Earlier last year, U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to make a strong case for universal social programs. She boils it down into five main points. 

Right off the bat, she dispels the usual right-wing talking point that rich people will take advantage of these programs by explaining these problems work best when they are “designed to benefit everyone.” When social programs are made like this, everyone has a vested interest in keeping them strong. Rich and poor alike, we all want our firefighters and healthcare to be in good shape.

Once we start making exceptions, that is precisely when our universal social programs start to fail. Look around the world to countries that have adopted mixed (private-public) healthcare systems. You’ll see that universal and public healthcare starts to suffer as soon as private options are introduced.

Ocasio-Cortez’s final point is, perhaps, the most important. Having people of mixed socio-economic backgrounds using the same programs is vital for our communities. What we don’t want is a society where different classes of people live in entire isolation of each other.

Unfortunately, this is something that is increasingly a reality. Universal social programs can act as a remedy. They promote a sense of community between us, build cohesion and push us to think in terms of what is best for the common good of us all.


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