Franklin Delano Roosevelt is one of the most interesting presidents in American history. He is the only president to actually run and win 4 terms as President of the United States. He guided the country through the Great Depression of the 1930’s and through World War II. He did all of this while being afflicted with polio making him unable to walk, or even stand, without the assistance from either braces or people. He is truly a great American president. I intend to write a few posts looking at his programs and how dismantling them impacts us as citizens and cancer patients.
Part of his great legacy are the social programs that he put into place to help America get back on it’s feet again during the Great Depression and during World War II. Some of these programs continue on to the present day. Sadly, it seems that our current brood of politicians, and the corporations that own them, are actively dismantling the legacy of FDR which is bad news for us cancer patients.
Dismantling The Legacy Of FDR And Fair Labor
I don’t stand behind everything FDR did as a president but he did quite a bit of good for America and it seems that his great legacy of social care is being destroyed. I won’t discuss all of the programs but let’s look at his efforts to create “fair labor” laws in America.
Legislating Happiness For All Americans – FDR took office after the Great Depression had already started. People were living hand to mouth, dressed in rags and barely feeding themselves. Homelessness was everywhere. The average American lived a meager existence while wealthy industrialists were living in mansions like royalty. If you remember occupy Wall Street’s slogan about the 1% vs. the 99% then multiply that financial inequality by about 100 times. Here is what FDR did to give everyone a “square deal” (T.R.). FDR saw these inequities and put into place programs that he felt might make things more fair for the average American. He tried to make Americans wealthier, healthier, wiser and he tried to build the future of our nation through legislation. Bold? Yes. Possible, not entirely but he did quite a lot of good.
The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 and The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 – FDR created the modern day union and thus leveled the playing field (more or less) between employer and employee. Also, by creating a fair labor standard FDR legislated a maximum number of hours amount of hours per week (44) and a minimum wage per hour. and new child labor laws made it illegal for children under the age of 16 to work. Children under 18 years were also forbidden to work in hazardous employments. Read More
Dismantling The Legacy Of FDR
If you’ve shopped at a big box store, and we all have, then you have almost certainly purchased products produced using child labor at slave wages. It is still a common practice for large American corporations to have goods manufactured overseas by children. Your phone, game system, T.V., T-Shirt, Shoes and on were more than likely made overseas and by the poorest of the poor. Read More
Did you know that they have installed suicide nets around the Apple factories in China to keep people from killing themselves because the conditions are so bad? – Read More. Yes, our phones are shiny-shiny but is it worth it?
Now, really, is this our fault? Is it our fault that greedy corporate CEOs negotiate contracts with foreign companies to produce products at prices that are dirt cheap and enrich themselves on the tiny fingers of child labor and desperate mothers and fathers trying to feed their families? I would say no but, at the same time, I would say WAKE UP! These corporations run with the blessings of our government and have special laws written just for them. Do you realize that commercial, for profit vaccine manufacturers cannot be sued? I wrote on this previously. Read More What’s makes things worse it that NEW laws are not written to restrict these practices. In fact, new laws often encourage these practices.
Worse yet, our politicians have been bought and paid for by these wealthy industrialists. They used to call them robber barons but not now. Now they are just called the CEO but really, it’s the same thing. Any way, have you noticed the latest slew of billionaires running for president and other political offices? Have you noticed that even with all of the wealth most of these politicians have they still go begging for money to wealthy CEOs? Here’s an article about how many of the current crop of Republicans are begging for money from the Koch brothers. Read More Of Course, you know it’s not only Republicans, right? Democrats are just as bad. Here’s a quote from Open Secrets
In a campaign finance system where all the money originates from individuals, political action committees, or PACs, control the most “corporate” of money. Controlled by companies, trade associations, unions, issue groups and even politicians (a subset called “leadership PACs”), these committees pool contributions from individuals and distribute them to candidates, political parties and other PACs. PACs can also spend money independently on political activities, including advertising and other efforts to support or oppose candidates in an election. Read More
So, FDR passed laws to make exploiting the most vulnerable segments of our society illegal and the big corporations have found a way around that….legally. He made a special enemy of John D. Rockefeller. I like that. 🙂 There is a book called Rockefeller Medicine Men: Medicine and Capitalism in America… that I plan to read. It is about the birth of “Big Pharma”. You might be interested. I will add it to my “stuff to get page” when I have read it.
