my best friend talked me into watching "the morning show." i'm watching the first episode and i admittedly have a bias towards my problematic fav, reese, and her fake coal rant is hitting me right in the feels. i talked to one of my students today about how dehumanized we all are to each other. there are so many things we talk about as though they are theoretical. so many of these things are significant determinants of how someone's life plays out. being paid a fair wage. how much of your pay goes to student loans. access to safe abortion or mental health care or gender affirming surgery. whether or not we experience a fucking mass extinction because of a preventable, man-made climate crisis.
"politics" is life and death.
creepy uncle joe and his gang of milquetoasts passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. before everyone attempts to convince us how much of a win this much spending is, i'd like to do a little math (i've never said that before).
the infrastructure bill actually translates to $550 billion per year for five years.
in 2021 the pentagon made a $705.4 billion budget request.
so this bill costs us precisely 155.4 BILLION dollars less than maintaining an imperial military (which doesn't even include the 3.8 billion dollars in "aid" the united states gives to israel to help it perpetuate genocide).
these numbers are big, but we need to always look at them in context.
& look, it's not all bad
there are definitely some wins here. our infrastructure is effectively made of toothpicks and marshmallows at this point, so the infusion of funds to fix it will be life saving and will provide jobs for folks. there's also a bare minimum protection and fund allocation for some indigenous folks included. it increases funding for childcare, expanding broadband access, etc.
...but it's so much less than we deserve
because all the things cut from the bill, all the things a government could (and does in other countries) provide are life-saving. the things these politicians chose not to include in this bill (and will fight over in the next) have a human cost.
we need medicare for all now.
we need expanded disabilities benefits now.
we need a moratorium on oil and gas expansion now.
we need paid family leave now.
we need reparations now.
we need expanded pathways to citizenship now.
we need a world that values life. black life. disabled life. indigenous life. all fucking life.
we need a robust build back better bill as the beginning of a societal shift towards valuing life (by actually spending money to support life).
this newsletter is in memory of three beautiful souls who we have recently lost too soon.
as always, i hope this was useful.
if it was and you've got five bucks a month to spare, click here.
katie wills evans