Bernie's Economic Bill of Rights
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In 1944, FDR proposed an economic bill of rights but died a year later and was never able to fulfill that vision. Now, 75 years later, Bernie is proposing to complete what Roosevelt started.
Bernie’s 21st Century Economic Bill of Rights would establish once and for all that every American, regardless of his or her income is entitled to:
- The right to a decent job that pays a living wage
- The right to quality healthcare
- The right to a complete education
- The right to affordable housing
- The right to a clean environment
- The right to a secure retirement
In his 1944 State of the Union address, Roosevelt stated, “We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence.” The current Bill of Rights may provide us freedom from the tyranny of an oppressive government. But the establishment expects the American people to submit to the tyranny of oligarchs, multinational corporations, Wall Street banks, and billionaires.
Use your letter to talk about your experiences with economic tyranny.
During his speech on Democratic Socialism, Bernie asked what it means to be free - truly free.
“Are you truly free if you are unable to go to a doctor when you are sick, or face financial bankruptcy when you leave the hospital?
Are you truly free if you cannot afford the prescription drug you need to stay alive?
Are you truly free when you spend half of your limited income on housing, and are forced to borrow money from a payday lender at 200% interest rates.
Are you truly free if you are 70 years old and forced to work because you lack a pension or enough money to retire?
Are you truly free if you are unable to go to attend college or a trade school because your family lacks the income?
Are you truly free if you are forced to work 60 or 80 hours a week because you can’t find a job that pays a living wage?
Are you truly free if you are a mother or father with a new born baby but you are forced to go back to work immediately after the birth because you lack paid family leave?
Are you truly free if you are a small business owner or family farmer who is driven out by the monopolistic practices of big business?
Are you truly free if you are a veteran, who put your life on the line to defend this country, and now sleep out on the streets?
To me, the answer to those questions, in the wealthiest nation on earth, is no, you are not free.”
It’s time for us to stand up and fight for our right to freedom, human dignity, and security.