“If we can afford to spend over $1 trillion on tax breaks for the top 1% and large corporations making record-breaking profits, we can afford to provide working class families with the childcare they desperately need.”
A survey of early childhood educators and caregivers released Sunday shows the post-pandemic collapse of federal funding is fueling a national crisis for young children and their families as centers suffer and out-of-pocket costs soar.
The findings of the survey—titled “We Are NOT OK” and put out by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)—resulted from questions posed to over 10,000 professionals in the early childhood education sector.
“It’s one thing for corporations to pass reasonable increased costs to consumers,” said one analyst. “It’s another for them to line their coffers by exploiting Americans who are just trying to get by.”
Inflation has eased over the last two years, and with supply chains no longer struggling to keep up with demand and companies’ business costs stabilizing, an analysis out Thursday asks: Why haven’t American households seen the benefits of a more secure economy, with the prices of consumer goods and services falling?
The answer, said economic justice think tank Groundwork Collaborative, is that high prices linked to the coronavirus pandemic were never just the result of higher labor and production costs—but were partially caused by corporations’ deliberate price gouging.
Iowa’s Republican-led government sparked outrage late last week by declining to participate in a federal program that would have provided low-income residents with $40 a month in additional food assistance during the coming summer.
Created by the U.S. Congress late last year, the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) for Children program aims to boost nutrition benefits for families with school-aged children who typically receive free or reduced-price meals during the school year. Starting in summer 2024, eligible families will receive a prepaid debit card with $40 per child for three months.
“Without significant and sustained federal investments to make housing affordable for people with the lowest incomes, the affordable housing and homelessness crises in this country will only continue to worsen,” warned one campaigner.
The number of people in shelters, temporary housing, and unsheltered settings across the United States set a new record this year, “largely due to a sharp rise in the number of people who became homeless for the first time.”
That’s a key takeaway from an annual report released Friday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
While welcoming the White House’s willingness to tackle pharmaceutical companies’ patent abuse and high prescription drug prices, progressive critics argued Thursday that U.S. President Joe Biden must do more to challenge Big Pharma’s monopoly power.
The White House on Thursday announced “new actions to promote competition in healthcare and support lowering prescription drug costs for American families, including the release of a proposed framework for agencies on the exercise of march-in rights on taxpayer-funded drugs and other inventions.”
A UN summit on global food systems should be an opportunity to address structural inequalities and tackle hunger. It should be a chance to learn from small-scale producers whose sustainable food practices feed 70% of the world. Instead, next week’s conference in Rome will be a festival of greenwashing, allowing Big Agriculture corporations to tighten their grip on food systems.
This will be the second Food Systems Summit (UNFSS). The first, in 2021 was supposed to address the lack of progress towards the UN’s sustainable development goals. It was dubbed a “people’s summit” by the organisers, but caused an outcry among local producers when their calls to roll back the power of transnational corporations were cynically ignored.
The 500 richest people on the planet collectively added $852 billion to their fortunes in the first half of 2023 due in large part to a record-breaking rally in the U.S. stock market.
According to a Bloomberganalysis of its Billionaires Index, the world’s richest people added an average of $14 million per day to their wealth over the past six months, “the best half-year for billionaires since the back half of 2020, when the economy rebounded from a Covid-induced slump.”
As congressional Republicans intensify their assault on vital social programs, a trio of House Democrats on Wednesday reintroduced legislation that would make permanent the expanded monthly Child Tax Credit—a policy credited with lifting millions of U.S. children out of poverty.
The American Family Act—reintroduced by Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), and Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) and backed by 204 House Democrats—would ensure the permanency of the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) as established in the American Rescue Plan, the sweeping $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package signed into law by President Joe Biden in March 2021. The expanded CTC expired at the end of 2021 amid the Omicron surge of the Covid-19 pandemic.
With a green light from the federal government, states across the U.S. have thrown hundreds of thousands of low-income people off Medicaid in recent weeks—and many have lost coverage because they failed to navigate bureaucratic mazes, not because they were no longer eligible.
More than a dozen states, including Florida and other Republican-led states that have refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, have begun removing people from Medicaid as part of the “unwinding” of a pandemic-era federal policy that temporarily barred governments from kicking people off the program.
Beginning on Saturday, states across the U.S. will start the process of stripping Medicaid coverage from millions of people as pandemic-related protections lapse, part of a broader unraveling of the safety net that was built to help families withstand the public health crisis and resulting economic turmoil.
Medicaid’s continuous coverage requirements were enacted early in the Covid-19 pandemic to help vulnerable people maintain insurance amid the health emergency, resulting in record-high Medicaid enrollment.