Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Abortion has been common in the US since the 18th century – and debate over it started soon after

Treva B. Lindsey, The Ohio State University

State-by-state battles are heating up in the wake of news that the U.S. Supreme Court appears poised to overrule landmark rulings - Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey - and remove constitutional protection for the right to get an abortion.

Now, pro- and anti-abortion advocates are gearing up for a new phase of the abortion conflict.

While many people may think that the political arguments over abortion now are fresh and new, scholars of women’s, medical and legal history note that this debate has a long history in the U.S.

It began more than a century before Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that established that the Constitution protects a person’s right to an abortion.

The era of ‘The Pill’

On Nov. 14, 1972, a controversial two-part episode of the groundbreaking television show, “Maude” aired.

Titled “Maude’s Dilemma,” the episodes chronicled the decision by the main character to have an abortion.

Roe v. Wade was issued two months after these episodes. The ruling affirmed the right to have an abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. “Maude’s Dilemma” brought the battle over abortion from the streets and courthouses to primetime television.

Responses to the episodes ranged from celebration to fury, which mirrored contemporary attitudes about abortion.

Less than 10 years before “Maude’s Dilemma” aired, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first commercially produced birth control pill, Enovid-10.

Although various forms of birth control predate the birth control pill, the FDA’s approval of Enovid-10 was a watershed in the national debate around family planning and reproductive choice.

Commonly known as “The Pill,” the wider accessibility of birth control is seen as an early victory of the nascent women’s liberation movement.

Abortion also emerged as a prominent issue within this burgeoning movement. For many feminist activists of the 1960s and 1970s, women’s right to control their own reproductive lives became inextricable from the larger platform of gender equality.

19th-century advertisements for abortion-inducing items and abortion services. The Library Company of Philadelphia, CC BY-NC

From unregulated to criminalized

From the nation’s founding through the early 1800s, pre-quickening abortions – that is, abortions before a pregnant person feels fetal movement – were fairly common and even advertised.

Women from various backgrounds sought to end unwanted pregnancies before and during this period both in the U.S. and across the world. For example, enslaved black women in the U.S. developed abortifacients – drugs that induce abortions – and abortion practices as means to stop pregnancies after rapes by, and coerced sexual encounters with, white male slave owners.

In the mid- to late-1800s, an increasing number of states passed anti-abortion laws sparked by both moral and safety concerns. Primarily motivated by fears about high risks for injury or death, medical practitioners in particular led the charge for anti-abortion laws during this era.

By 1860, the American Medical Association sought to end legal abortion. The Comstock Law of 1873 criminalized attaining, producing or publishing information about contraception, sexually transmitted infections and diseases, and how to procure an abortion.

A spike in fears about new immigrants and newly emancipated black people reproducing at higher rates than the white population also prompted more opposition to legal abortion.

There’s an ongoing dispute about whether famous women’s activists of the 1800s such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony opposed abortion.

The anti-abortion movement references statements made by Anthony that appear to denounce abortion. Abortion rights advocates reject this understanding of Stanton, Anthony and other early American women’s rights activists’ views on abortion. They assert that statements about infanticide and motherhood have been misrepresented and inaccurately attributed to these activists.

These differing historical interpretations offer two distinct framings for both historical and contemporary abortion and anti-abortion activism.

Abortion in the sixties
Photo credit: SHYCITY nikon

By the turn of the 20th century, every state classified abortion as a felony, with some states including limited exceptions for medical emergencies and cases of rape and incest.

Despite the criminalization, by the 1930s, physicians performed almost a million abortions every year. This figure doesn’t account for abortions performed by non-medical practitioners or through undocumented channels and methods.

Nevertheless, abortion didn’t become a hotly contested political issue until the women’s liberation movement and the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. These movements brought renewed interest in public discussions about reproductive rights, family planning and access to legal and safe abortion services.

In 1962, the story of Sherri Finkbine, the local Phoenix, Arizona host of the children’s program, “Romper Room,” became national news.

Finkbine had four children, and had taken a drug, thalidomide, before she realized she was pregnant with her fifth child. Worried that the drug could cause severe birth defects, she tried to get an abortion in her home state, Arizona, but could not. She then traveled to Sweden for a legal abortion. Finkbine’s story is credited with helping to shift public opinion on abortion and was central to a growing, national call for abortion reform laws.

Two years after Finkbine’s story made headlines, the death of Gerri Santoro, a woman who died seeking an illegal abortion in Connecticut, ignited a renewed fervor among those seeking to legalize abortion.

Santoro’s death, along with many other reported deaths and injuries also sparked the founding of underground networks such as The Jane Collective to offer abortion services to those seeking to end pregnancies.

Expanding legal abortion

In 1967, Colorado became the first state to legalize abortion in cases of rape, incest, or if the pregnancy would cause permanent physical disability to the birth parent.

By the time “Maude’s Dilemma” aired, abortion was legal under specific circumstances in 20 states. A rapid growth in the number of pro- and anti-abortion organizations occurred in the 1960s and 1970s.

On Jan. 22, 1973, the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade nullified existing state laws that banned abortions and provided guidelines for abortion availability based upon trimesters and fetal viability. The subsequent 1992 ruling known as Casey reaffirmed Roe, while also allowing states to impose certain limits on the right to abortion. Roe remains the most important legal statute for abortion access in modern U.S. history.

Since Roe, the legal battle over abortion has raged, focused on the Supreme Court. If the draft opinion overruling Roe and Casey stands, the battle will end there and shift to the states, which will have the power to ban abortion without fear of running afoul of the Supreme Court. And the long history of conflict over abortion in the U.S. suggests that this will not be the last chapter in the political struggle over legal abortion.

This story is an updated version of an article published on June 10, 2019.The Conversation

Treva B. Lindsey, Professor of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, The Ohio State University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

As Covid Aid Languishes, Congress Moves Ahead With Massive Corporate Subsidies

JAKE JOHNSON

Experts have warned that the lack of new Covid-19 funding "endangers the lives of people in the U.S. and around the world and risks the emergence of new and more deadly virus variants."

On a bipartisan basis, Congress is moving ahead with legislation packed with tens of billions of dollars in subsidies for profitable U.S. tech corporations while a smaller but desperately needed coronavirus aid measure languishes, potentially compromising the Biden administration's ability to purchase next-generation vaccines and hampering the global pandemic fight.

Last week, the Senate voted on a range of nonbinding motions related to the United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), which has been billed as an effort to boost U.S. manufacturing and technological development to compete with China.

"At the risk of stating the obvious: Congress should not be cutting corporate taxes."

Different versions of the bill have passed the House and Senate, and the two chambers are currently working to reconcile the bills and iron out specific policy disputes in a conference committee.

Where most congressional lawmakers appear to have found common ground, though, is in the realm of corporate subsidies. In its current form, the USICA contains roughly $52 billion in subsidies for the nation's microchip industry—money that would flow to companies such as Intel.

As Common Dreams reported last week, senators from both parties overwhelmingly voted down Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) motion aiming to ensure that the subsidies come with conditions, including one preventing the federal funds from benefiting union-busting companies.

Senators also tanked a Sanders motion recommending that lawmakers remove from the USICA a $10 billion provision that's likely to benefit billionaire Jeff Bezos' space flight company.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that nearly every Senate Democrat voted with Republicans to "restore a tax cut that benefits corporate America" as part of the USICA. Sanders was one of five senators who voted against the motion, which was sponsored by Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.).

If included in the final legislation, the tax cut—ostensibly designed to incentivize research and development—would cost the federal government nearly $130 billion over a four-year period. Intel, Amazon, and other large corporations and business groups lobbied hard for the tax break, The Lever reported earlier this month.

"At the risk of stating the obvious: Congress should not be cutting corporate taxes," Amy Hanauer, director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), said in response to last week's vote. "Corporate tax collections are much too low."

Meanwhile, despite increasingly dire warnings from public health experts, Congress has failed to approve additional coronavirus relief as Republicans obstruct and President Joe Biden and his Democratic colleagues in Congress prioritize military aid to Ukraine. 


The Biden administration has requested $22 billion in coronavirus funding to protect the U.S. against a potentially massive fall and winter surge and to aid the global pandemic response, which rich nations have undermined by hoarding vaccine doses and technology.

