Home > Economy, USA > Capitalism: A Love Story – what FDR had to say

Capitalism: A Love Story – what FDR had to say

October 10, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Since the movie had so much to say, there is not much that I can put here, except, please, please, please see this movie. Think about it. And then take action, no matter how small.

Who knew that FDR had proposed a second bill of rights? Certainly not me. I am reprinting his proposal made during his State of the Union Address on January 11, 1944:

“It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.

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 expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us 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 of 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 or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens.”

Ok. well, maybe I can talk about two things that really shocked me and one of them disgusted me.

The first is that companies take out life insurance policies on employees. The best employees to take life insurance out on are young women. These are called “dead peasant” policies. Disgusting. Think Proctor & Gamble, Ameritech, Citigroup, Amegy Bank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, WaMu, Wells Fargo, Nestle, Walmart, Pitney Bowes, Enron…and dozens of others but only banks have to report it.

The second is a letter between Citibank managers approving the new state of our economy, saying that we have moved towards a “plutonomy” where the richest 1% control 95% of the wealth. Dare we agree? If so, what does that mean and do we really want to exist in a country that is controlled by the wealthy and their interests? Worse yet, their interests are served at the cost of the masses…

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Categories: Economy, USA
  1. Night Song
    October 11, 2009 at 12:39

    I’m enjoying reading this blog. I can’t wait to see the movie…great that you quoted FDR’s 2nd bill of rights. Maybe you can document the action you decide to take. I will also list mine as well. This way we can give each other ideas!

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