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."
- 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
- 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.
- (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
- "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."
- 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.
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.