The $5 billion in global coronavirus aid that Biden has pushed for represents a fraction of the subsidies that would flow to U.S. corporations under the USICA.

Last month, Republican and Democratic senators reached a tentative deal on a $10 billion coronavirus aid package that would completely exclude global coronavirus aid, sparking outrage among public health campaigners.

That deal has failed to advance, however, as Republicans demand a vote to preserve Title 42, a Trump-era migrant expulsion order that rights groups have denounced as both immoral and unlawful.

The failure to swiftly approve new coronavirus aid could have massive consequences for the U.S. 
response to Covid-19 as well as the global pandemic fight.

Citing an unnamed senior Biden administration official, CNBC reported Monday that "the U.S. will have to limit the next generation of Covid vaccines this fall to individuals at the highest risk of getting seriously sick from the virus if Congress fails to approve funding to purchase the new shots."

On Tuesday, more than a dozen Nobel laureates and former heads of state wrote in a letter to Biden that global Covid-19 funding is "mission-critical" in the fight against the pandemic, which has killed an estimated 15 million people worldwide.

"The lack of funding endangers the lives of people in the U.S. and around the world," the letter warned, "and risks the emergence of new and more deadly virus variants that will prolong the pandemic."

This article originally appeared at CommonDreams.org. Originally published on May 11th, 2022. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. 

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Thursday, April 28, 2022

Why did the ALU's campaign for worker rights resonate with Amazon workers?


Amazon workers took a page in history to write their own story by voting to join the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island, New York. This fulfillment center (JFK8) will be the first unionized Amazon work site in the country. Out of the nearly 6,000 workers there, 2,654 voted for joining the ALU while 2,131 voted against.  ALUs victory is extraordinary considering that up until now, Amazon successfully defeated every single attempted union drive in a US facility. 

But the ALU is not your typical labor union. They’re different.  For one, this is a racially and ethnically diverse group of workers drawn from many of the city’s working-class communities of Blacks, Latinos, African-Americans, Africans, Dominicans, Puerto-Ricans, to name a few.  

Second, the ALU is an independent union, meaning they did this without being affiliated with any of the major labor unions.  But more importantly, as an independent union, the Amazon Labor Union is led by workers - conceived, built and made up of Amazon workers. The leaders, organizers and staff who make up the ALU are the very same workers who put in work to ensure our packages are delivered.  To meet productivity targets and metrics at this mammoth 855,000 square-foot facility, these workers push through physically demanding ten-hour shifts with 30 minutes for lunch and another 30 minutes for breaks, just to make ends meet. 

When the corona pandemic struck, workers were already fighting with Amazon management over these issues as well as their concerns around worker injuries and safety.  Covid made matters more difficult for workers who were not only confronted with Amazon’s lack of response to their health but now their tough working conditions, just got worse.  JFK8 workers, led by Chris Smalls, began to self-organize and confront Amazon with protest demonstrations highlighting Amazon’s failure to protect their workers.   The New York Times published their investigation of the JFK8 worksite a year later outlining the worker issues there such as high rates of worker turnover, and unfair worker terminations.   
 
But by this time, Smalls, Derrick Palmer, and many Amazon workers had already seen enough of Amazon’s actions and inactions. As the newly formed Amazon Labor Union, they were now looking at ways to transform and democratize their Amazon workplace. They recognized that as a certified union, they can force Amazon to address their workplace and safety issues with the protections afforded them via collective bargaining.  

But they had to convince more than enough of their fellow Amazon workers to fight Amazon’s heavily financed anti-union campaign .  The ALU’s principled commitment to workers was palpable, enabling allies to provide them with office space, legal and logistical support.  They reached thousands online with a GoFundMe page along with a popular social media campaign that uses several platforms to spread their union message online.   

