Saturday, June 22, 2013

Conservatism Doth Murder Sleep



“Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep”—the innocent sleep,. Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care."

Was President Clinton the best President the Republicans ever had?  "Welfare reform took people off the rolls. It might have also shortened their lives," by Dylan Matthews at the Washington Post points to yet another way Conservatives have found to inflict misery on the People - up to and including the murder of innocents...the article:

"Welfare reform is pretty popular. A Rasmussen poll last July found that 83 percent of American adults favor the work requirement placed on welfare by the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, commonly known as the welfare reform law. In 2002, closer to the bill’s enactment, a Pew poll found 46 percent of Americans thought the bill changed the welfare system for the better, and only 17 percent thought it changed things for the worse. Mitt Romney certainly thought it was popular, as he purchased airtime for an ad that (falsely) alleged that President Obama has gutted the law:  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=NHPa_LZOM2s)

"And some of the numbers seem to suggest this support is justified. The average number of people receiving cash benefits from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the name welfare has gone by since 1996, has fallen from 12.6 million that year to 4.6 million in 2011. “Caseloads declined by 54 percent. Sixty percent of mothers who left welfare found work, far surpassing predictions of experts,” President Clinton wrote in a 2006 op-ed in the New York Times. “Child poverty dropped to 16.2 percent in 2000, the lowest rate since 1979, and in 2000, the percentage of Americans on welfare reached its lowest level in four decades.”
"Welfare reform increases mortality among recipients, reducing life expectancy by about nine months."
"But it’s not that simple. Indeed, the health consequences of the change, a new study suggests, are potentially quite large, and quite negative. The Health Affairs study, written by Columbia’s Peter Muennig and Zohn Rosen, along with the Wallace Foundation’s Elizabeth Ty Wilde, finds that welfare reform increases mortality among recipients, reducing life expectancy by about nine months.




"They don’t look at the 1996 act but at the Florida Family Transition Program, a precursor welfare-to-work program that operated from 1994 to 1999. Helpfully, the program involved a randomized trial. Participants were randomly assigned either to Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), the program TANF replaced, or to the Family Transition Program, in which they received training, education and job placement services but were limited to either 24 months of cash aid per 60 months, or 36 months cash aid per 72 months; people in the latter group were judged to lack work experience and need more time to prepare to reenter the workforce.
"...the welfare-to-work had 16 percent higher mortality than those receiving normal cash assistance...That amounts to a nine-month reduction in life expectancy between the ages of 30 and 70."
"The people in the experimental welfare-to-work group were much likelier to obtain employment, but they weren’t likely to make more total income than those in AFDC, once you take cash assistance and other forms of income AFDC recipients received into account. Of the 1,611 experiment participants in the county the study focused on, 75 died by November 2011. Of the 1,613 members of the control group, by contrast, 67 died by November 2011. That means the welfare-to-work had 16 percent higher mortality than those receiving normal cash assistance, a result that was highly statistically significant and, because of the study’s random design, can be attributed to the different welfare program. That amounts to a nine-month reduction in life expectancy between the ages of 30 and 70.
"...extreme poverty — defined as households living on less than $2 per day per person — grew greatly after welfare reform’s passage."
"One can’t generalize from that to say that national welfare reform cost lives, since the programs are sufficiently different, though it’s worth noting that the Florida program was, if anything, less stringent than the federal law. But it would hardly be surprising if the same were true of the 1996 law. As the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has noted, welfare reform made TANF a much less comprehensive anti-poverty program than AFDC was. In 1979, under AFDC, 82 families were on welfare for every 100 families with children in poverty. When welfare reform was passed in 1996, that had fallen to 68 families per 100. By 2010, it had plummeted to 27 per 100:




"Welfare, for better or worse, simply wasn’t supporting poor families as much as it had. That showed up in the poverty numbers. Research from Kathryn Edin at Harvard and Luke Schaefer suggests that extreme poverty — defined as households living on less than $2 per day per person — grew greatly after welfare reform’s passage.

"That’s not a coincidence. The yellow line shows what extreme poverty would be each year but for AFDC/TANF, and the dark blue line shows the extreme poverty rate taking that and other cash assistance into account. In the 1990s, the distance between the two is great, suggesting that AFDC/TANF kept a lot of folks out of extreme poverty. But by the late 2000s, it had narrowed greatly.




