82 Chibok schoolgirls released by Boko Haram reunited with families

By Allen Cone

The 82 Nigerian Chibok schoolgirls captured by Boko Haram more than three years ago were reunited with their families Saturday.

Bahir Ahmad, the personal assistant to the president, announced the news on Twitter, writing it was an “emotional” welcome at the capital, Abuja.

“I am really happy today, I am Christmas and New year, I am very happy and I thank God,” said Godiya Joshua, whose daughter Esther was among those freed, in a report by The Telegraph.

The girls were released two weeks ago. The remaining 113 are supposedly still captured.

In 2014, 276 girls were kidnapped. Boko Haram released 21 girls in October and another 50 or so escaped on their own since being abducted.

“We have trust in this government, definitely they will rescue the rest safely and back to us alive,” said community leader Yakubu Nkeki.

Five commanders from the extremist group were exchanged for the girls’ freedom. Swiss government and the International Committee of the Red Cross helped negotiate their release.

Some refused to return after becoming radicalized.

The two groups of girls — earlier this month and October — were reunited with family members Saturday. Nigeria’s Channel TV showed the young women laughing and embracing.

Families in the remote Chibok community had been waiting word on whether their daughters were freed.

Officials told the parents that the girls would remain in government custody until they complete psychosocial and medical therapies.

“The children are being rehabilitated and we believe that in due course they will be properly aligned with their families,” Abidemi Aremo, an official in the Women Affairs Ministry, told the parents at a facility of the secret police in Abuja.

Source: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2017/05/20/82-Chibok-schoolgirls-released-by-Boko-Haram-reunited-with-families/4371495305326/

Edited for mb3-org.com

Planned Parenthood to close four Iowa clinics after cuts

By Chris Kenning

Planned Parenthood said on Thursday it would shutter four of its 12 clinics in Iowa as a result of a measure backed by Republican Governor Terry Branstad that blocks public money for family planning services to abortion providers.

Health centers in Burlington, Keokuk and Sioux City will close on June 30 and one in Quad Cities soon after as a result of losing $2 million in funds under the new measure, said Susan Allen, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. The four clinics served 14,676 patients in the last three years, she said, including many rural and poor women.

“It will be devastating,” Allen said.

The closures marked the latest fallout from a continuing push by Republicans, including President Donald Trump, to yank funding from Planned Parenthood. Many have long opposed the organization, some on religious grounds, because its healthcare services include abortions, although it receives no federal funding for abortions, as stipulated by federal law.

The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives included such a defunding measure as part of the American Health Care Act, the bill aimed at replacing Obamacare.

Iowa’s Republican-led legislature agreed in its recent budget to discontinue a federal Medicaid family planning program and replace it with a state program that bars funding to organizations that provide abortions or maintain facilities where abortions are carried out. The move cost the state about $3 million.

Texas in 2011 made a similar move that has reduced funding. A state report in 2015 found that nearly 30,000 fewer women received birth control, cancer screenings and other care as a result.

A coalition of 35 Iowa groups that oppose abortion have previously argued that funding for family planning indirectly subsidizes abortions.

“The pro-life movement is making tremendous strides in changing the hearts and minds, to return to a culture that once again respects human life,” said Ben Hammes, a spokesman for Branstad, who said there were 2,400 doctors, nurses and clinics around the state for family planning that do not provide abortions.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland said it will continue to operate eight clinics in Iowa. They provide services including cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing and annual checkups.

The group said in a tweet on Thursday that politicians driven more by personal beliefs than facts were hurting access to women’s health care.

“The devastation in Iowa is a sign of what could be next for the rest of the nation,” Danielle Wells, an official at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in an email.

Edited for mb3-org.com

Arrests on civil immigration charges are up 38% in 100 days since Trump’s executive order

By Nigel Duara

Federal immigration agents have arrested more than 40,000 people since President Trump signed executive orders expanding the scope of deportation priorities in January, a 38% increase over the same period last year.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Thomas Homan said Wednesday that Trump has “opened the aperture” of charges that immigration agents are permitted to prosecute, a departure fromObama administration priorities which targeted immigrants in the country illegally who have serious criminal convictions.

“There is no category of aliens off the table,” Homan said.

In late January, Trump stripped away most restrictions on who should be deported. A Los Angeles Times analysis revealed that more than 8 million people who crossed the border illegally could now be considered priorities for deportation.

Trump’s orders instruct federal agents to deport not only those convicted of crimes, but also those who aren’t charged but are believed to have committed “acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense.”

The new numbers, released in a press call with reporters, suggest that Trump’s pledge to step up deportations is bearing fruit, at least in some parts of the country.

Although the president’s plan to build an expanded new wall on the Mexican border has been stymied – Congress refused to include funding for it in a recent budget deal – his new border security priorities appear to be having a significant impact on immigration enforcement.

According to calculations by Los Angeles Times, as many as 8 million people living in the country illegally could be considered priorities for deportation under Trump’s new policy. Under the Obama administration, about 1.4 million people were considered priorities for removal.

The stepped-up immigration arrests have not been reflected in Southern California, where the detention rate has remained relatively flat, and agents say they have done little to change their enforcement strategy.

Homan said that, in his estimation, federal agents are happier with Trump’s directives than they were under Obama’s more cautious approach.

“When officers are allowed to do their jobs, morale increases,” said Homan, who also served under Obama. “I think morale is up.”

Homan said the paucity of people trying to enter the country illegally, a number which has reached a record low, means agents have more time to spend on removals from the nation’s interior.

According to the new ICE data, nearly 75 percent of those arrested in the 100 days since Trump signed his new executive orders on immigration are convicted criminals, with offenses ranging from homicide and assault to sexual abuse and drug-related charges.

But there has also been a significant increase in the number of non-criminals arrested. A total of 10,800 people were arrested whose only offense was entering the country illegally, more than twice the 4,200 such immigrants taken into custody in the first four months of 2016.

“While these data clearly reflect the fact that convicted criminals are an immigration enforcement priority, Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly has made it clear that ICE will no longer exempt any class of individuals from removal proceedings if they are found to be in the country illegally,” the agency said in its report.

Migrant advocates were quick to condemn the administration’s priorities.

Addressing claims by John F. Kelly, Trump’s secretary of Homeland Security, that the administration is only focusing on criminals, and Wednesday’s numbers, Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice Education Fund, said the majority of people targeted cannot be considered “serious criminals.”

“These guys spin, distort, exaggerate, and dissemble almost as much as the president they work for,” Sharry said. “The false claims are aimed at providing cover for an agenda that calls for the deportation of millions. Instead of targeting serious criminals, they are targeting every immigrant they can get their hands on and calling all of them criminals.”

