A little over 50 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. led a march on Washington demanding a federally funded job guarantee program as part of an overall economic bill of rights. A few weeks ago, Jesse A. Myerson laid out a similar idea in Rolling Stone about five economic reforms that Millennials should be fighting for.
During MLK’s era, there was great inequality between the races, and today there is also great inequality between the poor classes and everyone else. In addition, there is growing popularity for a program that guarantees work for everyone, as Huffington Post showed recently with nearly half of its respondents favoring such an idea.
As the recent jobs report was quite dismal and depressing for a supposed recovery, the popularity of such a program will only grow. It is a program, that if marketed correctly, can also gain traction on the conservative side. No longer would conservatives be able to call the unemployed lazy, materialistic, and unimaginative — progressives could then force conservatives to test that theory.
This type of program could be the ultimate game changer in battling inequality and could even be combined with a higher federal minimum wage via the job guarantee.
It is time to demand a job guarantee and to start talking about an economic bill of rights to shape the future of our country and create a more sustainable form of capitalism.