I am getting sick and tired of people pointing to Venezuela when talking about Progressive policies. It’s a very dishonest strawman when we’re not even asking for a Venezuelan system. Venezuelan would be government control of the means of production.
What we’re asking for is simple: Medicare for All, Tuition-Free Public College, a Federal Jobs Guarantee Program, and Universal Public Housing.
Medicare for all would save us between $17 Trillion according to a liberal study, and $2 Trillion according to a conservative study. Not only would it be cheaper, it would also lead to better results, as multiple studies have found. On top of that, private supplemental insurance would still be available to cover whatever the public system doesn’t cover (which, yes, would include some things). If every other developed country can do this, why can’t we? Are we really wasting so much money on offensive wars and defence contracts that this isn’t even possible?
Tuition-Free Public College would simply extend the tuition-free school system that we have with Primary and Secondary School and extend it to Public Colleges. Simple. The point is to get more skilled workers out there to stimulate our economy, after all if you give regular people the chance to really earn money, they will actually use that money. Private Colleges will still exist, as they do with Primary and Secondarys Schools, and the Private Colleges would not be covered with taxpayer money, just as it is with Primary and Secondary Schools. If Slovenia can do it, so can we. If we can afford to increase our military budget by $100 Billion, we can afford to set aside $80 Billion for this program.
A Federal Jobs Guarantee Program will not replace jobs in the Private Sector. Instead, it is a form of a Social Safety Net; they would provide government-contracted jobs and pay the worker the minimum living wage of their county. You would not get a raise in this program, as it’s only meant to pay you enough to survive, and yes, you could get fired if you refuse to do your job. But if you want more money, you would go to the Private Sector, probably after going to College. This would also set the stage for what to do when all our jobs are replaced with automation: Where do people work after that? It’s time we start thinking about what to do when all our jobs are automated.
Universal Public Housing is a new one, but it’s also pretty simple: A 2-Bedroom Apartment provided by the government. Believe it or not, it actually costs more to leave a homeless person on the street than it is to provide them a simple home, so that’s what this program would do. It would be nothing luxurious: 2 Bedrooms, 1 Bathroom, a Livingroom, a Kitchen, and a Dining Room. Basically, a 2-Bedroom Apartment. If you want something better, again, you can turn to the private market.
Notice what all these programs have in common: Not a single one of them fully replaces the private sector. This is the difference between a Scandinavian system and a Venezuelan system: The actual thing we’re asking for is a strong social safety net. I know me personally, I could really use Tuition-Free Public College and a Federal Jobs Guarantee Program. I am glad for Obamacare because without it, my little sister may not actually be here today, but I want it to go further and cover everyone.
I’m personally not looking to move out anytime soon, I want to finish College and get a decent job beforehand, but if there was a need to, Universal Public Housing would be a very helpful program for me.
None of this fully replaces the Private Sector. None of this is Government Control of the means of production. None of this is a Venezuelan system of government.
You got that? If not, well, too bad, because we have the American People on our side. Every one of these programs are popular with the American people.
We can do this. We have the resources. We simply need to stop wasting it on giving more money to the rich and more war, like someone who can’t afford a decent house because they’d rather spend their money on the new iPhone and Netflix.