Bring People Together by Making the American Dream Real Again
We need to bring people together. The Democratic Party cannot be successful if promotes only causes that drive people apart. We have to build our platform around issues that matter to most people, and here are three of them:
- Health care
- Retirement security
- Real Opportunity for Young People
Each of these issues is rooted in a strong, moral argument. It is wrong for a rich society like ours to fail to provide our people with a decent and secure living. We can easily afford these things, but we have chosen to concentrate our wealth ever more narrowly in the top 1% of our people, and we must change that. We must recognize that as a people, we are “all in it together.” We prosper or fall together, and we can prosper most if we work together.
Our party must stand for the moral principle that our economy should provide a good life for all of our citizens, not just the wealthy few. Let us renew the American Dream.
The high cost of health insurance in the United States is ruining the American Dream for most of us.
Health care in the United States is far too expensive, and we can no longer afford it. We pay far more than most other countries, and our system delivers mediocre outcomes. Health care emergencies are the number one cause of personal bankruptcy. Millions of people are without health insurance, and even those who still have insurance through their jobs are finding that it costs them more and more while it covers less and less. Companies that offer health insurance are finding it more and more costly.
We must have a national system of health insurance that covers everyone. “Medicare for all” is one possibility, but it is not the only one. Several European countries have health care systems that rely on insurance provided by health insurance companies in a heavily regulated market. However, whatever solution we adopt must include non-market methods of controlling the cost of health care products and services. Without that, no program will be financially feasible in the long run.
Providing adequate health care for all of our people is a moral responsibility. If we fail to do that, we will drive more and more people into bankruptcy and misery.
Our party must stand for a financially sustainable national system of health insurance for everyone in order to make the American Dream real again.
For too many of us, the American Dream is ruined by the reality of poverty in retirement. Everyone hopes to have a secure and comfortable retirement. Most of us work hard toward that end, but we find ourselves in a world that makes it more and more difficult to achieve. Our Social Security system is the bedrock of a comfortable retirement for our people. It must be preserved, and its financial problems must be resolved. We cannot allow the financial interests of a few extremely wealthy people to rob the rest of us of the secure and comfortable retirement that we have worked for.
Providing a secure and comfortable retirement for every American is a matter of basic fairness. It is wrong for us to abandon people in their old age, and every young person should be able to work secure in the knowledge that his/her retirement income is guaranteed
Our party must stand for a comfortable and secure retirement for everyone in order to make the American Dream real for all of us.
Real Opportunity for Young People
We must make the American Dream real again for our young people. It would be wrong for us to do otherwise.
Our economy depends on our having a steady supply of well trained workers, and our democracy depends on having an educated citizenry. We should not place the burden of paying for the education that is required entirely on the shoulders of the young. Today, we act as if the education of our young people only benefited them, but in fact, we all benefit from it.
We used to understand that. We used to pay for post-high school education for all of our people mainly through taxes. Tuition at our community colleges and state universities used to be almost free, but a few decades ago, we started to shift the burden to the young. We cut state support for higher education, and we required students to borrow money to pay for it. The burden on them has become heavier and heavier through the years, and now, young people graduating from school face crushing debts, which will take them many years to repay. The burden of debts makes them unable to invest in good homes and good education for their children.
This is wrong. We should be doing all we can to make sure that the American Dream is as real for today’s young people as it was in the past, and that means increasing funding for higher education, especially at the state level.
Our party must stand for real opportunity for young people. We must make the American Dream real for them again.