Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Isn't it time to stop The Trail of Tears?
  The United States is a country of laws, not a nation
  of similar peoples - denying that could destroy us

It is important to understand the language surrounding American bigotry as the United States wades into its most conspicuous government sanctioned racial/ethnic discrimination since the end of slavery in 1864 or the end of Indian Wars in 1924 or the end of legal segregation with Brown v Board of Education.

According to Wikipedia:

    ..."Hispanic" is a...term that only refers to persons of Spanish-speaking origin or ancestry....
    The term "Hispanic" was adopted by the United States government in the early 1970s during the administration of Richard Nixon after the Hispanic members of an interdepartmental Ad Hoc Committee to develop racial and ethnic definitions[for census and statistical use] recommended that a universal term encompassing all Hispanic subgroups—including Central and South Americans—be adopted.

It is enlightening to know the term was developed by a committee during the Nixon Administration. That certainly explains a lot. Consider this in 2011 from people who ought to know:

    So what’s in a name? When it comes to the terms Latino and Hispanic, quite a bit. Let’s take Latino for instance. Latino refers to individuals from Latin America. While that may sound quite general and inclusive, it’s actually quite the opposite. The term Latino leaves out our friends from Spain, with whom we have strong language, historical and cultural bonds. It also leaves out folks from the Caribbean, who have such a strong influence on our culture. How can we leave out people from Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Curaçao and others?
    Not only does it leave out groups who should be included, it also includes groups who perhaps don’t share the same culture as the group being identified. French Guiana, located in South America, would be considered Latino, even though their language and culture are French. What about Suriname, also in South America? They’re Dutch! Belize in Central America has English as their primary language. As does Guyana in South America, which was previously a British colony. And if we want to raise even more eyebrows, what about Brazil? The largest country in Latin America shares a lot of cultural traits, but not the language. Or what about Latinos in the United States, which is, after all, not part of Latin America?
    It seems like the term Latino ill-represents who we are as a community.
    Does the term Hispanic fare any better? Not really. Hispanic was originally used to denote a relationship with Hispania, or more specifically, Spain. So it referred to countries that had been formally ruled by the Spanish Empire. Hispanic is now more commonly used to refer to people who are from Spanish-speaking countries.
    While that may seem a broad enough label, it is limiting in many ways. Do third generation immigrants from Honduras living in the United States no longer count as Hispanic if they don’t speak Spanish? Are we really excluding Brazilians, with whom we share so much culture and history? Does one have to speak Spanish to be Hispanic?

One really has to understand the historical geography of the Americas to understand the new permission for ignorant bigotry contained in the word "Hispanic" developed by a committee in 1972.

As we are taught in elementary school, "geography" is about the nature and relative arrangement of places and physical features of the Earth. "Historical geography" is more complex, as explained by Wikipedia:

    Historical geography is the branch of geography that studies the ways in which geographic phenomena have changed over time. It is a synthesizing discipline which shares both topical and methodological similarities with history, anthropology, ecology, geology, environmental studies, literary studies, and other fields. Although the majority of work in historical geography is considered human geography, the field also encompasses studies of geographic change which are not primarily anthropogenic. Historical geography is often a major component of school and university curricula in geography and social studies. Current research in historical geography is being performed by scholars in more than forty countries.

Migration (human not birds) is a significant element of historical geography. Human migration is physical movement by humans from one area to another. Evidence of human migratory movement indicates that humans, individually and in groups, have for thousands of years migrated seasonally and have for thousands of years migrated with the intention of settling permanently in a new location. Heck, the normal American today is doomed to move at least ten times in their lifetime. Assuming most of those moves are not into the house next door or to an apartment upstairs or to s parent's basement, in the context of human history most Americans are migrants temporarily domiciled.

The year 1491, the year before Columbus first sailed from Spain setting off the European settlement of the Americas, creates a starting point for a new story of historical geography in the Americas. It is a complex story of migration with the intention of settling permanently in a new location.

Using that cutoff date, everybody living today in North, Central, and South America and the islands offshore therefrom is descended from Afro-Eurasia migrants - except "full-blooded" indigenous peoples of the Americas called "Amerindian" in Quebec, the Guianas, and the English-speaking Caribbean Islands. "Amerindian" will be used in the rest of this post to refer to those "full-blooded" indigenous peoples.1

Migrants. We don't call them that. We call them "immigrants." An "immigrant" is a person who takes up a permanent residence in a country after migrating there from another country. An "emigrant" a person who migrates from a country to take up a permanent residence in another country.

Country. A "country" is a particular geographic area with its own government. Here's where folks get confused because a "country" is not a "nation." Per Wikipedia:

    A nation (from Latin: natio, "people, tribe, kin, genus, class, flock") is a large group or collective of people with common characteristics attributed to them — including language, traditions, mores (customs), habitus (habits), and ethnicity. By comparison, a nation is more impersonal, abstract, and overtly political than an ethnic group. It is a cultural-political community that has become conscious of its autonomy, unity, and particular interests.
    Joseph Stalin's Marxism and the National Question (1913) declares that "a nation is not a racial or tribal, but a historically constituted community of people;" "a nation is not a casual or ephemeral conglomeration, but a stable community of people"; "a nation is formed only as a result of lengthy and systematic intercourse, as a result of people living together generation after generation"; and, in its entirety: "a nation is a historically constituted, stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life, and psychological make-up manifested in a common culture."
    Others have conceived of a nation as being united primarily by racial characteristics, whose common history, language, and culture was the product of shared ancestry. Adolf Hitler said of nations: "What makes a people or, to be more correct, a race is not language, but blood". Hitler often criticized civic nationalism, in contrast to his ethnic nationalism, saying "It is almost inconceivable how such a mistake could be made as to think that [an African] or [an Asian] will become a German because he has learned the German language and is willing to speak German for the future and even to cast his vote for a German political party."
    The nation has been described by Benedict Anderson as an "imagined community" and by Paul James as an "abstract community". It is an imagined community in the sense that the material conditions exist for imagining extended and shared connections. It is an abstract community in the sense that it is objectively impersonal, even if each individual in the nation experiences him or herself as subjectively part of an embodied unity with others. For the most part, members of a nation remain strangers to each other and will never likely meet. Hence the phrase, "a nation of strangers" used by such writers as Vance Packard.

