Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Friday, October 21, 2011

HCR -- Wealth Gap has Life and Death Consequences

By John Ballard

Crawford Killian looks at how the income gap between rich and poor affects health, specifically mortality.

...The wider the income gap in a country, the worse its life expectancy.

For close to a century, public-health researchers have been tracking this strange correlation. In countries with narrow gaps between richest and poorest, everyone lives longer. In countries with wide gaps, people die sooner. Every social class is healthier than the one below it, and sicker than the one above it.

National wealth and medical spending don't seem to matter. According to the World Health Organization, Cuba spent $230 per capita on health care in 2004. The U.S. spent $6,096 per capita. But Cuba has a lower infant-mortality than the U.S., and Cuban life expectancy, at 78.3 years, is just ahead of the Americans' 78.2. � So the U.S. ranks first in health spending and 38th in life expectancy. Canada spends just half of what the Americans do ($3,038 per capita), but we rank 11th in life expectancy at 80.3.


Some narrow-gap countries do tax the rich, but it doesn't go to the poor in one-time cheques. In fact, countries like Iceland and Japan don't seem to have many really poor people. That's because taxes support a solid infrastructure of housing, education and health care.

The problem is not the poor robbing the rich through taxes, but the rich robbing the poor through tax cuts that wreck the infrastructure. And the rich have to the chutzpah to tell us that this robbery is the way to prosperity for all.

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