While deportations of migrants caught near the border are generally a quick matter, Homan said, the removal processes for so-called “interior deportations” take longer. He expects the overall pace of removal proceedings to slow down as fewer border crossers are removed and interior deportations make up a larger share of all removals.

Without providing specific numbers, Homan said assaults on federal agents conducting arrests are up 150% over the same period last year. Homan attributes the increase to “noncompliance” — meaning actively resisting arrest.

Federal agents must also contend with jails that refuse to allow ICE agents inside. Such jails contend that immigration enforcement is outside the scope of their duties, and some also say the presence of immigration enforcement agents adversely affects relations with local migrant communities.

Homan said jails that do not allow ICE agents inside to make arrests force the agents to capture migrants on the street, a far more dangerous and expensive proposition.

“If the jail lets them go, we have to send a team of officers,” Homan said. “One officer can make a safe arrest inside a facility. If the jail doesn’t cooperate, we have to go get them.”

Edited For mb3-org.com

Notes on a factory uprising in Yangon

Yangon H&M factory

Soe Lin Aung examines a recent strike-cum-riot at a Chinese-owned H&M supplier in Myanmar, digging beyond the headlines into its local context and broader political significance.

A Riot Foretold

Posted By

Steven.

Last month, a strike turned sour on the outskirts of Yangon, the former capital of Myanmar and its leading production base, when workers briefly laid siege to a Chinese-owned garment factory. On February 23, hundreds of workers descended on the Hangzhou Hundred-Tex Garment factory, damaging factory vehicles, breaking windows, wrecking machinery, attacking the Chinese manager, and taking seven Chinese supervisors hostage. After a police rescue operation initiated by the Chinese embassy, the hostages were freed, and five workers were arrested. This riot, as media accounts put it, followed a months-long strike for 15 months of unpaid overtime that had resulted in the factory’s union leader being fired. A worker reported that in the throes of the uprising, “most of the workers could not control themselves.” An outside union leader said the workers “saw that nothing was happening – it wasn’t going anywhere – so they exploded.”
Accounts of what happened are not fully consistent. Multiple reports state that footage shows “dozens” of women workers assaulting the Chinese manager, yet workers dispute that account, denying as well that they destroyed production machinery. A few things are clear, however. Amid an expansion of Myanmar’s garment industry after post-2011 economic reforms, militant worker actions have periodically convulsed Yangon’s industrial zones. These largely autonomous wildcat strikes tend to focus on wages in their formal demands, and in some cases they have lasted for months. After roughly three strike waves up to 2015, a collection of more violent incidents has taken place since then, including this riot in February. Labor unions, newly legalized since 2011, are struggling to catch up, with civil society more broadly pushing to centralizethese struggles – namely under hierarchical union structures designed for tripartite labour arbitration. Worker distrust of Myanmar’s major labour federations runs high, however,[1] as does frustration with the new minimum wage law, which workers say employers are circumventing by cutting overtime pay and bonuses.
One possibility to consider, then, to paraphrase the union leader above: workers are exploding, because they’ve seen that nothing is happening. Or differently: they’ve seen the contradictions that are emerging, and they are intensifying their struggles accordingly. The riot last month follows at least two other industrial conflicts described as riots over the past couple years. In March 2015, at the tail end of one of the longest strikes begun earlier that year, about 100 workers from three factories attempted to escalate by marching to Yangon’s city hall. Blocked by police, they instead began a sit-in that ended with a clash between workers, police, and hired vigilantes – civilians wearing red armbands bearing the word “duty” (da-wun) in Burmese. 14 workers were formally charged with rioting. The subsequent year, workers from a factory in Sagaing, in Myanmar’s dry zone well north of Yangon, marched for weeks at the height of the hot season to the periphery of Naypyidaw, Myanmar’s capital and an army stronghold. A confrontation ensued when police intervened to stop workers entering the city, and here too workers were charged with rioting.
These events suggest continuities with struggles farther afield. In China and Vietnam, observers often attribute the prevalence of industrial riots to these countries’ lack of civil liberties and independent unions, which are expected to facilitate more orderly forms of collective bargaining.[2] The coexistence of such liberal institutions with increasingly frequent struggles of a similar nature in neighboring countries such as Myanmar and Cambodia[3] compels us to look beyond such explanations toward broader dynamics of contemporary capitalism in the region—and, perhaps, beyond. How does last month’s factory riot in Yangon relate to what some have called a new “era of riots” at global, regional and local scales?
Locating Hangzhou Hundred-Tex

