We have to realize how ridiculous we have been, don’t we? It has to be only a matter of time. How long can we go on like this? We could choose to solve, but we choose to stay.
We live in the only industrialized country in the world that has chosen not to grant health insurance coverage to every citizen as a right of citizenship.
According to the OECD, out of 34 countries we rank below the average for life expectancy, mortality from cardiovascular disease, incidence of cancer, and infant mortality.
When it comes to obesity, we are dead last. How much do we spend for this stellar performance? The most. The most of any of the 34 countries. Over $2000 more per capita than the next country on the list.
We could solve these problems, but we choose not to. Instead, we have passed a law that fails to address the entire problem, and now we want to repeal that law because many people think it goes too far.
We have allowed income and wealth inequality to rocket to levels we haven’t seen since the 1920s. You may recall that decade didn’t end so well. We could solve this problem, but we choose not to.
We allowed housing and mortgage markets to build a bubble so big that its bursting led to a massive, global recession. Then, we turned around and started to build another within eight years (CNN, NASDAQ, Fortune, Time). We could solve this problem, but we choose not to.
We complain we can’t afford our tax burden when that tax burden is one of the lowest in any developed nation in the world. We could solve this problem, but we choose not to.
We have shifted our economic system so college degrees are an automatic requirement for many professions, and in the process have strapped a whole generation of our nation’s young people with over one trillion dollars in debt. We could solve this problem, but we choose not to.
The climate of our world is changing by our hands. We could solve this problem, but we choose not to. Instead, we continue to allow doubt that climate change even exists despite the fact that well over 90% of climate scientists assert that global warming is a human-made phenomenon.
We spend more on imprisoning criminals than we do on educating our children. We could solve this problem, but we choose not to.
We have persistent and obvious racial inequality in our country and we continue to argue about whether or not we have racial inequality in our country. We could solve this problem, but we choose not to.
We have made these choices. If you are reading this and thinking I am making a tired, progressive, liberal argument for more government involvement in our lives, you are wrong. I’m not.
Social problems are not a government issue. They are a societal issue. Societies can choose how they want to address their challenges. Government intervention is but one of the options. I am simply pointing out that we have not chosen solutions.
How can we stare right at these problems every day and not choose to solve them?