The far right has its "Contract On America," crony capitalism, tax cuts
for the rich, social repression, and hatred of all those who don't fit
its definition of "real" Americans. The center has the moderate
meanness of Austerity Now, the Blue Dogs dithering over whether the
richest democracy in the world can afford basic decency, and its own
slightly more respectable forms of crony capitalism.
The time has come to restate the Left Agenda.
What would it mean to actually fulfill the ideals of the American
Declaration of Independence and Constitution -- to form a Republic of
the people, by the people, and for the people, dedicated to promoting
the General Welfare, securing the rights to life, liberty and pursuit of
happiness of all its citizens?
What can we need to do to bring us closer to being one nation in all our diversity and individuality, with
liberty and justice for all, in fact and not only in aspiration?
What is required to assure the rights and privileges of citizenship in
the United States to all persons born or naturalized here, to guarantee
to each one of us due process and the equal protection of the laws, or
to assure that we never have an aristocracy?
How do we combine the moral imperatives of a democratic republic with
the economic incentives of a market economy to create a society that
works for all its members and not just a select few? In the last generation, the top 1% of income earners have moved from taking roughly 9% of the national income to almost a third -- with the result that the middle class has seen its income stagnate for 3 decades even while productivity has soared and the economy has grown. How can we reverse this process and move towards the fairer sharing of the post-War period?
This page will post proposals -- mainly legislative, mainly Federal --
designed to help make the American dream a reality. We seek a country
- all those who are able to work can find decent jobs at decent pay, and those who are unable are not abandoned,
- remembering what it is to be a stranger in a stranger land, we accept that we are our brothers' keepers,
- the promise of universal citizenship, like the religious tradition
of common descent from a common ancestor, motivates our politics and
- the awesome power of the state is utilized to protect the
helpless and end private oppression,
- equal protection of the laws applies to all, and
- basic decency assures that we respect each of our fellow citizens and never treat one person as a mere disposable tool to another person's private aims.
To comment on proposals, join the debate, or add your own suggestions, go to http://thegeneralwelfare.blogspot.com. These website is created and maintained by Daniel Greenwood and the texts of the proposals are mine (as are any mistakes). However, virtually all these proposals have been made repeatedly by others and I claim no originality.