What exactly does Freedom of Speech Mean to Americans?
Among other cherished values, the First Amendment protects freedom of speech. The U.S. Supreme Court often has struggled to determine what exactly constitutes protected speech.
The First Amendment states, in relevant part, that:
“Congress shall make no law…abridging freedom of speech.”
Freedom of Speech is our right as Americans. Never forget all of the sacrifice our ancestors bled…for our FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS! We have the right to free speech and that is a wonderful freedom to often taken for granted or stifled by other Americans.
For this Amendment, I am very grateful to have served in the Marines to protect this freedom. I am grateful to my father, grandfathers and great-grandfathers…even great, great – grandfathers, for the military service to protect our 1st Amendment RIGHTS! Thank you also to ALL of the current military for your service. #freedomofspeech
The economic backbone of the U.S. — its middle class — has lost ground over the past decade, thanks to wage stagnation and a greater distribution of wealth going to top earners.
An analysis of data by The New York Times finds that after-tax middle-class incomes in Canada have pulled ahead of American middle-class earners. On top of that, the poor in some European countries actually earn more than the poor in America.
While the report confirms what many Americans feel every day when they check their bank accounts — that they’re barely treading water — the eye-opener is how far the U.S. consumer has fallen when compared with other countries. Median per capita income in the U.S. has barely budged since 2000, while Canadians have seen their median income jump 20 percent.
“It’s remarkable how poorly the middle class has done since the end of the 1990s boom,” Lawrence Mishel, the president of the Economic Policy Institute, told CBS MoneyWatch. “We have an economic regime that’s not working to raise wages for most workers.”
The income data was compiled by LIS, which maintains the Luxembourg Income Study Database, and then analyzed by LIS analysts and The New York Times. It was also reviewed by academic economists. Income includes after-tax cash income, interest, stock dividends and support from other sources, such as government benefits.
But the data ends at 2010, when median per capita income was $18,700 in the U.S., on par with Canada. Since then, pay for Canadians has risen faster than in the U.S., and so “is now most likely higher” than that earned by the U.S. middle-class, according to the report.
“The question is who is richer in the middle,” said Janet Gornick, the director of LIS and professor of political science and sociology at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York. “What people are realizing is you can have economic growth, as we do in the U.S., and rising inequality, so the growth is at the top and the middle is getting socked.”
The middle class in other countries are also losing ground, with the income share of the middle 60 percent in several countries declining from the mid-1980s until the mid-2000s, Gornick noted. But in the U.S., that decline has been markedly steeper. “The actual lagging of the U.S. compared with other countries has been creeping up for some time,” she said.
So, how did Canada surpass the U.S. middle class? For one, younger Americans are losing ground in educational attainment when compared with their peers in Canada and other countries, the study found.
But America’s growing income inequality is also posing a problem for the middle class. While it’s difficult to find recent comparisons across countries for CEO-to-worker pay ratios, the ratio in America is at least double that of other countries, Mishel noted. The disparity between the average U.S. worker’s income and CEO pay has also been growing wider, with CEOs pulling in a 331-to-1 ratio in 2013, up from a 46-to-1 ratio in 1983.
America’s poor are also dragging behind the poor of other countries. People at the 20th percentile in Netherlands and Canada earned 15 percent more income than someone in the same percentile in the U.S., The New York Times found.
Raising the minimum wage would be one step toward helping Americans earn higher wages, Mishel noted. President Obama has proposed boosting the federal baseline wage to $10.10 an hour, up from its current $7.25, although opponents say an increase will lead to job cuts and higher costs.
But, Mishel said, boosting the minimum wage ” will raise the wages of bottom fifth of wage earners directly.”
Todays politics are more like kindergarten class. Nothing really gets done and every kid has their own agenda. Temper Tantrums, name calling, fighting, bullying… It’s time for the adults, the working class and disabled, to make a change and show the politicians how adults operate!
I am a registered nurse, USMC veteran of Desert Storm and an insulin dependent diabetic with neuropathy, high blood pressure and PTSD. I am not ashamed of any of these health ailments. I embrace them. I am on 6 different medications, none of which, really work. The one NATURAL medication I can take, is ILLEGAL. Medical Marijuana, which is classified by the government in the same class as Heroin, LSD and PCP. Even Cocaine is a lesser class than Marijuana. I certainly would like the chance to use a natural medicine that has fewer side effects than the regimen I am on now, which causes muscle weakness, tremors and major gastro-intestinal issues. I had abdominal surgery just 3 months ago for complications related to diabetes. On one last note, the health ailments I do have, are related to chemical exposure while I was in the USMC.
My 7-year-old daughter, has severe Crohn’s disease. She is forced to take chemotherapy, which causes her hair to fall out, teeth to fall out, causes sterility, and increases her chances of cancer to 11%, which is quite high. The medication is approximately 18,000 dollars per dose. There are many natural oils derived from the Cannabis plant, that do not have the psychoactive component of THC, that PUT the life-long, auto-immune disease into remission without killing her!
Cannabis has been scientifically proven to treat inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, PTSD, depression, spinal injuries, anxiety and so many more conditions. I have many actual scientific articles in my archives on this blog!
I am asking everyone to PLEASE sign my petition at moveon.org forcing the government to listen to the majority of Americans. Close to 60% of all Americans support the medical use of Marijuana.
Please sign the petition. Not just for me, or for my daughter, but for all chronically ill and terminally ill patients that are forced to take dangerous pharmaceuticals. If you are a patient, then you understand how little control you have over what your doctor wants you to put in your body. Please help me change that and give Americans a choice. That’s what I fought for in the Marine Corps and that’s what I am asking you to fight for with me. Take a stand. We can make a change!
Please click on the petition icon. It only takes 2 seconds to make a difference.