Saturday, October 03, 2009

and then what happened?

I saw Michael Moore's new film Capitalism: A Love Story tonight. What really got to me was that in his State of the Union address in 1944 (that's 65 years ago) Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed 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.

The Christian Science Monitor calls the scene showing FDR reading this part of his speech a 'previously unseen clip', so I guess I wasn't the only one who hadn't heard about it. The ideas were modern at the time, and they sound familiar to a Scandinavian. But in the US the list is still Utopian.

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