Who benefits if citizens can’t access preventive medical care?
How many homeless would find a way off the streets if mental healthcare were available to all who need it?
Who thinks ending the payroll tax deduction that funds Social Security is a good idea? Who’s going to take in Grandma when the Social Security Trust Fund runs dry?
Who thinks a single hungry child is acceptable?
According to the Oklahoma Policy Institute, the pandemic has escalated childhood hunger. Before the pandemic, one in five Oklahoma children were food insecure. Now, that ratio is approaching one in three.
Income inequality is baked into the U.S. economic system, the result of policies and politics. We give tax breaks to billionaires and complain that food assistance causes the deficit. Childhood hunger is just one consequence of the system. For justice to be served, the system has to change.
Unregulated capitalism is dangerous. Dirty air and polluted drinking water aren’t good for the economy. Sick people and hungry kids aren’t good for the economy. Homeless veterans aren’t good for the economy. War isn’t good for the economy.
The opposite of unfettered capitalism is not socialism. Don’t throw Venezuela into the conversation; it is not a socialist country but a country run by a dictator who stole corporations and gave them to his henchmen. Like the old Soviet Union, that Putin wants to remake, it is a dictatorship by committee. It doesn’t look all that different from our country where billionaires can help politicians buy elections.
The answer lies in a middle way, an economy of free enterprise and progressive taxation that provides a social safety net. How do we get there?
Joe Biden has a plan for that!
If you make over $400,000 a year, you will pay more taxes.
If you want to start your own business, but are afraid to quit your job that provides health insurance, you can buy into a public option.
This will only work if we give peace a chance, if we put our tax dollars to work making friends and taking care of the needs of citizens. To make our economy boom again, we need to fund science instead of building new weapons systems.
The sign of our success won’t be the Dow Jones, but a minimum wage that a person working fulltime can live on. Senior citizens won’t have to choose between buying groceries and filling their prescriptions. All our children will be safe, educated, and well fed.
Feeding the hungry shouldn’t be the job of philanthropists but of all of us. We all pay our taxes, less if we make less, more if we make more. In exchange, we all drive on the roads, drink clean water from the tap, flush our toilets into the modern sewage system, get our mail from the post office, trust that our police are there to keep us safe, and get the help our FICA Insurance promises when we are between jobs.
Until we get there, spread the word that there is a better way, the middle way. And donate to the food bank. Until we get this country back on track, there are plenty of hungry people to feed.