In other words, the United States of America is a country in the sense that it is a particular geographic area with its own government. That's a firm fact, one of those things that can be verified. And John Adams made it clear that "it is a government of laws, not of men."

Then there is the imaginary, abstract, impersonal community known as a "nation" that, as defined by Stalin, "is a historically constituted, stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life, and psychological make-up manifested in a common culture, as a result of people living together generation after generation." Hitler goes one step further by saying "what makes a people...is blood."

Traditional Deplorables in the United States think the U.S. is a nation - their sense of identity aligns with the nationalism views of Stalin and Hitler. There is some delusional thread that embraces the "one nation under God" phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance, a phrase that is basically at odds with the Constitution and our history.

The United States is a new country lacking "people living together generation after generation." It is not "a people" made by common blood heritage but a particular geographic area into which migrate a multitude of people from around the world seeking a government of laws, a country not the bigotry of a nation.

The United States is a country, not a nation, it's a fact, not an imagined or abstract fiction.

Let's pretend for a moment that someone of Irish-American descent who can think was sitting in that committee that came up with "Hispanic" back in 1972 who said: "OK, we've got "Hispanic" but we don't have a term for people whose ancestors spoke English and came from a country in which the legal language was Engllish - so how about 'Britanic' as a choice on the census form!"

If that happened, we can imagine someone in 2011 pondering about "Britannic" Americans who themselves or their ancestors immigrated to the United States. We can include the English, Welsh, Scots, Irish, Guyanese, Belizeans, Kenyans, South Africans, Australians, Chinese from Hong Kong, etc., all of whom have the same cultural and economic backgrounds ...oh wait, not really... but just as much as the all the Hispanics have the same cultural and economic backgrounds.

And then, of course, there were immigrants from France, Germany, Sweden, etc. They aren't Britannic Americans so we really ought to have categories, for instance one that include folks from, say, France and Cote d'Ivoire, Haiti, Madagascar, etc., where people speak French as a legal language.

Really, using language is not a way to determine ethnic or cultural commonality among peoples except as a means for the Britannic American culture to classify people they want to discriminate against.

That's the problem with "Hispanic" - no such thing exists as a common race, ethnicity or culture. Consider, for a moment, Cubans as Hispanics compared to Mexicans.

The basics regarding the population of the small island nation of Cuba (42,426 sq mi) is it has a population of 11,232,305, which is 64.12% White, 9.26% Black, 26.62% Mulatto/Mestizo. Oh, and they speak Spanish.

And then there is Mexico, the 13th largest country in the world at 761,610 sq mi, 18 times larger than Cuba.

    With a population of 119,530,753 as of 2015, Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world, the second-most populous country in Latin America after Portuguese-speaking Brazil, and the second in North America, after the United States; the third-most populous in the Americas after Brazil and the United States.
    The large majority of Mexicans can be classified as Mestizos, meaning in modern Mexican usage that they identify fully neither with any indigenous culture nor with a particular non-Mexican heritage, but rather identify as having cultural traits and heritage incorporating elements from indigenous and European traditions.
    By the deliberate efforts of post-revolutionary governments the "Mestizo identity" was constructed as the base of the modern Mexican national identity, through a process of cultural synthesis referred to as mestizaje. Mexican politicians and reformers such as José Vasconcelos and Manuel Gamio were instrumental in building a Mexican national identity on the concept of mestizaje.

Oh, and they speak Spanish.

What many outside the United States, and a few inside the United States, are aware of is that the phrase Trail of Tears originated from a description of the removal of the Cherokee Nation in 1838 from the State of Georgia begun under President Andrew Jackson in violation of a Supreme Court order.

In the Worcester v. Georgia ruling written in 1832 by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall were these words which recognized the concept of "nation" as separate from the land mass legally subject to the Constitution:

    Indian Nations have always been considered as distinct, independent political communities, retaining their original natural rights, as the undisputed possessors of the soil.... The very term "nation" so generally applied to them, means "a people distinct from others."

The Trail of Tears was part of an ongoing genocide conducted by White Americans against the Amerindian population. A few years after The Trail of Tears incident, that genocide continued as a war of conquest against a country that today is 90% Amerindian or Mestizo (mixed Amerindian-Spanish) - Mexico. The so-called American Indian Wars occurred across the North American continent from the time of earliest colonial settlements until 1924.

White Americans were, and still are today, bigoted against the Amerindian and "half-breed" ethnic group.

Just this week President Donald Trump said in his weekly address that he went to Nashville, Tenn., to lay a wreath at the grave of President Andrew Jackson, who "fought to defend forgotten men and women from the arrogant elite of his day." Jackson knowingly and deliberately violated a Supreme Court order leading to the "Trail of Tears", though I'm sure that is not what Trump admires, except one has to wonder about all the things he has said about Mexicans.

One of the difficulties living in the United States is confronting the denial by Neoliberals that they aren't prejudiced against people based on the language they speak and their ethnic appearance. One of the fun things is to offer this photo array of young citizens of other countries and ask them to identify where these people live:

Yes, two of the pictures are of Mexicans - pictures B and C. (Those in A and D are Sicilians, a region of Italy.) 

As I posted elsewhere, for relevant history on Irish-Mexicans, read about the Saint Patrick's Battalion, highly revered in Mexico. In the mid-1840's Irish and other Catholic immigrants had the impression that the those so revered descendants of English immigrants shouldn't be forcing members of the Army to worship in Protestant services and those Irish had the impression that there was little difference between
  • British colonial bigotry as they had experienced it in the Ireland they were escaping and 
  • the American Manifest Destiny populist political movement bigotry as it affected Mexicans and Native Americans.
Embracing their English Protestant heritage must have seemed to the Irish immigrants like an odd choice for people living in the home of the first revolution against British colonialism. But like all things American, it was confusing. What they didn't understand is that some (not all) of the folks in the 13 Colonies did not like some British taxes and other policies. So like all successful anti-tax, anti-government American politicians they struck a blow for democracy and freedom by starting a war and killing people....

This is a picture of a typical dual citizenship Mexican-American, Louis C.K. His paternal grandfather, Dr. Géza Székely Schweiger, was a Hungarian Jew whose family immigrated to Mexico. He married Rosario Sánchez Morales, a Catholic Mexican. They had children, one of whom was C.K.'s father. C.K.'s parents met at Harvard University, where his mother was completing her degree in a summer-school program. When C.K. was a year old, his family moved to his father's home country of Mexico, from where his father had earned a degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico prior to graduating from Harvard. C.K.'s first language was Spanish; it was not until after the move back to the U.S. that he began to learn English.

