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In this video, Chelsea talks about the various things Americans should be much angrier about, from our lacking healthcare system to gross wealth inequality.

UN World Health stats: https://www.who.int/healthinfo/paper30.pdf, https://www.who.int/gho/publications/world_health_statistics/2020/EN_WHS_2020_Annex2.pdf

Medical debt & bankruptcies: https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/10.2105/AJPH.2018.304901?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=a5697b7e-8ffc-4373-b9d2-3eb745d9debb&=&

Healthcare spending by country: https://www.pgpf.org/blog/2020/07/how-does-the-us-healthcare-system-compare-to-other-countries

Insulin costs: https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(19)31008-0/fulltext

Average cost of healthcare: https://www.oecd.org/unitedstates/health-at-a-glance-united-states-EN.pdf

UHC: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/universal-health-coverage-(uhc)

U.S. pandemic response: https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/comparing-six-health-care-systems-pandemic

Obama administration pandemic plan: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/25/trump-coronavirus-national-security-council-149285

Trump received COVID warnings: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/04/07/timeline-trumps-coronavirus-response-is-increasingly-damning/

U.S. COVID cases: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/mortality

Politicization of aid: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/3/29/21198704/emergency-covid-19-supplies-fema-states-federal-government, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/desperate-for-medical-equipment-states-encounter-a-beleaguered-national-stockpile/2020/03/28/1f4f9a0a-6f82-11ea-aa80-c2470c6b2034_story.html

Restaurants closing: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/16/yelp-data-shows-60percent-of-business-closures-due-to-the-coronavirus-pandemic-are-now-permanent.html

U.S. wealth inequality: https://inequality.org/facts/wealth-inequality/

Recovery after 2008 recession: https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2020/01/09/trends-in-income-and-wealth-inequality/

Tax cut history: https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/how-do-taxes-affect-income-inequality

Lack of affordable housing: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nearly-1-5-million-vacant-us-homes-in-q3-2018-represent-1-52-percent-of-all-single-family-homes-and-condos-300739953.html
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-27/the-disturbing-rise-of-housing-vacancy-in-u-s-cities
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/01/american-housing-has-gone-insane/605005/

Job loss and homelessness: https://www.un.org/development/desa/dspd/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/05/CASEY_Louise_Paper.pdf

Finland response to housing: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/jun/03/its-a-miracle-helsinkis-radical-solution-to-homelessness

Lobbying: https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2019/08/corporate-power-beyond-lobbying/

Coal industry lobbying: https://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=e1210

Foreign interest lobbying: https://www.opensecrets.org/fara

Length of elections: https://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/10/21/450238156/canadas-11-week-campaign-reminds-us-that-american-elections-are-much-longer
https://psmag.com/social-justice/why-are-american-elections-so-long

Campaign spending and fundraising: https://www.opensecrets.org/elections-overview/cost-of-election?cycle=2020&display=T&infl=N
https://www.termlimits.com/congress-fundraising-priority/

Electoral college: https://www.usa.gov/election

Watch more of The Financial Diet hosted by Chelsea Fagan here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLD30V46E07RR99cC0gCjKUbt-BKoDUcnc

The Financial Diet site: http://www.thefinancialdiet.com

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Hey, guys.

It's Chelsea from The Financial Diet. And this week's video is sponsored by Fidelity Investments.

And today, I want to talk about things that you if you are an American should probably be angrier about than you actually are. We still tend to talk about this country in terms of being the greatest country in the world, which aside from being an almost impossible standard of measurement-- like how could you even really decide that-- is also on a number of really, really important indicators far from true. And in fact, particularly over the past 30, 35 years, America has actually fallen pretty far behind the rest of the developed world on several key important factors.

These are things that affect your everyday finances, your quality of life, your health, and even in many cases, what you can hope for for a future for yourself. Many of you may have heard stats around how millennials are the first generation who are actually poised to do worse and end up worse off than their parents' generation. But that kind of shift in society doesn't happen in a vacuum.

And it's also a pretty scary indicator when you consider that for most of us, a foundational element of what it means to be a productive, healthy human being is working toward creating a future that is better than what we inherited. The good news is society is an ever evolving, changing thing. And we have the power to turn these trends around.

But part of turning these trends around is learning about them in the first place and giving yourself permission to get pissed. So let's get pissed together with these six things Americans should be angrier about. Number one is health care.

So here's a sad stat. According to the United Nations World Health Organization, the US ranks 37th globally in overall health care performance but ranks first in the world for health care expenditure per capita. Number one, baby.

