Corporatism, Labor, and Health Care
The following is the text of a speech given at the ABP's National Convention in Chicago on 6/1/19
It is good to be in Chicago. Growing up here, seeing the union halls along 80, gave me a pride in the workers. And once again, it is good to see organized labor. We need organized labor to make the middle class strong again. We need organized labor to bring into existence the corporative order.
What we can achieve together, in collaboration among the classes, shows in our past: we can achieve anything when we are united. We built the finest machinery, the tallest buildings, here in Chicago, the most durable luxuries, and did so in the safest working conditions hard fought and won, and achieved the highest standard of living. And where are we now?
We have been duped into believing our standard of living is increasing. We buy imports to make us feel wealthy, we finance purchases we can’t afford, and we spend our time working off our debt. Our standard of living is financed by balance sheets. Who are the American people, but a product of a mode of production? We the people become we the consumers. Look at the deficit and the recent projections. We must start looking out for ourselves. Buy American, strengthen our work force, put food on Americans tables and a paycheck to sustain their families and homes.
We have homeless Americans. We have jobless Americans. Underemployed, neck high in debt, paycheck to paycheck. What about our own people? Where’s the open hand of opportunity for those Americans left behind by the American dream? The US is one of the lowest public spending countries of the OECD, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, in terms of helping its people find work, less than .2% of GDP. This will be addressed, with the corporate bodies creating employment agencies that will seek out labor to fulfill the demands needed by industry. We also need to look towards our future labor force.
We need a better education system, one that starts off early in the high school process and begins grooming people for their profession, with actual training translatable to a resume. How many of you have student loan debt? I do. Yes, I signed that deal with the devil. Money owned to the governments loan shark.
We need to restructure the financing of higher education, for having an educated population will lead to labor market advantages in the future markets. Education for all, yes, but for those who have the ability to achieve an education. A national endowment for state run universities to match private endowments should help.
And finally, we need to take better care of our people. An outdated and overpriced healthcare system driven by risk assessment and constant patents fights have led to an overbearing race to drive up healthcare costs while affording worse care.
We have advanced medical technologies that have elevated the duration of life well beyond the natural, and yet we have failed to improve the health of our people, proof by our life expectancy compared to other industrialized countries. It is this very advancement that has put us into this predicament. The profit motive of capitalism has led to skyrocketing costs of care, and more so under the Affordable Care Act than before. We provide care, but not solutions. We need an expansion of healthcare to all working people, part time and full time, to cover them in their time of need.
US healthcare costs are one of the highest in the world. What is contributing to the costs? New technology and new drugs. Competition between firms that provide services leads to constant upgrades in technology, and the supply side costs of research and development get passed onto the consumers. Another is the rise in chronic diseases which lead to an unhealthy population. As well, the high administrative costs associated with insurance, private and public. Also consider that elsewhere in the world, physicians make less than their US counterparts.
Other OECD countries have found that basing their premiums on income, rather than risk, helps to control for rising premium costs as we see here. Some countries also have no deductibles, while in the US, deductibles and premiums outpace wages in terms of growth. Other countries often negotiate between the payer and the provider for prices. Germany included a budget confine, so if a medical provider went over their budget of allowed services, they would not be reimbursed. This incentivized providers to not opt for expensive and often unnecessary procedures. Canada has a unique single payer system which is distributed across their provinces, where a regional funds provide payments.
We offer a system in which working people pay into a general fund that controls and distributes the reimbursement for the provisions of care, while changing community rating to be based on profession, and creating a single payer system in which the fund is managed by a federally appointed committee. A single payer system will be able to take on the pharmaceutical manufacturers and control for prices. Coverage can be bought directly from the government through employers within a corporate organization, with premiums adjusted for incomes and not risk. Coverage can be voted on and implemented by the corporate bodies themselves.
The current system is only a part of the problem. We need to take better care of ourselves. Eat healthier, exercise more, be in our best shape. The dividends paid from good health is true wealth. This will be a good starting point. No system is perfect from the start, and in time, we can achieve a workable solution to our health problems.
The divisiveness of a two-party political system restrains the potential to fix the problems the country is facing. Extremism grows on either side of the aisle. It is more and more common that the government shuts down than it is that it functions to the benefit of our people. Yet we are told this is the best system. Rome was a republic, the same as the United States. However, Rome was not reborn, it burned down to the ground. And the flames are all around us. We are forging through the desert trying to find the promised land. It is up to us, the people. We have a future to forge. And that future will be forged by the American Blackshirts Party.
You all came here because you want to do something. Start off small. Help in your community. A food drive can lead to a fortune. Always hold a door for a lady. Hit the gym or go for a jog. Gain new friends. Build networks. Grow. Push forward, eagerly, for the future awaits you. An act today can lead to a better tomorrow. Forward, my friends, tomorrow awaits us!