A JOBS FIRST AGENDA
Exploring a Jobs First Agenda
In the wake of WWII, the United States led the way to reform by signing, with other industrialized nations, a Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In addition to cherished fundamental political rights such as freedom of speech, and due process, the Declaration included “economic” rights, such as the right to work and earn a good wage, medical care, public education through college, and many more of what were believed to be the components of basic human dignity and security. All of these rights were to be protected by rule of law to prevent tyranny. Yet, in the years since, these economic rights have been ignored or even vilified in the United States; 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 selfishness as the guiding star. Employees are treated as mere commodities to be bargained for at the lowest possible price, while meaningful consideration of a “living wage” is dismissed as socialist rhetoric. Greed permeates every level of society and contributes to the collapse of small towns, the budget deficit, energy and climate issues, seemingly endless wars, global terrorism, racial tensions, the drug addiction epidemic, and more.
The Jobs First Agenda seeks a better way: to create, collaboratively, a new narrative based on truth; a nonpartisan, grassroots philosophy of action based on fairness that can facilitate the pursuit of a just economic life for all Americans – the elusive “third way” emerging from the wreckage of Marxism and laissez-faire capitalism.
Coming this fall, the WALS Foundation will host a series of community discussions of how a Jobs First Agenda could impact the most critical issues confronting our nation today. Details are coming soon. Please check back regularly to learn how you can participate.
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