minister for the Syriza government of Greece between January and September 2015.

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Help DiEM25 save Shabbir. Help Europe save its soul. Stop the EU-Turkey Deal!

Shabbir is 40 years old, and an electrical engineer by trade. He is married with two children, aged 3 and 5. He lived in a mid-sized town in Pakistan, where he ran a car rental business. One day in December 2015, a local group of Islamic extremists attacked Shabbir’s neighbour, a Christian. The extremists wanted to confiscate the neighbour’s home to convert it into a madrasa (religious school). Shabbir came to his defence. This act of solidarity changed Shabbir’s life irrevocably. For helping a Christian, he was labelled a heretic and forced to flee his town. Several members of his family and close circle have now been murdered by the extremists. His wife and children have gone into hiding. If Shabbir returns home, the extremists will almost certainly kill him.

Yanis Varoufakis

DiEM25 is helping to take the shameful EU-Turkey refugee deal to Europe’s courts in a bid to save the life of one man, Shabbir Iqbal, and improve the lives of millions. #StopTheDeal

What is this campaign?

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