March kicks off National Nutrition Month – a good time for us to reflect on our diets and physical activity. We all know the importance –and the challenges — of maintaining a healthy weight. A third of Americans are obese and another third are overweight. That means that two thirds of Americans are at increased risk for certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and other life threatening illnesses that accompany excessive poundage.
Last Friday the workers at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee voted against joining the UAW. In the weeks and months leading up to this vote, VW had agreed to stay neutral and over half the workers had indicated they were in favor of union membership. But that all changed due to a sustained propaganda campaign lead by Bob Corker the notorious anti-union Senator from Tennessee and the Koch brothers.
In his 1964 State of the Union address, President Lyndon Johnson declared a war on poverty. Today, Martin Luther King Day – a day to celebrate equality, justice, and progress – we reflect on the status of struggling families. While there is still much work to do to ensure every American worker has enough money in her pocket to pay the bills, provide for for her family, and guarantee a stable household, we have made great leaps in the last 50 years.
I recently wrote about the miraculous number of lives saved by tough auto safety regulations. Some states today are recording the lowest traffic fatalities ever. Why? Because of safety devices (seatbelts, airbags, etc.) and designs that were lobbied for by consumer advocates like Ralph Nader, Joan Claybrook, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, CARS, and Consumer Reports/Consumers Union beginning in the 1960s.