Jill Stein’s Progressive Bill of Rights
by Stephen Lendman
The horror of dirty business as usual continuing whether Clinton or Trump succeeds Obama should arouse a groundswell of activism for progressive change.
The choice is easy, a no-brainer, as they say - between oligarch rule, endless wars, neoliberal harshness and tyranny v. a nation at peace, renouncing militarism, social justice, and governance serving all its people equitably.
It resembles Franklin Roosevelt’s Economic Bill of Rights - proposed in his last State of the Union address (January 1944), saying the Constitution’s first 10 amendments (the Bill of Rights) “proved inadequate…” His plan called for guaranteeing:
- employment with a living wage;
- freedom from unfair competition and monopolies;
- enhanced social security to keep millions of retirees, disabled and qualified survivors from the ravages of poverty;
- “a realistic tax law - which will tax all unreasonable (corporate) profit(s)” and high-income individuals according to their ability to pay;
- “a cost of food law” - with floor and ceiling limits on prices; and
- reenactment of the October 1942 stabilization statute, pertaining to prices, wages and salaries affecting the cost of living.
Roosevelt said everyone should have:
The right to a useful and remunerative job.
The right to a good education.
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies.
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident and unemployment.
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health.
The right of every family to a decent home.
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation."
He said “true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence.” Today we have neoliberal harshness, neoserfdom, unprecedented inequality in modern times, out-of-control militarism and tyranny a hair’s breadth from full-blown.
Jill Stein is a physician turned politician who cares. She envisions a “human-centered” America, putting people, peace and ecosanity over profits - today’s system benefitting the few at the expense of most others.
She proposed a “Green New Deal,” creating millions of good jobs, transitioning to clean renewable energy, and investing in vital infrastructure sorely neglected for so long - America’s resources today going for militarism and endless wars, not a nation fit to live in.
Living-wage jobs are a human right, she says. Democracy should mean what it says - rule of and for all the people, not just its privileged few.
The world’s richest nation should prioritize ending poverty once and for all “to assure every American a life of dignity,” Jill maintains.
Healthcare and education are human rights. Jill wants them guaranteed, including Medicare for all, abolition of student debt and “world-class” tuition-free public education to the highest levels. Other components of her plan include:
- a federally guaranteed $15 minimum wage;
- breaking up too-big-to fail banks;
- “democratiz(ing) the Federal Reserve,” putting money power in public hands where it belongs;
- progressive business and individual taxation;
- fair over so-called free trade agreements;
- putting a moratorium on GMOs and harmful pesticides;
- racial justice along with freedom and equality for all;
- ending Big Brother spying, mass incarceration, torture prisons like Guantanamo, and “(e)stablish(ing) a foreign policy based on diplomacy, international law and human rights.
Cut military spending in half, she urges. End imperial wars. Close America’s empire of bases and bring all foreign-based US forces home.
Abolish corporate personhood. Reform America’s debauched political system. Use the nation’s resources for productive, not destructive purposes.
Make it the world’s most respected one, instead of the most feared and reviled like now.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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