Wednesday, February 22, 2006

American elitism -- never! American egalitarianism -- absolutely! An Argument for a Second Bill Of Rights:

American Egalitarianism has been replaced by American Elitism, which American Elitists have the gall to call American capitalism. Let's analyze American Elitism, look at its effect, and examine an alternative.

US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Elitists proclaims the “Constitution is Dead!” Fox News’s Neil Cavuto defends parasitic pharmaceutical companies who prey upon the weak, the sick and dying. Pres. Bush defends greedy oil companies who amass profits on the backs of working families. Fox News’s Bill O'Reilly defends Wal-Mart who represents approximately 1/16 of the nation's GNP. All of these men make more in one hour then the average small businessman makes it a lifetime. The American Elitists has fared well for more than 20 years.

In the meantime, American farmers have been forced to compete under the tyranny of NAFTA and CAFTA. American workingmen and workingwomen slave every day to keep the economy going and the nation's military ranks full. Discretionary income for working families is virtually nonexistent, and minimum wages have not risen in 16 years.

Louisiana's farmland has been salted by hurricane Rita and may never recover. The neighborhoods of New Orleans, Lake Charles and, indeed, the small coastal villages of Louisiana have been flooded and their citizens dispersed by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Yet, the American Elitists have given more to Iraq then they have given to their own citizens.

Student loans have been cut. Our nation's elderly live in fear of sickness, rising medical costs, and pharmaceutical bills. And the United States of America is reviled worldwide because of the policies of the American Elitists. As Democrats, we need to rediscover the Second Bill of Rights as envisioned by former Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt. Here are President Roosevelt's words and the tenets of the second Bill of Rights.

Roosevelt and the Second Bill of Rights

"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.


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