Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Growing America’s Middle Class and Increasing Profitability

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Some time ago, a friend shared an unsolicited comment about “ObamaCare” before all the ruckus over it had reached the SCOTUS. He had observed about a fellow he knew and described as “a snaggle-toothed Tennessee hillbilly,” whom had joined the United States Army. He observed that the fellow had some health needs, among them poor dentition and the need for corrective lenses. Upon his enlistment, he noted that the fellow was given proper healthcare, and all of his needs – food, clothing, housing, and healthcare – was provided by the United States government.

“Now, why did they do that?,” he asked rhetorically.

Answering his own question, he said quite simply, “because they know they’ll get a better quality soldier.”

Though my friend seemed to oppose any type of progressive politics, he did express a very thoughtful idea, one which continues to amaze me.

Expanding upon his simply expressed idea, I added that if American enterprise were to do similarly, imagine what it could do for productivity. No longer would employees (increasingly called “workers”) worry if they needed time off to care for their own, or a loved one’s health needs. No longer would they be concerned about losing their jobs, pay, job promotion or their houses and cars. Imagine that… freedom from fear! The offer of stability should appeal to any entrepreneur, or business-minded individual. Reduction of the uncertainty of risk is the entire model of insurance.

Personally, I have a friend whose married sister resides in Holland, where her husband is a high-level executive in an transnational corporation. She shared a story with me how her sister suffered tragedy by being hit by an automobile while she was riding a bicycle. Fortunate to escape with her life, she was off from her job for well over a year, and with therapy, it was very nearly two years before she was able to return to work. During that time, not only did she not lose income – not even a percentage – but she even received a promotion with accompanying increase in pay. As well, every cent of every procedure, medication and accompanying therapy was paid for in full.

I find it difficult to imagine that we in the United States – with the vast access to resources we have, including to creativity, and with what is arguably the world’s largest economy – cannot do as well as that, in this, the land of the free and home of the brave. I find it unimaginable that we lack the creativity, foresight or ability to create a future wherein the needs of our citizen members are not met, wherein they must continue to struggle and fight a battle that eventually will consume us if we ignore it.

{Ed. Note: This entry was originally entitled “No, we can’t… and we sure as Hell won’t. Why? We’re lazy, unimaginative, uncreative & uncompassionate.”}

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