Of course, there are American's who still think like this:

Isn't it about time we Americans embrace the idea that the United States is a country of laws that embraces all of humanity, not a nation of similar peoples who despise all others? Isn't it time to stop The Trail of Tears resulting from marching people across imaginary lines we created?

1 The politically correct police may find this use of "Amerindian" objectionable. The problem is that even if one uses "indigenous people" it is inaccurate as "indigenous" (except as it has been distorted and stretched by the PC police) means "originating or occurring naturally in a particular place". In the context of discussing human migration, the only continent on which any group of humans could be considered as "indigenous" rather than "migrants" is Africa.

"Amerindian" delightfully reflects the finest abilities of Europeans to screw up facts, a heritage currently embraced by the leading white folks in the United States.

The Amer portion of the term comes from "America" which is named for an Italian merchant who worked for the Florentine commercial house of Medici, Amerigo Vespucci. He was the first guy who, after sailing on some Portuguese ships, made it clear in writing that European explorers had stumbled onto a second super continent.

The indian portion reflects the fact that Columbus thought he landed in India and termed the locals "Indians" which in itself is ironic because "India" is a European screwup not reflective of what the locals in India called their land which is Bhārat (

So the completely erroneous etymological sources of the term "Amerindian" reflects both the fact that the folks here before 1492, ranging from the Inuit in the Arctic to the Kawésqar of Tierra del Fuego, did not really have a name for the supercontinent and the fact Europeans were basically incompetent.

It is worth noting here that local groups living on the supercontinent at that time did not all have common genetic or language characteristics, though there are indicators of common ancestry among some, if not most, groups.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Manifest Destiny versus "those babies"
  The culture war threat to California's
  history, folklore, identity and people

Click on image to see a larger version!
The Neoliberal war with multiculturalists in the U.S. gained headlines this week when Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) supported extreme nationalist Dutch politician Geert Wilder with this not so eloquent tweet:
King set off a firestorm of simplistic accusations about his racism from the left while other Republicans tripped over themselves to disassociate with King. But King says he is not a racist and he was tweeting on behalf of policies supported by all Republicans.

In response to the firestorm he started, Representative King defended himself on CNN. King argued:
It’s the culture, not the blood.

And if you can go anywhere in the world and adopt these little babies and put them into households that were already assimilated into America, those babies will grow up as American as any other baby with as much patriotism and as much love of country as any other baby.

“It’s not about race,” he added. “It’s never been about race, and in fact, the struggles across this planet, we describe them as race. They’re not race — they’re culture-based. It’s the clash of cultures, not the race.”
King is almost right. In the United States it has become a dispute between those who embrace the American Cultural Melting Pot concept versus those who would prefer the American Cultural Salad Bowl concept. The Wikipedia entry outlines the origins and history of the American Cultural Melting Pot concept, but all we need to know is:
The first use in American literature of the concept of immigrants "melting" into the receiving culture are found in the writings of J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur. In his Letters from an American Farmer (1782) Crevecoeur writes, in response to his own question, "What then is the American, this new man?" that the American is one who "leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced, the government he obeys, and the new rank he holds. He becomes an American by being received in the broad lap of our great Alma Mater. Here individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men, whose labors and posterity will one day cause great changes in the world."
"…whence came all these people? They are a mixture of English, Scotch, Irish, French, Dutch, Germans, and Swedes... What, then, is the American, this new man? He is either an European or the descendant of an European; hence that strange mixture of blood, which you will find in no other country. I could point out to you a family whose grandfather was an Englishman, whose wife was Dutch, whose son married a French woman, and whose present four sons have now four wives of different nations. He is an American, who, leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced, the new government he obeys, and the new rank he holds. . . . The Americans were once scattered all over Europe; here they are incorporated into one of the finest systems of population which has ever appeared."
    — J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer
What the son of  the Comte and Comtesse de Crèvecœur and former French Army Lieutenant who fought the British in the  French and Indian War doesn't include in his description are Native Americans or Moors or Asians, just Northern Europeans. Nonetheless, seven years before 1789 and the adoption of the Constitution, we see the term "melted into" to refer to the term "American."

Arguing in 1789 for the adoption of the Constitution, Founding Father John Jay - descended from Protestant Huguenots who had come to New York to escape religious persecution in France - notes in Federalist Papers No. 2:
It has until lately been a received and uncontradicted opinion that the prosperity of the people of America depended on their continuing firmly united, and the wishes, prayers, and efforts of our best and wisest citizens have been constantly directed to that object. But politicians now appear, who insist that this opinion is erroneous, and that instead of looking for safety and happiness in union, we ought to seek it in a division....

With equal pleasure I have as often taken notice that Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people -- a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who, by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established general liberty and independence.

This country and this people seem to have been made for each other, and it appears as if it was the design of Providence, that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren, united to each other by the strongest ties, should never be split into a number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties.

Similar sentiments have hitherto prevailed among all orders and denominations of men among us. To all general purposes we have uniformly been one people each individual citizen everywhere enjoying the same national rights, privileges, and protection.
In this argument intended to create support for one united country, Jay notes the similarity among Americans in ancestry, language, religion, manners and customs as evidence of the strongest ties to avoid splitting our society. But then he notes similar attitudes "among all orders and denominations" among Americans, maybe because he is of French  Huguenot descent not English.

What exactly did he mean? For honest multicultural advocates, it's impossible to bury the reality that the Founding Fathers greatly feared a split within the former colonies. The first Congress of the United States of America in its Second Session, wanting to make the intent very clear, passed the Naturalization Act of 1790 which said (emphasis added):
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled,

That any Alien being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof on application to any common law Court of record in any one of the States wherein he shall have resided for the term of one year at least, and making proof to the satisfaction of such Court that he is a person of good character, and taking the oath or affirmation prescribed by law to support the Constitution of the United States, which Oath or Affirmation such Court shall administer, and the Clerk of such Court shall record such Application, and the proceedings thereon; and thereupon such person shall be considered as a Citizen of the United States. And the children of such person so naturalized, dwelling within the United States, being under the age of twenty one years at the time of such naturalization, shall also be considered as citizens of the United States. And the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond Sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born Citizens: Provided, that the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States: Provided also, that no person heretofore proscribed by any States, shall be admitted a citizen as aforesaid, except by an Act of the Legislature of the State in which such person was proscribed.
Gradually, this fear of a split because of a lack of common heritage was overcome by those teaching about the American Cultural Melting Pot effect. But that was to be undone by the end of the 20th Century by militant advocates for the American Cultural Salad Bowl concept who argue that only their view represents the affirmative moral value of "toleration."