The Hangzhou Hundred-Tex (HHT) factory is situated in Hlaingtharyar township on Yangon’s northwest periphery, across the Yangon River where speculation is driving up land prices as the area industrializes rapidly. Although Hlaingtharyar is often spoken of as an industrial zone itself, it is also a township that contains many smaller industrial zones, like the Shwe Lin Ban Industrial Zone where the HHT factory operates. The other major industrial zones around Yangon are in Shwepyithar and Hmawbi, also to Yangon’s north and northeast.
One study estimated that wages in these zones averaged $95-125 USD per month in 2015.[4] But a subsequent survey of 26 workers estimated base pay closer to 30,000-40,000 kyat per month ($21-32) and overall pay at about 95,000 kyat per month ($69) – a striking indicator of the importance of bonuses and overtime to workers’ overall take-home pay.[5] Among those workers, the survey also found that working hours came to around 10.5-11 hours per day, six days per week; that no workers had any form of contract, much less health or social insurance; and that only six of those workers said they could save up any money after meeting their daily needs. One worker said she usually breaks even, but the remaining 19 described debts of 30,000-500,000 kyat. 17 of those in debt are paying 20% interest or above. As the survey makes clear: “High-interest debt is a problem for anyone, but more pronounced for young women who are expected to remit to support household social reproduction, according to numerous workers interviewed.”[6]
Hlaingtharyar officially hosts the highest and densest population of any township in Myanmar, but this is not obvious when you drive through it. Along the main factory thoroughfares, every so often a rolling iron gate signals the existence of a factory behind it, but the scale and type of the factories themselves, which are almost always single-story structures, are nearly impossible to discern from outside. A small shop or two might be selling something at the gate, perhaps tea mix packets, betel nut or simple salads for workers on their breaks. But at least in the larger factories, meals – and accommodation – are provided inside the factory grounds. In contrast to the austere, relatively quiet, and almost modernist feel of major swathes of the zone, pockets of busier, more frenetic activity are concentrated around market areas where food stalls, beer stations, small goods shops, rickshaw stands and the like spill out seemingly at random. Informal housing settlements tend to cluster around these areas, with migrants often building thatched shelters on grassy marshlands that punctuate the zone.
Although individual factories are, no doubt, very much gated, it is hardly clear when one has entered or exited the industrial zone itself. Around 2012, to cruise the zone in a car or a rickshaw was to be met, at intervals, with sudden vistas opening onto the distance – visions of rice fields beyond the zone or green patchworks within where, presumably, it was only a matter of time before migrants occupied the space or a new factory was built. Sometimes the one follows the other, and migrants’ homes are cleared away, as in one struggle over a patch of land in Hlaingtharyar that developed into a violent confrontationbetween workers and police. But whatever fissures might have splintered the zone in the past, perhaps lightening its carceral burden, now surely its industrial character has become much more tightly consolidated. From above, it appears today as an expansive grid of small rectangles, a latticework of aluminum roofs, a modernist dream that, as ever, remains subject – as the February riot makes clear – to instability and excess.
Indeed, Myanmar’s garment sector has changed considerably since political and economic reforms beginning in 2011 ushered in a series of trade liberalization measures. Starting from a low base due to US and European sanctions during the military period, garment exports jumped from $349 million in 2010 to $1.56 billion in 2014. In 2014, new garment factories were opening on average once per week, mainly in the zones around Yangon like Hlaingtharyar. As of 2015, about 210 export-oriented garment factories were operating in Myanmar, employing around 195,000 workers, with a further 100,000 engaged in small-scale and/or home-based subcontracting outside of larger factory enterprises.[7] One study estimates that 93 percent of garment workers are women, particularly young, single, “unskilled” women from rural areas along the Ayeyawaddy littoral, from the dry zone in the north to the delta region in the south.[8]
There are various ways of classifying Myanmar’s garment factories, but a 2013 report cited by the International Labour Organization (ILO) works well as a guide, however schematic.[9] Three categories are in play. First, there are the largest factories, employing over 1,000 workers with either full foreign ownership or a joint venture agreement. Then there are the basically medium-level factories with between 500 and 1,000 workers, usually joint ventures or locally owned. Finally, there are the smallest factories, operating with fewer than 500 workers and likely full local ownership. In 2013, the smallest kind of factories was the largest by number, with about 160 operating at the time. Only around 30 of the medium-level factories were operating, and about 20 of the largest kind. Despite what seems like a preponderance of locally owned factories, “shadow companies” make up some 20-30% of those factories, with a Myanmar citizen signing on behalf of an essentially covert foreign owner.[10]
Foreign direct investment (FDI), in fact, has provided the stimulus for the expansion of Myanmar’s garment industry. Since the end of formal military rule in 2011, the fraction of fully foreign-owned factories almost doubled to about 50% by 2015, with the other half either joint ventures or locally owned.[11] East Asian capital dominates here, unsurprisingly, with Korean FDI leading the way, followed by China, Taiwan and Japan. Firms from these countries continued to produce in Myanmar during the US and European sanctions regimes, giving them a strong advantage now that sanctions have been lifted (in 2013 by the EU, and then in 2016 by the US). In 2014, with the total export value of garments pushing $1.6 billion, about 70% of all exports went to Korea and Japan. With these firm East Asian export markets, the low-end manufacturing that dominates production in Bangladesh and Cambodia – jeans, t-shirts, and other ready-made garments – has been largely absent in Myanmar. Japanese firms sourcing in Myanmar, for instance, have prioritized smaller and higher-end orders of items like woven products. This may change, according to a recent study, as exports to the EU by companies like H&M increase.[12]
The HHT factory attacked by workers in February encapsulates much of what has been reported about the growth of Myanmar’s garment sector. Opened two years ago by its parent company based in China’s Zhejiang province, the factory operates exclusively as a supplier to H&M, as media reports have stressed since this fact came to light. Fully foreign-owned, apparently, the factory is in that middle range in employing about 500 workers, almost all of whom are women – at least if some limited footage of the strike, shown by Al-Jazeera, is any measure.

