It Doesn’t Need to be this Bad
The country is suffering from high unemployment, underwater mortgages, and rapidly escalating tuition prices. Most regular people lucky enough to have a job are seeing shrinking benefits from health care to retirement packages. More and more of America’s incomes are eating up by out of control health care system, which through co-pays and high deductible is making people pay more of these cost out of pocket. But it is time to speak a simple truth: Things don’t need to suck!
The lives of regular Americans could be made much better. An actually function government that spend its time looking after the needs of regular people instead of the needs of ultra wealthy could easily take steps to improve the current situation.
Unemployment can be improved with temporary direct jobs programs:
We don’t need to just leave unemployment devastatingly high. With Treasury Bond interest rates so low the federal government could easily borrow money to create a direct temporary WPA style job program to put the roughly 14 million Americans without jobs to work. Paying an average salary and benefit package of $35,000 the government could employ roughly 2.5 million of for $100 billion a year. That is less than 60% of what we spend each year on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (PDF).
Temporary expanding the Americorp program would be a quick and cheap ways to directly create some jobs.
The federal could also temporarily set up a system of temporarily paying the salaries of local and state employees to stop future lay offs and re-hire those already laid off.
Several hundred billion dollar could be investment now in fixing your infrastructure. While it would not produce as big an employment increase per dollar it would produce a long lasting increase in American efficiency.
If our current politicians wasn’t solely looking out for the bank’s profits the government could help the millions underwater on the mortgage. The government could allow bankruptcy courts to use cram down on primary resident mortgages like they can on almost every other type of asset.
Health Care can be universal and affordable:
Other first world countries provide everyone with quality health cares, have systems that cost way less overall, and have radically lower out-of-pocket costs for people. Getting sick doesn’t need to also be a financial burden. Almost industrial country when people get sick they don’t need to worry about being able to pay huge hospital bills. Other government makes sure health care cost don’t ruin their citizens financial live
For the same amount of money we are playing for private insurance the government could create a single payer health care system that gave everyone great benefits with very out of pockets cost.
A smaller reform would simply open Medicare to allow people and companies to buy into it. The premiums for that public insurance would be roughly 20% less than for private insurance. Your premiums could be cut by 20% next year if Congress did this to help regular people.
Tuition Cost and Student Loans:
Much of America’s public college system used to be practically free but now are cost prohibitive to many. In most first world countries the government subsidize higher education as a smart investment in the future. The federal government could directly subsidize education more to make college more affordable.
In addition many recent graduates because of the bad economy are struggling to pay their student loans. Most of these “private” student loans are often financial backstopped by the government anyway. The government could start allowing people to consolidate private student loans into direct government student loans with low rates.
Good Government could do something right now to make regular people lives better:
Our government could make things much better. It could create millions of jobs with direct jobs program. It could deal with the mortgage problem much better for many. It could everyone great universal health insurance with amazing benefits you never need to worry about losing.
I know these ideas have no chance of passing Congress any time soon but it is as if everyone has stopped acknowledge solutions do exist for our problems.
Unfortunately to feed the insane deficit hysteria of the moment the American people are being offer only a chance between the more pain party and the lots more pain party. I would love to have a major political party or even a major politician simple tell the American people they actually don’t need to keep suffer.