The New Normal

I am starting to recognize you need to use your creativity; if you don’t use it, you’re not living a full life.  I have suppressed my creativity for 54 years, and so as I start to use it more, I feel like I am living a better life….I am fully human.  It is amazing that we’re even here, and life is so short and beautiful and precious, and we need to enjoy it as much as possible.  And, we have to encourage others, too.  

I am trying to make democracy better so more people can live in pursuit of happiness; we need more entrepreneurs and creators and fewer employees. We need to be able to do it all like  Norway, France, Switzerland where people have a higher quality of life.  In part, it is because they vacation more, work less, and they have healthcare and paid time off for both parents when a child is born. 

Normalcy in the United States 

Biden is bringing back normalcy to the White House and, as best he can, to Congress, as opposed to extremism. We want to have two functioning parties.  We won in 2020 and 2022, and we lost in 2016.  There are alot of strengths on his side; he’s been the most patient to get to the Office of the President of the United States.  He is the person we’ve been able to go to because of his normalcy.  

Now, we’re heading back into a job boom, with manufacturing in the United States soaring from the policies Biden enacted.  While we’re not going back to the1970s --- we are still a service-oriented economy---we are bringing good manufacturing jobs here. This will help workers who do not have college degrees. This manufacturing boom is also providing an urgently needed transition to renewable energy.   

Even so, it seems that we were closer to normalcy in the decade of the 1960s.  A few reasons I believe this are: 

  1. We had plenty of teachers (at least white children).  Everyone could have a decent education.      
  2. We had a collective conscience as a nation:  We were going to the moon.  
  3. We were a country of science; a secular nation.  
  4. Unions were still prevalent.  

Fix U.S. education 

Now, the cost of college is prohibitive to many people. And, we encouraged too many children to go to college when they couldn’t pay for it.  College should be free; and, if you don’t want to go to college, we, the taxpayers of the United states of America, should cover costs to go to trade school. This would help provide workers for the manufacturing sector or other jobs that college graduates shun.  In France, you don’t have to work as a kid.  If you want to go to college, you can. People are free to be entrepreneurs or be complacent with a job; and then retire at age 64. And, they live longer than Americans.  

When I was 12 years old, as a product of public school, I began examining what I learned in Sunday school more critically. In public schools in the United States today, we are no longer teaching art, music, physical education and genuine critical thinking. We’re also piling more responsibility on teachers (taking on parents’ roles), making them manage classrooms twice the size they should, and paying them less to do so. If you have one or two disrupted students without a manageable class size, the majority of the students then receive far less learning.  

Normalcy includes healthcare for all 

The reason normalcy is important is that we want to normalize healthcare for all as a foundation.  This way, you don’t have to worry about having a job and can go and be entrepreneurial. Almost no one has money in their pocket to cover catastrophic healthcare issues.   

President Truman proposed healthcare for all in 1948, but it was defeated because the Southern Democrats did not want people of color to have the same access as white people and opposers warned of socialism. The American Medical Association launched a campaign in 1948 against national health insurance. The very people who claim to ‘do no harm,’ lobbied against healthcare for all. Clinton had a healthcare plan that was pretty good in1992, but he didn’t move fast enough on it to get it through. It got lost in Congress. The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) was effectively passed in 2008, and enacted in March 2010. The Republicans have said they are going to replace it, but have not yet done so.

While Obamacare is a start, I want it to be a single payer system that provides healthcare for all. This would create more entrepreneurs, which makes for a larger tax base.  There are plenty of people out in the world who have to worry about healthcare and cannot afford to take the risk. 

E pluribus unum

While we have extremists, we need to stop them. That’s not normal. Let’s be normal! It’s your right to believe whatever you want; it is not okay to impose your views on others.  Why do we continue to mix Church and State?  We swear in Presidents on the Bible and insert religion in places where it should not be. We’ve had “in God We Trust” on our currency (since 1956).  It replaced E pluribus unum which is the de facto motto for the seal of the United States.  There are a number of oligarchs who have had undue influence over the past 60 years, who pushed for changes like these.  

We need to remedy tax evasion of the wealthy. Somehow we’ve made it okay for the wealthy people not to pay their fair share.  We’ve eliminated IRS agents, so we lack the resources to go after ‘tax cheats.’  

Fix unions

Unions were broken in almost one fell swoop when, in 1981, Ronald Reagan fired all of the 11,000+ air traffic controllers who were on strike.  I believe we need to return to having unions, with the good parts --- promoting a liveable wage to support a family of four, education throughout your career to keep advancing as you like.

Consider what the unions did poorly that led to a failing system (union dues paid but benefits not delivered) and fix those things to make unions work genuinely for the people and not the union bosses. We need unions because of the exigencies of lives; workers need an advocate for them, for education, healthcare, a living wage during working years and a good pension for their retirement years.  Workers are the majority, yet the voice of the workers feels small.  The voice of corporations has gotten bigger.  That needs to turn around, so the voice of the individual feels meaningful and important.  It is not overshadowed by money.    

Pursuing happiness - what’s next 

The new normal is not just about working.  You’re not just a cog in the wheel.  You get to earn your money, but you also have the opportunity to use your creative self.  We need to ensure that we protect democracy so that we all have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, whatever that means to you.