However, one trend the HHT factory reflects that has not, it seems, been widely considered in Myanmar is that of deindustrialization in China and the consequent southward flow of Chinese capital. That is, as one of the first reports on the strike noted, the HHT factory’s owners set up operations in Myanmar in search of reduced labour costs. (The same article also cites mounting labour unrest in China and South Korea as a related reason for this new push south.) Media reports emphasize that Myanmar’s minimum wage law, roundly disparaged by workers and employers alike, sets the basic wage at 3,600 kyat per day, or about $2.62. Among garment producers in Asia, only Bangladesh offers lower wages. As noted in the survey discussed above, it is also clear that base pay at many factories may be below the mandated minimum, with only bonuses and overtime pay lifting wages to around $70 per month.[13] This helps make clear the very real stakes of the HHT riot, which originated in a strike to regain fully 15 months of overtime pay – in other words, a massive portion of what workers would have expected to earn in that time.
To be sure, capital in general tends to move towards lower wages and fewer worker protections, in articulation with specific histories of colonialism, postcolonialism, and related state claims on capitalist development.[14] Yet the particular flight south of Chinese manufacturing capital has been especially noteworthy – if not yet in Myanmar apparently. Investment in Cambodia and Vietnam has shown clear signs of this push, as well as beyond Southeast Asia. But the still relatively small scale of Myanmar’s garment sector, and the fact that Korea outpaces Chinese investment within it, may explain the more limited discussion of this potentially transformative process in Myanmar.
Riot Time
But we should return to the question posed, if read a certain way, by the union leader commenting on the February riot. Are workers exploding? There were the strike waves in 2012, 2013, and 2015. And then there were the three messier, more violent incidents like the riot at the HHT factory: the riot itself, of course, as well as the violence that erupted at the end of the 2015 strike wave and after the long workers march the following year. These events suggest the possibility, at least, that worker struggles are intensifying in ways that may be difficult to predict.
Several potential directions for analysis emerge here. First is the link, currently tenuous, between two changing landscapes in Myanmar: that of worker struggles and trade unions. As discussed, it may be the case that worker struggles are beginning to push beyond strikes. Each of the three incidents described as riots followed strikes of differing lengths of time. Furthermore, even the strikes that have intermittently paralyzed production in Yangon’s industrial zones have been largely autonomous and decentralized. Unions, NGOs, and civil society groups have tended to see these actions as regrettably disorganized, lacking in leadership and coordination, and like Myanmar’s fast-evolving labour movement more broadly, in need of more centralized authority – unions, in short – to effectively engage evolving tripartite arbitration processes. Upwards of 2,000 unions have registered since a 2011 law repealed a military-era law that prevented the formation of independent unions.[15] Among the large federations to have formed are the Confederation of Trade Unions of Myanmar (CTUM), with roots in Myanmar’s exiled political movement; the Myanmar Trade Union Federation (MTUF); and the Agriculture and Farmer Federation of Myanmar (AFFM-IUF).
Yet workers remain distrustful of the large federations. A leader of one of the 2015 strikes said the federations only come around during strikes looking to gain membership. “They just want to go to the ILO conferences,” he said.[16]CTUM in particular, headed by the controversial leader Maung Maung, has come under heavy criticism of this kind, as well as for its top-down, hierarchical, cronyistic approach more generally. On the other hand, workers have shown more support for enterprise-level unions, seeing them not as outsiders like the federations but as more democratic structures arising from workers’ own initiative.[17]
Still, militant incidents in and beyond Yangon have only limited relations to trade unions and are hardly restricted to strikes – as the liberal hand-wringing of unions and NGOs attests. Thinking with these struggles, we might see them as pushing the boundaries of what – and who – actually constitutes a labour movement, challenging assumptions about who represents workers and how, and what tactics might be necessary beyond the strictures of bureaucratic dispute mechanisms. It is tempting even to call into question tripartism itself, which comes out of a particular Western Fordist trajectory. Nonetheless, liberal public discourse, from the ILO to employer organizations, holds that the upheaval in Yangon’s industrial zones is simply a sign of the growing pains of tripartism. The message is clear: it will all settle down soon.
Discussions at a recent workshop in Cambodia help point up what is at stake.[18] A labour activist stressed that in Europe and the US, a kind of organic development of workers’ politics and institutions had been able to take place, with strikes, trade unions, and tripartism evolving to suit particular conflicts with capital. Workers’ movements in Asia, however – many of which are now well-established rather than being in any sense emergent – face a constant didactic barrage regarding the “correct” way to operate. Such disciplining comes willy nilly from global union federations, Western trade unions preaching solidarity, labour NGOs, labour movement donors, and no doubt, researchers and scholars of labour, labour politics, and labour history. Against that stifling pedagogy, the autonomous development of worker struggles in Myanmar – in all their visceral, chaotic “disorganization” – might suggest something more open, something more charged with possibility. In some ways they should be welcomed, and the rush to impose institutional forms, particularly suffocating hierarchical union structures, should be avoided. There may even be a certain historical justice in doing so. The riot, in this sense, may stand for another kind of labour politics within a more differential, more flexible approach to labour history.
And here perhaps is a broader, more conceptual direction to explore. That is, we could name this differential account of labour and labour history, and we might do well to begin with the tactic here associated with it: riot time. The phrase has a certain history. A recent Chuang article cites Jason Smith’s argument that a series of incidents over the last decade or so – the banlieu riots in France, the youth riots in London, anti-austerity strikes in Greece, the movement of the squares, and the uprisings across the Arab World – together signify a new era of political possibility. “We are awakening,” he writes in 2012, “from the neoliberal dream of global progress and prosperity: after forty years of reaction, after four decades of defeat, we have re-entered the uncertain stream of history. We bear witness to a new cycle of struggles; ours is a time of riots.” The claim echoes Alain Badiou, who in the same year argued that the Arab revolts announced the “rebirth of history” in these “times of riots and uprisings.” The Chuang article asks whether the proliferation of “mass incidents” in China could be legible in this vein, which for Smith suggests a return to the conditions that sparked the revolutionary struggles of the 19th century. Those conditions, in short, found socialist and utopian movements failing to address the direct needs of workers, who increasingly responded with violence to profound transformations of the production process.
This notion of a turn, or return, to the time of riots allows us to clarify something regarding the specificity of Fordism and its political appendages (the union, the strike, tripartism, and so on). The point is not that workers’ turn towards riots in places like Myanmar and China index a singularity that prevents common cause with workers elsewhere. Rather, one recognizes the provincialism of a Fordist trajectory as well, beyond which even in the West there had always been – and surely are today – a much wider range of political possibilities in play. These include the revolutionary movements that preceded bureaucratic tripartism and its restricted fields of dispute. Riots, then, allegedly deviant or deficient vis-à-vis more strategic and unified labour movements, may actually express something very central to capitalism’s transformations of production over time and in many places, namely the turbulence of those transformations and the limits of organized politics in addressing them.
After “Freedom”
Finally, from China to Myanmar and elsewhere in Southeast Asia, an apparently violent turn in labour politics invites comparison. We might usefully track, for instance, different levels of protection for civil liberties, especially freedom of association and the legality of independent unions, in China, Vietnam, and Myanmar. A widespread belief across the political spectrum seems to be that limits to such liberties go a long way toward explaining why labour struggles escalate as they do in China and Vietnam, and that consequently, the expansion of such liberties would stem this tendency for strikes to become riots.[19]
Yet strikingly, in Myanmar it is precisely in the context of sweeping liberal reforms that an already increasingly militant workforce is pushing the limits of union-mediated tripartism, and showing signs of more violent forms of struggle. That is, a sudden and thoroughgoing liberalization process has not only not stemmed the radicalization of labour politics, one could argue that exactly the opposite has occurred. Then again, liberal actors like the ILO argue it’s just a matter of time before the landscape stabilizes and workers fall into line. And to be fair, while the historical antecedents of Myanmar’s labour regime require serious reckoning, as Dennis Arnold and Stephen Campbell argue persuasively,[20] the novelty of its present form would be hard to overstate: a raft of new legislation, over two thousand new unions, no shortage of new investors, and probably most significantly, thousands upon thousands of new workers. Myanmar’s garment factories are filled with workers sending remittances to rural households, many of whom will be the first in their families to work for a wage.
But this all hardly means that “more freedoms” is a workable prescription for de-escalating labour struggles – a suspect program in any case – as if the reforms in Myanmar will ultimately produce a more pliant workforce than in China or Vietnam. Rather, one could just as easily read mounting worker militancy in Myanmar as pointing out that signature fissure in liberal polities, increasingly fraught since 2008: between the formal equalities of politics and the spiraling inequalities of the economy. That dissonance can be deeply felt, particularly when technocratic liberalization measures overhaul production processes – and upend the lifeworlds of workers – while eluding democratic control. Some argue that after neoliberalism’s eclipse now, that tension between being formally free yet relentlessly exploited has produced terrifying political movements. Pankaj Mishra, for one, writes that “Never have so many free individuals felt so helpless – so desperate to take back control from anyone they can blame for having lost it.” Here, maybe, is an altogether darker, more ominous reading of the cycle of events that Smith and Badiou, among others, saw in almost messianic terms. In other words, much has changed since 2012, not least in the Arab World, where the time of riots – history reborn – had reached its apotheosis.[21]
This essay only scratches the surface these questions, but one lesson we can draw for sure is an old one: the rule of capital produces contradictions, which in certain times may become plain to see – and feel. The violent transformation of the production process in Myanmar might be one of those times. Liberal freedoms can do little to mask, mitigate, or obscure the contradictions that are emerging. The form those contradictions take, the nature of their development, and the shape of the society to be forged in their wake are all eminently political questions. For better or for worse, those questions may be posed in riot time. Bending this process in one direction or another – towards militant labour struggles rather than revanchist right populisms – might be one of the more central political tasks in the present, determining how and on whose terms history is being reborn.

