The optimist in me believes there is a way to close the racial wealth gap. As a mother, with reflections of my own youth, my aim was to give my child the best, with love, education, experiences and discipline. If as a nation, we approached this question like a good parent raising many kids, would we limit the access to healthcare to some of our kids and only give the best care to our favorites? Of course not. Yet, I believe universal healthcare is a major factor impacting the wealth gap. With provisions that cover health from the cradle to the grave, meeting both preventative care as well as emergent care, and managed cost with pharmaceutical necessities, we would decrease the heavy cost of American healthcare by supporting a healthier population of people throughout our country.
Why is it such a priority to bail out financial institutions, automotive collaborators and airlines, while making American citizens carry ridiculous college debt just to try and earn a decent living? Forgive any college debt greater than $25,000 or that has been paid on for greater than 10 years. Additionally, by making higher education free would release people working for a better future from the financial bondage that adds stress and limits so many. When I was growing up, we had access to trade education to the middle and high school experience that gave students not interested in going to college options.
Restoring trade education would also catapult us in the right direction in all areas of our great nation. If our teachers were paid like the rock stars many of them are, as a nation, we would not simply see school as our weeklong daycare. Let’s harness what we have learned during this pandemic and urge Congress to increase our investment in education, increase teacher’s pay and make teaching a desirable occupation in the US again. In doing so, we would exponentially improve competitive talent, innovations, and excellence throughout our nation.
Finally, if we restore a sense of service to our youth before taking on all the responsibilities of adulthood, it will not take a pandemic for us to see each other in general and as an extension of one another regardless of race. Service in our nation’s armed services, community services, non-profit civil service have been taxed heavily during this pandemic. Meeting the needs of our communities and country build true pride and a level of accountability we need much more of. Our wealth gap is about more than money, it draws from how we prioritize our values and sense of responsibility.