As usual, it is far more complicated. When one fast forwards through 200 years, from 1789 to 1989, we find this eloquent Republican President from California explaining how he saw an America:

As you can hear in the video above, in his "Farewell Address" given from the White House, President Ronald Reagan said (emphasis added):
The past few days when I’ve been at that window upstairs, I’ve thought a bit of the “shining city upon a hill.” The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we’d call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free.

I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind­swept, God-­blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.
Was Reagan referring to a Melting Pot or a multicultural America? There is no doubt...

So there is some irony in this statement from the Democratic President from Georgia he unseated...

Carter used the term "mosaic" used in Canada instead of "salad."  I would ask Carter what do you do when within the salad that looks like this...

...and some of these different vegetables believe that their community on the American plate should implement Sharia Law, and others believe our laws should be based on the Christian Old Testament, and both are proposing to stone to death any jalapeño chili peppers that might appear on the plate?

That is, of course, the inherent problem with uninhibited multiculturalism. It is one thing to advocate offering equal respect to people from various ethnic and racial cultures. It is quite another thing to embrace policies
  1. in which people of various ethnic and religious groups are addressed by the authorities as defined by the group to which they belong and
  2. that promote maintaining the distinctiveness of multiple cultures rather than policies such as social integration and cultural assimilation.
In other words, American history expects social integration and cultural assimilation, though the act of recognizing America's multicultural history is also expected. Consider this BBC News article:
Americans take pride in their "melting pot" society (a term coined by an immigrant, Israel Zangwill) that encourages newcomers to assimilate into the American culture.

But the melting pot imagery has been contested by the idea of multiculturalism, the "salad bowl theory", or as it is known in Canada, the "cultural mosaic", whereby the immigrants retain their own national characteristics while integrating into a new society.

Some go further. Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington says that large-scale Latino immigration poses a threat to American identity.

He sees the gravest threat to American identity in Mexican immigration which, according to him, is splitting America in two.
Apparently the late Harvard Professor Samuel Huntington - who lived in the former British Colonies of Massachusetts and New York with their "Little Italy" neighborhoods - was unaware of California when he wrote that Latino immigration would "divide the United States into two peoples, two cultures, and two languages" Because he also wrote:
Would America be the America it is today if in the 17th and 18th centuries it had been settled not by British Protestants but by French, Spanish, or Portuguese Catholics? The answer is no. It would not be America; it would be Quebec, Mexico, or Brazil.
Or perhaps it would be California! In fact using the criteria of before the 19th century, here is the truth about the portion of America settled (or stolen from Native Americans) by Huntington's British Protestants versus the portion of America settled by Spanish Catholics:

The fact is if you believe Professor Huntington, only the states indicated above in blue have any serious claim to a 17th and 18th Centuries historical British Protestant cultural heritage.

While some are careful to make the "English-only" language as a legal argument there are those who, apparently ignorant of American history, offer a cultural argument without any historical foundation whatsoever.

For instance, while ICE Agents and bigots are attacking the Hispanic neighborhoods in California, no one is attacking the many "Little Italy" communities in the United States as indicated in Wikipedia:
  • Several Little Italies exist in New York City, including:
    • Little Italy, Manhattan
    • Italian Harlem
      • Pleasant Avenue, East Harlem, Manhattan
    • Little Italy, The Bronx
    • Morris Park, Bronx
    • Country Club, Bronx
    • Pelham Bay, Bronx
    • Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
    • South Brooklyn
      • Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
      • Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
    • Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
    • Dyker Heights, Brooklyn
    • Williamsburg, Brooklyn;
    • Howard Beach, Queens
    • Ozone Park, Queens
    • Astoria, Queens
    • Middle Village, Queens
    • Rosebank, Staten Island
    • Many Staten Island neighborhoods (44% of Borough Residents claim Italian ancestry)
  • Little Italy, Chicago, in Illinois
    • Elmwood Park, Illinois
    • Melrose Park, Illinois
    • Norridge, Illinois
    • Berwyn, Illinois
    • Grand Ave, Chicago
  • Little Italy, Altoona, in Pennsylvania
  • Little Italy, Baltimore, in Maryland
  • North End, Boston, in Massachusetts
  • Little Italy, Bridgeport, in Connecticut
  • Franklin Avenue in Hartford, Connecticut
  • Little Italy, Buffalo, in New York
  • Little Italy, Rochester - Gates Ny - Lyell Ave & Spencerport Rd
  • Little Italy, Cleveland, in Ohio
  • Little Italy, Connellsville, in Pennsylvania
  • Little Italy in Erie, Pennsylvania, an area centered on West 18th Street between Sassafras and Liberty Streets.
  • Little Italy, Kansas City, Missouri – Now defunct and mainly inhabited by South East Asian migrants.
  • Little Italy, Los Angeles – a defunct neighborhood now part of New Chinatown
  • Wooster Square, in New Haven, Connecticut
  • East Haven, Connecticut (40% of residents claim Italian ancestry)
  • Little Italy, Omaha, in Nebraska
  • Little Italy, Paterson, in New Jersey
  • South Trenton, New Jersey
  • South Philadelphia in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Federal Hill in Providence, Rhode Island
  • North Providence, Rhode Island (small town with high number of Italians; about the size of most Little Italies in big cities).
  • The Hill Little Italy in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Little Italy, San Diego, California
  • North Beach, San Francisco, in California
  • Little Italy, Schenectady, in New York
  • South End, Springfield, in Massachusetts
  • Little Italy, Syracuse, in New York
  • Little Italy, Waterbury, in Connecticut
  • Little Italy, Clay County, West Virginia
  • Little Italy, Randolph County, West Virginia
  • Little Italy, Wilmington, in Delaware
  • Brier Hill in Youngstown, Ohio
Those who believe as Huntington should be wondering why ICE agents are not deporting American citizens of Italian descent back to Italy. Of course, on the map above there are no Italian 17th-18th Century settlements Huntington could worry about.

