I’m a 29 year old american who has never once had a good enough job to have health insurance…
That’s a quote from Jerad Miller who, with his wife Amanda Woodruff, carried out a brutal mass killing in Las Vegas. The quote comes from Dana Liebelson’s article in Mother Jones.
There are a lot of things in the article that we should pay attention to. For example, the central role of Alex Jones’ InfoWars in stoking violence. There are always hucksters like Jones out there, willing to turn American against American for a buck. But since Glenn Beck’s eclipse, he’s the nail standing up.
Miller’s story is almost archetypal of our age. A young man, born into an affluent society and told at every step that if one just has the will to make it, one can. But the society is failing, drained by war and the slow rot of democracy under the relentless power of money, unable to provide the sort of opportunity that it provided as little as a generation ago. And so the young man falls first into crime, for which he is unprepared, then into poverty and chronic failure, then into conspiracism, and from there, into a desire to die violently. If he were African American, the story would likely be unknown, though it is the norm in places like East St. Louis (Sam Seder interviewed Goldie Taylor today). Miller and Woodruff were white and they killed strangers. So, their story is all over the news.
I lean libertarian on guns. I do understand why people want to regulate them to reduce the lethality of semiautomatic weapons and I know that we are paralyzed with inaction because of the corruption of Washington by the gun industry, and its lobbyists, the NRA. But as long as young people, especially young men, are deprived of a meaningful shot at achieving the American Dream through legal, non-violent means, these mass murders will continue.
Until this country comes to its senses, we can continue to build on the foundation laid by Medicare, Medicaid, S-Chip, and Obamacare to make sure that no person ever needs to write the words:
I have not seen a dentists in 14 years. I take good care of my teeth. The job market has been horrible. The few temporary jobs i find havent been able to earn me enough money to go see a dentist. Since I dont have insurance or medicaid the cost is around 500 to 1000 dollars. So as I sit here in agony, taking the penasilin the ER perscribed me I contemplate the state of things here in the good old USA. How the Gov. spends billions of dollars on the war on drugs and all these missles and bombs to kill people. I think about all that money that could do to helping people instead. Creating jobs, creating happy, healthy people. I dont want a hand out. I just need a foundation to stand on. One that wont be pulled out from under me as soon as i step up on it. I’m a 29 year old american who has never once had a good enough job to have health insurance……………. I dont know what else to say.