Rethinking Health, Education & Productivity

As I have discussed many times before, a compelling overall goal is a healthy, educated, and productive population that is competitive in the global marketplace.

  • Anyone who is not healthy is a drag on the national economy
  • Anyone who is not educated is a drag on the national economy
  • Anyone who is not productive is a drag on the national economy

Consequently, we need to invest so this does not happen.  Everyone, regardless of age, health, disabilities, ethnicity and inclinations, needs to receive the investments necessary to keep them from being drags on the economy.  Everyone contributes, in one way or another!

How can this be accomplished?  We need to move beyond rationing healthcare, education, and workforce training.  We need to make sure that everyone is enabled to be contributors.  There are no spectators; only participants.  This may involve working, volunteering or making woodcraft or clothing for others, but not avoiding participation.

Let’s put this in perspective, according to AARP, American’s population of people 50 years old and older constitute the third largest global economy behind the US and China.  100 million older Americans and disabled Americans represent market forces.  Globally, of course, the impact is even greater.  Everyone can be and should be contributors.

To maximize this possibility, we need to start earlier in pre-school and K-12.  No one – no child, no teen, no adult – should be left behind.  We want to maximize everyone’s potential to their benefit and ours.  Monies spent on health and education are not costs.  They are investments that will benefit everyone.  Healthy, educated, and productive people are human capital assets.

We include financial and physical assets on balance sheets, but not human capital.  We tend to want to maximize financial assets, minimize physical assets, and employ as little human capital as possible.  However, humans are central to manufacturing products, delivering services, and consuming both.  Henry Ford lowered prices and increased pay so that people could afford his cars.  Without humans, our economy disappears.

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