The Pavlic family received assistance from the HOME Investment Partnerships Program to fix their deteriorating home in 2015. Mr. Pavlic can no longer work due to his advancing multiple sclerosis, and Mrs. Pavlic can't make enough money to keep the roof from leaking over their family members' heads. These Trump voters discovered this popular federal program--which helps folks like them, the working poor, the low income elderly and disabled--is to be cut so the defense budget can be expanded. They essentially voted away any help they could expect to receive in the future to keep their home safe and livable.
The Pavlics, by voting for the tangerine tyrant, may have planted the seeds of their own homelessness. Trump did the Pavlics and the millions of struggling American families like them no favors. They don't owe him blind loyalty at the cost of their families' health and safety. It's high time for them to #TrumpExit.
If domestic policy doesn't scare off these Trump supporters, consider the dangerous position the orange commander-in-chief has placed the U.S. by dropping a Massive Ordinance Air Blast or MOAB (better known as a "mother of all bombs") on Afghanistan. Yeah, it could wipe out a scattering of ISIS fighters, but more than likely it was dropped to cover the CIA's tracks in that war torn part of the world. After all, we helped the mujahideen fighters in the 1980s build the very same tunnels where ISIS and other terrorists have been living for the last few years. ISIS fighters have been using our arms against us, too, as we're the number one supplier of armaments in the world. It's not a list where any so-called peace-loving people want to be number one, either. We're already number one in defense spending over all--we spend more than the rest of the top ten nations combined. Can you imagine all the good we could do with the taxpayers' dollars if we even halved or quartered our defense budget?
Trump and others invested in the Military Industrial Complex are growing wealthier by the second, all the while allowing (maybe even encouraging?) the "War on Terror" to grow and flourish and reap a P.R. bonanza for terrorist groups at our expense. We've become the most despised and feared nation on the planet, the big bully on the playground. Why shouldn't these groups fight back with any and all methods at their disposal? Even if they don't, the Pentagon propaganda machine will make its own videos to paint the picture they want low-info voters to have.
Starting a war isn't likely to bring back our country's reputation or our dead and wounded soldiers or our jobs, but who cares, right? If you're heavily invested into arms manufacture, you know it's where the real profits are to be made. It's fun to watch people suffer, particularly if they're of a different race, creed or ethnicity, huh? (Read this piece on how Afghan villagers and farmers are dealing with the trauma of the bombing.)
So, supporters of the spray-tanned man in the Oval Office, if the thought of profiting off the suffering of others makes you feel just a little bit queasy, it's time to for you to #TrumpExit. Get out now before you're labeled a racist war hawk by the decent folk you're trying to convince you're not before you convince yourself you are.
It's easy to #TrumpExit. Read the article below about how Trump's "pro-business policies" will further hurt you and your loved ones. Then take down that faded Trump/Pence sign in your window and call up your friend or neighbor who posted the Bernie Sanders or Jill Stein sign in their front yard last year. You know the one. Ask them how you can join the political revolution and when is the next town hall or rally event you can attend.
If you can't do it for yourself, then do it for the next generation. The world we leave behind is how our children will judge us. Let's leave it better than we found it. #TrumpExit today.
Will Trump’s Pro-Business Policies Hurt Consumers?
by Bridget Stack
Donald Trump has been a businessman for far longer than he has been a politician, so it’s no surprise that he sees government regulations as the enemy of business. One of his first acts of business since in office has been to “streamline” multiple United States Government Agencies.
“I will ask each and every federal agency to prepare a list of all of the regulations they impose on Americans which are not necessary, do not improve public safety, and which needlessly kill jobs. Those regulations will be eliminated.” — President Donald Trump. The areas that will be most affected are food safety, drug safety, legal rights, and environmental safety.
Every year, roughly 1 in 6 Americans get sick, over 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. There is no question that food safety regulations like testing and supply chain tracking encumber efficiency and profit margins for farmers and businesses, but it’s important to remember that they are in place to protect consumers. For example, in 2010, we saw a salmonella outbreak linked to peanuts that resulted in 9 deaths and caused over 700 people to get sick. Without the government’s regulatory shields, incidents like this could become commonplace.
Since Congress toughened the drug approval process in the wake of the worldwide crisis over thalidomide, the F.D.A. has come to be viewed as the world’s leading standard on food and drug safety. With President Trump vowing to overhaul the Food and Drug Administration, companies may not have to prove that their drugs work in clinical trials before selling them to consumers. This could have long-lasting impacts on patients’ health. The FDA recently published a study on 22 drugs that were promising in the early studies but failed the final, large-scale trials. Deep cuts in funding and staff at the F.D.A. could impair the department’s ability to evaluate these studies properly, and may result in ineffective or dangerous drugs making their way into consumers’ hands.
“When you have a drug, you can actually get it approved if it works, instead of waiting for many, many years,” Trump told pharmaceutical executives. “We’re going to be cutting regulations at a level that nobody’s ever seen before.”
Congress passed legislation in 1962 requiring companies to provide “substantial evidence” of a drug’s efficacy and safety before it can be sold. This law has forced drug manufacturers to rigorously test their products, run clinical trials, and submit them to the F.D.A. for approval. Ninety percent of drugs that enter the final stages of clinical development fail these trials, which means they are essential to protecting consumers.
Budgets and regulations aren’t the only thing on Trump’s chopping block. He’s also taken aim at consumer rights. Government laws may seem burdensome to businesses, but they’re designed to protect consumers’ legal rights by allowing them to seek damages from companies and manufacturers that have put profits ahead of their customers’ safety. Fines don’t mean much to billion dollar companies, but a public lawsuit resulting in hundreds of millions in damages and loss of public opinion can be enough to force action.
The most powerful examples include litigation around asbestos, used in construction and even cigarette filters. Once touted as a miracle material for its insulating properties, asbestos is now the subject of lawsuits linking it to a deadly form of lung cancer called Mesothelioma. The current government has stated they will look into lawsuit reforms specifically around asbestos exposure claims—which will impact everyone from veterans to firefighters, and could send the wrong message to companies profiting from products that result in serious injuries.
If you look on the label of a pack of cigarettes, there are warnings of how smoking can lead to lung cancer. Even though the first studies suggesting a link between tobacco and lung cancer emerged in 1950, the tobacco industry refused to admit that smoking caused cancer. It took over 33 years for the first court victory, and another decade before any damages were awarded.
The threat of harmful materials in common products is once again making headlines with the possible connection between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. Though evidence has been around since the early 1970’s, the first guilty verdict was only handed out to Johnson and Johnson in 2013. After evidence surfaced that J&J knew about the risks, but decided not to warn consumers, three more women won talcum powder lawsuits against the company in 2016.
These cases are all tell the same tale. Companies cut corners and denied facts until there was enough proof to hold them accountable. The most powerful weapon consumers have to wield against corporations is litigation. So while it may be good for business to remove barriers to growth and profits, consumers will pay the price with their health and safety.
In one of the most stunning victories for protecting the environment, The Paris Agreement on climate change was agreed upon by 197 countries, including the United States under President Obama’s presidency. This agreement is the first international, voluntary deal to curb greenhouse gas emissions from both rich and poor countries. One of Donald Trump’s first acts in office was to back out of the Paris Agreement and appoint Scott Pruitt to the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt is a climate change denialist.
Trump campaigned on rolling back most, if not all, President Obama’s environmental protection acts. In late March, Trump signed his 19th executive order: “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.” This order consisted of one terrifying sentence: a sentence directing Ryan Zinke, the Secretary of the Interior, to “review the rules which regulate oil and gas drilling in national parks and to repeal, suspend, or rescind them if they are found inconsistent with the president’s energy goals.” In other words, we could soon have oil rigs in Grand Teton National Park.
In his first few weeks in office, President Trump signed an executive order placing a hiring freeze on all national parks, directed the Army to issue the final permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline, and invited the company behind the Keystone XL to reapply for the permit denied under President Obama’s presidency.
The formation of the EPA, FDA, and CDC were to protect environmental and consumer rights. Government regulations are a safety net to keep corporations in check, and they provide people with a means to force compliance when companies put profits before safety. Deregulation would result in a rise in illness and deaths from products. Even more than the danger of personal health deregulation promises, the greater risk would be removing consumers’ rights to sue when they are harmed
BIO: Prior to joining ConsumerSafety.org Bridget worked in marketing, social media, and journalism. She previously worked for numerous national brands, and she now focuses her passion for research on protecting consumers.