Which brings us back to Representative King. Despite the fact that his tweet makes him sound like an Alt-Right idiot, when you look back at a 2002 column written by someone who opposed King's first run for Congress, you get a fair picture of King's views (you should really read the whole article to get a good idea of Congressman King):
The large number of Southeast Asian and Latino people who came to Denison and Storm Lake, first as refugees and then later to work in meat packing plants, came after King was out of school, in business and living on a farm between Kiron and Odebolt.

Is he aware that he is often labeled as being “anti-immigrant” now?

“Oh, yeah,” he said. “I know that.”

But he said that’s inaccurate and unfair.

I reminded him of his “Official English” bill, the “God and Country Bill” and his harsh comment in a letter to western Iowa editors after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001: “Preferential treatment and the obsession with the elevation of every third world culture to the status of our American Civilization are silenced for now and hopefully forever.”

So, how does he feel about immigrants?

“Anybody who comes to this country legally, I’m all for,” he said, “and I think we should all support legal immigration. But I do think we need to secure our borders. I think we need to take a serious look at our immigration policy.”

How does he view those from other cultures and countries, if they are here legally?

“I have a very strong, profound belief that we are all God’s children,” King said. “And I believe that God doesn’t draw distinctions between us to favor one race over another, or to favor men or favor women. We are all equal in God’s eyes.

“That has led me to advocate equal rights for everybody, and by virtue of that, no special rights for anybody.”

He said he enjoys “all the different cultures we have here now. Just look at it in terms of food alone, if you want to. I was raised pretty much on plain meat and potatoes. The variety of all the different kinds of food that other cultures have brought here is great.

“The cultural differences we have add to the richness of our life, and we should study them and celebrate them. But I come into this thing from the viewpoint that there are a lot of things that divide us as Americans, and a lot of multi-cultural efforts seem to divide us rather than unite us.

“When we first started to see multi-culturalism, I was in favor of it. But I now see it often being used as a political tool to divide us, and that concerns me. I like diversity of cultures and peoples, but we also need to recognize there is a greater American culture that unites us. It’s fine to celebrate the individual cultures we come from, but it can’t hinder the greater American culture.”

King said much of his understanding of immigration today, and the way Americans are reacting to it, has come from the writings of Thomas Sowell.

Sowell is a senior fellow at The Hoover Institution at Stanford University in California. He is African American, was born in the South and grew up in Harlem. He is a graduate in economics from Harvard, earned his master’s in that field at Columbia University and his doctorate in economics at the University of Chicago.

He is a widely known and quoted conservative whose books include a 1996 work, “Migration and Cultures: A World View.”
Congressman King's views curiously bring us back to California. The Hoover Institution, in which the source of King's opinions Thomas Sowell is currently Senior Fellow, is one of California's 13 organizations which are members of the Neoliberal Atlas Network as I explained here in the post 21st Century California vulnerabilities to active Neoliberal political opportunists.

If King and other Neoliberals are concerned that the American Cultural Salad Bowl concept is "being used as a political tool to divide us" and a danger to "a greater American culture that unites us" and specifically are targeting Hispanic and Asian immigration through government policy, then Congressman King and friends are engaging in a culture war against California's history, folklore, identity, and people.

California Empirical Egalitarian Progressivism, which has the goal of assuring the long term survival and success of California and Californians, includes a social compact recognizing the common needs of a disparate peoples. As I explained in #Calexit. Perhaps 170 years of invidious doubtful scorn is enough we Californians live in a state of migrants. California has been called the land of sunshine and opportunity in the context of migrants. In fact people have been migrating here for 10,000 years, and still are today from East of the Sierras, West of the Pacific, and South of the Border. That's fine with us.

You see California was part of Spain, then part of Mexico. It never was part of the British Empire, never, never. It became part of the United States through a war of occupation by the United States and a treaty imposed on Mexico. California's heritage is Hispanic. Let me make sure this is clear, the heritage of the State of California is Hispanic, not like Massachusetts or New York with their "Little Italy" neighborhoods. Want to visit California from your home state of Iowa....

 ... you should see the Spanish Missions established by Catholic priests of the Franciscan order between 1769 and 1833. You can travel the El Camino Real.

After touring the Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, in Carmel, California, you should visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium in the City of Monterey, which was the capital of Alta California under both Spain and Mexico. That's the Alta California shown on this map:

Since Monterey was the only port of entry for taxable goods in California you should visit the Custom House State Park.

You won't see any sites associated with the Founding Fathers because they were in English colonies thousands of  miles away when the fastest travel was by horseback.

I won't repeat all the history of California covered in prior posts. But American California history begins with a war of occupation as indicated on this map....

...which ended on  February 2, 1848, with the signing in Mexico of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The treaty added an additional 525,000 square miles to United States territory, including the land that makes up all or parts of present-day Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

The Treaty has no direct impact on Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

But it clearly does apply to California. Among many other things to be settled after the Mexican-American War, the Treaty provides:

Mexicans now established in territories previously belonging to Mexico, and which remain for the future within the limits of the United States, as defined by the present treaty, shall be free to continue where they now reside, or to remove at any time to the Mexican Republic, retaining the property which they possess in the said territories, or disposing thereof, and removing the proceeds wherever they please, without their being subjected, on this account, to any contribution, tax, or charge whatever.

Those who shall prefer to remain in the said territories may either retain the title and rights of Mexican citizens, or acquire those of citizens of the United States. But they shall be under the obligation to make their election within one year from the date of the exchange of ratifications of this treaty; and those who shall remain in the said territories after the expiration of that year, without having declared their intention to retain the character of Mexicans, shall be considered to have elected to become citizens of the United States.

In the said territories, property of every kind, now belonging to Mexicans not established there, shall be inviolably respected. The present owners, the heirs of these, and all Mexicans who may hereafter acquire said property by contract, shall enjoy with respect to it guarantees equally ample as if the same belonged to citizens of the United States.


The Mexicans who, in the territories aforesaid, shall not preserve the character of citizens of the Mexican Republic, conformably with what is stipulated in the preceding article, shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States. and be admitted at the proper time (to be judged of by the Congress of the United States) to the enjoyment of all the rights of citizens of the United States, according to the principles of the Constitution; and in the mean time, shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty and property, and secured in the free exercise of their religion without restriction.
There are a lot of words in those two Articles, but from my point of view the United States did agree to respect the culture and heritage of the Mexican-Americans (and presumably their heirs) then remaining in that 525,000 square miles within which California is wholly located.