–Soe Lin Aung, 30 March 2017
Special thanks to Dennis Arnold and Stephen Campbell for allowing their forthcoming articles to be used here. This discussion draws heavily upon them. Any shortcomings remain my own.

Notes
[1] Arnold, Dennis (forthcoming). “Civil Society, Political Society, and Politics of Disorder in Cambodia.” Political Geography. 2017.
[2] This is a thesis of Eli Friedman’s book The Insurgency Trap: Labor Politics in Postsocialist China (Cornell 2014), for example, along with many statements by the China Labour Bulletin.
[3] Arnold (forthcoming).
[4] SMART Myanmar (2015). Responsible Sourcing in a Frontier Market. Yangon: SMART Myanmar.
[5] Arnold, Dennis and Stephen Campbell (forthcoming). “Labour Regime Transformation in Myanmar: Constitutive Processes of Contestation.” Development and Change. 48(4). July 2017.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Ibid.
[8] SMART (2015).
[9] International Labour Organization (ILO) (2015). “Myanmar Garment Sub-sector Value Chain Analysis.” Yangon: ILO.
[10] SMART (2015).
[11] Arnold and Campbell (forthcoming).
[12] Ibid.
[13] Ibid.
[14] For an influential contribution to studies of the relation between capitalist development and postcolonial politics, see Sanyal, Kalyan (2007). Rethinking Capitalist Development: Primitive Accumulation, Governmentality, and Post-Colonial Capitalism. New Delhi: Routledge.
[15] Arnold and Campbell (forthcoming).
[16] Ibid.
[17] Ibid.
[18] The workshop, held in Phnom Penh on February 16-17, 2017, was titled “Labor Rights and Economic Development in Mekong Asia.”
[19] See, for example, Friedman (2014).
[20] Arnold and Campbell (forthcoming).
[21] On the global rise of right-wing mass movements from the ashes of 2011 (with a focus on Thailand), also see “The Solstice” by Ultra.
Taken from http://chuangcn.org/2017/03/yangon-factory-uprising/

Source:https://libcom.org/news/notes-factory-uprising-yangon-10052017

Edited for mb3-org.com

 

Rent Strike in Toronto

Rent Strike in Toronto

Two hundred tenants are on rent strike in Toronto against increases they say are meant to price them out of their homes.

Posted By

Parkdale Organize

Two hundred renters are entering week two of their rent strike in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood. The rent strikers are demanding their landlord, MetCap Living, withdraw its applications for rent increases above the provincial guideline (totalling 15% over three years), and do the necessary repairs in their homes. The rent strikers are organized in committees based in six participating mid-rise apartment buildings.

The increases sought by MetCap are allowed under Ontario law, once approved by the Landlord Tenant Tribunal. The rent strikers oppose the increases on the basis that the landlord is trying to price residents out of their homes. The law allows landlords to raise rents as much as they like once the rental unit is vacant. This provides a financial incentive for landlords to evict longer term tenants.

Residents called their rent strike amid soaring rental prices and the rapid gentrification of their neighbourhood. A full 90% of Parkdale residents are renters. In all of Toronto, Parkdale is where residents spend the greatest proportion of their household incomes on rent, at nearly 50%. The rent strike is being taken up in defense of one of the last remaining working class neigbourhoods around downtown Toronto.

The emergence of this combative, neighbourhood-wide, multi-building organizing initiative is gaining widespread support in Toronto and across Canada. Supporters can help by participating on Tuesday’s phone zap action against MetCap and its multi-billion dollar investor, the Alberta Investment Managment Corporation (AIMCo). Financial contributions can also be made to the rent strikers defense fund.

Source: https://libcom.org/news/rent-strike-toronto-08052017

What’s at stake in the health care debate?

What's at stake in the health care debate?

By: s.nappalos

The debate in the United States over how to provide health care to a nation increasingly burdened by the costs and dissatisfied with the status quo has returned with a vengeance. S Nicholas Nappalos comes at these issues as a nurse and organizer, and tries to unpack the implications of the growing health crisis, what alternatives we really have, and what health for-and-by workers and the community could look like.

Originally published March 13, 2017 at Recomposition. The 2016 election cycle has shown that health care is lining up to be a key fight in the next few years. The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is looking increasingly weak as soaring costs of insurance, drugs, and equipment are eroding whatever meager benefits there were in reigning in the all consuming burden of the American health system.⁠1 Bernie Sanders made a medicare-for-all proposal a cornerstone of his campaign, something which the National Nurses United (NNU) and Our Revolution has vowed to keep fighting for.⁠2 Colorado had a similar single-payer plan on the ballot where insurance bureaucracies would have been replaced by a state-run insurance program, but would retain private health institutions and medical industries.⁠3 Hilary Clinton fended off the insurgent challenge of Bernie supporters, but not without having to pay lip service to their cause.⁠4 Poll after poll demonstrates popular support for nationalized health programs across Americans.⁠5 While Clinton indicated a need to revisit the vague “public option” Wikileaks later exposed her method of dividing her private positions, disclosed to Wall Street firms in her infamous paid speeches, and a separate public one.⁠6 None of this is earth shattering, but it shows that all the power brokers have been honed in on health.

A slow moving crisis

It looks to become even more central however. Estimates are the medicare funds will have to reduce benefits within two decades.⁠7 States that did not expand Medicaid have offered private market based plans that within a few years are already not affordable even with subsidies.⁠8 Where Medicaid was expanded projections for expenses are to rise significantly putting strain on already underfunded systems that suffer from severe shortages of specialists and resources.⁠9 In reality we are witnessing the slow unfolding of a multi-decade health care crisis. Health-related spending makes up roughly a quarter of the entire federal budget and is expanding rapidly. Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Programs alone represent 16% of the federal budget and are projected to grow substantially.⁠10 It is the largest portion of federal spending outpacing both social security and the military.

The drivers of this are our nearly singular combination of unregulated profiteering industries and particularly pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, and a multi-layered mediating bureaucracy that introduces inefficiencies into an already top heavy industry. The American health crisis is deepening not only because of excessive bureaucracy introduced by the byzantine insurance system, but also due to its embrace of both protecting industry through strict intellectual property rights and placing barriers to any regulation of prices for pharmaceuticals and equipment. It’s worth noting that health insurance and hospitals themselves are barely profitable with the median around 3% which is near inflation levels only. The profit tends to go to all the feeder industries selling products used by patients and purchased by health institutions.⁠11 An Institute of Medicine report identified nearly 800 billion dollars in waste created by unnecessary services, excess administration, inefficient service delivery, overcharging, fraud, and failing to utilize potential preventative measures.⁠12

These factors have made it the most expensive health system in the world.⁠13 The people of the United States pay more than any other country for our health care, and with poor outcomes across a wide array of metrics. The political implications of this are not hard to see. The more political discourse digs in around the health system as a test of capitalism itself, the stiffer the resistance to reforming the obvious and preventable issues with it. The main players still see defense of vested interests in health care as an ideological defense of capitalism.

