No founder had as detailed a plan, or worked more diligently to create the kind of country he had in mind than Benjamin Franklin. Two things he knew were important were healthcare and having enough to eat. He was a founder of the first hospital on these shores, and worked tirelessly to create opportunities so that more and more poor people could move up into the middle class, thus assuring hunger would not be an American issue. As we prepare to vote it is worth considering where we are on Franklin’s goals on the eve of the election.
In 1950, before the inception of the present illness profit industry, the United States, compared with the world’s other leading industrial nations was fifth with respect to female life expectancy at birth, surpassed only by Sweden, Norway, Australia, and the Netherlands.
In 2010 the United States position concerning female life expectancy had fallen to forty-sixth. And when both men and women were combined it fell to forty-ninth. Americans live 5.7 fewer years of “perfect health” — a measure adjusted for time spent ill — than the Japanese.