The Death Of Democracy – If we continue to allow a wealthy oligarch of donors to control our politicians and elections then we will slowly witness the death of our democracy. Our votes will no longer matter and a wealthy elite will determine the course of our elections, laws and daily life including our healthcare choices. Some choices might even be removed….legally. Do you realize that they are no longer taking new patients at the VA? Choice Removed. Read More Considering their track record, I do not think this is a wise move.
The impact upon American cancer patients is an increasingly divided social structure of “Haves and Have Nots”. The “Haves” are the 1% who sit in their mansions (or should we say American palaces) on a pile of multi-generational wealth, who make profit from, and live on, the labor of children and desperate people. They care very little for the people that made them wealthy….including YOU!
Have you noticed that you no longer go to “Personnel” at your place of business but you now go to “Human Resources”. You are a resource to them. Something to be taken care of like a printer. Taken care of until you are “used up” and then you are discarded.
Look at this video of Bill Gates “discussing” the idea of removing your end of life choices. Do you think he has any politicians in his pocket? This video should make you very nervous as a cancer patient especially when you consider the price of the treatments we must endure. Will our choices be removed because of cost?
First, please note that Mr. Gates is exempted from these end of life choices because of his wealth. He can use his own money to save himself or his loved ones without harming a single hair of the sacred teacher….or cop…or fire fighter…or doctor. Also note how these robber barons will always appeal to your heart strings to convince you of something they want.
But, do we really need to eliminate teachers to provide adequate healthcare for a patient during the last 3 months of their life? And how could he really know you only have 3 months? I guess he’s willing to risk it.
Is there no money anywhere else in our economy for those people with only 3 months to live? Really? Nothing? None of that bail out money from 2008? Do you remember? They bailed out billionaires with your money. Billionaires. And…they are printing it like it’s going out of style! Do they have to kill us to save a buck? Oh, sorry. I should have said “let us die with dignity”. I guess I got my Newspeak wrong. 🙂
So, where does the line stop? If you take this idea a bit further you will see what I’m talking about. If you can place a value on the last 3 months of life then what about the life that contributes nothing? What about the severely handicapped? How many teachers is it worth to let them “die with dignity”?
BTW, FDR (our president with polio) was eager to fight the Nazis for just these type of eugenicist policies. Just 3 months left, undesirable, infirmed, lights out. FDR battled his own heart disease to the bitter end and I think he would fight for your right to do so as well. We have all had poor experiences with either hospitals, doctors or healthcare workers. Maybe the poor behavior of some healthcare workers can be traced back to this loss of respect for our lives by those in power.
What Can We Do?
At the moment, our insurance plan takes up over half of our income and it’s not even the best plan. On top of that, we are still paying thousands every month in medical bills and pharmaceuticals. As our economy and society becomes further stratified by class and wealth, paying for that better healthcare packages when your raises are few, far between and small will become more difficult. Government assistance will become more rare and our choices will be removed from us by the wealthy.
There is no compassion in the robber barons of the past, nor in the present, for your plight. They have one goal and that is to enrich themselves. If they become wealthy at your expense then so be it…if not, then so be it. I think it would be a good thing for us to consider looking for new answers in our buying choices when possible and our voting habits.
We need to purchase locally grown organic veggies and no longer buy the prepackaged, plastic wrapped garbage they sell us as “food”. We need to buy eggs at the farmer’s market or from our neighbor. We need to take our choices back both in the ballot box and at the store. De-fund these corporations and you will de-fund corruption. Be a rebel and go green. Read More
Be A Rebel And Plant A Garden,
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