For comparison, France is first in the world in terms of health care performance and fourth in the world in terms of spending per capita. And in a paper published in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers found that over 2/3 of all bankruptcies were due to expenses incurred due to medical emergencies even after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The United States actually spends on average about twice as much of its GDP in terms of percentage on health care costs compared to comparable countries.

The average is around 8.6%. And we spend about 17%. And this is largely because health care costs as in the raw costs of things like procedures, medications, equipment are artificially higher here than they are in other countries.

For example, despite having shorter hospital stays on average, the United States' costs for a hospital stay greatly exceed that of any other country according to the Peterson Kaiser Health system tracker. And these inflated costs as mentioned do not translate to better results. As previously stated, the US is actually middle of the road when it comes to health care outcomes and is actively falling behind on a lot of important indicators, things like life expectancy, infant mortality rate, and diabetes care.

For example, insulin is actually 10 times more expensive here than it is in other comparable countries. Americans, on average, pay about $10,000 a year for health care costs, including things like insurance premiums and medication and one of the few wealthy countries in the world not to attain universal health care despite a promise as a UN member state to work toward universal health care by 2030. We have grown accustomed in the United States to thinking of health care as a luxury or a commodity like a pair of shoes or a bottle of beer.

But when we talk about health care, we talk about human life, the value of a human life, the value of a healthy population in a society. Because aside from the fact that for me providing health care in a wealthy society that can afford it is a moral obligation, there is also many tangible benefits to society from having a more healthy and cared for population. One thing I hope that the COVID crisis has taught us is that just because you yourself personally might be in a good place health wise, if your community around you does not have access to that same level of care or is sick, it can have enormous impacts on how you live your life.

As the late philosopher Troy Bolton once said, (SINGING) we're all in this together, which brings us to number two-- our COVID response. Dun, dun, dun. Based on how the United States treats its citizens' health in general, it really shouldn't be that surprising that our response to COVID as a nation was so lackluster.

But it really should still shock us because it was really shockingly bad and still is. One reason why the US has fared so poorly in its COVID response when compared to other high income countries is because of our lack of universal health care as mentioned before. Providing affordable, accessible testing to all Americans has been a huge stumbling block for our COVID response and a cornerstone of many successful countries' management of the outbreak.

Other countries, including Taiwan, had established plans for containing a pandemic ready to implement, which included rapid response, tracking known cases, enforcing quarantine, and free-to-all COVID tests. Hospitals were required to administer tests. And Taiwan has a single payer health care system funded by payroll tax and taxes on both tobacco and the lottery.

However, it is worth noting that universal health care is not all it takes for an adequate-to-good pandemic response as the United Kingdom has government-funded UHC but, due to Prime Minister Boris Johnson's delayed response and unwillingness to enforce mass closures, has also seen a huge number of COVID cases, including 80,000 by mid-April with 10,000 deaths. But what is perhaps most infuriating about this as reported by Politico is that the Obama administration created a comprehensive pandemic response plan that the Trump administration did have access to, meaning our response could have been much more coordinated and effective from the beginning. The plan was established in the wake of the Ebola outbreak of 2014 to 2015.

But in addition to not using that pandemic response plan, this administration took the step of actively downplaying the pandemic in the early months, losing precious time to gather a response. As we saw from some of our lawmakers selling off massive amounts of stock in February and early March, clearly people in positions of power were aware of the level of danger we were facing but chose for various reasons-- I'm not going to speculate, I'm not a mind reader-- to downplay the danger. There is also evidence that once aid actually was being distributed that the aid was being provided more along party lines than based on need with, for example, Florida receiving all aid asked for as compared to hard-hit states such as Massachusetts receiving only 17% of supplies requested.

This means that our COVID response is not always directed to addressing the most pressing need but rather being used to curry political favor or as political punishment. And while much of this has been done in the name of keeping the economy healthy, we now have sufficient data to understand that the economy returning to full health is dependent on the virus being controlled. Where there are massive uncontrolled outbreaks or spread unable to be tracked, people are simply going to consume less.

And with insufficient small business support, even when skirting lockdowns as compared to many other high-income countries, we've still seen massive closures of businesses such as restaurants with Yelp reporting that roughly 100,000 restaurants are going to be forced to close permanently as a result of this pandemic as of this filming. It can be easy to assume that the way our country has responded to the COVID crisis has been the best way to do things or the only way accessible. But if we turn our eyes to other developed countries to see how they've been able to handle it, we quickly see that a lot of our problems were simply not necessary.

