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  • Writer's pictureericjcarrig

We need a Policy of Productivity to Give All Americans an Opportunity

Updated: Jun 11, 2023

Restoring faith in America requires wholesale change

  • The truth hurts, but our history is racist

  • A wasteland of negative consequences is the evidence you need

  • Underaffiliation is Spreading

  • Start with a Policy of Productivity

The truth hurts, but our history is racist

  • Whites used faith and policy to isolate Indigenous and Black people in neighborhoods featuring people like them with low incomes.

  • Low incomes kept tax revenues low, so public schools would never match the quality of public school systems in even middle class, white neighborhoods.

  • Their shared experience is low-quality housing and limited empathy from landlords and long commutes on public transportation or in cars they don’t want, but need.

  • Whites made excuses for our not-in-my-backyard mentality to prevent integration, like potential increased crime, and bad behavior in schools.

  • Whites move in or out, but are always separate in nice neighborhoods where they can drive their kids to school in cars they take to work and grocery stores, secure in the knowledge that their kids are getting a decent public education and will likely be able to go to college.

A Wasteland of Negative Consequences is the Evidence you Need

Food insecurity

  • Poor people get sugary groceries from a convenience store, like soft drinks and snacks, and meals from fast food chains.

  • It fills you up, but it doesn’t provide the vitamins and mineral we need to be healthy.

  • It’s an unlikely climb out to healthy eating

    • Community gardens don’t scale to feed the entire neighborhood and typically have limited sources of protein even if they are used.

    • Farmers markets are not nearby and are too costly anyway.

    • Most American schools have dropped home economics, so no one knows how to prepare a meal anyway.

    • Large grocery store chains won’t open and operate stores in low-income neighborhoods because it’s unprofitable

    • Our government is stingy with food benefits for the very people it helped put in these situations.

Poor health that costs the entire country

  • Members of BIPOC members are more likely to be overweight, so have chronic conditions related to it.

  • Black communities have experienced generations of domestic and gang violence and drug and alcohol abuse.

  • No wonder kids from these communities show up at school with behavior problems, yet they get blamed for having them.

  • The path leads to prison and homelessness.

  • Imagine the anxiety and depression caused by wondering how you are gong to get food, pay rent, get to work or the doctor -- and your grandparents and parents ONLY know that anxiety and depression.

Dependence on a system that doesn’t help

  • BIPOC communities are dependent on food, health, transportation, and financial systems which do not help them.

  • They rely on donations from individuals, social services, and the government, but cannot count on any of them.

  • Most can’t get to college, and high school doesn’t help them do anything, which leads to a smaller pool of qualified workers.

  • Insufficient wages means people need multiple jobs

    • That makes they are tired and want to look for another one, which means they are less productive

    • That means workers are always looking for something new, so companies have to constantly pay to recruit and train

  • They distrust social services and the government, so doing the “right” thing matters less than getting what they need — the end justifies the means -- so lying, stealing, cheating prevail.

  • We blame them for bad behavior at this point, fueling distrust and resentment

Healthcare spending proves that wealth buys health

The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study in 2021 that showed that BIPOC communities and Whites incur health cares in different ways.

  • On average, whites spend more in a year on healthcare than BIPOC communities.

    • Whites tend to have money to pay the deductible.

    • White people tend to use healthcare for preventative check-ups, prescription medication, and procedures that let them sleep in their own beds afterward.

    • This is care that keeps them functioning and living longer.

  • BIPOC and White people use the system in different ways.

    • Minorities use the emergency department or end up in the hospital more frequently than Whites.

    • They are using critical care to save their lives instead of preventing illness or helping them to stay functional through surgeries.

    • BIPOC community members are using the healthcare system when it’s a matter of life or death, which is expensive.

Underaffiliation is Spreading

Now rural and suburban white people are feeling BIPOC pain

  • Less access to healthy food

  • Unaffordable housing

  • High deductibles

  • Wages not growing for non-college jobs

  • Mental health problems, e.g. drug use, suicide

  • Anger and distrust with the government, especially the left

We are focused on the wrong things

  • Americans do not trust either political party their employers, social services organizations, nor each other.

  • The only people getting ahead are already rich.

    • Family wealth has enabled many white Americans to not work, or use inherited money to pay for their kids private schools or houses in more desirable neighborhoods.

  • Corporations that could help people, e.g. food companies, healthcare providers and insurance companies, real estate owners do not seem to know — or perhaps care — about the negative impact they have on the well-being of Americans.

  • The government is diverting our attention from the systemic problems that are leaving more and more of us without hope.

  • They are not focused on policies and procedures that provide Americans with an opportunity to be their best.

  • They are dividing us with ideology about race, gender and religion, not uniting us, over the balancing individual success with the common good.

  • Anyone not ultra-rich, suffers.

Start a Policy of Productivity

  • Let’s do whatever it takes to give people the resources to be their best. We talk about it all the time, “Be our best selves.”

  • To be productive requires food, affordable shelter, healthcare, and a wage that covers the cost of living where someone lives.

  • The money to fund that must come from somewhere. We are cautiously talking about this and need to take a stand.

  • Super-rich people can afford to reinvest, give back, or pay more taxes to help Americans be their best and still live a life of luxury. They would not be rich without customers, so give those customers a shot at the good life too.

  • The same principle applies to corporations. Why not help your employees and customers get ahead?

  • To make change happen, Americans need to decide what kind of society we want.

  • Some of us seem to want a strong man, like Trump, someone with a fiery mouth who talks about punishing tormentors and people in the way of our beliefs.

  • Others want the current government to work.

  • We need representatives who stand for the Policy of Productivity — the philosophy that people have a right to access the basic necessities to be their best and that the government should fight to help them achieve that.

Check out the podcasts to hear the stories on which this is based:

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