What’s the charitable thing to do about inequality?

Our society has coined expressions like “philanthropist” to encourage and hail people’s charitable spirit. Look on the flip side of that shiny coin of generosity, however, and you’ll find that its base substance is societal selfishness. After all, the need for charity only exists because we’re tolerating intentional injustices and widespread inequality created by power elites. A society as supremely wealthy as ours ought not be relegating needy families and essential components of the common good to the whims of a few rich philanthropists. Yes, corporate and individual donations can help at the margins, but they don’t fix anything. Thus, food banks, health clinics, etc. …

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What’s the gimmick in Trump’s plan to “rescue” the public Postal Service?

One thing we’ve learned for sure this year is that no national crisis is too awful to keep Trump & Company from exploiting it for their plutocratic political purposes. COVID-19 is a God-Awful crisis, but late one night deep inside the White House, a dim bulb flickered in our present president’s head: “Eureka,” Trump exclaimed, “here’s our chance to kill the U.S. Post Office!” Of all the things a president might focus on during a devastating pandemic, hijacking your and my public mail service, bankrupting it, and then privatizing its profitable functions has become a top priority for this brooding madman. Bizarrely, Trump has ranted …

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Don’t shut the post office, expand their services

What’s the matter with the post office? The U.S. Postal Service, I mean—the corporate hierarchy that runs this enormously popular public institution. Yes, I know that U.S.P.S. has lost revenue it traditionally got from first-class mail delivery, but I also know that letter carriers and postal workers have offered many excellent ideas for expanding the services that U.S.P.S. can deliver, thus increasing both revenue and the importance of maintaining these community treasures. Yet, the Postal Board of Governors, which includes corporate interests that would profit by killing the public service, seems intent on—guess what?—killing it. The board’s only “idea” is to cut services and shut …

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Who’s making our medicine?

[Originally published in 2009, this somehow seems relevant. – The Ed.] –=≈=– Let’s talk pills. To treat everything from allergies to heart problems, half of Americans take a prescription medicine every day, and nearly all of us reach for the pill bottle on occasion. It’s perfectly safe, though, because the Food and Drug Administration regulates the ingredients that go into those medicinal compounds, right? Yes—assuming they’re produced in the U.S.A. Uh, aren’t they? Mostly, no. Take antibiotics. The New York Times reports that ingredients for the majority of these bacteria fighters are “now made almost exclusively in China and India,” as are the components of …

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