The former Democratic presidential candidate says work provides dignity and there is enough of it to go aroundby Bernie Sanders / December 11, 2018 / Leave a comment
Published in Mid-winter (Jan-Feb) 2019 issue of Prospect Magazine
During my campaign for president in 2016, I stated over and over again that the future of the United States was dependent upon political revolution. During the last two years, I have travelled to 32 states and spoken to tens of thousands of people. The ideas that we have proposed, once considered “extreme” and “unrealistic,” are now widely supported. While the progressive agenda is gaining momentum, we’ve got to search for new ideas that address the needs of working families in a rapidly changing economy. In the wealthiest nation in the history of the world every able-bodied person should have a decent-paying job. We should have a full-employment economy. Way back in 1944, President Franklin D Roosevelt talked about the right of every person to have a job. That was true then. It is true today, and not just in the US.
A decent job not only provides a worker and his or her family with adequate income, it does something more: it provides meaning. It enables one to be part of a community. Too many today are falling through the cracks. They become alienated from society. They become destructive to others or self-destructive, turning to drugs, alcohol, or even suicide. What does it mean that in the US today life expectancy is actually going down? Guaranteeing a job for all will lower the crime rate and improve mental health. It will create a much healthier and happier society.
A full-employment economy is not some wild utopian proposal. The truth is that there is an enormous amount of work to be done. We need millions of workers to rebuild crumbling infrastructure—roads, bridges, water systems, airports, ra…