And as to the as of filming over 200,000 deaths we've seen as a result of COVID, many of them were likely not necessary either. Number three is wealth inequality. It is no secret to pretty much anyone at this point but hopefully especially viewers of this channel that wealth inequality is a massive problem in the US.

Three men, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos, to be exact, hold more wealth than the entire bottom 50% of Americans. And this is a global issue, not just an American one. Globally, the richest 1% hold 44% of the world's wealth Meanwhile, 56.6% of the world's population hold only 2% of total wealth according to the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report.

But while this is a global problem, the United States is egregiously bad in this regard. In the US, the richest 1% hold 40% of the total wealth, which is a full 12 percentage points higher than the next country in line, the Netherlands. In fact, in no other nation in the world does the top 1% hold more than 28% of total wealth.

And trends show that the rich are only getting richer while middle and lower-class incomes are remaining stagnant. According to the Pew Research Center, the top 5% of families in the United States have the most rapid growth in wealth. Upward mobility seems to be a myth for most.

The median wealth of families in the US has not increased that much from 1983. It was $82,900 then. Today it's around $101,800.

While the median income was higher before the 2008 recession, we have yet to recover from that financial hit. Now there are many reasons for this. And frankly, I will be dedicating at some later date an entire video about why wealth inequality is such a particular issue in the United States and why it doesn't have to be that way.

But two of the factors that are most contributing to this issue is that wealth easily generates more wealth, which is why we encourage you, if at all possible, to start doing things like investing. But if you think about the average multimillionaire or billionaire who has the majority of their assets in various investments in the market, et cetera, that money is constantly passively generating more wealth for them while they don't even have to do anything. And for many of them, provided they've held that asset for long enough, that money is often actually taxed at a 15% tax rate-- capital gains.

And over the past several decades in particular, the top tax brackets have continued to fall. We often forget that top earners having a relatively low marginal tax rate was not always the case. The top marginal tax rates actually hit up to 90% during the Eisenhower administration, which was also-- coincidence-- a time of unparalleled US prosperity, including for the middle and lower classes.

And with the wealthy disproportionately able to incur political favor, it seems unlikely that this trend is going to stop unless we all as a society decide that it must. But comrades, we've come to point number four already. Number four is homelessness.

One thing that's very important to understand is that in the US, homelessness is not about a lack of homes. It's a lack of affordable homes. In fact, nearly 1.5 million homes were empty at the end of 2018.

And empty homes just sitting there is actually a huge burden on communities. Vacancies drive down property values and can impose big costs on the local government in terms of things like maintenance or even demolition. And these higher vacancy areas are usually a result of a high number of foreclosures, which is often the result of a greater housing crisis.

But in cities such as New York, a different issue plays out. While there are 80,000 people sleeping in shelters or on the streets in the city, the construction focus for new apartments and homes has been on high-end luxury housing. And these unaffordable units mostly sit empty with more than half flat out unsold.

And this isn't unique to NYC. San Francisco and Los Angeles are also facing a housing crisis where they have not built enough affordable housing to meet the demand, forcing people who work in these cities to live elsewhere and commute in due to exorbitant costs or lack of housing options. And one of the main catalysts to homelessness in America, if not the main one, is loss of a job.

Because most low-income Americans do not have emergency savings, they are living paycheck to paycheck, meaning missing even one paycheck could result in an inability to make rent and therefore potential homelessness. And while many other countries do also deal with a homelessness crisis, there is an established successful way to deal with this problem. And that's called Finland.

Finland adopted a radical solution called Housing First starting in 1985 to address homelessness. The policy is to guarantee housing to all citizens first rather than rely on shelters or hostels. The program has created 3,500 new homes and eradicated the need for shelters in Helsinki where only one 50-bed shelter remains.

The policy also provides support for illnesses of all types, as well as life skill education. It is important to remember that when it comes to homelessness, it is an active choice made by the society. We can choose not to have it, or we can choose to have it and then constantly be dealing with the symptoms.

Up to us. Number five is lobbyists and special interest groups. So a lot of what we've been talking about in this video is actually a pretty direct result of lobbyists and special interests and their influence on policymaking.

Basically, lobbyists and special interest groups are people and organizations that are laser focused on specific issues such as gun rights, the political power and rights of tech companies, regulations placed on power plants, and so on. They're often funded by corporations who have a vested interest in these topics and pay top dollar to people who will argue their preferred outcome with politicians. To be abundantly clear, lobbying is perfectly legal.

Its legality comes from the First Amendment to the Constitution, which promises the right to lobby. In its idealized form, it allows for interest to be heard and aids in helping prioritize issues. But it isn't idealized.

