HIST 11B Chapter N/A: Hist 12B: NeoliberalismA freedom Budget notes

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University of California - Los Angeles
Robin Kelley

Foreword After many years of intense struggle in the courts, in legislative halls, and on the streets, we have achieved a number of important victories. -The long journey ahead requires that we emphasize the needs of all America's poor, for there is no way merely to find work, or adequate housing, or quality-integrated schools for Negroes alone. We shall eliminate slums for Negroes when we destroy ghettos and build newel'ties for all. So this is going to be about black people The Southern Christian Leadership Conference fully endorses the Freedom Budget and plans to expend great energy and time in working for i~ implementation. What is the freedom budget? Pg7 The Freedom Budget is a practical. step-by-step plan for wiping out poverty in America during the next I 0 years . Unfortunately there is still poverty and an unemployment rate so the plan didn’t work very well It will mean more money in your pocket. It will mean better schools for your children. It will mean better homes for you and your neighbors. It will mean dean air to breathe and comfortable cities to live in. It will mean adequate medical care when you are sick. So where does the " Freedom" come in? The freedom comes in when the other side agree to this shit This nation has learned that it must provide freedom for all if any of us are to be free Granting freedom to some but not all is hypocracy Introduction I believe, and profoundly hope, that from this day forth the opponents of social progress can take comfort no longer, for not since the March on Washington has there been such broad sponsorship and enthusiastic support for any undertaking as has been mobilized on· behalf of "The Freedom Budget for All Americans." They didn’t. They merely changed the rules of the game to make it seem like progress These forces have not come together to demand help for the Negro. Why do they always call them Negro? The tragedy is that the workings of our economy so often pit the white poor and the black poor against each other at the bottom of society. The tragedy is that groups only one generation removed from poverty themselves, haunted by the memory of scarcity and fearful of slipping back, step on the fingers of those struggling up the ladder. -And the tragedy is that not only the poor, the nearly poor, and the once poor, but all Americans, are the victims of our failure as a na~io!l to distribute democratically the fruits of our abundance. I guess WW2 didn’t help all americans For better or worse, we are one nation and one· People. \Ve shall solve our problems together and together we shall enter a new stage of social Justice The "Freedom Budget" is not a call for a handout. It is a challenge to the best traditions and possibilities of America . It .is a call to those who have grown weary of slogans and gestures to rededicate themselves to the cause of social reconstruction. Pg8 ''Here in these United States, where there can be no economic or technical excuse for it, poverty is not only a private tragedy but, in a sense, a public crime Its a capitalist society, someone has to be thrown under the bus The Freedom Budget would make that challenge the lever we can grasp to wipe out poverty in a decade. -That simple justice requires us to see that everyone--white or black; in the city or on the farm; fisherman or mountaineer -may have his share in our national wealth. Racism really has stunted progress in the past Pg9 Poverty and want breed crime, disease, and social unrest. Especially in minority communities Freedom budget 7 basic objectives: full employment, decent and adequate wages, decent living standards, wipe out slum ghettos, decent medicare and adequate educational opportunities, purify air and water, and full production and high economic growth Pg10 The Freedom Budget shows how to do all this without a raise in taxes and without a single make-work job-by planning prudently NOW to use the economic growth of the future, and with adequate attention to our international commitments. Would changing the structure of the government also help with this freedom budget plan We can all recognize that the. major cause of poverty could be eliminated, if enough decently paying jobs were available for everyone willing and able to work. And we can also recognize that, with enough jobs for all, a basic cause of discrimination among job-seekers would automatically disappear. Some people don’t want to work and others find underground work. Some may not even be paid as much What we must also recognize is that we now have the means of achieving complete employment-at no increased cost, with no radical change in our economic system, Pg11 -It asks that we unite in insisting that the na tion plan now to use part o f its expected economic growth to eliminate poverty. If all our nation's wealth were divided equally among all us Americans, each share would be worth roughly $3,500. Of this, we grant to the Federal government a slice equal to roughly $500 in the form of taxes, leaving us an average pf about $3,000 to spend on our other needs. The price may have decreased or increased based on the value of money now, the population of the US, and how much money the rich has now Whnt the: Freedom Budget proposes is this: Budget a fraction of the: $200 increase in Federal tax revenues to provide jobs for all who can work and adequate income of other types for those who cannot. Pg12 By giving the poor a chance to become dignified wage earners, we will be generating the money to finance the improvements we all need-rich and poor alike. And we would be doing it
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