My name is Hyung Nam. I’m a high school social studies teacher, union member and volunteer with several groups including Health Care for All-Oregon and Portland Right to the City Coalition.
It is time for us, the working class, to rise up together. We need to listen to the words of that Oracle from Omaha, Warren Buffett when he says that there is a class war being waged and the 1% has been winning. As we face ever-growing inequality, debt, stagnant wages, racism, police brutality, ecological crises and lack of opportunities while costs of housing, health care and education grow. What are we going to do? Are we going to let the 1% win?
Only by building a strong movement can we win. For example, to fight the attacks from the 1%, we need to build a social movement that intersects our struggles for $15 minimum wage with the demand for single payer health care. While wages for workers have been stagnant, costs of health care have gone up on the average of 6% a year and even though the Affordable Care Act expands health insurance, it has led to record profits for insurance companies who pay millions in executive salaries and waste money with administration and billing while shifting costs and narrowing access to actual care. Wages and salaries of workers are being squeezed, not only in growing premiums but growing out of pocket costs. If we include the real rising costs of health care spending and housing, the real poverty rate would be over 50%.
Health care is a human right and with a single payer or improved Medicare for All, we would save money that can be used for increased compensation and better public services.
Join us and organize with the groups out here today. Our politicians will not fix these problems for us. Power concedes nothing without a demand.
We are unstoppable. Another world is possible.