From Our Future
A popular narrative today is that we live in a country which is deeply divided. And the Democratic Party, we are told, is nearly as split as the nation itself. But chatter in the press and social media may overlook some fundamental points of agreement about changes we need to make in our economy.
That's the premise behind a new pledge, the "Agenda for Good Jobs, Sustainable Prosperity, and Economic Justice," that has been signed by more than 70 prominent progressives. It declares "both major political parties have allowed the wealthy and the giant corporations to exercise far too much influence in American life" before laying out an 11-point agenda to rebuild a human-centered economy, and remove the corrupting influence of big money from the political process.
"Resistance" to Donald Trump is a vital effort. But resistance is reactive; it only defines what we're against. If today's resistance is to become a lasting movement, we must decide what we're for. Otherwise, the Resistance will fail to motivate the 38 percent of Americans who didn't vote in the last election.
In what may be a chilling portent of things to come in November, the latest Politico/Morning Consult pol l shows the "generic Republican" congressional candidate edging ahead of the generic Democrat for the first time since April of last year.
All signs indicate that it will be hard for Democrats to win in November without a clear and positive agenda, and all but impossible for them to claim a real mandate if and when they do.
The agenda's 11 points address:
Jobs for all, with an emphasis on rebuilding U.S. infrastructure;
Build a green economy by retooling the U.S. energy system;
Reduce inequality through worker empowerment and labor rights, with better wages and benefits and an end to perverse CEO incentives and compensation;
Complement full-employment initiatives with targeted support for communities and populations harmed by racism and sexism;
Free public education from pre-K through tuition-free public colleges and universities, together with cancellation of all currently outstanding student debt;
Medicare For All, and a strengthening of our social insurance safety net;
Fairer tax rates for the wealthy individuals and corporations that have reaped the benefits of recent growth;
An end to Wall Street exploitation -- by breaking up the big banks, levying a speculation tax, protecting working families, and using the post office system to provide a safe and inexpensive alternative to current banking services;