Further, when California's first constitution was drafted in 1849, despite the fact that the state's Spanish-speaking population was already a minority, delegates to the constitutional convention without opposition approved recognition of Spanish language rights: "All laws, decrees, regulations, and provisions emanating from any of the three supreme powers of this State, which from their nature require publication, shall be published in English and Spanish."

You see, even the Nazi's after they occupied France recognized the language of the natives living there. In fact in 2010 in English invasion 'threatens French language more than Nazis did' we are told: "The invasion of English words poses more of a "grave threat" to French national identity than the imposition of German under the Nazi occupation, according to a group of self-styled guardians of the French language."

Anyway, one might think this treaty-based legal history should ameliorate the tension between the Melting Pot traditionalists and the multicultural advocates when it comes to the issue of Hispanic people in the Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, but it does not.

What I want to say to both the Neoliberals nationalists like King and the rabid  multiculturalists who are still debating  is "get over it." But what I will say is keep your nose out of California's business. We don't do Cultural Melting Pots or Cultural Salad Bowls. We do stews where you can taste everything...

We don't find this insidious and if Carlos O'Brien wants to put potatoes and carrots in, fine.

Yes, Carlos O'Brien. For more on relevant history read about the Saint Patrick's Battalion, highly revered in Mexico. You see in the mid-1840's Irish and other Catholic immigrants had the impression that the those now revered descendants of English immigrants shouldn't be forcing members of the Army to worship in Protestant services and those Irish had the impression that there was little difference between
  • British colonial bigotry as they had experienced it in the Ireland they were escaping and 
  • the American Manifest Destiny movement bigotry as it affected Mexicans and Native Americans.

Embracing their English Protestant heritage must have seemed to the Irish immigrants like an odd choice for people living in the home of the first revolution against British colonialism. But like all things American, it was confusing. Some of the folks in the 13 Colonies did not like some British taxes and military policies. 

But the United States is still fighting wars in places like Iraq, in the process standing in for the British colonial bigots whose descendants just voted for Brexit mostly to keep out war refugees from places like the Iraq they created from whole cloth bigotry.

It is exactly the attitude the Irish encounted in the America of the 1840's that has resulted in Neoliberalism controlling the United States government. It is good that Twitter exists because without the bumbling tweets, we might not know just how much the Republicans have embraced the tradition of Manifest Destiny bigotry at the core of Neoliberalism.

And we might not understand just how dangerous this is to California's history, folklore, identity and people. But we need to, and then fortify our defenses.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Privatizing the federal government's purpose
  Let's run government like a business - ensconce
  research results, obscure future plans, secrete
  executive activities, avert unwanted publicity

Have you ever wondered what would happen if someone decided to "run government like a business" particularly when it is a huge government like the U.S. government?

 Is the model General Electric or Google which while creating stuff must be focused on making a profit and gaining an advantage over competitors?

It is a common statement, frequently heard. "They" should run government like a business! So what does that "private" model mean for the "public" sector?

Well, GE and Google hide their research from competitors and the public and don't discuss publicly future plans except to give the organization a positive public image. Company top executives perform their tasks in private. Companies do their best to avert unwanted publicity and "eliminate" whistleblowers. Events such as toxic spills are hidden by private companies. They have large public relations budgets. Everyone at the top seeks huge personal financial gains.

This seems to the model preferred by the Deplorables in the Rust Belt and the South for our government.

And so we now have a President who believes government should be run like a private business as do the vast majority of voters who elected him. He and the folks in his Administration are struggling a bit with a structure set up by people who thought the public's business should provide full access to information about the activities of their government and its executives.

But as summarized this weekend by this article appearing in McClatchy newspapers around the country:
Wondering who is visiting the White House? The web-based search has gone dark. Curious about climate change? Some government sites have been softened or taken down. Worried about racial discrimination in housing? Laws have been introduced to bar federal mapping of such disparities. Federal rules protecting whistleblowers? At least one has been put on hold.

Since taking office, the Trump administration has made a series of moves that have alarmed groups with a stake in public access to information: historians, librarians, journalists, climate scientists, internet activists, to name a few. Some are so concerned they have thrown themselves into “data rescue” sessions nationwide, where they spend their weekends downloading and archiving federal databases they fear could soon be taken down or obscured.

Previous presidential transitions have triggered fears about access to government data, but not of this scope. “What is unprecedented is the scale of networking and connectivity of groups working on this, and the degree it is being driven by librarians and scientists and professors,” said Alex Howard, deputy director of the Sunlight Foundation, a group that tracks transparency in government.
The Trump people have a point.

Why do we need an Environmental Protection Agency if it can't do its research privately, out of the public eye, until it figures out how people can make money on creating toxic pollution? What on Earth are they in business for? Hampering other profit-making businesses that are not direct competitors with the EPA is not consistent with the idea of running government like a business!

So the new CEO and his people must begin by taking control of what information is available about the company's government's activities. And then they will go about creating a favorable image that sells to their identified market segments. They are adding to the line of products offered by corporations owned by them and their friends - hotels, casinos, steaks, ties, coal, oil, and now government. It's running government like a business.

This running government like a business stuff all should make the Deplorables in the Rust Belt and the South happy until it makes them sick. But that won't be a problem, as they will die since they won't have access to medical care.

Friday, March 10, 2017

The 115th U.S. Congress aims for budgetary chaos in California public services by 2020


At the federal government level, the U.S. House of Representatives has the most impact on determining the direction domestic policy - not the President or the Supreme Court. And while the U.S. Senate participates equally with the House in approving legislation and budgets, House members usually set a course by voting first on budget matters and measures that impact the budget significantly.

Unlike the guys in the picture above, you probably have no trouble identifying the President of the Rust Belt in the photo to the left. That is because you have been taught in school and by the media that he's the most important man in the World. On the other hand, if you read the U.S. Constitution you may be surprised to learn that the only powers assigned by the Founding Fathers to the President with regard to domestic policy (which is established by laws adopted by Congress) are as follows:
He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; ...he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed....
As it turns out, over the centuries Congress has adopted laws that give the President additional roles in the policy process. For instance, the current budget creation and spending implementation process was established by the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, and by other budget legislation.