"It’s hardly a big leap to think that increases in extreme poverty could lead to increases in mortality, but other studies on the health effect of welfare reform are mixed. In 2008, UC Davis’s Hilary Hoynes and UC Irvine’s Marianne Bitler summarized the literature as concluding, “welfare reform led to reduction in health insurance coverage, with small and often insignificant impacts on health care utilization and health status.”
"...a $1,000 increase in the earned income tax credit (EITC) is associated with a 6.7 to 10.8 percent reduction in the rate of low birth weight for infants...(and)...the expansion of the EITC included in Clinton’s 1993 budget reduced the probability of recipient reports of high blood pressure by 3.2 percentage points and the probability of reporting biomarkers that predict stroke, heart attacks and mortality by 9.6 percentage points."
"But there’s also literature suggesting that anti-poverty programs improve health outcomes, literature for which Hoynes is largely responsible. Along with Davis’s Douglas Miller and David Simon, she found that a $1,000 increase in the earned income tax credit (EITC) is associated with a 6.7 to 10.8 percent reduction in the rate of low birth weight for infants. That’s backed up by a study by Notre Dame’s Williams Evans and Northwestern’s Craig Garthwaite, who found that the expansion of the EITC included in Clinton’s 1993 budget reduced the probability of recipient reports of high blood pressure by 3.2 percentage points and the probability of reporting biomarkers that predict stroke, heart attacks and mortality by 9.6 percentage points. Reagan Baughman at the University of New Hampshire found similar results for state EITCs.

"Same goes for non-EITC programs. Along with Davis’s Marianne Page and Ann Huff Stevens, Hoynes found that the aid for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program increases birth weight by between 18 to 29 grams. That’s actually lower than other researchers; Bitler and Princeton’s Janet Currie found that it increases birth weight by 62 grams. And along with Columbia’s Douglas Almond and Northwestern’s Diane Schanzenbach, Hoynes found that food stamps increase birth weight by between 15 and 20 grams for whites and between 13 and 42 grams for blacks.

"None of those are directly relevant to welfare reform per se, but they do suggest that benefit cuts implemented through welfare reform could hurt health outcomes, potentially swamping any gains from increased employment. For her part, Hoynes calls the new mortality study 'potentially very important,' but emphasizes that the effect may not hold in all states, and that we know very little about why mortality increased. 'What were the causes of death?' she asks. 'Internal (e.g. heart disease) or external (accident, homicide)? Who was dying? Which age ranges?' All of that’s important for interpreting the results.



"So it’s too soon to conclude that the national law actually cost lives. But if the Florida results hold, it’s probably worth taking another look."


"45,000 deaths per year are linked to a lack of health coverage (http://www.criminalizeconservatism.com/2012/08/conservatism-equals-murder-inc.html), hundreds of thousands were killed after the Iraq invasion and trillions wasted, and countless others were injured or displaced (http://www.criminalizeconservatism.com/2013/03/conservatism-kills.html), "(t)o this let us add more GOP Crimes: tantamount to murder: Blocking of cancer screening through War On Planned Parenthood, children malnutrition due to cuts in Foodstamps, lives ruined by refusal to provide abortions to women in the military who are victims of rape, deaths for uninsured poor unable to afford medication - or even to find a doctor to treat them for such diseases as cancer and diabetes," and from http://www.criminalizeconservatism.com/2013/04/conservative-murders-take-it-personally.html:




"How many people die because the ambulance can't get to the hospital in time because Republicans won't build or repair roads?

"How many people die because the nearest hospital closed, forcing people to travel longer distances for emergency care?

"How many people die because hospital funding is cut, forcing fewer staff to work longer hours and make more mistakes?

"How many innocent bystanders die in gang shootouts and idiots blasting junk in their yards because the NRA doesn't care that being armed doesn't protect people from stray bullets and cross-fire?

"How many people die because of crime caused by lack of economic opportunities, jobs that don't pay anything and dehumanize the people who work them, torture-chamber prisons that merely breed more advanced criminals, and no hope?

"The bus driver, train conductor, or air traffic controller asleep on the job because budget cuts force him to work overtime just to feed his kids.

"The collapsed bridge or tunnel.

"The absence of police and fire rescue.

"Violent, corrupt cops who run amuck because internal affairs budgets are cut.

"The deliberate execution of innocent people just to prove how tough a state is and how powerless humanity is.

"Drug wars fueling the profits of both murderous cartels and private prisons.

"Contaminated food outbreaks because health inspectors don't have the resources to do their jobs, or are paid so little the enticement to corruption is strong.

"The list of ways great and small that Republicans make life miserable and dangerous for the vast majority of people is endless. Every day, a new set of murders so that Mitt Romney can keep paying lower taxes than the janitor who cleans up after him. Every day, a new onslaught of horror and tragedy so they can ever more thoroughly make life itself their exclusive domain - something you need their permission to have. And they reap the benefit inside their perfect, consequence-free bubble of self-loving solipsism, protected by vast political machines, corrupt law enforcement, and unchecked peremptory power over the livelihoods of millions - all fueled with the money they steal from you every day and from the corpses of their victims."


Yes, Conservatism is the vast, right-wing criminal conspiracy hiding under the guise of a political "philosophy," and needs to be made illegal NOW - before more innocents lose their lives while the Conservatives relentlessly pursue their agenda of the New American Age of Feudalism.



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"Fascism is capitalism plus murder."

Upton Sinclair (American author and one-time candidate for governor of California

who wrote close to one hundred books in many genres, including The Jungle, (1906).
1878 – 1968)

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