Holding to that position increases public spending however and is increasing the federal deficit each year. Dismantling the drivers of those costs, in private hands, would lead to real economic losses with implications for the world market. Some authors have noted that pharmaceuticals were the stars of the market for decades, and have been in a decline that has not been recovered.⁠14 Further cutting into those losses may have more disruptive effects in an economy that already has challenges ahead represented by geopolitical conflicts in Asia and Europe, and an anemic recovery to the global economic crisis of 2008.

With the failure of Colorado is to forge ahead (and other states before it) and the victory of the Republicans across the board in this year’s election, meaningful reform seems quite unlikely in absence of a movement that can force their hands. Some other states may try the route of the ballot initiatives that failed in Colorado, Oregon, or Vermont’s legislature’s push. The disparity of forces between vested capitalist interests and their lobbying power and the electoral process itself makes it a near certainty of failure without a widespread popular change in attitude and action.

Can single-payer save us?

These problems will not go away for the rulers simply by ignoring them. With a single-payer program there would be substantial savings for the country as a whole and indeed millions of people will have their lives changed for the better. Any reduction in the vast waste that we’re chained to and an expansion in access to quality care is something we should cheer and fight for. Single payer would reduce some of these costs, in part through eliminating unnecessary layers of bureaucracy and negotiating lower prices through economies of scale. This has been the traditional progressive answer for these reasons to all things health related.

Despite whatever positives however the fundamentals would remain, with much of the control in the hands of the same drug companies, equipment and product manufacturers, and broken institutionalized practices of American medical professionals (such as reliance on specialists, the persistence of fee for service payment, and over use of capital intensive health techniques). Cutting the costs of the insurance industry would be a positive step, but it’s not a panacea, and it’s not clear whether it could prevent a crisis that is already happening.

Universal Medicare would certainly be more expensive than the system of the Veterans’ Administration (VA). One Congressional Budget Office study showed the VA to be twenty one percent cheaper than care under Medicare.⁠15 The VA which shares some similarities to the National Health Service of the UK wherein the system owns the entirety of health services from hospitals, pharmacies, equipment, and hires the staff. By eliminating paying outside private entities, the VA and NHS thereby reduces the profit otherwise paid to private companies at each stage. While Medicare-for-all would eliminate insurers as secondary payers, such companies are deeply entangled in Medicare itself. Private companies provide supplemental plans for necessary services not covered by Medicare and as well as processing claims for Medicare itself.⁠16 Without an elimination of private billing for services those additional administrative costs would remain. Medicare-for-all would not mean an end to Blue Cross, Aetna, or United Health necessarily.

Nor should health advocates glamorize European style public health. Across the world public health is under attack. Right and left governments have target slashing spending and limiting access. Ideology certainly is a component of this, but objective budget pressures are driving these forces. Universal public health care is worthy, but it is not a panacea. Americans would likely face the same attacks even were there such a victory as institutional pressure to put the burden of care onto the working class will remain.

If legislation granting universal Medicare is unlikely, VA-for-all is a lone voice in the wilderness. One could imagine the resistance likely to nationalizing private hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies. And yet if there is no substantial reform, what is the real cost paid to all of those services with a shrinking working population, jobs being lost to automation, and a growing base of those who will need care for decades? Should conflicts heat up, what would be the effect on the market if health advocates won such a struggle and take health institutions outside of the world of profit so to speak?

Health care is at the center of stressing both market and state forces and this presents an opportunity for movements that challenge capitalism. This crisis in health is not just about the policies of different players (liberal and conservative, socialist and reactionary), but about more fundamentally capitalism’s capacity to provide for health needs. Market allocation and private industry are central to the failures of the American system, things not easily hidden when confronted head on. Globally speaking the industries that profit off health, both public and private systems, have been some of the leaders for investors generally. Losses within health care could spell deep trouble for the economy across the board and perhaps tip us back into recession or depression in the context of a world that has not fully recovered from the shocks of 2008. Even in countries with overtly state-provided healthcare similar elements of crisis have been building in the past decades around run away costs, shortages, and declining quality of care. Health care is a key sector for radicals to make our case and put the ruling class on the defensive.

Health is bigger than our health care

Demanding universal health care has been a broad call amongst US progressives for the past 50 years or so. Is that really the main issue though? At its heart single-payer is about how we allocate existing health resources. Yet we do not only want to more equitably and economically distribute health, but also improve it. If you think about it, universal health is a fairly open demand. It could be redirected to any number of outcomes including universally terrible health. There is an insidious medical apartheid that punishes various sectors (workers, women, blacks, latinos, and indigenous, etc.) while granting luxury health services to a tiny elite. There is a clear move towards diminishing care for the public in general with overall declining standards of living. This year life expectancy declined for the first time in decades without much protest or reaction from the political establishment.⁠17 Instead we are utilizing our collective resources towards the high-tech capital intensive care that benefits a tiny section of the population. Merely asserting universal care without contesting the monopoly on wealth and power that the entrenched capitalist class wields would not fundamentally change the exclusion of the working and under classes from quality health care.

What we want then is not only universal health access or affordability, but a different vision of the health of our society. Supporters of the status quo are already starting at a weak point: saddled with debt, their various solutions failing, and objective stresses that make reforms hard going. We can challenge them by putting forward proposals for health based on liberatory and solidary values that addresses our everyday reality, and show how capitalism and the state work against health.

There is a key role for health care workers to play in this fight by exposing the injustice we see, advocating for our patients, and leveraging our power as workers to move the discussion in a more radical direction. Healthcare workers networks could provide the structure and voice of struggles that mobilize the communities receiving the services and challenging administrators and legislators tasked with imposing austerity and maintaining our unequal health system. The power brokers fear the attention health workers draw with the clear sympathy of the community, and their capacity to turn public opinion against their enemies with public actions. Direct action by health workers is a powerful tool that could oppose the Trump presidency’s anticipated attacks where the disarmed liberal opposition will likely stand idly by.

At the same time mobilized movements of patients and communities could destabilize the government’s attempts at austerity and create political crises. Such pressure can be transformative when we go on the offense and not merely get saddled with defending a system under fire in a crisis that is not our own. Mobilized patients and workers together would prove a particularly difficult body to demonize, and may be strong enough to split support traditionally held in check by fear mongering against health reform. An anarchosyndicalist approach in particular, with it’s emphasis on direct action, self organization, and advocacy of anti-state and capitalist solidarity within workplace and community organizations, is well positioned to take on the systemic aspects of the crisis and at the same time organize local alternatives to daily needs of workers and patients.⁠18 The uniqueness of the convergence of forces (state, work process itself, and society as a whole) give a special power to workers action directed against the state and towards the collective health of society.

