- This module invites an intensive study of the 1934 Pacific Coast waterfront strike and the documentary record it produced as a way to explore the broader social, political, economic, and cultural tensions of the New Deal era.
- A chapter from Howard Zinn's classic A People's History of the United States covering history of the period just after World War One, through the Great Depression and all the way up to World War Two from the perspective of ordinary Americans.
A New Deal
Upon accepting the 1932 Democratic nomination for president, Franklin Roosevelt promised "a new deal for the American people."
|| Throughout the Nation, men and women, forgotten in the political philosophy of the Government of the last years look to us here for guidance and for more equitable opportunity to share in the distribution of national wealth. On the farms, in the large metropolitan areas, in the smaller cities and in the villages, millions of our citizens cherish the hope that their old standards of living and of thought have not gone forever. Those millions cannot and shall not hope in vain. I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people. Let us all here assembled constitute ourselves prophets of a new order of competence and of courage. This is more than a political campaign; it is a call to arms.
- An excellent chronology of the New Deal era by Nick Taylor, author of American-Made, The Enduring Legacy of the WPA: When FDR Put the Nation to Work.
- Whether you're looking to further explore the WPA in your community or are an educator in search of classroom materials, the custom-created discussion guide offers helpful guidance and suggestions.
- This interactive timeline highlights selected events in the development of the WPA during the Great Depression as recounted in AMERICAN-MADE.
- This project's mission is to help preserve the history of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), and to promote the idea of a new WPA for today's long-term unemployed population.
Living New Deal
- The Living New Deal is documenting and mapping the living legacy of FDR’s New Deal, which put millions of Americans back to work in the depths of the Great Depression. The New Deal left a vast legacy of public works—libraries, courthouses, bridges, roads, trails, murals and much more—that are still serving America today.
- Living New Deal (Facebook page.)
- This is FDR's proposed second Bill of Rights that was filmed after he delivered his State of the Union Address via radio on January 11, 1944.
Green New Deal
- The global economy is facing a ‘triple crunch’. It is a combination of a credit-fuelled financial crisis, accelerating climate change and the looming peak in oil production. These three overlapping events threaten to develop into a perfect storm, the like of which has not been seen since the Great Depression. To help prevent this from happening, and to lay the foundations of the economic systems of the future, we need a Green New Deal.
- (Associated with Green Party of the United States.)
- Stein says we need a "Green New Deal" to transition the U.S. economy from one based on fossil fuels, to one that is sustainable while providing full-employment at living-wage incomes. One critic complains that "there is no plan, there is no blue print. Not even a list of bullet points."
A New New Deal for the 21st Century
- In the depths of the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt promised “a New Deal for the American people.” A host of public programs got the country moving again and gave common people hope. The Living New Deal is part of a growing clamor for a bold public program today, when there are so many jobless, so much work to be done, and so little faith in government. Join us in promoting a national debate on getting America working again through a NEW New Deal.
Creating a People's Budget
- Chicago Alderman Joe Moore explains to a New York audience why "in many respects, by giving up power (to constituents) I ended up having more power, because this was the single most popular thing I had done in my 19 years as member of city council."
- In April 2012, the Finnish innovation fund Sitra organized the first participatory budgeting process in Finland. As a result, among few others, a new PB project was elected to receive funding. Helsinki City Library users now have the chance to plan and decide projects for the upcoming new central library.
- Forty-five years ago, the A. Philip Randolph Institute issued “The Freedom Budget,” in which a program for economic transformation was proposed that included a job guarantee for everyone ready and willing to work, a guaranteed income for those unable to work or those who should not be working, and a living wage to lift the working poor out of poverty. Such policies were supported by a host of scholars, civic leaders, and institutions, including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; indeed, they provided the cornerstones for King’s “Poor Peoples’ Campaign” and “economic bill of rights.”
- This paper proposes a “New Freedom Budget” for full employment based on the principles of functional finance. To counter a major obstacle to such a policy program, the paper includes a “primer” on three paradigms for understanding government budget deficits and the national debt: the deficit hawk, deficit dove, and functional finance perspectives. Finally, some of the benefits of the job guarantee are outlined, including the ways in which the program may serve as a vehicle for a variety of social policies.
- After the March on Washington, Dr. King, Randolph and Thomas worked together to promote the groundbreaking “Freedom Budget,” which proposed:
- the abolition of poverty
- guaranteed full employment
- full production and high economic growth
- adequate minimum wages
- farm income parity
- guaranteed incomes for all unable to work
- a decent home for every American family
- modern health services for all
- full educational opportunity for all.
