National Past-Time Day
Years ago I remember reading an article talking about the United States’ lack of holidays, and in the midst of proposing additional Holidays they mentioned the Monday after the Superbowl as the perfect candidate; mainly due to the 7 Million people that reportedly call in sick or don’t show up for work: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1039803-americas-super-bowl-footprint-stats-info-and-thoughts-on-our-national-holiday
So, to start this ball of Welfare reforms rolling I propose that today, the Monday after the Superbowl, should be called something like National Past-Time Day (I know baseball is the American Past-Time, but Day-After the Superbowl Day doesn’t have much of a ring to it), and that it should be a paid Federal Holiday.
This would allow Superbowl Sunday to become a legitimate American holiday, resembling a 2nd Thanksgiving.
Public Jobs and Winter Subsidy
Public Jobs programs are not a new idea, but a Winter Subsidy is and how these two work together is what I will be presenting.
First; let’s talk about the Winter Subsidy, since we are starting this article out with a new Holiday it only makes sense to stick with the theme. My idea is to subsidize the holiday season by sending everyone a monthly check from late November (First Day of Hanukkah or Thanksgiving) to the New Year (New Years Day/Last Day of Kwanzaa). This would give everyone a little bit of a break for close to 6 weeks.
This idea has more to do with unemployment than it does with general economic ups-and-down- (with September being the historical worse month of the Market Cycle). http://www.investopedia.com/articles/05/seasonaltrends.asp#axzz2Jx1N0yqB
So, what does a 6-week stipend during winter have to do with unemployment and public jobs?
The idea would be that instead of receiving unemployment, we would pay people to perform public works/jobs. This would be how they get their check. The hours could even be done in a way that leaves public working time during the day to look for work. Something like working 4 hours a day and getting paid a minimum/living wage doing so.
This would leave the unemployed with enough money to cover bills and time during the day to look for a full-time job. These jobs would expire as the Winter Subsidy gets sent out. During this time, when a large number of workers may be taking time off for holidays, all with a small public stipend and thus extra money, there would likely be a need for workers, thus jobs.
Public Option and Interstate Insurance
It is obvious that there is a need for Health-Care reform, and that the Affordable Health-Care Act didn’t quite cut it. Some of the regulations in the bill seem to benefit the public good (existing conditions, staying on parents insurance longer), while others appear to benefit the insurance companies (the mandate). My approach is similar in some aspect, but leaves a much better situation and more freedom.
Single-Payer, Public Option, Universal Health-Care; all these words have been used to describe very different systems. I shall explain what I mean by a Public Option.
A Public Option could simply be a program in which people can choose to buy into a group plan with the rest of participating Americans. This coverage could be subsidized for Children, Seniors, Veterans, the Poor, and Native Americans, or even covered by including it in the price of the voluntary participants (the goal to still make it a more affordable option).
At the same time we need to free up the insurance market as to both insure that we do not threaten the large insurance lobby, and also to lower costs. By allowing the purchase of inter-state insurance, we may see a large number of insurance companies moving to the state with the most relaxed laws, but there will most likely be states that find ways of keeping some local insurance providers (that will run by their regulations) around. The upside is that this would likely also reduce insurance prices (thus lowering the public option price in kind). Additionally allowing doctors to compete for price and a general support of generic medicines, would help lower health-care costs. However, there is something that costs us far more than anything when it comes to health-care; anxiety.
While recent School Shootings underline the need for mental health-care, we don’t need to look much further than the impacts of anxiety, worry, and stress on our health-care system, and general individual and social health.
In the Book “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” a hospital is referenced that at one point, had as many as half their hospital beds taken/filled by people who were just stressing out (and had no real physical ailment). That fact alone should highlight the need to free our society from the burdens of anxiety.
Now, I’m not saying that Stress is always bad. As we evolved, we developed the ability to shift our bodily functions (chemical creation) in times of heighten stress (such as being chased by a tiger). Traditionally however, those states were short lived. We only want to be stress, and in “fight-or-flight” when we really need to either fight and fly. When we get stressed now, it last all day, and our bodies and minds remain in this relative state. That means we aren’t functioning properly, both mentally and physically. That is a problem.
Adding comprehensive Mental Health-Care to the Public Option (we should probably throw in Eye and Dental while we are at it), could actually reduce the over-all health-care costs of the Nation.
A Welfare Department
In my Federalist Platform concept, I show how we can consolidate the Executive Branch to 6 Departments; including a newly formed Welfare Department.