Turn it Around
The time has come to reverse America’s economic decline, decades in the making. Our country faces a widening wealth gap (the most unequal since the 1920s), rampant debt, decaying infrastructure, and a hollowed-out industrial base. Every night, tens of millions of American children go to bed hungry. Millions of Americans must choose between food and medicine; millions more are living on the edge, just a single car repair away from disaster. And these problems are even worse for Black, Native, and other minority populations.
Government assistance to the nation’s most vulnerable is a high priority, but even more important is to reverse the policies that have led to such poverty in the first place. We will rebuild the industrial infrastructure, ruined by forty years of off-shoring and misguided “free trade” schemes. We will enact policies that favor small and medium businesses, which are the nation’s real job creators and the dynamos of American enterprise. We will support labor in reclaiming its fair share of American prosperity. We will break up “too-big-to-fail” banks and monopolies, and when crisis strikes, bail out the homeowners, debtors, and small business owners instead.
Global developments, particularly the end of the US dollar’s status as the world’s unchallenged reserve currency, portend turbulent economic conditions ahead. Yet at the same time, we know that America is fundamentally a wealthy nation, blessed with vast lands, rich resources, and a creative population. That is the vitality we will tap into to turn this country around.
Another key aspect of American revitalization is our healthcare system, which consumes nearly one-fifth of GDP. It isn’t just a matter of shifting the burden of who pays. The problem is much deeper. Healthcare spending per capita has increased twelve-fold since 1960. Are we twelve times healthier? Quite the contrary: We face today a terrible pandemic—not of Covid, but of chronic disease. Autoimmunity, allergies, diabetes, obesity, addiction, anxiety, and depression afflict two-thirds of the population, up from a few percent in our grandparents’ time. A Kennedy administration will go beyond making existing modalities available to all, to include low-cost alternative and holistic therapies that have been marginalized in a pharma-dominated system. We will move from a sick care system to a wellness society.