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Fri Aug 31, 2012, 05:20 AM

Goodbye, Liberty! 10 Ways Americans Are No Longer Free

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/goodbye-liberty-10-ways-americans-are-no-longer-free

Our struggle for liberty is a fight against concentrated wealth.



***SNIP

1. Our American liberties end at the workplace door.

If you have a job, the Freedom Train stops at the workplace door. More employees are hired on a part-time or temporary basis to deny them rights and benefits. Many of your privacy rights are gone. Your employer can use your company computer to read your correspondence, and your company cell phone (if you have one) to track your movements.

***SNIP

2. We're losing our “right to life” in many different ways -- from birth through old age.

It's always striking when some of those who defend an unborn child's “right to life” ignore the fact that the United States ranks 49th in infant mortality, according to the latest statistics. Or in the fact that African American infant mortality is 2.5 that of Caucasians. Or that lower-income families of all ethnicities suffer much greater infant mortality in this country than their wealthier counterparts.

***SNIP

3. We've lost autonomy over our own bodies.

While Tea Partiers and Sarah Palin prattle about “death panels,” many injured or ailing Americans enter a Kafka-esque maze of insurance executives, case managers, billing services, and customer service numbers with interminable hold times. Some of these processes were created as a legitimate response to physician overtreatment, itself encouraged by our privatized education and health financing systems. But they've turned into massive operations for delaying, frustrating, and thwarting attempts by patients and doctors to receive permission to provide necessary services.

***SNIP

4. We're losing the ability to rise up from poverty, earn a decent living, or work in the career of our choice.



The periodic economic shocks caused by our banking system allowed employers to demand wage concessions while paying ever-increasing salaries and bonuses to their senior executives. The power of unions has been systematically eroded. The drive to provide ever-increasing tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans has led to a decline government jobs, which has shriveled job opportunities in many lines of work.

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Reply Goodbye, Liberty! 10 Ways Americans Are No Longer Free (Original post)
xchrom Aug 2012 OP
xxenderwigginxx Aug 2012 #1
xchrom Aug 2012 #2
AnotherMcIntosh Aug 2012 #3
xchrom Aug 2012 #4
Hydra Aug 2012 #5
xchrom Aug 2012 #6

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 07:37 AM

1. The U.S. is ranked 34th according to the UN at 7 deaths per 1000 births. It is the CIA

 

World Fact Book which lists is at 49, but only because they include almost 100 more countries than the UN study did. The CIA study actually awards us a lower rate of infant mortality of 5 per 1000 births. Either is a vast improvement, in 1955 it was 30 deaths per 1000 births
[link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_infant_mortality_rate|

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Response to xxenderwigginxx (Reply #1)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 08:18 AM

2. U.S. ranks low for newborn survival

http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2011/08/31/u-s-ranks-low-for-newborn-survival/

Babies born in Cuba, Malaysia, Portugal, and the United Kingdom have a better chance of surviving the first month compared to those born in the United States, according to researchers at the World Health Organization and Save the Children.

In a 20 year analysis of newborn death rates around the world, the study published in PLoS Medicine revealed the number of infants who die before they are 4 weeks old account for 41% of child deaths worldwide. Newborn deaths in the United States ranked 41 out of 45 among industrialized countries, on par with Qatar and Croatia.

***link to PLoS website which has a ton of info

http://www.plosmedicine.org/search/simpleSearch.action?from=globalSimpleSearch&filterJournals=PLoSMedicine&query=united+state+rankings+in+child+mortality


most of the news is good news regarding child mortality -- we are bringing ours down -- but not in significant numbers compared to others.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 09:20 AM

3. Most importantly, when the rule of law under long-standing principles are lost, everything else is

 

lost.

Instead of having equal protection under the law, tax laws, licensing laws, and laws to further war policies have been adopted to benefit and transfer the wealth of the nation to the rich and the super-rich.

This is how all of the rights identified by the author have been lost. The unequal tax laws and other unequal laws have caused a greater concentration of wealth in the hands of the rich and super-rich in ways that the author identifies. While ordinary Americans pay income taxes on all of their wages plus Social Security taxes, the super-rich get tax breaks from income earned on capital gains, from income earned in foreign countries, and from income hidden in foreign countries. Their income from capital gains is not subject to Social Security taxes, nor is the income which they hide in trusts and corporations in foreign countries.

The unequal application of the law has allowed them to acquire so much wealth that they can afford to buy politicians while we, in effect, can only vote to ratify the actions of the politicians. No matter how high the salaries of the politicians are from our collective approval of their salaries, the rich and super-rich can pay them more. The rich and super-rich can make campaign contributions, give politicians stock tips from insider information, hire their family members to be lobbyists or corporate executives. We can't compete with any of that.

All of the items identified by the author are traceable to the unequal application of the law and the abandonment of principles of the law.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #3)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 09:23 AM

4. +1

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 04:39 PM

5. Good read

Systematically, we're losing any "rights" we had. I prefer George Carlin's commentary that "You have no rights- you have a set of privileges that can be revoked at any time."

I'm curious as to how far they can go with this...but I've heard of places like Mexico where they can go all the way, and all the people can do is submit, hide or run.

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Response to Hydra (Reply #5)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 05:00 PM

6. It's a successful trajectory for those in charge right now.

I don't know if the People have it in them to change that.

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