A rant on the structure of our economy

This is a rant. While it may be based on some articles that I have read lately, don't expect me to link to references.

I believe that we have a severe structural problem in our economy and as a result, people are not getting value for their money, specifically for their tax dollars.

In my opinion, we have become a two class society, but it's not the classes you might think, rich and poor. It's people with security and people without.

I think of the people at the auto shop who repair my car. They do excellent work. Whatever health insurance they have, though, is whatever the business owner can afford to buy in the private sector. And whatever retirement they have beyond Social Security must be financed with money that they invest themselves.

Good luck with both of those things.

Meanwhile, I have a defined benefit government pension and a decent government health insurance plan. I pay for part of my insurance, but the rest is paid with tax dollars. Tax dollars paid by me, but also paid by everyone who works at Boyden Brook Body Works.

I've read a couple of articles lately about structures of economies in some European countries. It turns out that some of the most highly taxed people are also the most contented. Everyone has healthcare, adequate paid time off when babies are born, access to child care, paid vacations - everyone has security. The taxpayers get value for their money.

No wonder we have tax revolts in this country. It boils down to value, which is wildly uneven.

I figure we need to go one of two ways. One direction is to follow the model of the European nations where contentment is high. Provide everyone with health care, child care, security. And find a model to have all of us pay the taxes required to give us security, be it an income tax increase, a VAT, or whatever.

The other direction is to identify what only government can do (national defense) and contract everything else out to the private sector. No government health insurance or retirement for anyone, even government workers - the soldiers, cops, and teachers can buy their health insurance on the open market like the auto mechanics do, and can open IRAs to save for retirement.

In the meantime, you will never hear me complain about the taxes that I pay. I am one of the lucky people who is getting value for my money.

Comments

  1. I agree with you!

    The only problem with the second option is that it will not help anyone's contentment. I am not afraid of paying for my own insurance as a teacher, but that money has got to come from somewhere and it will come out of the money I spend on students.

    But what is more crucial to me is that without universal free healthcare we devalue human life and work. The fact that a few make billions from big pharm/big med doesnt bother me as much as the corpses that earned it for them.

    Preventative med, free healthcare and nobody pays for insurance. I think with that everyone could afford to be a little more content.

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