Almost 40% of households that were working in February and earned less than $40,000 a year lost a job in March, meaning the pain felt all across our country is concentrated in our working and lower-income families. Yet, our representatives in Washington continue to prioritize big corporations over rural communities, working families, and small businesses, with corporate lobbyists gaming the system for their own benefit.
So far, Congress’s coronavirus relief packages have failed to provide sufficient aid to those who truly need it. Because of a major loophole in the original bill that allocated millions of dollars to large corporations…
The coronavirus pandemic has revealed deep cracks and vulnerabilities in our broken agriculture system. Once we clearly see what’s broken, hopefully there’s enough public outrage and political will to fix it.
For decades, our agriculture system has grown increasingly concentrated, making it unfair, unsustainable, and unstable for farmers, workers, and consumers. We’ve seen this play out across the board from “get big or get off the farm” policies to corporate consolidation in seed, fertilizer, pesticide, farm machinery, meatpacking, and more, to the rise of Dollar Generals pushing out small independent grocers.
Coming to you from my car just outside of the Tyson meatpacking plant here in Dakota City, Nebraska, which is right across the river from Sioux City.
They’ve had a lot of COVID-19 cases from the workers in here and just a few days ago, the CEO of Tyson said that our food supply is breaking.
The truth is that it’s been broken for a while. The one thing that I hope this crisis does is shine a spotlight on what’s happening in our food systems.
Decades of prioritizing efficiency and corporate profits over the resilience and…
Right now, the failures of our healthcare system are on full display. Hospitals and their healthcare workers are overwhelmed and strapped for resources. Patients are receiving bills for COVID-19 testing and treatment that reach into the tens of thousands of dollars. The death count in America just topped 25,000 — and it could reach a quarter million.
One part of this equation is the concentration of the healthcare industry that has created fewer hospital beds, higher prices, lower quality of care and fewer resources for doctors, nurses and healthcare workers. …
I’m about to head to the grocery store because I need to get some more raspberries, these are from the state of Washington, some more greens from California, and I need some milk. And what do these three things have in common? They wouldn’t make it to my house if it weren’t for farmworkers.
These are the folks that are picking our fruits and veggies, milking our cows, packaging the meat, and much, much more. And that’s why the Trump Administration has already deemed them essential during this pandemic. …
The coronavirus crisis has exposed the U.S. being dangerously dependent on China. We’re seeing what happens when ventilators and masks are made overseas. But an even more dire threat looms and that is outsourcing our nation’s food security to China and other foreign countries.
We have been a secure nation because we are a food secure nation. We need to see that having domestic farmers is an issue of national security. In the past decade, our politicians (and to be honest, it’s been both sides of the aisle) have allowed corporations affiliated with China to buy up Syngenta and Smithfield…
Today, I want to talk about the internet, technology, and broadband.
We have about 20 million Americans that don’t have access to a broadband connection.
As we’re told to stay home, it’s more and more important things like telework, telemedicine, and an online education.
There’s 5 short-term and 5 long-term things that we should be pushing for.
In the short term:
1. The FCC should use the money put aside every year for rural and low-income communities.
2. We can increase hotspots in public places, expand telemedicine, and enhance programs like E-rate and Lifeline.
3. Broadband providers should suspend…
More than 9/11 or the financial crisis of 2008, the coronavirus or COVID-19 has affected every single household in America.
Millions of workers have been laid off. Many are working without paid leave or hazard pay. Hospitals are on the brink of being overwhelmed and understaffed. Parents are at home trying to teach their kids during school closures. Grocery store shelves are barren. And everyone is worried about the health of themselves, their kids, and loved ones; about how they’re going to pay the bills; about where to get a test, about how long this is going to last.
This crisis shows why SNAP benefits are so important. SNAP is our country’s most important and most effective anti-hunger program.
It supports 38 million Americans including 320,000 Iowans.
These are low-wage working families, low-income seniors and people with disabilities living on fixed incomes, and more, including 11,000 veterans right here in Iowa.
It helps folks buy food, reduce poverty, and stabilize the economy during times of uncertainty — like right now.
SNAP is almost always on the chopping block when the government decides what programs get funding and how much. But it shouldn’t be.
Recently, the debate has come…
We need to get cash into people’s hands right now. We can’t encourage workers to stay home and leave them without an option to pay the bills.
As you can see, I’m at home right now. This is where Americans should be. But not all Americans are lucky enough to have that as an option. Millions don’t have paid leave and can’t afford to miss a paycheck.
Just a few days ago, I talked to a supporter, he’s a trucker who’s self-employed. His wife is a hairdresser, she’s self-employed. These folks, if they don’t work, they don’t get paid…
J.D. Scholten is running against Steve King to serve Iowa’s 4th district in Congress. He’s a 5th generation Iowan, born in Ames and raised in Sioux City.