Exploring a Jobs First Agenda
Once Upon a Time in America, fairness mattered. Corporations and their employees worked toward common goals, usually in a community setting. But somewhere along the way, everything changed. Why?
In the wake of WWII, the United States signed onto The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In addition to fundamental political rights such as freedom of speech, it aspired to promote “economic” rights, such as the right to a decent paying job and universal health care. Yet, in all the years since, these goals have remained aspirational only, while we struggle with many seemingly unrelated problems that many non-partisan observers find connected to this very fundamental disjunction; the gap between rich and poor has continued to grow; fairness and empathy have been purged from the economic and justice systems and replaced by a single-minded devotion to the “bottom-line;” meaningful consideration of a “living wage” is dismissed as socialist rhetoric; yet the collapse of small towns, the budget deficit, energy issues, global terrorism, racial tensions, the drug addiction epidemic, and a rotting infrastructure belie the “Narratives” we tell ourselves about this Country’s Place in the World.
The Jobs First Agenda seeks a better way: to create, collaboratively, a new “Narrative” based on humble truths like “fairness,” not ideology; on scientific facts like “climate change,” not partisan politics; to explore If and How the old talisman of a “Third Way” (somewhere between the wreckage of Totalitarian Socialism and Unregulated Capitalism) is still possible as an alternative and better way forward—– for the sake of our children, for the sake of our community, for the sake of our country.
Top Ten Features of A Jobs First Agenda
1) Amend the U.S. Constitution to guarantee living wage jobs for all Americans who want to work; free universal health care; and free public education through college or vocational school for those who want to learn.
10) Implement all future laws and policies based on the New Narrative: A Jobs First Agenda, to make America again the leader of the free world in values, not just military strength.