In New York many firefighters did not receive protective gear during the first two weeks of the clean-up, which involved prolonged exposure to asbestos and the handling of thousands of body parts. 40 percent of the workers who cleaned up Ground Zero had no health insurance, and 75 percent have reported ongoing respiratory difficulties. By M.C. Perez, from the US Socialist Appeal

The crisis of unemployment and poverty in America continues to worsen. Despite a nominal increase in jobs in recent weeks, what is not reported is what kind of jobs are being created. Manufacturing jobs, the backbone of any economy, continued to be lost for the 37th month in a row in October. For the vast majority of Americans, the days of high quality jobs with decent wages, security, and full health and retirement benefits are a thing of the past.  By John Peterson, from the US Socialist Appeal

So far over 400 US soldiers have died in Iraq (during and after the "end" of the war). This is having a big impact on US public opinion. A further 1500 US soldiers have been injured in armed conflicts, and a staggering 9,341 have been flown out for various other health reasons, most importantly for mental stress. Fred Weston reports on the growing dissatisfaction in the US Army

There are an astonishing 44 million Americans without healthcare. Those who do have healthcare have to pay ridiculous amounts of money for it, and even then, they have to worry about co-payments, deductibles, etc. Never mind SARS and influenza - the entire for-profit American health care system is diseased.

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