From HUSTLER Magazine
America Is Sick
This past flu season was one of the worst in decades, with thousands bedridden and a high number of fatalities. In January the CDC announced that 2017/2018 is the first season, since the agency began monitoring the flu 13 years ago, that every state in the continental 48 experienced widespread influenza activity. Although the flu is a virus, it often results in secondary bacterial infections, like pneumonia, that can prove fatal. These bacterial infections are getting stronger and developing antibiotic resistance, mainly due to the widespread overprescription of antibiotics by doctors and by the insane overuse of antibiotics to fatten livestock. But these illnesses are also getting help from another source— the notorious Koch brothers.
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), a Koch-backed group and the largest small business association in the country, has been working overtime to sabotage paid sick leave laws enacted by states and cities, despite studies proving that flu infection rates decline in cities where workers earn paid sick days. Parents without paid leave not only go to work and spread their illness; they also send their sick kids to school more often. Waiters and cooks without paid leave do the same, further spreading the epidemic. The NFIB’s main funding comes from Freedom Partners, whose board is composed of eight current or former Koch business officials.
The NFIB claims that these paid sick leave laws would create job-killing costs and “devastating sanctions” for failure to comply. As usual, it’s a steaming load of fearmongering malarkey. Nineteen months after Seattle enacted a paid sick leave law, a survey of local business owners found that their “initial fears had faded” and even that the “number of employers grew more in Seattle than in comparison cities.” So much for the “devastating” consequences to small business.
The vicious Koch brothers fought Obamacare tooth and nail, and their Republican allies still have not offered any viable replacement. Healthcare is so outrageously expensive in the USA that many ill people without coverage or with exorbitant copays neglect to get preventative or early care, making their afflictions worse and epidemic diseases more widespread.
In the final analysis, a healthier public makes for a healthier workforce. But the Koch brothers care only about the short-term bottom line and profits above all other values, including the health and safety of Americans. If a certain number of vulnerable children and elderly have to die, so be it. This, really, is the core illness afflicting our nation: profits above all else, even basic human compassion.
It’s time for the United States to join the rest of the civilized world with more humane and equitable policies for our citizens. We cannot let the deep pockets of insulated greedheads, like the sick Koch brothers, stand in the way.