The process of the President submitting a formal annual budget request to Congress was authorized by the 1921 Act adopted by Congress. While that shifted leadership momentum, that could be eliminated tomorrow by Congress (though it would probably require a veto override vote).

Looking at that picture at the top you probably had trouble identifying Representatives Greg Walden of Oregon and Keven McCarthy of California who are flanking House Speaker Paul Ryan. In fact even if you are a resident of Oregon or California you probably did not recognize either one. It is ironic that both had more influence on the details of the proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA) than the guy in the little picture above left whose activities the media (and maybe you?) pay attention to all the time.

The AHCA as written today would cost California $20 billion in federal subsidies lost that support healthcare for the working class and the poor. To replace that money, the State of California personal income tax revenue would have to be increased by about 25%. The voters of California would have to approve that. That would be resisted.

Still many are suggesting we "go it alone" with regard to healthcare policy by implementing a California "single-payer" plan.

Speaking of the voters, there was an election this week in the City of Los Angeles. About 11% of the voters turned out. Fortunately, the few that voted turned down a ballot measure that would have prevented development in a City already struggling with skyrocketing housing costs.

And they approved a measure that would fund modernization and expansion of public transit. Pushed by the reelected Mayor Eric Garcetti, the $121 billion transit initiative would fund hundreds of miles of new rail connections, bus-rapid transit lines, and robust bike infrastructure improvements over the next 40 years. But the plans would need ongoing additional transit funding from the federal government.

As explained in Hey Transit Fans: Worry About Congress, Not Trump:
...President Trump has threatened to defund any cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities; L.A. remains a magnet for immigrants, and nearly one in ten people living in the county is believed to be undocumented. Though [Mayor Eric}Garcetti has refused to use the term “sanctuary city” outright, he has pledged to make “all Angelenos feel safe, secure and welcome in our community” and has criticized Trump’s travel bans and immigration policies. o accomplish his “signature initiative,” ...the mayor will need to negotiate a delicate relationship with the White House.

...Legally speaking, the president probably can’t withhold infrastructure funds on the basis of local immigration policies. More importantly, it’s Congress that deals with how transportation is funded....

...Rather than anticipating retribution for clashing with Trumpian ideology, cities should just prepare for serious transit funding cuts in general. Unless longstanding federal formulas are changed, the threadbare Highway Trust Fund will still pass onto states a handful of dollars to be used for public transportation. But ... signature grant programs that have supported transit—such as TIGER and TIFIA—may get cut. After all, the Republican Party’s official platform calls for a total elimination of federal subsidies to public transportation.
Healthcare and public transportation are only a part of the Congressional budget iceberg threatening the California ship of state.

Over the next four years Congress will grin, accept, file, and consider the budget requests from the President as they always do. Those three guys in the picture above will not only determine what will happen to the President's requests, it will determine the future success of Garcetti's transportation vision and the future as envisioned by other California governmental leaders.

And things don't bode well for that future.

Literally, across California's state and local governments, there are billions of dollars of future infrastructure improvement and operational governmental expenditures that will be hampered if not eliminated by a lack of federal funding.

This will begin somewhat in the federal fiscal year that runs from October 2017 to September 2018. By the 2019-20 fiscal year, without significant leadership from California officials we may be looking at State and local budgetary chaos.

Unfortunately it may be the result of California Empirical Egalitarian Progressivism which has the goal of assuring the long term survival and success of California and Californians. Consider the desire to prevent Californians from dying unnecessarily because of lack of access to healthcare, a goal contrary to the Neoliberal ideology of the guys in the pictures above.

In June 2013 Governor Jerry Brown signed bills radically implementing Medicaid Expansion. That did away with many of the barriers that prevented people from enrolling in Medi-Cal by, among other things, eliminating an asset test for enrollees and allowing childless adults to enroll instead of forcing them to seek subsidized private coverage through Covered California, California's Obamacare health insurance exchange.

Last year the LA Times noted:
California, however, wholeheartedly embraced the Affordable Care Act.

“The ACA has not been perfect, there have been challenges,” said Sabrina Corlette, a senior research professor at Georgetown University's Center on Health Insurance Reforms. But “if there was one state where it was really working well ... it was California.”

The state enrolled millions in Medi-Cal, and 13.6 million people — one in every three state residents — is covered by the program. Insurance premiums have not increased here as much as they have elsewhere, and the exchange still offers many options so consumers can shop around.

The percentage of uninsured working-age adults in California had dropped by more than half to 11% last year, according to federal data. Beyond signing up large numbers for coverage, state officials had also started improving the way medical care is delivered to patients, Corlette said.

When considering what the Affordable Care Act could accomplish, she said, “California was held up as the gold standard.”
Perhaps being one of only five Democratic states among the 50 should have made us a bit more cautious.

Being so Democratic in elections and policies, we sometimes forget that without California the U.S. voted Republican in the 2016 Congressional and Presidential elections. There is a certain irony that two of the three Republican Representatives pictured at the top are from California and Oregon, two of the five remaining Democratic states.

It's almost as if Paul Ryan was making a point on behalf of the Neoliberal movement. reminding us that the California delegation to the 115th United States Congress may include 39 Democrats, including minority leader Nancy Pelosi, but it also has 14 Republicans who are among the House Republican majority, including majority leader Kevin McCarthy. In his mind, it's all about that House Republican majority.

Maybe in the end we should "go it alone" but as discussed in #Calexit. Perhaps 170 years of invidious doubtful scorn is enough, not just on healthcare.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

It will affect your healthcare unless you're rich
  The American healthcare funding dispute pits the
  rich against working class employment and wages

Only Americans would piecemeal their implementation of universal healthcare.

Beginning in the 1930's with Franklin Roosevelt, and coincident with the rise of the pharmaceutical industry, the Democrats struggled with how to provide modern healthcare to everyone, finally giving us Medicaid in 1965 and Medicare in 1966 during Lyndon Johnson's administration.

George W. Bush and a Republican Congress got into the mess designing and approving Medicare prescription drug coverage that's weird, isn't adequately funded, and caters to corporate pharmaceutical interests.

