A rich person in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood lives to age 90. On average they collect $497,000 in Social Security.

9 miles south in Englewood, the average poor person lives till age 60. Paying-in their whole lives.

You don't become eligible to collect a dime until 62.
The solution to this breathtaking inequality is not to get rid of social security. It has saved so many seniors from living in poverty and eating cat food to survive.

Instead we need a massive intervention that only government can provide. The free market has failed here.
Americans’ life expectancy increased by about 30 years over the course of the 20th century. Wow!

But many communities got left behind. We desperately need to work on the life expectancy gap in poor neighborhoods, whether they’re in rural towns or uninvested urban areas.
The term “pro-life” has been assigned a very narrow political meaning in America.

What we need is a pro-life movement that treats the *30 year* life expectancy gap between rich and poor neighborhoods as a critical life & death emergency. That’s really being pro-life.

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More from @arlenparsa

1 Apr
I don't like that the US has territories. Things should either be a state or be independent countries.

As we've seen with DC & Puerto Rico, territories create a second class of citizens without the protection, representation and self-governance that folks living in a state have.
It's clear from the history of the Alaskan statehood movement that other individual US states and private corporations were exploiting Alaska's unequal status as a territory.

The Alaskan statehood movement positioned itself as justice against past colonialism.
Before Alaska became a state, goods had to be imported through Washington state. WA raised prices on all imports to the Territory of Alaska, it was pretty messed up.

The fishing & mining monopoly corporations taking advantage of Alaskan resources also opposed statehood.
Read 4 tweets
31 Mar
With the addition of New York today, almost 42% of Americans now live in states that have or will soon have legal adult use marijuana.

*Virginia's legalization law is set to take effect in 2024, but the D gov there is trying to speed it up to take effect this July.
South Dakota voters tried to legalize marijuana last November through a popular referendum.

It passed with 54% of the vote but was blocked by a lawsuit supported by SD's ultra-conservative governor @govkristinoem. Currently waiting to go to their state's supreme court.
It's a bit embarrassing that my home state of New Hampshire still has not legalized marijuana despite being the "live free or die" state.

Republicans control the trifecta there (state House, state Senate, and Governor's mansion) so it probably won't pass until that changes.
Read 5 tweets
23 Mar
Politicians funded by gun factories want you to think US gun violence is an unsolvable problem.

The truth is actually more simple: when you have a country that's awash in guns, you're going to be awash in gun violence too.

We're never going to succeed unless we reduce the guns.
Imagine you spill milk on the counter and it drips on to the floor. You need to clean up the counter first, before you address the floor.

In the same way, the first step of reducing gun violence is reducing how many guns are sold each year.

40 million US guns were sold in 2020.
Republicans often try to confuse the public about gun safety reforms. They'll say that no single law would've prevented all gun deaths.

They're right but that's really not the point. What we need is *many* solutions working in concert to reduce the number of guns on the streets.
Read 9 tweets
17 Mar
Asian Americans built America.

They forged pivotal infrastructure like the transcontinental railroad in the 1860s, working for as little as $1/day. When the Chinese Exclusion Act kept one group of immigrants out due to racism, Japanese immigrants arrived to fill labor shortages.
The most famous incident of anti-Asian racism wasn’t a discriminatory employer or man with a gun. It was FDR’s WWII Exec Order 9066 which rounded up Japanese Americans and placed them in concentration camps.

It backfired: Labor shortages. Younger workers were hurriedly released.
After WWII internment camps were set up, officials realized rounding up productive members of society during a wartime labor shortage wasn't smart.

Here's something I bet most haven't seen: propaganda showing how the US relied on Japanese Americans to fill vital wartime jobs:
Read 4 tweets
7 Mar
Out of the 10 states with the most smokers per capita, all 10 voted for Trump in 2016. They are:

West Virginia (27% of adults smoke)
Kentucky (26%)
Arkansas (25%)
Tennessee (24%)
Louisiana (24%)
Mississippi (23%)
Indiana (23%)
South Carolina (22%)
Michigan (21%)
Oklahoma (21%)
Not at all coincidentally, US states with the highest percentage of cigarette smokers also have some of the highest cancer death rates.

For instance, WV has the most smokers and the 3rd most cancer deaths per capita. Kentucky has the 2nd most smokers and highest cancer deaths.
Interestingly Trump got his highest percentage of the 2016 vote in West Virginia: 68%. It also just so happens to be the state with the largest percentage of cigarette smokers.

(Wyoming also tied with Trump getting 68% of the vote there too)
Read 4 tweets
31 Dec 20
The story of Max Yergan is a reminder that there have always been useful idiots available for hire.

Though originally a civil rights leader, he was later paid to become the Black frontman for African countries dominated by whites. He supported Apartheid.

A right wing group hired ex-civil rights leader Max Yergan to protect white-led African countries against charges of racism in the 60s.

Yergan said South African and Apartheid was good for Blacks. He supported the unrecognized Belgian mining microstate of Katanga. Rhodesia too.
I’ve recently become fascinated by the slow end of colonial rule in Africa. Particularly the places that dragged it out until the 1970s like Rhodesia.

Looking back it seems so obvious that white minority rule wasn’t going to last forever—but they were in denial until the end!
Read 5 tweets

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