Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: UN Report Reveals US "3rd World" Hidden Health Horrors ...

14 September 2005

UN Report Reveals US "3rd World" Hidden Health Horrors ...

In between the UN big boys' current get together in the Big Apple, the international press expose/coverage of the pitiful plight of the poor caught up in the chaos of Katrina and, the continually escalating carnage in Iraq -- an unbelievable UN health related report was released.

But as is all too often the case, the story of the shocking and scandalous situation in the United States' regarding many millions of poor and underprivledged American people's plight, seemed to simply slip US mainstream media's mind. Whether the brushing under the carpet of such a shameful state of affairs was by accident or by so called intelligent design remains to be revealved.

Here's one of the horrendous, heartbreaking headers heralded across the world by the UK's Independent, a few days ago.

UN hits back at US in report saying parts of America are as poor as Third World

By Paul Vallely

Published: 08 September 2005

Parts of the United States are as poor as the Third World, according to a shocking
United Nations report on global inequality.

Claims that the New Orleans floods have laid bare a growing racial and economic divide in the US have, until now, been rejected by the American political establishment as emotional rhetoric.

But yesterday's UN report provides statistical proof that for many - well beyond those affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina - the great American Dream is an ongoing nightmare.

Astonished? Alarmed? Astounded? Ashamed?

All of the above?

Thanks to Democrats dot com, who captured the Independent's piece from the pay-to-read portion of their online edition, the full article is now avaiable for all to see -- for free.

But be prepared for the possibilty of puking when perusing the appaling paragraphs below.

Including paragraphs pointing out frightening figures of the iniquitous, inequalities of the laughingly labeled 'health care provision' in the 21st century, United States' so-called civilised society.

Along with paragraphs pointing out pathetic percentages aplenty, like these.

* 13% of US national income is disbursed disproportionaly on healthcare for whites.

* Baby boys of America's top richest 5% families live lives lasting 25% longer than boys born to the poorest 5%.

And here's the BIG one.

* The US infant mortality rate is now every bit as bad as the 3rd world's, Malaysia.

Then the catalogue continues.

* While 13 % of white Americans remain uninsured, an amazing 21% of black citizens and an horrendous 34% of Hispanics suffer similarly.

* Child poverty rates in the US currently include more than 20% of it's young population.

* Over 40% of uninsured inhabitants of America have no regular place to recieve medical treatment.

* In excess of 33% of this same section of citizens claim that in the last 12 months at least one unfortunate member of their family missed out on much needed medical care, including prescription drugs, pimarily due to their offical poverty stricken status.

None-plussed? Numbed? Nauseated?

One certainly should be.

Compassionate conservatism? Huh. Much more like indefencible and icorrigable indifference, thinks This Old Brit.

Read the rest of this recent UN report's revelations.


Anonymous Rosemary said...

Thanks, Richard.

Many Americans know the poverty rates are rising and that healthcare is unevenly available, BUT they figure the poor can just go to county hospitals and they will get treatment and won't be turned away.

This is partially true, but it eliminates the possibility for preventative or mitigating treatment BEFORE a health condition becomes critical. Then Emergency Rooms thus become overloaded.

Mothers do not get care during pregnancy, other things don't get caught in the early stages, communicable diseases go undiagnosed, and so on.

I think about Castro's Cuba with its world class Medical Schools and healthcare services providing professionals to serve in third world countries and offering free Medical School for anyone who is willing to devote a year or so serving as a doctor in an underserved area anywhere in the world (including the United States).

People laugh at this as if it were a joke. It is not.

11:51 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

I don't know if you caught it or missed it, but Castro's [very early] offer to send a whole bunch of doctors to help Katrina's victims - was turned down out of hand.

Surprise, surprise, eh?

11:58 pm  
Blogger Elaine Supkis said...

Hey, Richard, I put up a cartoon about the history of the Bourbon Bushes. Maybe I should do one for Blair.

4:02 am  
Blogger D.F. Facti said...

Hi, Richard,
Important story. People running the show here value only money, and the others have been brainwashed into thinking that taxes are Unamerican.

I am weary from a discussion with a younger family member whose inlaws pay a lot of taxes. Reason? Welfare and the rest of us poor schmucks that aren't rich.

Had to explain that there are billionaires that pay little or no tax, corporations ditto, incalculable offshore deposits leaving those still in the tax system to bear an even bigger burden.

No, it's the Democrats. And these are medical people.

2:52 pm  
Blogger Richard said...


I just read it [and commented] brilliant job! You go missus!

Do the same for Blair. Show the lying, little piece of shit up for what he really is.

3:26 pm  
Blogger Richard said...


