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Richard Zacaroli headshot

The 2020 Election Memo: We Agree More Often Than Not, and Business Should Take That Cue

2020 Election

Here is something you don’t hear from the mainstream or fringe media about the 2020 election that has profound relevance to all of us as citizens and business leaders. In fact, maybe it is the birth of a new fringe “conspiracy” theory.

Contrary to how divided a nation we seem to be, the majority of Americans, regardless of political party affiliation, do agree on the most pressing issues of our time. Climate change, the environment, social and income inequality, health care, and immigration, are primary. New essential roles are required of the government and the private sector to create positive change.

Addressing these important concerns is paramount to preserving our leadership in the world. It is required in order to sustain an adequate and healthy workforce and work environment. And preserving democracy and our leadership can help spark innovative solutions that will drive government and business investments in technology and human capital for years to come.

The 2020 election, climate change and the environment

In a new survey conducted in August by Resources for the Future and Stanford University, over 80 percent of American adults believe that the climate has warmed over the past 100 years, and that human activity is responsible. Over 65 percent feel that the government and U.S. businesses should do more to deal with global warming.  

In a Pew Research Center survey published in May, 80 percent of Americans agree there should be tougher restrictions on power plant carbon emissions, and 84 percent agree there should be incentives for businesses to develop carbon capture and storage technology and renewable energy sources.

Such overwhelming agreement on climate change and the environment transcends partisan politics and political party affiliation. 

Social and economic inequality

Income inequality leads to greater health problems and social discord, which directly impact on a society’s productivity. In 2019 the World Bank ranked the U.S. as having one of the higher inequalities of wealth distribution in the world.

A Pew Research Center study published in January found that 61 percent of Americans agree that social and economic inequality in the U.S. is a major problem. 81 percent say racial and ethnic discrimination is a problem in the U.S.

American’s overwhelming agreement on the need to pursue greater racial, social and economic equality transcends partisan politics and political party affiliation.

Healthcare and why it’s important for an efficient workforce

Access to affordable health care is critical to a functional society and high-performing workforce - it's also been one of the more important issues to voters in the 2020 election as this pandemic takes it toll.

According to a Commonwealth Fund Healthcare poll conducted in June, months into the COVID-19 pandemic, 74 percent of Americans – 81 percent of those who vote more with Democrats and 65 percent of citizens who vote more in alignment with Republicans – agree that all Americans should have the option of securing health insurance coverage through government-regulated and -subsidized health plans when other options are not available or unaffordable.

Such overwhelming agreement on the government’s responsibility for assuring that all Americans have access to health care coverage transcends partisan politics and political party affiliation.

Immigration must be fixed

Although the majority of Americans support a temporary ban on immigration to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to a recent Gallup poll, 77 percent of Americans agree that immigration makes the U.S. stronger. Only 19 percent believe that immigration is bad for the country.

The data make it clear: Americans’ consensus on immigration policy transcends partisan politics and political party affiliation.

Americans’ perception of the direction of the U.S.

According to the most recent polls compiled by Real-Clear Politics, only 30 percent of Americans agree that the country is headed in the right direction.

62 percent of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track. Lack of government action that aligns with majority positions on the issues can be considered a major cause.

What can we do about it?

If you are passionate about one or more of the issues that most Americans agree on, and you believe that the essence of our democracy is majority rule, be sure you vote in the 2020 election if you haven’t done so yet. It is imperative for citizens to vote in this election and again in the 2022 mid-term elections. Vote for federal, state and regional candidates who will enact legislation that represents the positions of a majority of Americans.

We can make change happen when we choose to vote. In addition to practicing good corporate stewardship, the most important thing we in business can do is to assure that majority rule indeed drives the U.S. legislative agenda, which will take us on a path. With our legislators and private sector aligned we will experience sustainable economic growth while embracing the environmental and social challenges we face as a nation united.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Richard Zacaroli headshot

Richard Zacaroli has been a member of the Greenheart International Board of Directors since November 2005, and serves as its Chair. He is a frequent lecturer at California State University-Sacramento, focusing on corporate social responsibility and governance, as well as civic and political engagement.

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