Now Donald Trump and another Republican Congress are struggling with what may be impossible - a properly designed and adequately funded revised Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) - through a bill in Congress called the American Health Care Act - that doesn't tax the rich and the major corporations but caters to the interests of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

We know the ACA, well some know it, as ObamaCare, a nickname which as explained by The Atlantic came from discussion of politics in a healthcare management trade journal in its March 2007 issue talking about probable party primary candidates and their policy proposals described as "Giuliani-care", "Obama-care", "McCain-care," "Edwards-care," and "Hillary-care." For some reason we never can talk about the subject with any sense of emotional detachment and didn't before the 2008 Presidential election.

Blame it all on The Greatest Generation.

Article 25, Paragraph 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
"The Greatest Generation" did commit to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which as Wikipedia explains "arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of what many people believe to be the rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled."

Now we're not really good at assuring all our people are receiving an adequate standard of living. In this post we're only concerned about health care. So do we believe everyone has the right to adequate medical care in the event of sickness? What exactly is meant by the term "adequate"?

The fact is that the vagaries of healthcare systems everywhere do not assure that someone who has a stroke while in one locations will receive the same treatment that someone 200 miles away may be receiving for a stroke at the same time.

So the first human emotional hurdle to overcome in order to embrace any concept of universal healthcare is that no healthcare system will ever deliver the same level of care to everyone at any particular point in time.

It will always be an unfair system, unless and until we reach a time where robots programmed exactly the same provide human healthcare in facilities equipped and supplied exactly the same. For now we have to depend upon that most unreliable method, the human being.

The second human emotional hurdle to overcome in order to embrace any concept of universal healthcare is how to pay for it so that it can be universal in a more or less non-socialist economic nation.

In 2015 Gross Personal Income for all Americans was about $15.46 trillion. Our Gross Personal Income is all our income before deductions and all the various types of tax credits and other confusing things we do on our tax returns before we calculate our taxes.

In 2015 our National Healthcare Expenditure was about $3.21 trillion. National Healthcare Expenditure means all the money spent on doctors, hospitals, prescription drugs, therapists, etc.

One way of looking at the American healthcare cost problem is that we Americans spend about 20% of all our personal income on healthcare.That is what universal healthcare would cost, 20% of our gross personal income.

Of course, some people - we'll call them "the currently healthy"- aren't currently incurring any costs for healthcare. And some people - we'll call them "the currently ill" - are incurring hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs.

People being people, "the currently healthy" tend to resent paying the healthcare costs for "the currently ill" and this is true everywhere. Thus Canadians might read this article 'Free' Health Care in Canada Costs More Than It's Worth.

In most nations that have universal healthcare it's difficult to determine what taxes support the program. But rest assured, folks are complaining about taxes because before they pay for any other government program, taxes and fees for healthcare in the amount of 20% of all personal gross income will be collected in a myriad of ways. And then the folks have to pay taxes for everything else government does.

So exactly what happened to the American system for providing healthcare when "The Greatest Generation" was responsible for our society? From Wikipedia (emphasis added):
Before the development of medical expense insurance, patients were expected to pay all other health care costs out of their own pockets, under what is known as the fee-for-service business model. During the middle to late 20th century, traditional disability insurance evolved into modern health insurance programs....

In the 1930s, The Roosevelt Administration explored possibilities for creating a national health insurance program, while it was designing the Social Security system. But it abandoned the project because the American Medical Association (AMA) fiercely opposed it, along with all forms of health insurance at that time.

Employer-sponsored health insurance plans dramatically expanded as a direct result of wage controls imposed by the federal government during World War II. The labor market was tight because of the increased demand for goods and decreased supply of workers during the war. Federally imposed wage and price controls prohibited manufacturers and other employers from raising wages enough to attract workers. When the War Labor Board declared that fringe benefits, such as sick leave and health insurance, did not count as wages for the purpose of wage controls, employers responded with significantly increased offers of fringe benefits, especially health care coverage, to attract workers.

President Harry S. Truman proposed a system of public health insurance in his November 19, 1945, address. He envisioned a national system that would be open to all Americans, but would remain optional. Participants would pay monthly fees into the plan, which would cover the cost of any and all medical expenses that arose in a time of need. The government would pay for the cost of services rendered by any doctor who chose to join the program. In addition, the insurance plan would give a cash balance to the policy holder to replace wages lost due to illness or injury. The proposal was quite popular with the public, but it was fiercely opposed by the Chamber of Commerce, the American Hospital Association, and the AMA, which denounced it as "socialism."

Foreseeing a long and costly political battle, many labor unions chose to campaign for employer-sponsored coverage, which they saw as a less desirable but more achievable goal, and as coverage expanded the national insurance system lost political momentum and ultimately failed to pass. Using health care and other fringe benefits to attract the best employees, private sector, white-collar employers nationwide expanded the U.S. health care system....
Wikipedia also notes:
In 1951 the IRS declared group premiums paid by employers as a tax-deductible business expense, which solidified the third-party insurance companies' place as primary providers of access to health care in the United States.
In other words, some of  "The Greatest Generation" benefited from their employers competing for employees and, like "the currently healthy", those that have those benefits tend to resent paying the healthcare costs for "the uninsured currently ill."

Maybe we could start thinking of it as an employment program. The general press will tell you currently about 12.4 million Americans are directly employed in health care. That's about 10% of people employed. In 1957, 60 years ago, 3% of workers were directly employed in health care.

The problem is those numbers are not correct if you consider the health care industry as a whole. The confusion is that the employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics under health care does not include anything beyond health care "services" and even there it doesn't include government run hospitals. Here's a more accurate picture comparing 1990 to 2016:

In fact, we need to acknowledge that even the listing for healthcare related above doesn't include those that work in the construction of medical office and care facilities, the sale and management of that real estate, the manufacturing and sale of furnishings to medical care providers, or even the employees of companies involved in providing computers and data services to medical care providers. It is very likely that as much as 20% of American employment is the direct or indirect result of healthcare expenditures.

Using the numbers we have, 21.8% of the job growth during the period of 1990-2016 came from the health care industry. In contrast, the  much overblown publicity of computer/internet related industry notwithstanding, they only accounted for 5.5% of the job growth. The difference is primarily the fact that the jobs in healthcare cannot be outsourced to India or China in order to assure inflated corporate profits to be stored offshore.

But whatever we think, we must start viewing healthcare as our obligation to our fellow humans as we agreed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights right after WWII. And we must understand that whenever we meddle with the healthcare funding status quo we will be impacting employment and working class wages in one of our largest economic segments.