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We need to address our disparities before it's too late

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I picked up the Oct. 25 issue of New Times and was moved by the juxtaposition of the cover photo, a homeless man lying face down on the grass, and the glossy Menus insert, featuring a well-dressed couple dining in an upscale restaurant toasting each other with wine surrounded by plates of expensive food on the table in front of them. The disparity of the conditions in the two photos exemplifies what many people have come to realize is a serious issue facing not only the Central Coast but the nation as a whole.

The economic conditions of this country have deteriorated due to decades of failed and flawed economic policies such as free trade, which exported our once thriving manufacturing sector to foreign countries, leaving our nation unable to manufacture the goods needed to sustain us as a First World country. The policy of privatizing health care has led to a collapse of the health care delivery system, the closure of hundreds of public hospitals, and the outrageous costs of receiving basic health care through privatized health insurance companies that have made health care a for-profit business. In the past 20 years, our nation has spent trillions of taxpayer dollars waging illegal wars of aggression against Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan (to name a few). That money could have been used to fund a universal health care system for every American, provided free college education for our citizens, built a water pipeline from Alaska to California, rebuilt our collapsing and decaying power grid and highway infrastructure, dams, and bridges and so forth. Under Barack Obama, our nation spent billions bailing out the bankrupt Wall Street banks, which are presently in the process of another collapse that will be far worse than the collapse of 2008.

As a longtime activist for the LaRouche Political Action Committee, I have lobbied my representatives and fellow citizens on the Central Coast to think about these issues and take action to reverse the policies that have created the conditions that led to the collapse of the middle class, the rise in homelessness, and hyperinflation of basic goods including housing.

The population has been like the proverbial frog in hot water, not recognizing the rise in temperature or how close we are to the boiling point. It's almost too late to jump out of the boiling water, so we are witnessing the sights of the haves and the have-nots, an escalation of Third World conditions in our once thriving nation. I hope it's not too late to reverse these conditions for our citizens. We need to eliminate homelessness and make sure our citizens have their basic needs met.

Emily Esslinger

Los Osos

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