Smalls and ALU organizers set up shop at the bus stop where nearly 10,000 workers travel to and
from work at the massive complex containing two Amazon facilities. Here at the bus stop, Smalls and ALU organizers met with workers coming and going, showing sensitivity to their immediate needs.  Workers were provided with tee-shirts, homemade food for breakfast and lunch, and with a propane tank at the bus stop to fight the low, frigid temperatures.  ALU organizers took advantage of the opportunity with workers to have conversations, but more importantly, to build relationships.   They took time to educate workers about the benefits of being a union member and how their interests would be prioritized in a union. It was at these gatherings where the Amazon workers gained an understanding by learning about how their common interests can be addressed through the power of collective bargaining.  

Through these organizing opportunities, ALU organizers were building relationships and the trust of their fellow workers.  Bear in mind, the ALU is staffed with current and former Amazon workers who were familiar with the tough working conditions and, also share their common concerns.  In their individual roles as workers they have that institutional knowledge about Amazon considering their roles and experience as managers, supervisors, etc. 

Their standing and influence with fellow workers, helped to enable relationship building through empathy and trust. Their constant visibility on the work floor allowed buy- in and consensus amongst the workers.  As a result, the ALU organizers built a campaign from the ground up that resonated and galvanized workers around; working conditions, wages and job security, health and safety as well as Amazon’s anti-union policies. 

ALU’s win is described as a historic moment primarily due to the enormous odds in defeating a powerful corporate entity such as Amazon. However, this moment is best described as one that was built by the JFK8 Amazon workers.  A moment guided by a vision that was forged together as an independent union, then led by workers to create a new reality for themselves, and their families. A moment where workers found their voice, recognizing their collective power to not only practice their right of self-determination but organized to fully engage in a democratic process – a participatory democratic process to transform their workplace.

The Amazon Labor Union arrived at this moment through the hard work of organizing as well as educating their fellow workers.  Their legacy to workers will be measured by how they wage battle against the powerful forces of cooptation from elected politicians and major labor unions on one side, with Amazon standing on the other side. 
 
Meanwhile, history can repeat itself for a second time as another union vote took place on April 25th at a nearby Amazon warehouse (LDJ5) located in the same sprawling complex with JFK8.

Photo credits: Pamela Drew

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Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Elon Musk’s plans for Twitter could make its misinformation problems worse

Elon Musk’s moment of triumph is a moment of uncertainty for the future of one of the world’s leading social media platforms. 
Anjana Susarla, Michigan State University

Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, acquired Twitter in a US$44 billion deal on April 25, 2022, 11 days after announcing his bid for the company. Twitter announced that the public company will become privately held after the acquisition is complete.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission for his initial bid for the company, Musk stated, “I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy.”

As a researcher of social media platforms, I find that Musk’s ownership of Twitter and his stated reasons for buying the company raise important issues. Those issues stem from the nature of the social media platform and what sets it apart from others.

What makes Twitter unique

Twitter occupies a unique niche. Its short chunks of text and threading foster real-time conversations among thousands of people, which makes it popular with celebrities, media personalities and politicians alike.

Social media analysts talk about the half-life of content on a platform, meaning the time it takes for a piece of content to reach 50% of its total lifetime engagement, usually measured in number of views or popularity based metrics. The average half life of a tweet is about 20 minutes, compared to five hours for Facebook posts, 20 hours for Instagram posts, 24 hours for LinkedIn posts and 20 days for YouTube videos. The much shorter half life illustrates the central role Twitter has come to occupy in driving real-time conversations as events unfold.

Twitter’s ability to shape real-time discourse, as well as the ease with which data, including geo-tagged data, can be gathered from Twitter has made it a gold mine for researchers to analyze a variety of societal phenomena, ranging from public health to politics. Twitter data has been used to predict asthma-related emergency department visits, measure public epidemic awareness, and model wildfire smoke dispersion.

Tweets that are part of a conversation are shown in chronological order, and, even though much of a tweet’s engagement is frontloaded, the Twitter archive provides instant and complete access to every public Tweet. This positions Twitter as a historical chronicler of record and a de facto fact checker.

Changes on Musk’s mind

A crucial issue is how Musk’s ownership of Twitter, and private control of social media platforms generally, affect the broader public well-being. In a series of deleted tweets, Musk made several suggestions about how to change Twitter, including adding an edit button for tweets and granting automatic verification marks to premium users.

There is no experimental evidence about how an edit button would change information transmission on Twitter. However, it’s possible to extrapolate from previous research that analyzed deleted tweets.

