Nine Numbers That Cry Out: "Bring On Bernie!"
No one individual can solve all our problems, especially with a contrarian and confrontational Congress. But greed, poverty, and inequality are some of the main targets of the Sanders campaign, and the matter of terrorism is likely to be addressed in a much more sensible way.
Here are some of the numbers that should shock us into rejecting every other candidate:
1. Terrorism: You're about as Likely to be Killed by a Toddler as a Terrorist
The candidates and the news outlets have driven us into a frenzy of fear, even though the number of Americans killed by toddlers is about the same per year as the number of violent jihadist attacks in the U.S. since 9/11. There are more terrorist attacks if the actions of white supremacists and non-Muslim extremists are included. But there are also more toddler killings that go unreported.
Sanders understands that "the disastrous invasion of Iraq...has unraveled the region completely and led to the rise of al-Qaeda and to ISIS." And that the United States should be "trying to use diplomacy before war."
2. Big Business: $296,000 is Spent on Stock Buybacks for Every Job Created
Buybacks are employed to boost stock prices for investors and management. Corporations that have benefited from our public research money, infrastructure, security, and patent law for a half-century are giving up on the American people, failing to create the jobs necessary to sustain a middle class.
3. Big Business: A 4-Cent Antibiotic Tablet Surges to $3.70 in One Year
We've heard about Shkreli's $13.50 to $750.00 drug price increase, and about Gilead Science's $10 to $1,000 increase, but on a more day-to-day level, we find even generic drug makers taking advantage of consumers, imposing, for example, an 8,000% increase on a common antibiotic and a 4,000% increase on asthma pills.
4. Inequality: Unregulated Capitalism Allows ONE Person or Family to Own Nearly 1/1000 of Our ENTIRE National Wealth
A combination of financial chicanery and tax avoidance has flushed our national wealth toward the few people who know how to work the system, or who were in position to benefit from the "winner-take-all" attitude that has prevailed since Reagan. Thus individuals or families including Bill Gates and the Koch brothers and the Walton siblings each own approximately one-thousandth of our nation's $86 trillion total wealth.
No one is worth one-thousandth of our nation's total wealth. No matter what their claimed accomplishments, they have been subsidized in great measure not only by years of public support, but also by a financial system that inflates investment wealth well beyond the earnings of most Americans. It's a massive failure of government that no measures are in place to prevent the "winner-take-all" skewing of our national wealth.
5. Inequality: A Poor Man Lives 13 Years Less Than a Rich Man
This is one of the deadly effects of inequality. According to a national study on the effects of aging, an upper-income 50-year-old man can expect to live to the age of 89, while a lower-income 50-year-old man will only make it to the age of 76.
6. Poverty: Middle-Class Housing was 15% of American Wealth in 1985. Now it's 5%.
The stunning collapse of housing (for 90% of us) from 15 percent to 5 percent of total U.S. wealth is mirrored in reverse by a surge in investment wealth among the richest .01% (just 12,000 households), who now have TWICE the value of that middle-class housing in their investment portfolios.
7. Poverty: There are 29 Available Homes for Every Homeless American
The values of wealthy American decision-makers are so distorted that a half-million people are forced to live on the streets on a January night, even though it is estimated that up to 29 homes or apartments are sitting vacant around the country, waiting to fetch a big profit for their owners and landlords.
8. Poverty: The Median Wealth of Young Adults Dropped 68% in 25 Years
From 1984 to 2009 the net worth of an American under 35 dropped from $11,521 to $3.662. For Americans over 65, it went up 42 percent.
9. Poverty: For Every 2 Homeless and Hungry Kids Ten Years Ago, There Are Now 3
When Congress cuts social programs, children suffer. Since 2007 over 6 million kids have been added to the recently cut food stamp program. And over approximately the same time 1 million more kids have been forced into the streets or shelters.
Bernie Sanders is the only candidate to show genuine empathy with the middle and lower classes, and to demand changes in the tradition of Wall Street greed that has ripped our nation apart. And he's the only one to understand the true meaning of 'terror' for destitute and homeless Americans.