Launching Wednesday, for example is a $2.5 million TV ad from American Action Network (AAN), a conservative group linked to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), which claims “America’s tax code is sabotaging our economy.” The spending on the ad, which will run on national cable and air in 24 Republican-held congressional districts, marks half of the $5 million the group pledged to spend on its “full-scale campaign” to push the effort during the August recess.
As recently as 2016, former Indiana Governor (and current vice president) Mike Pence refused to provide disaster relief to move families out of the toxic West Calumet Housing Complex and surrounding areas, where the population is 99 percent black. He did not hesitate to provide assistance to Greentown, Indiana, when the lead content of its water was slightly elevated. Greentown’s population is 97 percent white. As Nicholas Kristof noted in an op-ed in the New York Times, “The continuing poisoning of half a million American children is tolerated partly because the victims often are low-income children of color.”
The researchers found Appalachia lagged behind the rest of the country on health measures in the early 1990s — but only slightly. Infant mortality rates were not statistically different. And life expectancy was about 75 years — just 0.6 years shorter than that outside of the region. But when the researchers analyzed data from 2009 to 2013, they found the infant mortality rate for Appalachia to be 16 percent higher than the rest of the country and the difference in life expectancy was 2.4 years.
Around 2012, I noticed abrupt shifts in teen behaviors and emotional states. The gentle slopes of the line graphs became steep mountains and sheer cliffs, and many of the distinctive characteristics of the Millennial generation began to disappear. In all my analyses of generational data—some reaching back to the 1930s—I had never seen anything like it.
“We have to pay for that, it is social cleansing. The sooner they push us out, then they get their own way. We can’t fight back because we haven’t got the money, the power, the education that they have. They’ll always win because they’ll use the big words, they’ll use the courts. How can we fight? Who have we got behind us? Until this tragedy we had nothing, we weren’t heard.”
• The richest 400 individuals gained an average of $2,500,000,000 each since the recession.
• The .01% (12,000 households) gained about $120,000,000 each.
• The rest of the .1% (120,000 households) gained about $11,000,000 each.
• The rest of the 1% (1,068,000 households) gained about $2,500,000 each.
Between 1999 and 2014, American overdose deaths involving opioids nearly quadrupled to 28,647 — much of the increase driven by synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. In 2015, the toll exceeded 33,000. In few places is the magnitude and the pervasiveness of the crisis more apparent than in Middletown, Ohio.
The consequences for children and families cannot be understated. Medicaid is the nation’s largest health insurer for children, covering 37 million, or about 1 in 3 children. It also covers nearly 10 million parents. Had the federal government capped its payments to state Medicaid programs, in 1981 or in 1995, millions of children would not have realized the gains in overall health, educational attainment, and earning power that Medicaid coverage made possible, and millions of families would not have had the financial protection it provides.
London South Bank University (LSBU), on the edge of my parish at the Elephant and Castle, has introduced a training scheme for cleaners and catering staff to help them spot students at risk of being drawn into radicalisation. Getting them to spy on students is all part of the government’s widely unloved Prevent strategy, but what are staff supposed to look out for as evidence of radicalisation? Ordering hummus and mint tea in the student cafeteria?