Single-Payer and Governor Shumlin in Vermont

vermontsinglepayerOn December 17, Democrat Governor Shumlin of Vermont abandoned plans to implement Act 48, legislation from 2011 that was supposed to make Vermont the first state in the country to have “single-payer” health care. A wolf in sheep’s clothing for the working class of Vermont, Governor Shumlin concluded that implementing Act 48 would hurt the economy, because in order to pay for the expanded health coverage, a payroll tax and a progressive income tax of zero to 9.5% would need to be put in place.

Mass Protests Against Police Violence Sweep the US

garner-protest-new-yorkA grassroots upsurge has swept the US over the past few weeks, its sudden eruption marked by huge weekend marches on the East Coast and by smaller, broadly based protests across the length and breadth of the country.

 

 

The CIA, Torture, and American “Democracy”

guantanamoFirst came Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange, with sickening revelations of US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and of the cynical conduct of US diplomacy. Then Edward Snowden exposed the full extent of NSA information gathering: anything and everything you have read, written, or spoken on the phone or internet in the last decade or more has been recorded and archived and can be retrieved at will. Branded as enemies of the state, traitors, and threatened with the death penalty, all three of them are either in prison or enforced hiding and exile. Now, the US government itself is hypocritically airing its dirty laundry in a cynical preelection maneuver, fully corroborating these whistle blowers’ tales, and revealing even greater depths of government depravity.

The Failure of "Lesser Evilism"

2014election2Editorial for Socialist Appeal 85 - Private ownership of the means of production has hit a dead end on a world scale. The system is dying on its feet, and this inevitably has profound political and social consequences in the country par excellence of capitalism. Francis Fukuyama, who, upon the fall of the USSR, famously declared “the end of history,” now says that America “suffers from the problem of political decay in a more acute form than other democratic political systems.” In plain English: capitalism and its institutions are in big trouble.

Election 2014—Big Business Wins Again

2014electionWhat if they held an election and nobody came? In some ways, the 2014 midterm election was very much like this. Just 36.6 percent voted, only 13% of them under age 30, and as many as 70 million eligible voters are not even registered. The main capitalist parties—the Democrats and Republicans—do not deal with real issues related to the lives of the overwhelming majority of the population. This is true bourgeois democracy. That is, democracy for the top 1% or 2%, but not for the rest of us!