Wednesday, April 15, 2015

America needs FDR's Economic Bill of Rights ...

... and a political one also.

John Nichols at The Nation writes about the need for a renewed commitment to FDR's vision and its motivation. Agreed, but I think John missed something in his essay.

The whole point of the New Deal was to challenge the economic royalists on behalf of the great mass of Americans, and to establish that wider freedom.

"The royalists of the economic order have conceded that political freedom was the business of the government, but they have maintained that economic slavery was nobody's business. They granted that the government could protect the citizen in his right to vote, but they denied that the government could do anything to protect the citizen in his right to work and his right to live," Roosevelt said.

Let's grant that FDR correctly read the positions of the "economic royalists". But things are very different now. Today's royalists are both economic and political. They are acting to remove the government's role as protector of political freedom. Not only do they no longer grant government the obligation to protect the right to vote, they are now actively antagonistic to that fundamental right. I fear that we will not attain an economic bill of rights so long as our constitutional political rights are under attack by the rich and powerful and their bought and paid for politicians.

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