In general we should fight for whatever we can get. That being said, it’s important to contest the debate and the form it takes as the limitations with Medicare-for-all above demonstrate. If we don’t, we will get whatever serves the interests of the same groups that have mangled the present system. A full theory of health is beyond this short article, but is a clear necessity given the scarcity of progressive proposals that go beyond access and reform of service delivery.

Any strategy for fundamental change in health care will have to grapple with immediate, medium, and long term issues. The focus here will be on the medium and long term as they are consistently neglected due to the previous desperation to achieve single-payer of any kind. The lack of a clear alternative vision does weaken the movement by giving the impression that the present is inevitable, and privatization the only way. The incoming Trump administration has already made noise around cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, attempting to privatize Social Security, and perhaps going after subsidies in the Affordable Care Act.

In the short term health movements face a steady current towards further privatizations that will increase costs and thereby further endanger both public safety nets and the health system in general. This may represent intentional crisis mongering to justify further austerity in some cases. We should defend against any such attacks. Yet it’s important to recognize that pure defense is likely to allow conservatives to draw lines that are favorable to them (unending escalating costs, poor quality of care, need for more choice/options, etc). For that reason in the short-term it will be important to formulate places where we can expose the failure of the entire system to provide needs, mobilize people around those barriers, and use direct action to improve the care we’re providing and receiving. One response that addresses costs is to call for integrating privatized services within health systems to reduce administration and bring for profit enterprises under public or community cooperative structures. Likewise much of the costs are related to unnecessary and ineffective treatments related to industry-led medicine and a model of treating illness that is widely acknowledged to be problematic. Demanding a shift to preventative population health approach including addressing psychosocial could provide substantial savings and increase the quality of care for individuals while addressing our poor performance on national health metrics.

Issues in focus should include the amount of time allowed with providers (which is set by reimbursements and the system of payments amongst all insurers), rationing of services that have strong evidence demonstrating efficacy and preventative capacity (physical therapy, access to strong multi-disciplinary holistic care for certain chronic diseases, robust patient education, etc), how electronic health record software is allowed to dominate care time for the sake of largely bureaucratic and legalistic concerns (to the benefit of the bloated software industry and with poor outcomes for patients). Thus a short term strategy should combine defense of safety nets with going on the offense in ways that seek to open up care while exposing the vested power interests bankruptcy in providing real solutions. Such fights could build the foundation of a health care movement in the medium term as well as in other sectors.

In the medium term, there must be a shift from contesting elements of the present system to transforming the underlying structure and logic that perpetuates these cycles of crises, inequity of health, and health oppression. In order to make those necessary changes profit and hierarchical power have to be removed from the functioning of the health system altogether. This cannot be done under either a state or private system as both rely upon the reproduction of wealth and power relationships for their basic functioning. The focus then must be upon struggles that provide a connection between fundamental aspects of the health system and the experiences of the exploited and oppressed.

For one inequality and the domination of health resources by the wealthy is a clear problem. Any solution must propose reallocating health spending away from the skew towards capital intensive medicine for the few and in the direction of population health for the many. This will involve significant struggle not only around state allocations and taxes, but also in terms of local struggles to ensure communities are treated equally across different counties and regions and contesting wealth extraction within workplaces and population areas. This can be achieved in different ways taxes being the most obvious, but we shouldn’t rule out direct expropriation to collective structures outside the state. The double edged knife of state-provided health is that you inherently hand over key decision making power of those effected. An alternative would be to obtain control of common self-governing health institutions and fund them through expropriating wealth of the capitalists where capital cannot be completely defeated. There are many smaller steps that can be taken in that direction in the meantime.

One thing that must be put on the table is to gain more direct control over how health programs are implemented, funded, and distributed. A productive conflict is to be had in taking on state and industry monopoly of decisions here. Particularly in the case of women, marginalized racial communities, and workers the necessity of having those effected gain a direct role in shaping the priorities and realization of health care. Health institutions reflect the societies they develop within and reproduce power relationships that exist throughout society. This is to say our health care is a racist, sexist, ableist health care and one in which the decisions over the health of the exploited and oppressed are held in the hands of people who neither understand nor share the interests of those served. Both the oppressive power exerted against populations can be attacked as well as imposing the right to assert autonomy over care of those effected. It is likely that the incoming regimes will be vulnerable on these points as they prove unwilling to accommodate clear inequities and institutionalized health racism, sexism, and oppression of those with chronic diseases.

Organized collectivities asserting the legitimacy of their place in organizing their experience of the health system could provide energy towards further struggles in health and beyond. Along with patients, workers themselves have clear knowledge of the issues within the field which should be married to such a movement in discrediting the positions of management, capital, and the state. Workers movements should likewise contest more control over policy, direction and administration of health institutions, and do so under self-organized workers councils allied with organized communities. This could take the form of combative communal structures uniting neighborhood, municipal, and regional community councils with horizontal workplace councils which expropriate and demand wealth from both the state and capital, and challenging the control of existing public decision making bodies.

Most importantly there is an opportunity to change what is considered a part of health. Health is not merely treating existing diseases or avoiding potential disease. Human flourishing is an expression of good health. It is also something that societies can inhibit or promote. Many things that have been constructed as natural are in fact socially shaped illnesses. For example, suicide, traffic fatalities, and concentrated urban violence represent challenges to the capitalist city and of course are significant causes of morbidity and population health burdens. Such phenomena have deep impacts on multiple points of the health system. A robust health movement could challenge urban space, transit, education, and even the type and availability of work itself in the medium term. Bringing these issues under debate and organizing actions around such, patient and workers movements could further weaken the enemies of public health and broaden the appeal of a direct action movement aimed at the welfare of society as a whole.

The automation revolution underway threatens to make our bodies mere appendages with sedentary work becoming the norm. The pantheon of chronic diseases associated with inactivity have an inherent connection to these capitalist led shifts in the production process. It is another point for a liberatory health movement to demonstrate the connection between systemic exploitation and epidemics. Liberation of time for physical activity and the fight for more human scale work that incorporates the needs of bodies could be a powerful challenge to narratives try to put the blame on individuals.

