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Death by Unemployment

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As we enter another Presidential election little has changed on the economic front. Unemployment is still at record levels; approximately 15 millions Americans are still unemployed; 6.6. million of them long term -27 weeks or more, with many from this group over 50. We also have approximately 50 million Americans without healthcare benefits.  The irony and tragedy of these sad facts is that as a Nation we like to pride ourselves in our generosity by assisting humanity in distress as per Holy Writ of our Judeo- Christian Heritage.  Over the past four years some of our politicians seem to be more obsessed and occupied with trying to dismantle Obama care, rather then trying to improve the lives of the many Americans who have lost their jobs along with their Healthcare benefits; which is the result of our nation’s leaders’ inability and ineptness at creating good jobs for Americans. In essence, our nation’s economic policies have lowered our expectations for a promising lifestyle for ourselves and future generations.

What seems like a blatant act of hypocrisy by many of our nation’s far right “Christians” who oppose any form of Healthcare assistance for fellow Americans in these times of dire need on the grounds it is “Socialism”. These Americans need to be reminded that Holy Writ is quit clear in the parable, “thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself”, and “love your enemies”. A casual reminder of Christian history and values centers on the works of a good Jew who healed humanity in distress- both Jews and Gentiles alike.  It seems this example is much too hard to follow and a sacrifice some Americans are unwilling to make for their neighbors.  Confirming Christian charity and virtue has no place in our hearts and politics. We must also be reminded American is 27th in the world in life expectancy-though we still tell ourselves we are number one.  With the unemployment and foreclosure numbers as high as they are it would be fair to say that all of us know of a friend, neighbor or acquaintance that has lost their job, and have to make the difficult decision to either make their mortgage payment or an expensive COBRA  payment from their exhausted or depleted life savings. Ironically, while many far right conservative Christians ignore the cries of despair of fellow Americans, they are quick to petition the Almighty to be most liberal, merciful and generous with them. Taking the position it is good to take From God, while sharing nothing with his creation.  Since the tragedy of 9-11 where far too many American lives were lost at the hands of Islamist extremists. We must be reminded that since this terrible day, America has experienced a higher mortality and morbidity rate from lack of access to proper healthcare. It seems more Americans lives are being lost today to right wing Christian extremists ideologies, who advocate against healthcare for Fellow Americans in need, then to Islamic terrorists. If America can secure the funds to protect our lives and health from terrorists, we should be able to extend these funds to protect the lives of the unemployed. Do we need to be reminded that disease and accidents do not cease along with the loss of one’s paycheck?  It is a sad commentary and note in American history when many expire as a result of “Death by Unemployment”!

Our nation’s compassion and giving is arbitrary and capricious at best. As expected if an officer falls in the line of duty at the hands of a criminal the nation responds with grief and an outpouring of support for the unnecessary loss of an innocent life. Though if a man, women or child die as result of lack of healthcare, is it not the soul of our society the hand of the criminal who kills the innocent out of the pleasure of ideology?

Dr. Richard Cirulli teaches Economics, Statistics and Business Ethics at a number of colleges, a business consultant, and has a weekly cable show, The American Condition, dealing with current economic issues. He can be reached at profcirulli@optonline.net.

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