Why can’t we afford it?

Michael Moore’s recent film “Sicko” has once again put the spotlight on universal healthcare. An issue that otherwise gets far too little coverage despite the wishes of over 60% of the country.

Along with healthcare we’re told that programs like welfare and social security are just too expensive.

Then we’re told by neocons that Bush is great and the economy is booming!

So which is it, are we drowning in cash or are we strapped for it?

Heather Boushey and Joshua Holland make the case that America as a whole is increasingly rich, but that 99.9% of Americans are feeling the squeeze:

…the top .01 percent — that has grabbed most of the gains–seeing an impressive 250 percent increase in income between 1973 and 2005 — from an economy that’s grown by 160 percent.

An analysis by economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez gives us the best perspective of what’s going on for everyone else. They found that despite several periods of healthy growth between 1973 and 2005, the average income of all but the top ten percent of the income ladder — nine out of ten American families – fell by 11 percent when adjusted for inflation.

Meanwhile, even as the top earners’ incomes have gone through the roof, their tax burden has shriveled. At the same time, the share of federal revenues contributed by corporations has declined — by two-thirds since 1962.

Read the whole article.

2 Comments

  1. Now Chris, I know you’re smarter than this. Basically, we can’t afford it because almost all pharmaceutical and medical research is funded by America. Sure, we could have the technology of today like Cuba or Britain (which as a resident of the UK, they’re famous for shitty medical care). But in order to cure the diseases of tomorrow there has to be profit. Yes, by us sucking it up, it allows the research to filter down to our economically and socially benighted neighbors in Europe, but at least one country has to do the advancement in medicine. And guess who it is? Us.

    So look forward to that cure for cancer and AIDS — because it certainly ain’t coming from Cuba. And your friends at Boushey and Holland aren’t taking account for benefits like that. What value do you place on being able to cure some types of luekemia, developing Viagra, or retrovirals for AIDS patients?

    P.S. — and don’t even give me that crap about donation of materials to the Third World. We already give enough. For AIDS alone we give more than the rest of the world combined.

  2. Ian

    I’m sorry, but are you serious?

    So look forward to that cure for cancer and AIDS

    Last I checked, the most prescribed medications are anti-depressants. How many drugs are out there for impotence? Make no mistake, those drugs are about making money and nothing else. Profit drives innovation, and quite frankly, theres more to be made in anti-depressants than there is in AIDS or cancer cures. Not to mention the fact that there likely will never be a single cure for all cancers, and AIDS mutates incredibly fast so developing a vaccine for it would be extremely difficult. So I would really expect another 20 SSRI’s before we see any innovation on the cancer/AIDS fronts. I would venture a guess that theres more people out there with cancer/AIDS than with clinical depression, but then again, the pharmaceutical industry is an incredibly corrupt thing so they manage to get doctors to overprescribe a drug that people just don’t need.

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  1. […] Zac Efron Link to Article michael moore Why can’t we afford it? » Posted at Why We Worry on Wednesday, July 18, 2007 Michael Moore’s recent film “Sicko” has once again put the spotlight on universal healthcare. An issue that otherwise gets far too little coverage despite the wishes of over 60% of the country View Entire Article » […]