Growing social isolation is a recognized health danger and obviously connected to broader social ills. Massive resources are poured into creating infrastructure for commerce and consumption, whereas much of social planning overtly tries to minimize social interaction. This has in turn been internalized to an extent with a culture in the US of anxiety towards social interaction. Yet there is already a current underfoot of people longing to connect and interact with others outside of their chosen social circles. Health advocates can demonstrate the impact of organized social isolation arising from the priorities of the planners, legislators, and capitalists who organize collective resources in the interests of the powerful. Part of our fight is to assert new ways to utilize the time and spaces available to us for restorative and necessary social experience, and to fight for expansion of those basic human desires. As capitalism seeks to harness our time and bodies towards profit alone, such a movement can raise awareness of that tension and counterpose it to a society based on solidarity and collective enjoyment of what can be developed in common.

These few examples are far from a comprehensive list of what might be raised in a thorough rethinking of our health. But what about our long term goal? What is an alternative view of health if not a private or state-led system? We should not put too much stock in speculation and crafting blueprints. Any society-wide plan could only be created through the experimentation, input, and crafting of countless individuals. That doesn’t mean we couldn’t or shouldn’t propose broad outlines that can serve as inspiration and ethical guides. The basic functioning of any health system is to help individuals and populations achieve the greatest capacity their bodies and minds can attain. Health in short would be one portion of our quest for meaningful lives. A true alternative to the present would be a system that seeks to mobilize resources on the basis of social solidarity toward maximal expansion of individual development. This would require orienting towards health demands of the population rather than a supply oriented system such as those we see at present.

What this looks like is actually relatively simple. Workers and the community make the decisions over how to produce and distribute health resources. Workers would organize how they produce, but under the priorities and direction of community needs. Health resources would be distributed based on the needs presented with changes coordinated in realtime by workers councils and effected communities. This system would eliminate the administrative infrastructure and replace it with self-organized communal and workplace structures. It would likewise cut the vast waste and harm from unnecessary treatments aimed at profit, insulate the public from the machinations of power which today operate through money and control over hierarchies within the state and health institutions, and could provide society in general with a thriving population with positive ramifications throughout. We also have historic models we can look such as the CNT’s health services during the Spanish revolution of 1936 which approximates such in key ways.⁠19

A revolutionary health movement’s job is to put things like this one the table. Inherent to this is the fight to social space for living and play, meaningful social lives, the capacity to build families and circles, to be able to use our bodies each day and not merely for those who have time and money to afford it, and to develop our full mental and physical capacity to our own self-chosen ends without the exploitation of our bodies by workplaces, businesses, and governments. We are living in a time of unparalleled opportunity for this movement. The challenge is to now find ways in our daily lives to bring together others into an organized force that can disrupt the grip the powerful hold over health, and coalesce into a movement for more fundamental change.

1 Lazarus, D. Sept. 20, 2016. Sick: The biggest increase in healthcare cost in 32 years. http://www.latimes.com/business/lazarus/la-fi-lazarus-rising-healthcare-costs-20160920-snap-story.html

2 Our Revolution. https://ourrevolution.com/issues/medicare-for-all/ Accessed Dec. 2, 2016.

3 Luthra, S. Nov. 9, 2016.Ballot Initiatives: Voters Reject Calif. Drug Pricing Measure; Colo. Single-Payer System. http://khn.org/news/calif-voters-reject-high-profile-drug-pricing-measure/ Accessed Dec. 2, 2016.

4 Newkirk, VR. (2016). Medicare for more:

Hillary Clinton’s new proposal to expand coverage for middle-aged adults provides a glimpse at how she would make Obamacare her own. The Atlantic. Accessed 12/15/16. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/05/clinton-new-medicare-proposal/483806/

5 Kaiser Family Foundation. Feb. 25, 2016. Public Split On What to Do About the Health Care System. Accessed Dec. 2, 2016.

6 Wikieaks. HRC Paid Speeches. https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/927 Accessed Dec. 2, 2016.

7 Sahadi, J. Jun. 22, 2016. Social Security trust fund projected to run dry by 2034 http://money.cnn.com/2016/06/22/pf/social-security-medicare/

8 Tolbert, J., & Young, K. (2016). Paying for Health Coverage: The Challenge of Affording Health Insurance Among Marketplace Enrollees. Kaiser Family Foundation. http://kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/paying-for-health-coverage-the-challenge-of-affording-health-insurance-among-marketplace-enrollees/

9 Cassidy, C. (2016). Rising cost of Medicaid expansion is unnerving some states. Associated Press. Accessed 12/15/16. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/4219bc875f114b938d38766c5321331a/rising-cost-medicaid-expansion-unnerving-some-states

10 Congressional Budget Office. (2016). The 2016 Long-term budget outlook. Accessed 12/15/16. https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/114th-congress-2015-2016/reports/51580-ltbo-one-col-2.pdf

11 Kliff, S. (2015). 8 facts that explain what’s wrong with American health care. Vox. Accessed 12/15/16. http://www.vox.com/2014/9/2/6089693/health-care-facts-whats-wrong-american-insurance

12 Smith, M., Saunders, R., Stuckhardt, L., & McGinnis, J. M. (Eds.). (2013). Best care at lower cost: the path to continuously learning health care in America. National Academies Press. Accessed 12/15/16. http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2012/Best-Care-at-Lower-Cost-The-Path-to-Continuously-Learning-Health-Care-in-America.aspx

13 Squires, D., & Anderson, C. (2015). U.S. Health Care from a Global Perspective: Spending, Use of Services, Prices, and Health in 13 Countries. The Commonwealth Fund. Accessed 12/15/16. http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2015/oct/us-health-care-from-a-global-perspective

14 For example Pain, E. (2011). A Pharma Industry in Crisis. Science Magazine. Accessed 12/2/16. http://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2011/12/pharma-industry-crisis

15 Congressional Budget Office. Dec. 2014. Comparing the Costs of the Veterans’ Health Care System with Private-Sector Costs. https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/113th-congress-2013-2014/reports/49763-VA_Healthcare_Costs.pdf Accessed Dec. 2, 2016.

16 Rover, J. (Jan. 22, 2016). Debate Sharpens Over Single-Payer Health Care, But What Is It Exactly? Accessed Dec. 2, 2016. http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/01/22/463976098/debate-sharpens-over-single-payer-health-care-but-what-is-it-exactly

17 Stein, R. (2016). Life expectancy in U.S. drops for first time In decades, report finds. National Public Radio. Accessed 12/16/16. http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/12/08/504667607/life-expectancy-in-u-s-drops-for-first-time-in-decades-report-finds

18 For more on anarchosyndicalist organizing, see Solidarity Federation. (2012). Fighting for ourselves: anarcho-syndicalism and the class struggle. Freedom Press. http://libcom.org/library/fighting-ourselves-anarcho-syndicalism-class-struggle-solidarity-federation

19 See the chapter on the socialization of health services in Leval, G. (1975) Collectives in the Spanish revolution. Freedom Press: London. http://libcom.org/files/Gaston%20Leval%20Collectives%20in%20the%20Spanish%20revolution.pdf

Source: libcom.org