Peace and Love
Peace & Wealth: Far Cheaper Than War
War can’t win people’s hearts and minds. Instead, our wars and foreign interventions lead to more terrorist attacks. In 2000, there were less than 1,500 terrorist attacks worldwide. In 2013, there were nearly 10,000 of them. Most of them occur in places we’ve waged war or attacked with drones: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Syria.
We’ve wasted tens of trillions of dollars in our wars for decades and contributed to the rise of militant jihadist groups like ISIS. With just fractions of this money, we could have given all our citizens free health care, free medicines, and free college and vocational education.
We could have used the money left over to end all hunger and poverty worldwide, give the world basic health care, and create a peaceful, prosperous earthly paradise. Poverty, suffering, and injustice are important causes of war and terrorism.
Helping poor nations would make us much safer. Imagine what would happen to ISIS and other jihadist groups if we fed the world’s hungry people and gave them clean water, basic medical care, and education. Experts say it would cost relatively little.
Isn’t it time to stop our incredibly wasteful, destructive wars and turn our beautiful, blue-green fragile world into a prosperous, peaceful paradise?
Free Health Care, Like 24 Other Countries
The health of our people is incredibly important in our economy, yet 33% of Americans and 43% of low-income Americans say they didn’t fill a prescription, get a recommended medical test or treatment, or see a doctor when they were ill because of the cost.
Out of the top 30 richest countries per capita, only the US doesn’t provide health care for all its citizens. This kills 45,000 people a year and ends up disabling millions of people because of poor care or late diagnoses.
Sick people have little choice but to get treatment, but they have no access to price information and hospitals charge arbitrary, often wildly inflated, and incredibly unfair prices. Sadly, the working poor pay or owe far more for the same treatments than hospitals charge rich people’s insurance companies!
Most Americans, doctors, nurses, and unions want Medicare for All—a bill often introduced in Congress that would save many trillions of dollars and create more jobs. It would provide doctor, hospital, long-term care, mental health, dental, vision, prescription drug, and medical supply costs to everyone for the same amount of money we are spending now. And patients would have free choice of doctors and hospitals and no copays or deductibles.
Our health industry lobbies more than any other industry to preserve the status quo. Regular doctor visits save money by preventing health care problems. Americans work more hours than the people of any other rich nation. We deserve free health care.
Free Medicines, Like 5 Other Countries
Americans pay the highest drug prices in the world, by far. People in other countries pay only a fraction of what we pay and some countries give their people free medicines, even expensive cancer and HIV/AIDS medicines.
Most medicines are incredibly cheap to manufacture. For example, while Americans pay nearly $2,000 a month for HIV/AIDS medicines, charities buy the same medicines for only 20 cents per person per day.
Medicines should be a human right, not a luxury only for people who can afford them. Depending on profit-driven private drug companies leaves us very vulnerable to catastrophic diseases like AIDS or Ebola, because these companies have no interest in these diseases until they spread into rich countries, far too late.
Drug companies waste money, cheat, and lie and their fraud often kills tens of thousands of people. They don’t even make most of our truly important new medicines. They also bribed our government to outlaw negotiating cheaper drug prices, even though our government is the largest buyer of medicines in the world.
Public funding of drug research would make medicines vastly cheaper and safer. Sharing research would speed up drug development while exposing dangerous side effects and negative results that drug companies often hide.
Free College, Like 30 Other Countries
Government studies show we are already spending far more money in grants, aid, loans, and tax breaks for higher education than is needed to make all public universities and community colleges free. Making public colleges free would put pressure on private universities to reduce their costs to compete.
The democratic notion of free college education, offering equal opportunity to all, has a very long history in America. Education is an important investment in our future and would help America become a land of opportunity again. Thirty other countries offer free college and vocational education and many countries that don’t, have cheap rates.
Our government actually spends far more helping the rich go to college than the average person. Over $30 billion of our taxpayer money goes to for-profit colleges that scam poor people, produce low achievement, sky-high dropout rates, financial ruin, and 50% of all student loan defaults. Student debt is now a lifelong drag on our economy.
To release the potential of our youth and keep our economy competitive world wide, we need free college, like Tennessee, Oregon, Minnesota, San Francisco, Denver, and Pittsburg already have.
Win Back The American Dream
We live in the richest country in the world, richer than ever before. Our $17 trillion economy is the highest in the world and the highest it has ever been. Government cuts have hurt our economy, because 70% of our economy is consumer spending. All economics textbooks say government spending grows the economy by putting more money in the pockets of everyday Americans.
Now is the perfect time to invest in our country and the future of our people. US government bonds are by far the safest investment in the world. Interest rates are so low, we can borrow money now for almost nothing. Let’s invest in our future and grow our economy with jobs programs. Investing far more in education, infrastructure, energy efficiency, high-speed internet, and research will make America competitive again.
Strengthen Social Security & Medicare
Social Security has proven itself as a rock-solid foundation of the middle class and by protecting seniors, widows, orphans, and the disabled from extreme poverty. It is completely self-funded, with operating costs of half of 1%, yet Congress has cut 14 of its last 16 requests to use a tiny bit more of its own $2.8 trillion surplus—money we’ve already paid for its services.
The US provides lower Social Security benefits than most developed countries, ranking 26th out of the top 30 nations. Many people applying for Social Security lose all their financial resources, homes, or even die or kill themselves while waiting for help.
Millionaires and billionaires pay no Social Security tax at all on any earnings beyond $127,200, which means we actually fail to collect this tax on more than 86% of all wages.
Nearly 10,000 very wealthy people only pay Social Security for the first day or two or week or two of their work each year, then no more for the rest of the year. This is ridiculous, when the working poor struggle to pay the Social Security tax on everything they earn.
Very rich people don’t work for most of their money—it comes from investments. And they don’t pay any Social Security taxes on this income, either.
Polls show most Americans, both Democrats and Republicans, do not want to cut Social Security or Medicare. In fact, they support increasing Social Security and paying for it by making the rich pay into Social Security at the same rate as everybody else.
There is no need to cut programs that strengthen our economy by supporting the middle class and helping our poor and elderly, like Social Security and Medicare.