We need to create and act on a program to eliminate poverty by 2020, including a federally supported jobs program. Working people in the wealthiest country in the world have a right to full employment at a living wage, to collective bargaining in the workplace, compensation for disability, and reliable pensions and social security benefits. We need to Rescind NAFTA, WTO, and CAFTA and stop negotiating TPPP in secret. We can enact living-wage legislation so that one full-time income or two half-time incomes can support a family. We can protect the social safety net & strengthen social security by raising the cap on payroll taxes.
The too big to fail banks should be broken up. Instead we should support a diverse banking environment including public banks, community banks, and credit unions which encourage low-interest loans for small businesses, student loans, & upgrading our failing infrastructure. Lastly, we should redirect military spending to domestic needs. Bank bailouts and war spending have hollowed out our economy and caused the greatest wealth disparity in the U.S. since the 1920’s.
None of these ideas are radically new. Roosevelt had the WPA; the Glass-Steagle Act was passed after Depression; we once enjoyed more banking choices, including public banking; President Johnson raised Social Security benefits that lifted many people out of poverty; Head Start and school meals programs were funded; it was possible to send our kids to college without accruing huge debts; and we used to have a more progressive taxation system.