Minimum living standards

Instead of trying to get the wealthy to pay a decent wage to the majority of workers, let us instead focus on guaranteeing that every person in the United States has a place to sleep out of the weather, food to eat, complete medical care, and access to education to the limit of the person’s abilities.  By complete medical care, I mean dental care, vision care, mental health care, and physical health care, including therapy.

The place to sleep might be a room just large enough to accommodate a bed and a chair, and a place to hang clothes, but it would be warm, dry, and the door would lock.  Minimal web access would be available, perhaps in a day room or a study room, and bathrooms would be communal.  A central kitchen can provide meals for those who cannot afford anything, although the fare would be bland, and servings small.

Any person would be able to walk in and say “I need a room”, but they would not have a place to store belongings, other than what would fit in their room.  And people would not need to produce proof of income, because the accommodations would be so minimal that most people would not take them unless desperate.  People willing to work a few hours a week would get bigger rooms, storage, access to more entertainment, and have telephone service.

In this way, we can insure that every citizen is able to sleep indoors, eat a healthy diet, and keep well.  However, we would encourage the citizens to participate in the economy by working or going to school.  Even people with no retirement plan would be able to live indoors and get medical care.  We can do this, it is affordable.

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