While Americans enjoy many benefits and advantages, our economy doesn't work for too many of us. The average wealth of the poorer half of American households has dropped below zero — they hold more combined debt than assets. Seven million of us are behind more than three months on car payments. Forty per cent of us can't come up with $400 in case of emergency. Millions of us are without health insurance. Forty-five percent of us have zero savings for retirement. Forty-four million young people hold student loan debt that totals $1.5 trillion or more. Our suicide rate is climbing, as is the opioid epidemic. Those are "diseases of despair."
We're failing to meet too many people's needs because we're afraid of socialism. For a very happy mix of socialism and free market capitalism, look to the Scandinavian countries. According to the World Happiness Report, Finland has the happiest people in the world, with Denmark, Norway and Iceland close behind. These are countries that have institutionalized equality, and incorporate the best social safety nets in the world. They are also rated as the best places in the world to raise children! They don't have thousands of people sleeping under bridges or in hobo camps, or being wiped out economically by a catastrophic illness. They don't have people dying of diabetes because they can't afford insulin. People are free to prosper there because education is free at all levels as is child care. Freedom from want and fear are precious! Let's go green, and join Bernie and AOC and change things!
Lebanon (April 5)