There are numerous ways to retrieve deleted tweets, which allows researchers to study them. While some studies show significant personality differences between users who delete their tweets and those who don’t, these findings suggest that deleting tweets is a way for people to manage their online identities.

Analyzing deleting behavior can also yield valuable clues about online credibility and disinformation. Similarly, if Twitter adds an edit button, analyzing the patterns of editing behavior could provide insights into Twitter users’ motivations and how they present themselves.

Studies of bot-generated activity on Twitter have concluded that nearly half of accounts tweeting about COVID-19 are likely bots. Given partisanship and political polarization in online spaces, allowing users – whether they are automated bots or actual people – the option to edit their tweets could become another weapon in the disinformation arsenal used by bots and propagandists. Editing tweets could allow users to selectively distort what they said, or deny making inflammatory remarks, which could complicate efforts to trace misinformation.

Musk has also indicated his intention to combat twitter bots, or automated accounts that post rapidly and repeatedly in the guise of people. He has called for authenticating users as real human beings.

Given challenges such as doxxing and other malicious personal harms online, it’s important for user authentication methods to preserve privacy. This is particularly important for activists, dissidents and whistleblowers who face threats for their online activities. Mechanisms such as decentralized protocols can enable authentication without sacrificing anonymity.

Twitter’s content moderation and revenue model

To understand Musk’s motivations and what lies next for social media platforms such as Twitter, it’s important to consider the gargantuan – and opaque – online advertising ecosystem involving multiple technologies wielded by ad networks, social media companies and publishers. Advertising is the primary revenue source for Twitter.

Musk’s vision is to generate revenue for Twitter from subscriptions rather than advertising. Without having to worry about attracting and retaining advertisers, Twitter would have less pressure to focus on content moderation. This could make Twitter a sort of freewheeling opinion site for paying subscribers. In contrast, until now Twitter has been aggressive in using content moderation in its attempts to address disinformation.

Musk’s description of a platform free from content moderation issues is troubling in light of the algorithmic harms caused by social media platforms. Research has shown a host of these harms, such as algorithms that assign gender to users, potential inaccuracies and biases in algorithms used to glean information from these platforms, and the impact on those looking for health information online.

Testimony by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen and recent regulatory efforts such as the online safety bill unveiled in the U.K. show there is broad public concern about the role played by technology platforms in shaping popular discourse and public opinion. Musk’s acquisition of Twitter highlights a whole host of regulatory concerns.

Because of Musk’s other businesses, Twitter’s ability to influence public opinion in the sensitive industries of aviation and the automobile industry automatically creates a conflict of interest, not to mention affects the disclosure of material information necessary for shareholders. Musk has already been accused of delaying disclosure of his ownership stake in Twitter.

Twitter’s own algorithmic bias bounty challenge concluded that there needs to be a community-led approach to build better algorithms. A very creative exercise developed by the MIT Media Lab asks middle schoolers to re-imagine the YouTube platform with ethics in mind. Perhaps it’s time to ask Musk to do the same with Twitter.

This is an updated version of an article originally published on April 15, 2022.The Conversation

Anjana Susarla, Professor of Information Systems, Michigan State University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Monday, April 11, 2022

'A Poor People's Pandemic': Poorest US Counties Suffered Twice the Covid Deaths of Richest

Jake Johnson
April 4th, 2022

Photo credit: Paul Becker
"The neglect of poor and low-wealth people in this country during a pandemic is immoral, shocking, and unjust," said Rev. Dr. William Barber II in response to the new report.

A first-of-its-kind examination of the coronavirus pandemic's impact on low-income communities published Monday shows that  Covid-19 has been twice as deadly in poor counties as in wealthy ones, a finding seen as a damning indictment of the U.S. government's pandemic response.

"The neglect of poor and low-wealth people in this country during a pandemic is immoral, shocking, and unjust, especially in light of the trillions of dollars that profit-driven entities received," said Rev. Dr. William Barber II, co-chair of the national Poor People's Campaign, which conducted the new analysis alongside a team of economists and other experts.

"The poor were America's essential workers, on the front lines, saving lives and also incurring disease and death."

