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Modern Tyranny: Healthcare Reform Isn’t Really About the Majority

Healthcare, healthcare, healthcare. The one thing everyone needs, and the one thing the government withholds adamantly. How is it possible we can call ourselves a true democracy when our government can’t even figure out a way to heal the wounds of its sick? It’s sick. David Sirota speaks plainly about the issue, and lays it down hard in the San Francisco Chronicle (SF Gate) this week. He calls it tyranny:
“For those still clinging to quaint notions of the American ideal, these have been a faith-shaking 10 years. Just as evolutionary science once got in the way of Creationists’ catechism, so has politics now undermined patriots’ naive belief that the United States is a functioning democracy. The 21st century opened with a handful of Supreme Court puppets appointing George W. Bush president after he lost the popular vote — and we all know the costs in blood and treasure that insult wrought. Now, the decade closes with another cabal of stooges assaulting the “one person, one vote” principle — and potentially bringing about another disaster. Here we have a major congressional push to fix a health care system that leaves one-sixth of the country without coverage. Here we have 535 House and Senate delegates elected to give all 300 million of us a voice in the solution. And here we have just 13 of those delegates holding the initiative hostage. In the Senate, both parties have outsourced health care legislation to six Finance Committee lawmakers: Max Baucus, D-Mt.; Kent Conrad, D-N.D.; Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M.; Mike Enzi, R-Wy.; Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine. The group recently announced it is rejecting essential provisions like a public insurance option that surveys show the public supports. Meanwhile, seven mostly southern House Democrats have been threatening to use their Commerce Committee votes to gut any health care bill, regardless of what the American majority wants. This, however, isn’t about the majority. These lawmakers, hailing mostly from small states and rural areas, together represent only 13 million people, meaning those speaking for just 4 percent of America are maneuvering to impose their health care will on the other 96 percent of us. Census figures show that the poverty rates are far higher and per-capita incomes far lower in the 13 legislators’ specific districts than in the nation as a whole. Put another way, these politicians represent exactly the kinds of districts whose constituents would most benefit from universal health care. So why are they leading the fight to stop — rather than pass — reform? Because when tyranny mixes with legalized bribery, constituents’ economic concerns stop mattering.” […]
Read the entire article here.


Author Petra Kuenkel: The Art of Leading Collectively

More than ever before, there is a focus on new, collective forms of leadership—and an urgency to get collective change processes underway, all over the world. What’s behind the recent push to move collective leadership to the fore? Whether we find ourselves in societal or organizational change, it requires collective energy and drive to bring […] Read More

10 Books to Curl Up With This Winter

William Wordsworth was right when he said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Nevertheless, the cold, dark days of winter can still get the best of even Nature’s most tenderhearted admirer. What’s one to do? We here at Chelsea Green have concocted the perfect cabin fever remedy with our suggested winter reading […] Read More

Top 8 Chelsea Green Books the Self-Styled Oregon Militia Should Read

The ongoing armed militia occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is showing no signs of ending — so, rather than send them snacks, or sex toys, we had an idea: Send them a book! Better yet, send them several Chelsea Green books. Don’t worry, we’ve picked five key titles that we think […] Read More

Author David Stroh: First Steps to Becoming a Systems Thinker

Systems thinking is often seen as something relegated to scientific and business analysis – economics, resource depletion, and climate. However, Systems Thinking for Social Change focuses on how to use systems thinking to make breakthrough progress on intransigent social problems. We asked author David Stroh how this approach can make an impact, and how readers […] Read More

Use Systems Thinking to Make Lasting Social Change

What can be done when our best intentions create unintended problems—such as temporary shelters increasing homelessness or food aid accelerating starvation?After decades of helping change-makers in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors address tough social problems, systems-thinking expert David Stroh shares the pioneering framework that both demystifies systems thinking and shows how it can lead […] Read More
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