It’s time to liberate capital. Of course, the General Assembly won’t do that, because we’re committed to one simple principle right now: austerity. Cut budgets, cut taxes on the rich, and watch the middle class flee the state while the impoverished remain behind.
See, we were facing a pension crisis and we had to tackle that. But the jobs crisis in Rhode Island? Well, we couldn’t possibly be bothered to pass a single bill aimed at alleviating that.
Luckily, Forbes magazine has the answer: single-payer healthcare. It will surprise our readership to discover that even some Republicans oppose the Affordable Health Care for America Act because they are holding out for single-payer.
Why? Because it makes fiscal sense. It’s simply cheaper to let the government cover healthcare than to force every business to pay a percentage of everyone’s ever-greater premium. And this is because, contrary to libertarian thinking, government actually is good for things. Infrastructure, education, utilities, etc.; these are all more affordable and more cost-effective when the government takes care of them than when the private sector does.
This actually isn’t something new. This is really old. We’ve mythologized the New Deal into this story of the Democratic Party under FDR taking drastic steps to establish things like the Works Progress Administration and Social Security. But the reality is that Roosevelt was opposed to large parts of the New Deal, which were enacted by Congress without his direction. Furthermore, Social Security wasn’t created just because some concerned legislators felt bad about poor old people, it was also advocated by rich businessmen who realized that they would have to end up paying pensions to their workers. Social Security acted as a relief, freeing capital up for use elsewhere in the company.
Rhode Island needs to think seriously about establishing a single-payer system of healthcare. Think about all of the costs associated with the current system: ER visits, premiums, the exorbitant cost of any procedure. These are things citizens and small businesses end up paying. Or not, as the situation may be (I’ve met plenty of homeless or formerly homeless folks who ran up so much debt on their healthcare they lost everything). Rhode Islanders will be willing to shoulder the costs of increased progressive income taxes if it means they can visit the hospital without worrying about the cost. The association between the tax increase and the service will be near impossible to break.
What does this mean? More spending. More hiring. More profits. Alternatively, we could decide to let ever greater healthcare costs decimate our small businesses and our people. It’s time to liberate capital. You can call it socialism, but I’ll just call it common sense.