What is America's biggest challenge?
Bill Novelli is CEO of AARP, a membership organization of 40 million people age 50 and older, half of whom remain actively employed. AARP’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for all as we age. Prior to joining AARP, Mr. Novelli was President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, whose mandate is to change public policies and the social environment, limit tobacco companies’ marketing and sales practices to children and serve as a counterforce to the tobacco industry and its special interests. He now serves as chairman of the board. He was also Executive Vice President of CARE, the world’s largest private relief and development organization.
Mr. Novelli is a recognized leader in social marketing and social change, and has managed programs in cancer control, diet and nutrition, cardiovascular health, reproductive health, infant survival, pay increases for educators, charitable giving and other programs in the U.S. and the developing world. His book, 50+: Give Meaning and Purpose to the Best Time of Your Life, was updated in 2008. Mr. Novelli serves on a number of boards and advisory committees. He holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. from Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication, and pursued doctoral studies at New York University.
Question: What is America's biggest challenge?
Bill Novelli: Well the . . . the biggest issues of all are, at this point in America, health care reform, which is enormous; and financial security. And they both relate to the same thing, which you might describe as the American dream. And we do a lot of research, and what we see is that the . . . the American dream is essentially breaking down. You know people talk about “the deal”. And the deal always was if you worked hard; if you raised your kids; if you played by the rules; if you paid your taxes, then you’d have a shot at . . . at the American dream. You’d have a shot at long term security. And now that’s beginning to fade and people are very worried. And so those are the kinds of big issues that we care about and that we have to address.
Recorded on: 9/27/07
Health care reform and financial security are America's biggest challenges, Novelli says.
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