Monday, February 8, 2016

Franklin Roosevelt's Second Bill of Rights

On January 11, 1944 President Franklin Roosevelt's State of the Union Message to Congress set out his vision of what a post-war America should look like. He called it an "Second Bill of Rights." The "Democratic Socialist" platform of Bernie Sanders is remarkably similar to FDR's plan.

President Roosevelt said:

"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.
As our Nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.
We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. "Necessitous men are not free men." People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.
Among these are:
The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
The right of every family to a decent home;
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
The right to a good education.
All of these rights spell security."
Bernie's Platform Is Designed to Reduce Economic Inequality while Increasing Opportunity, Economic Security and Personal Health.
- Provides greater support to unions so that there can be more collective bargaining to gain higher wages.
- A trillion dollar infrastructure program that will create 13-million good-paying jobs.
- A $15 "Living" minimum wage.
- Guaranteed vacation and sick time, maternity leave and equal pay for equal work.
- Health Care as a right, not a privilege with Medicare for all, eliminating the need for employer or personally financed health insurance. Lower prescription drug prices.
- Strengthening Social Security and increasing payments to the elderly and disabled.
- Cancellation and/or revisions of trade deals to provide greater protection of American jobs from imported low-wage products.
- Free public education through four years of college.
- An extensive program for improving rural life and to increasing the incomes of family farms. Included is use of the anti-trust laws against dominant agribusiness and food corporations and revisions in farm subsidies, nearly all of which go to big corporations.
- Programs paid for with a tax on Wall Street transactions, elimination of corporate tax breaks, tax reform, restoring the progressive income tax with higher rates for higher income families and individuals, increasing the Inheritance tax for large estates, lifting the cap on Social Security, increasing employer medicare payments as well as employee withholding.

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