On Earth Day, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
his plan to create the "first environmentally sustainable 21st-century city,"
and integrate an estimated population growth of 1 million people by 2030.
comprised of 127 proposals for environmental improvements in six areas: land,
water, air quality, transportation, energy, and climate change. The proposals
range from reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% to improving transit
connections to planting 1 million new trees.
While the Bush Administration has reduced taxes on the wealthiest Americans
and undermined social welfare programs over the past 6 years, 5 million
more Americans have fallen into poverty, bringing the total to 37
million. That means at least one in eight Americans are now living in
the problems of predatory lending industry a few weeks ago and now, problems
are coming to light with the student loan industry. In one of the more
egregious examples, Student Loan Express, a student loan company that is a
unit of CIT Group, Inc, is alleged to
more than $21,000 for Johns Hopkins University's director of student
financial services to attend graduate school. Coincidentally (or not),
Student Loan Express happens to be on the preferred lender list at Johns
This past week, the Washington State House voted to
five weeks of paid leave for parents with a new born or adopted child,
following earlier approval of a broader Senate measure,
5659, that would have also included paid leave to to take care of a
seriously ill parent. Another advantage of the law is that parents
in employers with 25 or more employees would have their jobs protected while
away, more job protection than under federal law which covers only employers
with 50 or more employees.
We spend more than twice on health care than any other industrialized nation in the world, yet we don't have universal access and our outcomes are worse. The reason we don't have universal access to quality health care is that too much of our health care spending -- our premiums, co-pays, prescriptions -- is wasted on profits, CEO bonuses and inefficient health care.
Nations report this week, backed by scientists around the
world, confirms that not only is global warming real, but its effects are
already here and getting worse. And the hard fact is, the United States
far more energy than any other country, more than China and Russia
With debt collection for medical bills a lead cause of bankruptcy for families
without health insurance, Families USA, in a
brief, highlight a range of policies states have enacted in recent years
to protect the uninsured and underinsured.
At the beginning of February, we reported
on an expose of special loopholes used by Wal-Mart to slash its state
taxes by hundreds of millions of dollars per year. The scam involves
Wal-Mart and other companies dividing themselves into separate
subsidiaries, buying land and buildings, then deducting the rent paid
to itself as a business expense. But states are moving to eliminate
the loophole and reclaim the lost revenue:
Nearly 650,000 people are released
from state and federal prison every year, with larger numbers
reentering communities from local jails. Over 50 percent of those
released from incarceration are sent back to prison for a parole
violation or new crime within 3 years.
spend $11.4 billion each year on marketing. Much of that is spent on
salespeople, known as "detailers", who visit doctor's offices to pitch
the latest drugs, in order to increase prescriptions for their
company's products-- usually at the expense of older, cheaper, and
often more effective drugs.