Chuck Goode on Social Well-Being
This place where we live is the fastest growing area in the nation. Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have record unemployment (4.6%) and a thriving economy. Our government policies earned us the title of "best managed state" in the nation. From a business and economic standpoint, we are at the top.
So how can we have these troubling statistics concerning our well-being?
We have child poverty at 12%, food insecurity ("child hunger") at 19%, young people living at home is over 30%, suicide rate is 4 times the national average, an opioid addiction crisis, average wages at near the lowest in the nation and even lower for women. Food (one in five are hungry), shelter (one in three cannot afford a house) and well-being (crisis in suicide, opioids, lowest wages) are very inconsistent with this great economy.
Is it time to rethink the way we measure growth and prosperity?
As conservative capitalists, we want to conserve our capital. Maybe our growth measures should include capital like environmental outcomes and the social well-being of Utah families. The environmental capital of Utah is a national treasure. We must protect it for future generations. We only collect the interest ($1 billion in tourism per year), but never touch the capital. Extracting fossil fuels will continue to ruin our precious landscapes and endanger the balance of our fragile desert wildlife.
The social well-being of our families includes another controversial – but sadly, not unsurprising – piece of valuable capital. That is the contribution of women whose unpaid efforts are overlooked by economic policy. Caring for the elderly, the disabled and the children of the family while maintaining a job contributes abundantly to the capital value of our state. We must protect this capital by expanding government policies like affordable childcare, paid family leave, SNAP, EITC,
expanded Medicaid and higher minimum wages. A lack of attainable workforce housing is holding back full participation in our thriving economy. Thirty percent of young people live with their parents because wages are too low for available housing.
Maybe, we should change the way we measure our prosperity and consider our environmental outcomes, the quality of life & well-being of our people and the empathy we have for marginalized communities.
My name is Chuck Goode and I am running for Utah Senate District 29. I promise to
listen to the will of the people and to dedicate myself to improving people's lives.
My website is chuckgoode.com
My phone number is 435-229-8950
I ask for your support and your vote.