Because corporate interests have a lot of money, they naturally have a much bigger influence on the political process than individuals or even grassroots organizations, which are often representing a more accurate picture of the public interest. In 2019, $3.47 billion were spent on lobbying as reported by the Center of Responsive Politics. Some of the outsized industries represented in this spending are things like the pharmaceutical lobby, telecommunications, big oil, et cetera.

And this can have huge impacts around policies for things like, for example, climate change. The coal mining industry represents the biggest source of campaign dollars within the mining industry at large and specifically targets Republican candidates, accounting for $7.2 million in lobbying money in 2019. This lobbying can result in the promotion of coal other over energy types, a reluctance to research and build new clean energy options, the refusal to create carbon taxes, or other financial disincentives for non-clean energy.

And again, lobbying isn't only the realm of corporations. Things like labor unions, trade associations, environmental activist groups can all have a part to play in the lobbying process. But their ability to effectively lobby is hugely limited by their funds.

In its real form, lobbying is more of a pay-to-play situation where the more money a cause, has the more effective it is. Even foreign nations create lobbying groups that can have huge influences on American policymaking. They can secure preferential treatment in terms of things like tourism, trade, travel, et cetera.

Ultimately, when it comes to our political process, although there is a huge part to be played by the individual in terms of things like individual advocacy, donations, volunteering, voting, et cetera, the power of a single massively profitable corporation, let alone an entire industry, can exercise a level of influence that the individual or even grassroots groups could never match. Without reform to this specific issue, it's going to be unlikely that we'll make progress that in any way inhibits corporate money making. Number six is the election process.

Now I don't know if you heard, but there is an election coming up soon. And you hopefully are registered to vote. But I want to talk about specifically how we do elections in the US and how it's probably making the whole system worse for no reason.

So first of all, why does it seem like elections go on forever in the US? Because they do. In the US, candidates declare their intent to run more than 500 days before an election, more than a year, compared to other countries where the campaigning period usually lasts no more than 150 days with some countries like Japan keeping their election campaigns strictly limited to only 12 days by law.

France's presidential campaign period is typically only two weeks long while Argentina doesn't allow campaign ads to start airing until 60 days before an election. And there can be some benefits to running a longer election with some studies showing that these long campaign cycles do tend to give Americans a better understanding of the issues. It also means that it costs millions of dollars to effectively run a campaign because you have to be able to sustain things like advertising, grassroots organization and labor, a campaign staff, travel, et cetera, for an extremely long time, which in turn means that politicians on average spend more time securing funding than actually campaigning.

And they spend a hell of a lot of time campaigning. But you need to when you consider that, for example, the 2016 presidential campaign cost $2.4 billion to run. And this is true for congressional races too to a lesser extent.

Senators and representatives spend at least four hours a day fundraising for their party's election war chest rather than focusing on legislation work. And this is all before even touching the electoral college system. The way the US elects a president is not via direct democracy.

A candidate can win the popular vote and still lose the election because the electoral college weighs states differently based on population. And for most states, it's an all-or-nothing system, meaning a candidate who wins a state even by a single vote will get all of that state's elector votes. And when some states have almost 10 times the votes of others, this results in winning certain states having more value than others.

And popular consensus among constitutional experts is that this system was actually established to appease slave-holding states. So this system is literally based in slavery and oppression. Not a good look, electoral college.

You're canceled. There is a popular framing that the United States is a progressive, forward-thinking country. And there are some ways in which it does live up to that reputation.

But in many ways, America is lagging increasingly behind other developed nations. And a lot of these social ills can be traced back to the role money plays in systems, where in other countries, the money does not have such an outsized level of influence. We could see that where money is allowed to have an influence in things like civic engagement, policymaking, health care, education, there is a tendency for these systems to spiral towards a maximization of profit and a winner-take-all model where whoever has the most money gets the most results, which is, as we can see with wealth inequality, a self-perpetuating system.

More money begets more influence, which begets more power, which begets more favor, which begets more money. The good news is anger, righteous anger, is the first step to making a change in these systems. As I said at the beginning, societies are an evolving, living thing.

And we can decide what we want ours to look like. If we want to reverse the trend of millennials being the first generation to not do better than their parents, it's within our power to do so. We have to organize, be thoughtful, and stand up for our ideals.

So go vote, honey. And as I mentioned, this video is sponsored by Fidelity Investments. And they are here to help you reach your savings goals.

And if you're looking for an easy way to finally start investing what you save, check out Fidelity. And as always, guys, thank you for watching. And don't forget to hit the Subscribe button and to come back every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for new and awesome videos.

Bye.