Cam Miller 2018

Cam Miller

Facts are measurable and verifiable. By themselves they do not tell the truth, but by themselves they often point to the truth. Here are some facts — measured, verified, and irrefutable. These are some of the facts that guide my political and economic decisions.

In 1950 the average home size was 983 square feet compared with 2,650 today. In 2018, CO2 was the highest it has been in 3 million years. The 17 warmest years on the planet happened since 2000; 11 percent of greenhouse gases are caused by deforestation, equivalent to all cars and trucks. (Conservation.org)

Bernardo de Galvez isn’t mentioned in our history textbooks but could be considered as important as Gen. Lafayette to the Revolutionary War. He allowed the supply of Gen. Washington’s army from New Orleans, helped fund George Rogers Clark’s militia against the British, and personally led the rout of British forces from West Florida, thus providing protection to the Continental Army’s flank at Yorktown. Along with Gen. Lafayette and Winston Churchill, Galvez is one of only five foreign nationals to receive honorary citizenship (posthumously). (Smithsonian.com)

There were 10,000 Latinos who fought in the Civil War, 200,000 in World War I, and 500,000 in World War II. Currently 17% of new military recruits are Latino. (National Association of American Veterans)

Measured against 10 other countries (the others with universal care), the United States has the highest health care spending as a percentage of GDP; ranks lowest in access, equity, and outcomes, second to the bottom in administrative efficiency, in the middle for the process of care; has the lowest ratio of performance to spending; and the highest mortality. (Commonwealthfund.org)

Half of all workers on U.S. dairy farms are immigrants and without them retail milk prices would double, costing the economy $32 billion. The loss of those immigrants, many of whom are not documented, would result in 1 out of 6 dairy farms closing and the loss of 208,000 jobs (less than half of them on farms). Similar numbers can be cited for other industries and agriculture. (National Milk Producers Federation)

It is estimated that steel and aluminum tariffs — plus a 25% tariff on goods in the first three stages of the China tariffs — will create 126,900 jobs. Meanwhile, we will lose 1,061,400 jobs due to retaliatory tariffs and other costs. The cost then: $500,000 per job created. (Trade Partnership Worldwide, LLC)

The Northeast has the most racially and ethnically segregated schools in the country, with New York the worst. Students at nine 90% majority white public schools receive an average of 18% more funding per student. One quarter of majority black and Latino schools do not offer Algebra II, and one-third offer no chemistry courses. (Takepart.com)

Nearly 45 million Americans have student loan debt, altogether $1.5 trillion. Add another 3.5 million parents who have borrowed nearly $89 billion to fund their children’s college. This albatross is second only to mortgage debt, and well ahead of all credit card and auto loan financing. (Forbes)

The U.S. spends $649 billion on the military, while China-Saudi Arabia-India-France-Russia-UK-and-Germany combined spend $50 billion less. Of those countries, only Germany ranks in the top 10 for “Quality of Life.” Mary Kaldor, London School of Economics, notes that in the modern world sophisticated weapons systems are still good for destruction but not as much for projecting power. (USNews.com)

These and other sentinel facts offer a clear directional sign for the elections ahead.

Denim Spirit does not refer to blue jeans, rather, the ordinary and sometimes casual expressions of human spirituality in everyday life. Cameron Miller is the author of two novels, “The Steam Room Diaries” and “Thoughtwall Café: Espresso in the Third Season of Life,” available through Amazon, and the blogger at www.subversive preacher.org. You can email him at dspiritflt@gmail.com.

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