An urgent and galvanizing argument for an Economic Bill of
Rights--and its potential to confer true freedom on all Americans.
Since the Founding, Americans have debated the true meaning of
freedom. For some, freedom meant the provision of life's necessities,
those basic conditions for the "pursuit of happiness." For
others, freedom meant the civil and political rights enumerated in
the Bill of Rights and unfettered access to the marketplace--nothing
more. As Mark Paul explains, the latter interpretation--thanks in
large part to a particularly influential cadre of economists--has all
but won out among policymakers, with dire repercussions for American
society: rampant inequality, endemic poverty, and an economy built to
benefit the few at the expense of the many.
In this book, Paul shows how economic rights--rights to necessities
like housing, employment, and health care--have been a part of the
American conversation since the Revolutionary War and were a
cornerstone of both the New Deal and the Civil Rights Movement. Their
recuperation, he argues, would at long last make good on the promise
of America's founding documents. By drawing on FDR's proposed
Economic Bill of Rights, Paul outlines a comprehensive policy program
to achieve a more capacious and enduring version of American freedom.
Among the rights he enumerates are the right to a good job, the right
to an education, the right to banking and financial services, and the
right to a healthy environment.
Replete with discussions of some of today's most influential policy
ideas--from Medicare for All to a federal job guarantee to the Green
New Deal--The Ends of Freedom is a timely and urgent call to reclaim
the idea of freedom from its captors on the political right--to
ground America's next era in the country's progressive history and
carve a path toward a more economically dynamic and equitable nation.