I thus support a strong public sector funded by progressive tax policies that support quality public insurance for health, unemployment, and retirement; education; public safety; a clean environment; and transportation networks. It is neither realistic nor cost-effective to burden individuals or the private sector with the maintenance of this infrastructure.
Small businesses have always struggled to provide health insurance plans to their workforce. Even large businesses such as Marriott International have learned over the years that it cannot effectively take on the burden of health insurance for its employees. After abandoning an internal 'self-insurance' program, the company began contracting with private insurers. Over time the plans which have been negotiated with private health insurance companies cost more and more and provide less and less benefit. These negotiations never stop; they divert excessive amounts of management talent towards that elusive better deal and towards managing reduced expectations to the staff. As more business managers from US companies gain experience in countries with national non-profit insurance, they see the benefit: a system that costs much less than ours that produces a healthier workforce. These business leaders are beginning to "get it," (although they may be quiet about it because of their business alliances with peers in the private insurance industry).
Even though Mr. Marriott aligns himself politically with those who advocate trickle down economics, he preaches the opposite in the management of his business. "Trickle down" states that if society puts priority in taking care of its businesses, the people will eventually benefit. The proof of trickle down economics is elusive, but the proof of Marriott International's success by embracing the opposite of trickle down is real. It suggests a more solid argument to make is that society first take care of its people through strong effective public policies.