Released on the 54th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s murder in Memphis, Tennessee—where he was fighting for the rights and dignity of low-wage sanitation workers—the new report aims to bring to the forefront the relationship between poverty, income, and occupation and Covid-19 mortality.

The extent to which class is a predictor of coronavirus vulnerability is understudied, according to Barber, who noted that "Covid-19 data collection does not include data on poverty, income, or occupation, alongside race and pandemic outcomes."

"The Poor People's Pandemic Digital Report and Intersectional Analysis addresses this knowledge gap," said Barber, "and exposes the unnecessary deaths by mapping community characteristics and connecting them with Covid-19 outcomes."

Assessing figures from more than 3,000 U.S. counties, the researchers estimated that the poorest counties have suffered twice as many coronavirus-related deaths as the wealthiest. In the most fatal waves of the coronavirus pandemic—the spike in the winter of 2020-2021 and the Omicron surge—the poorest counties suffered 4.5 times more deaths than the wealthiest.

"This cannot be explained by vaccination status," Shailly Gupta Barnes, policy director for the Poor People's Campaign, said in a statement. "Over half of the population in [the poorest] counties have received their second vaccine shot, but uninsured rates are twice as high."

The analysis features an interactive map that ranks counties based on the intersection of poverty rates—specifically, the percentage of people living below 200% of the official poverty line—and coronavirus death rates.

The county highest on the list is Galax, Virginia, where nearly 50% of the population lives below 200% of the poverty line. The county has a coronavirus death rate of 1,134 per 100,000 people, far higher than the national rate of 299 per 100,000.

Next on the list is Hancock, Georgia, which has a Covid-19 death rate of 1,029 per 100,000 people. More than 52% of the county's population lives below 200% of the poverty line.

Overall, the counties with the highest coronavirus death rates had one-and-a-half times higher poverty rates than counties with lower death rates, according to the new study.

"Poverty in the U.S. is its own epidemic: in 2019 even the richest counties had at least 8% of people and up to 94% of the population living in poverty," the report states.

"We must talk about this!" Barber said Monday. "We cannot say that this is because of individual choices or behaviors. Something deeper is at work—systems that prey on the poor, poor white people, and poor people of color."

"Remember, this unnecessary death happened while we gave corporations $2 trillion to keep them alive and the richest Americans saw their wealth soar," he added. "It's a gross example of what Naomi Klein has called the 'shock doctrine,' when the wealthy exploit tragedy to increase their own profits while poor people suffer.

Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, president of the U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network and one of the experts behind the study, said the findings make clear that the pandemic is "not only a national tragedy, but also a failure of social justice."

"The burden of disease—in terms of deaths, illness, and economic costs—was borne disproportionately by the poor, women, and people of color," said Sachs. "The poor were America's essential workers, on the front lines, saving lives and also incurring disease and death."

"Living wages, shared economic prosperity, and inclusive welfare programs can address root causes."

The analysis was released as the U.S. moves closer to the grim milestone of 1 million coronavirus deaths, an estimated toll that's widely seen as an undercount.

Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, national co-chair of the Poor People's Campaign, said in a statement Monday that "the Covid-19 disparities among counties across the U.S. are striking."

"This report shows clearly that Covid-19 became a 'poor people's pandemic,'" said Theoharis. "We can no longer ignore the reality of poverty and dismiss its root causes as the problems of individual people or communities. There has been a systemic failure to address poverty in this country and poor communities have borne the consequences not only in this pandemic, but for years and generations before."

"However, this does not need to continue," she added. "Our nation has the resources to fully address poverty and low wealth from the bottom up."

The report argues that while coronavirus vaccines "will prevent the worst impacts of Covid-19, they will not inoculate against poverty."

"However, living wages, shared economic prosperity, and inclusive welfare programs can address root causes that made the U.S. vulnerable to such massive losses of human life," the study continues. "Likewise, ensuring universal and affordable healthcare, housing, water, access to utilities, quality public education, and guaranteeing a robust democracy will establish a more equitable foundation upon which we can build back better from the pandemic."

This article originally appeared at CommonDreams.org. Originally published on April 4th, 2022. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. 


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