After 11 years under the Republican "Contract on America, " it is time to examine what it is we want from our government, and compare that to what we 've gotten. The biggest problem with the "Contract on America " is that it did not come from us, the people. It was a promise made TO us that has turned out to be false. It is time that we, the people, tell our elected representatives exactly what we expect our government 's principles and policies to be.
It is useful to look at the administration of Franklin Roosevelt. He was elected during an economic depression that resulted largely from the excesses of big business in the roaring 20s, when laissez-faire and unregulated capitalism were the orders of the day. Today, we are in almost the same situation, except that the depression hasn 't happened yet. Monopolies are everywhere, under the banner of "globalization. " Capitalism is unregulated, with companies making rules to suit themselves through their wholly owned subsidiary, the Republican Congress. This body has been elected using secret counting methods black box voting machines that are owned by Republican-controlled companies. Simultaneously, our unelected President is packing the Supreme Court with corporate lawyers who, while practicing law, defended corporations from the people rather than the other way around.
In his State of the Union address to Congress on January 11, 1944, Franklin Roosevelt said:
The one supreme objective for the future, which we discussed for each Nation individually, and for all the United Nations, can be summed up in one word: Security. And that means not only physical security which provides safety from attacks by aggressors. It also means economic security, social security, moral security-in a family of Nations.
The best interests of each Nation, large and small, demand that all freedom-loving Nations shall join together in a just and durable system of peace. In the present world situation ...unquestioned military control over disturbers of the peace is as necessary among Nations as it is among citizens in a community. And an equally basic essential to peace is a decent standard of living for all individual men and women and children in all Nations. Freedom from fear is eternally linked with freedom from want.
The basic interests of the Nation as a whole the basic interests of "we, the people " have been subverted in favor of the interests of multinational corporations ' increasing profits for shareholders. These are globalized corporate values, not family values. The goal of multinational corporations is not a U.S. economy that allows citizens a decent standard of living, and a pension that a worker has earned.
FDR went on to say:
This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.
As our Nation has grown in size and stature, however --as our industrial economy has expanded --these political rights proved inadequate to assure equality in the pursuit of happiness.
We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. 'Necessitous men are not free men. ' People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
In our day, these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis for security and prosperity can be established for all --regardless of station, race, or creed.
Among these are:
The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home and abroad;
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