10 Reasons Why America Is in Need of a Social Innovation Revolution
You’re paying too much for healthcare
U.S. spends 18% of its GDP, nearly $4 trillion, on healthcare. By comparison, Canada, Germany, Australia, the U.K., Japan, Sweden, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, and the U.S., on average only spend 12%.
The reasons are many, see articles below for more perspective:
Reuters (29-Jun-19): American caravan arrives in Canadian ‘birthplace of insulin’ for cheaper medicine
Healthcare Dive (29-May-19): US healthcare spending estimated to grow to $3.6T this year
N.Y. Times (10-May-19): Many Americans Will Need Long-Term Care. Most Won’t be Able to Afford It
N.Y. Times (09-May-19): Many Hospitals Charge Double or Even Triple What Medicare Would Pay
N.Y. Times (02-Apr-19): Americans Borrowed $88 Billion to Pay for Health Care Last Year, Survey Finds
CNBC (22-Mar-18): Here’s the real reason health care costs so much more in the US
Washington Post (13-Mar-18): The real reason the U.S. spends twice as much on health care as other wealthy countries
Harvard Gazette (13-Mar-18): US pays more free health care with worse population health outcomes
Washington Post (23-Jul-13): The royal birth cost $15,000. The average American birth is billed at $30,000.
N.Y. Times (16-May-13): New Jersey Hospital Has Highest Billing Rates in the Nation
You’re earning about the same as workers did in 1973
Annual incomes of the bottom 90% of U.S. families have been essentially flat since 1973 — having risen by only 10% in real terms over the past 37 years. Over the same period, the incomes of the top 1% have tripled.
And most of that wage growth has come from women. Using 1979 as the basis year, wages have declined by 10% for men, risen by 25% for women, mainly due to educational achievement, and just 3% for all workers.
There is a debate over exactly how much or little wages have increased since the 1970s, but as you will see later, there is no question that the rich have grown far richer since then. Consult these stories for additional information:
Bloomberg (14-Feb-19): Wage Stagnation Is One Disease With Many Causes
Forbes (25-Sep-18): Real Wage Growth Is Actually Falling
Pew Research (07-Aug-18): For most U.S. workers, real wages have barely budged in decades
Economic Policy Institute (06-Jan-15): Wage Stagnation in Nine Charts
Your children’s education is lagging and has become too costly
We must recognize that America’s future depends mostly on quality of education. We have a moral obligation to ensure that our children have the best education possible, especially given the growing trend of global competition.
There’s no question that the U.S. is falling behind in critical professions, including the disciplines of engineering and science, which are essential for a technology-imbued future.America’s educational system is in dire need of a major reinvention, here’s why:
• Cost of education – Since 1971, spending on education has increased more than 100%, yet national graduation rates and achievement scores are flat. More money hasn’t helped American kids, nor has it made them more fluent in languages other than English or more technically adept, two areas where our new graduates are most lacking.
• Educational quality – As Harvard Business Review puts it, “For too long, the American education system failed too many kids, including far too many poor kids and kids of color, without enough public notice or accountability.” An international exam shows that American 15-year-olds are stagnant in reading and math even though the country has spent billions to close gaps with the rest of the world.
• Student loans – Student loan debt in total stands at $1.5 trillion, up $20 billion in the third quarter, with 10.9% borrowers in default.
Refer to these stories for more information:
Harvard Business Review (11-Jan-19): Data Was Supposed to Fix the U.S. Education System. Here’s Why It Hasn’t.
This summer, we experienced firsthand what a scam America’s hospitals have become. In July, one of our staffers skidded off his bicycle. Se he decided to visit St. Rose San Martin’s emergency room, a local Las Vegas hospital. Total bill for a 90-minute wait and 30-minute exam? A whopping $3,094, excluding x-ray charges.
The New York Times:
For decades, profitable companies have been able to avoid corporate taxes. But the list of those paying zero roughly doubled last year as a result of provisions in President Trump’s 2017 tax bill that expanded corporate tax breaks and reduced the tax rate on corporate income.
On the heels of the tax package that gave a boost to the country's wealthiest, corporations returned much of their tax-cut-fueled earnings back to shareholders in the form of stock buybacks and juicier dividends. Goldman Sachs said $1 trillion in buybacks, a record, were authorized in 2018. More granularly, S&P Dow Jones Indices estimated in May that corporations spent $564 billion on buybacks and $428 billion on dividends in one year through that month.