I fully understand your weariness. And your exaspiration with even some of 'your own'. I share you situation and frustration.

3:29 pm  
Blogger JulieDee said...

And this surprises anyone because_______? I've been telling you guy that since I arrived here. I think I shocked Andrea (my wif) last night when I told her that black slang for straight hair is "good hair", or that the slang for fair skin is "good skin"... yet if someone is TOO light skinned or their hair is TOO straight or their featured are TOO fine then they aren't black enough! Racism even exists among those it's practiced upon! Same in the Hispanic community.

And while we wallow in this crap that we never let the gringos see, we angrily starve, emotionally, spiritually, educationally, and dietarily. But we can't let "Charlie" see too much of our anger! Oh no! We gotta be good little wetbacks, not TOO uppity or they'll get "turned off" to our message. Imagine that.. that we might me angry or resentful or ungrateful!
Sorry friends... guess a few of my buttons got pushed.

8:26 pm  
Anonymous Rosemary said...

Oh, yes, Richard. I knew about the Cuban offer which was very real. They had about 1500 experienced doctors who spoke English, equipped with medicines, simple diagnostic equipment, their own survival gear, all ready to go within hours. The very things that were needed most at the beginning.

The doctors were prepared to be delivered by helicopter to inaccessible spots from an airport near New Orleans which they could reach in a couple of hours on a plane that was ready to go. They were the FIRST country to offer assistance. They were not only turned down, they were not even included in Condi's list of countries that had offered assistance.

10:35 pm  
Blogger JulieDee said...

Now that I'm a bit cooler, I'd like to return to the originalsubject of this brilliant posting of Richard's, American classism and the gap between thepromisen of America and what America actually delivers. Here's a longish excerpt from a longish Harpers Magazine article The Christian Paradox - How a faithful nation gets Jesus wrong:

" That’s what America is: a place saturated in Christian identity.

But is it Christian? This is not a matter of angels dancing on the heads of pins. Christ was pretty specific about what he had in mind for his followers. What if we chose some simple criterion—say, giving aid to the poorest people—as a reasonable proxy for Christian behavior? After all, in the days before his crucifixion, when Jesus summed up his message for his disciples, he said the way you could tell the righteous from the damned was by whether they’d fed the hungry, slaked the thirsty, clothed the naked, welcomed the stranger, and visited the prisoner. What would we find then?

In 2004, as a share of our economy, we ranked second to last, after Italy, among developed countries in government foreign aid. Per capita we each provide fifteen cents a day in official development assistance to poor countries. And it’s not because we were giving to private charities for relief work instead. Such funding increases our average daily donation by just six pennies, to twenty-one cents. It’s also not because Americans were too busy taking care of their own; nearly 18 percent of American children lived in poverty (compared with, say, 8 percent in Sweden). In fact, by pretty much any measure of caring for the least among us you want to propose—childhood nutrition, infant mortality, access to preschool—we come in nearly last among the rich nations, and often by a wide margin. The point is not just that (as everyone already knows) ... it’s that the overwhelmingly Christian American nation trails badly in all these categories, categories to which Jesus paid particular attention. And it’s not as if the numbers are getting better: the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported last year that the number of households that were “food insecure with hunger” had climbed more than 26 percent between 1999 and 2003.

This Christian nation also tends to make personal, as opposed to political, choices that the Bible would seem to frown upon. Despite the Sixth Commandment, we are, of course, the most violent rich nation on earth, with a murder rate four or five times that of our European peers. We have prison populations greater by a factor of six or seven than other rich nations (which at least should give us plenty of opportunity for visiting the prisoners). Having been told to turn the other cheek, we’re the only Western democracy left that executes its citizens, mostly in those states where Christianity is theoretically strongest. Despite Jesus’ strong declarations against divorce, our marriages break up at a rate—just over half—that compares poorly with the European Union’s average of about four in ten. That average may be held down by the fact that Europeans marry less frequently, and by countries, like Italy, where divorce is difficult; still, compare our success with, say, that of the godless Dutch, whose divorce rate is just over 37 percent. Teenage pregnancy? We’re at the top of the charts. Personal self-discipline—like, say, keeping your weight under control? Buying on credit? Running government deficits? Do you need to ask?

* * *

Are Americans hypocrites? Of course they are. But most people (me, for instance) are hypocrites. The more troubling explanation for this disconnect between belief and action, I think, is that most Americans—which means most believers—have replaced the Christianity of the Bible, with its call for deep sharing and personal sacrifice, with a competing creed.

