A Healthy and Educated Society
A nation is only as strong as it is healthy and smart as it is educated
A Healthy and Educated Society is a Strong Society
This truth was once a hallmark of the American way of life, that we had the ability - and willingness - to help each other become smarter and stronger so we could advance together as a society. No longer does that mindset drive our national priorities.
As of 2016, the average family of four pays more than $11,000 annually for healthcare. If they're self-employed, that jumps to $17,000. It's worth noting that even at that expense, the World Health Organization doesn't rank American healthcare within the top ten countries by national average quality of care.
A similar story emerges with education. Although the United States spends more per-pupil than most other countries, the comparative value of this expenditure should please few. Our students have been underperforming in several areas compared to other countries, which risks our long-term economic competitiveness. Once graduated into college or university, while American higher education is still among the best in the world - it's also easily among the most expensive in the world unless you're a gifted student or athlete.
Combined with the fact that multiple degrees are required for employment in many industries today, the amount of money necessary to enter the workforce can often times cost as much as a house.
These circumstances carry direct consequences that severely burden our economy and workforce.
Skyrocketing healthcare costs make it more expensive for businesses to offer employer-sponsored care and hire workers. Skyrocketing education costs requires students to borrow progressively larger amounts of money, and the total student loan debt in the United States is some $1.2 trillion and rising.
These costs lead to an increase in the price of labor and services that is felt across our entire economy. The result? It often becomes too expensive to buy American.
It also makes it harder for Americans to start small businesses. It's enticing to go off on your own and build a new product, service or idea, but it's much harder to make that dream a reality with $700/month student loan payments on top of rent, car payments, healthcare premiums and other costs of life that are rising higher than the value of wages. It's even harder once you realize our tax code makes it far more expensive to be self-employed through higher payroll taxes. Consequently, what might have been an American innovation is instead replaced by a foreign competitor who is not burdened by such large and unnecessary expenses.
We refuse to believe these problems must be accepted as the cost of doing business. A society as advanced as ours should not make one's access to healthcare and education determinant on their ability to pay for it. We refuse to believe that these services must cost as much as they do presently - and we furthermore reject the idea that offering healthcare and education as a function of an advanced society is somehow “handouts” or “free stuff.”
In the past 10 years, the federal government alone has spent roughly $41 trillion, adjusted for inflation. Our national debt today stands at $19.5 trillion, respectively $500,000 and $250,000 for every family of four in America. We'd like to know what exactly our society received in return for us spending that much money, because it's crystal clear that special interests sure got a whole lot of “free stuff” paid for by our tax dollar.
Instead, we plan on paying for healthcare, education, Universal Energy and advanced infrastructure by ceasing to give special interests “free stuff” and instead give the American people what they paid for. As we all suffer from an unhealthy society, and as our republic suffers from an uneducated electorate, we believe education and healthcare are first-priority expenditures and will treat them as such.
We plan on accomplishing this goal through three specific areas: