John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960

Monday, February 22, 2016

Democratic Socialists USA: 'Social and Economic Bill of Rights'

Source:Democratic Socialists USA- if Democratic Socialists were ever in charge of anything in America.
"Americans are familiar with the language of political and civil rights – one person, one voice, one vote; equal treatment before the law. We are less familiar with the justification for the social rights that have been at the center of our great political and social movements over the last century. For all citizens to flourish in a democratic society, they must be guaranteed such basic human needs as high-quality education, health care and security in old age. These goods are provided to every member of most democratic societies not by purchase on the private market, but through equitably financed, high-quality public goods and social insurance."  


"This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty...  

Source:Peace Takes Courage- President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat, New York) talking about a proposed Economic Bill of Rights, in 1944.

From Peace Takes Courage

When you look at the New Deal from President Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s, you see the creation of the American public safety net. 

Things like retirement insurance, which is what Social Security is. 

Unemployment Insurance, for people who lose their jobs. 

Welfare Insurance for people who don't have real skills and also have kids. 

Public Housing for people who can't afford a home. 

And there were other social programs and protections like that and go up to the Great Society of the 1960s under President Lyndon Johnson and you see programs that build on the New Deal with more help for the poor. Medicaid, medical insurance for low-income workers and non-workers who aren't retired yet. Medicare for all retired seniors and seniors who haven't retired yet and other programs.

In 1944-45, President Roosevelt introduced what he called the Economic Bill of Rights. Which was phase two of his New Deal which would have gone much further than simple  social economic insurance, but to move us to a Scandinavian welfare state. 

Health insurance for everyone, a guaranteed quality education from government, guaranteed retirement income, guaranteed good jobs. If people can't find a job, then government would give them one working for the government. 

President Harry Truman had similar proposals in what he called the Fair Deal in the late 1940s.  But by the time Lyndon Johnson becomes president in 1963 and he moves to his Great Society agenda in 1964, he's not looking at the Scandinavian welfare state as the economic model for America. But more social insurance to deal with poverty. Not a welfare state to manage everyone's lives for them.

What Democratic Socialists USA and other democratic socialist and social democratic groups and parties would do in America, is create that Scandinavian welfare state for America. To go way past the safety net and import Denmark or Sweden as far as our economic model. 

The whole idea of the safety net is a social insurance system for people who need it when they fall down in the private enterprise system. The welfare state is there to take care of everyone regardless of income level. 

Welfare state- Government provided education for everyone, government provided health care for everyone, government provided health insurance for everyone, government provided retirement for everyone, government provided leave for everyone, etc. All of these programs would become universal regardless of income level in a democratic socialist model.

So when I hear things like Economic Bill of Rights, I hear about government guarantees so people don't have to starve, go homeless, go without health care, always will have a job even if it is working for government. At least that is the plan under these proposals and I would argue about whether we should do this or not. And instead offer an alternative that is based on empowering more Americans to have the skills to get the jobs and make the money to have the freedom to make the decisions for themselves in the private market. 

But what Democratic Socialists advocate that everyone shouldn't have to go without and they would argue the way to guarantee that is to have the central government not as the last provider of human services, but the sole provider. Which is a much different economic philosophy from what Americans are use to seeing.

You can also see this post at The FreeState MD, on Blogger.

1 comment:

  1. You can also see this post at The FreeState MD:http://thefreestatemd.blogspot.com/2016/02/democratic-socialists-usa-social-and.html on Blogger.

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