- updated (and expanded) Social Security and welfare programs.
- equitable tax and money policies
- (Superb analysis: The Poor People’s Campaign — 1968 [in contrast with] The “Occupy” Movement — 2011)
- This document is the budget published by the Congressional Progressive Caucus for fiscal year 2012. Its Executive Summary begins with this paragraph:
- Budgets are more than collections of numbers; they are a statement of our values. The Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget is a reflection of the values and priorities of working families in this country. The “People’s Budget” charts a path that keeps America exceptional in the 21st century, while addressing the most pressing problems facing the nation today. Our Budget eliminates the deficit and stabilizes the debt, puts Americans back to work, and restores our economic competitiveness.
Additional Articles & Resources
- Movement Building
- This page is for those who are interested in a modern day application of the WPA.
- "90 percent of the workforce is unorganized. They're organizable. This 90 percent of the workforce are not people who are rich. They're people who need unions. They need to raise their wages. They need to be able to face their employers with some strength rather than the weakness of an individual facing a corporation. So there's a reservoir of possibility there for organizing."
- Tax & Income Distribution
- Professor Richard D. Wolff - Class Warfare (Alternative Radio Podcast)
- People dread taxes. The tax code is a labyrinth few citizens dare to enter save for the rich and powerful who hire lawyers and accountants to figure out ways to game the system. One corporation paid $26,000 a year to maintain a post office box in Bermuda as its legal headquarters. That little trick saved them $40 million in corporate taxes. Not bad. Taxes on the wealthy used to be high. During the Eisenhower years in the 1950′s, a fairly conservative period which saw tremendous economic growth, the tax rate for the haves was 91 percent. Today it’s a third of that, and few actually pay that much. In true Orwellian fashion, if you raise these issues you are accused of class warfare. There is class warfare all right. It’s been successfully waged by the affluent 1 percent against everybody else.
- Prosperity Economics
|| Austerity economics has prosperity backward. Prosperity doesn’t just “trickle down” from the top. It depends on the common investments and sources of security we agree on as members of a democracy, on institutions—especially unions—that ensure that gains are broadly shared, and on a healthy democracy that can sustain sound economic policies and check today’s economic winners from undermining the openness and dynamism of the economy.
- - Quick Overview
- - Executive Summary
- - Full Report
- - Key Policy Recommendations
- - Prosperity for All: Here’s the Plan (07/31/2012 | Jackie Tortora)
- We might learn something from history. During the 1920s, income concentrated at the top. By 1928, the top 1 percent was raking in an astounding 23.94 percent of the total (close to the 23.5 percent the top 1 percent got in 2007) according to analyses of tax records by my colleague Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty. At that point the bubble popped and we fell into the Great Depression. But then came the Wagner Act, requiring employers to bargain in good faith with organized labor. Social Security and unemployment insurance. The Works Projects Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps. A national minimum wage. Taxes were hiked on the very rich. And in 1941 America went to war -- a vast mobilization that employed every able-bodied adult American, and put money in their pockets. By 1953, the top 1 percent of Americans raked in only 9.9 percent of total income. Most of the rest went to a growing middle class -- whose members fueled the greatest economic boom in the history of the world. Get it? We won't get out of first gear until the middle class regains the bargaining power it had in the first three decades after World War II to claim a much larger share of the gains from productivity growth.
- See the sections "What are the problems?" and "What are the solutions?" for useful ideas.
- A Declaration of INTERDEPENDENCE, born of necessity, from and for the collective conscience of the "99%" to and for the oligarchic "1%" of the United States of America.
- Over the course of the Great Recession, the unemployment rate for older Americans aged 55-plus reached a level not seen during any other recession in the past 60 years.
Federated General Assembly
- The Federated General Assembly (FGA) project is building a new web platform that combines community organizing techniques and ideas, lessons and patterns from social networks, web standards and best practices, all together with the very real ecosystem of Occupy itself: occupations & their working groups, the values and principles, and all the coordination & communication challenges.
Peoples Assemblies Network
- Includes Peoples Assemblies News and Peoples Assemblies Groups.
Real Jobs Creation
Tired of the bullshit from self-styled "job creators" who can't seem to stop yammering endlessly about all the mythical "jobs" that our overly generous cuts to their taxes are supposedly "creating"? Maybe there's a more straightforward way to actual, tangible, real-wage jobs...
- Here's an emerging trend in Portland: When the city says it's handing out tax dollars to keep "green" businesses in town, chances are the money's actually being paid to those businesses' landlords.