In fact, there may be several competing creeds. For many Christians, deciphering a few passages of the Bible to figure out the schedule for the End Times has become a central task. You can log on to for a taste of how some of these believers view the world—at this writing the Rapture Index had declined three points to 152 because, despite an increase in the number of U.S. pagans, “Wal-Mart is falling behind in its plan to bar code all products with radio tags.” Other End-Timers are more interested in forcing the issue—they’re convinced that the way to coax the Lord back to earth is to “Christianize” our nation and then the world. Consider House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. At church one day he listened as the pastor, urging his flock to support the administration, declared that “the war between America and Iraq is the gateway to the Apocalypse.” DeLay rose to speak, not only to the congregation but to 225 Christian TV and radio stations. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he said, “what has been spoken here tonight is the truth of God.”

The apocalyptics may not be wrong. One could make a perfectly serious argument that the policies of Tom DeLay are in fact hastening the End Times. But there’s nothing particularly Christian about this hastening. The creed of Tom DeLay—of Tim LaHaye and his Left Behind books, of Pat Robertson’s “The Antichrist is probably a Jew alive in Israel today”—ripened out of the impossibly poetic imagery of the Book of Revelation. Imagine trying to build a theory of the Constitution by obsessively reading and rereading the Twenty-fifth Amendment, and you’ll get an idea of what an odd approach this is. You might be able to spin elaborate fantasies about presidential succession, but you’d have a hard time working backwards to “We the People.” "

America is a fraud. I think it began to slip into the habit of defrauding and seriously lying to it's own people about our standard of living as compared to that of the rest of the world some time around 1976 or '78. It was then that I began to notice that it was beginning to look like I wasn't going to be able achieve the sort of life that my parents had lived and that I had been raised to expect to live. It just wasn't going to be there for me no matter who I married (my first husband was a white banker, my second husband was a lawyer on the fast tract to becoming a judge or big gun civil rights attorney... the banker made it, the lawyer is a homeless drunk now, go figure) or how hard I/we worked. They lied to us, and I bought it just like everyone else did.

3:46 pm  
Anonymous prm said...

I can't say I'm surprised. But it does confirm my own observations from deep in the heart of the Red States of America.

And while it would be nice to blame all of these ills on Bush, our dear former President Bill Clinton and the weak-kneed congressional Democrats (Tom Dashcle, Dick Gephardt and any "New Democrat") must also shoulder some of the responsibility. Think welfare "reform" of the 1990s.

These problems have been brewing for quite some time. The New Orleans disaster just shed some (temporary, I think) light on the festering income disparity and health care problems.

The question remains: Who of the current crop of politicians, Democrat or Republican, has the political courage to address these issues with serious solutions not silly moralistic platitudes?

It's a damn shame, but I think there will be a resounding silence and an utter lack of real leadership on these issues for quite some time.

4:14 pm  
Blogger Richard said...


When it comes to brilliant posts, that one of yours sure takes a heck of a lot of beating. Muchas gracias, amigo.

5:38 pm  
Blogger Richard said...


I have to agree with you about the many years it's taken to get into the present day predicament. And, I too wonder where a real leader is going to come from.
Because it seems to me that any true contenders are still doing a good job of hiding their proverbial lights under the proverbial bushels.

5:43 pm  
Blogger Elaine Supkis said...

Which reminds me, Richard, about Bush and the turning on/turning off lights in New Orleans....:)

11:27 pm  
Blogger Revolutionary Blogger said...

Politicians dont have to go far to see extreme poverty in the USA, Baltimore and Philadelphia are just a skip away from DC.

But like Barbara Bush might say..."Let them eat cake"

3:29 am  
Blogger Richard said...

rev b,

So true about the 'evidence' being right under their noses.

But of course, there are politicians and then there are people -- plain old people -- and ne're the twain shall meet, eh?

11:37 pm  
Blogger JulieDee said...

Sorry about losing it for bit there Richard. You should see what I wrote in my journal that night! iEqulia chinga! You talk about a borderline racist rant! iMadre de Dios!

9:35 pm  
Blogger JulieDee said...

Oh and Richard, it's amigA when speaking to the feminine.

9:37 pm  
Blogger Richard said...


Gracias, Senora.

Mi Espanol esta no moy bien. ;^)

8:02 pm  
Blogger JulieDee said...

That's OK.... I never really learned Spanish myself, just Californiano. And even at that I've lost 90% of it.


**breaks down sobbing**

4:55 am  
Blogger JulieDee said...

And as old as I'm feeling it might as well be duena these days!

4:59 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Julie ... heheheheheh -- where's that stiff upper lip? Heh. ;^)

9:51 pm  
Blogger JulieDee said...

Uh isn't that "stiff upper" stuff a British trait? Has anyone seen my baby brother Methuselah around lately?

6:12 am  

Post a Comment

COMMENTS and Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home