In the October 2011 issue of The Progressive Matthew Rothschild writes a commentary called “Demand the Impossible.” In it, he discusses income inequality and how it has affected democracy in the United States. He points out that the rich own those with political power: “Their Republican servants in Congress, and their contract employees among the Democrats, have so rigged the legislative process that the vast majority of the American people can’t get what they desperately want and need.” And that our savior is no help: “Meanwhile, President Obama readies the public for cutbacks in Social Security and Medicare.”
His answer: demand the impossible.
Instead of going along with the neoliberal acquiescence that so typifies the Obama Administration, we should put forward robust demands that will lead us toward the kind of society we want to build and inhabit.
I agree completely. Rothschild provides his own list. I agree with everything on his list and it informs my own.
- Instead of not taxing income above $106,000, the Social Security Tax should be double the normal rate (6.2%).
- Increase the minimum wage to a level where anyone working 40 hours per week would make four times the average rent in their area.
- Demand that the Fed target a 2% unemployment rate and when they don’t meet that require the federal government to hire any unemployed people who want a job.
- Require that no public school class size exceed 10 students. Require that no college class size exceed 20 students.
- Demand free college education and job training for all students who qualify.
- Universal healthcare now.
For those who say we cannot afford it, Rothschild has an excellent answer.