What’s missing from Draut’s Better Deal?

Tamara Draut, at the conclusion of Sleeping Giant, her book about the new American working class, offered a list of proposals that she called A Better Deal.


A Better Deal for Workers
Modernize out labor protections by fighting the definition of “independent contractor,” creating new rules for stable scheduling practices and ensuring that the growing “on-demand” workforce is protected by labor laws and has rights to basic worker benefits.  Expand federal enforcement capacity and increase the fines and penalties for companies that break the rules.
• Guarantee paid sick days and paid parental leave as universal benefits for all workers.
• Raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021 and eliminate the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers.
• Reform labor laws to ensure the ability of workers to join a union, including prohibiting so-called right-to-work laws and establishing majority sign-up as the authorization required for establishing a union.

A Better Deal for Families
Develop a system to guarantee access to affordable and high-quality child care for infants and toddlers for all working- and middle-class families and high-quality jobs for child-care workers.
• Reinvest in state public higher education to achieve debt-free public college for all working- and middle-class students.

A Better Deal for Society
Revitalize our nation’s infrastructure, including addressing climate change, to ensure full employment
• Establish a National Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Racial Healing to provide full accounting of our nation’s violent racial history and to address its legacy in residential segregation, occupational segregation, the racial wealth gap and oppressive criminal justice and policing practices.
• Develop comprehensive immigration reform to provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers.

A Better Deal for Democracy
Reform election procedures and practices, including establishing automatic voter registration to ensure all citizens are registered and widespread adoption of same-day registration, early voting and restoration of voting rights to formerly incarcerated citizens; restore the Voting Rights Act to provide voter protections for African Americans
• Establish a system of public financing at the federal, state and local levels, to reduce the role of corporate money and private wealth in funding elections and allow more racially diverse and working-class people to run for office.
• Amend the Constitution and transform the Supreme Court’s approach to money in politics to establish that money is not free speech and that corporations are not people.

What is missing from this list?

American workers will never get a good deal so long as the government prioritizes militarism and war and so long as monopoly power is unchecked.  Militarism means that the government will never have the resources to meet the needs of American workers.  Monopoly power means that workers will never have the political and economic power they need.

A Better Deal than Militarism and War

  • Cap military spending and then reduce it year-by-year to the level necessary to defend U.S. citizens and the U.S. homeland.  Close overseas bases in countries that the United States has no treaty obligation to defend.  Use the money saved to meet the needs of Americans.
  • Obey international law.  Cease invading foreign countries that have not attacked us.  Cease conspiring to overthrow foreign governments.  End assassinations and torture.  Give all prisoners either the rights of criminal defendants or the rights of prisoners of war.
  • Cease waging economic warfare by cutting off transactions made through the U.S. financial system in U.S. dollars, thus postponing the time when the dollar will cease to be the medium of international trade.
  • Create an Emergency Response Corps with fixed enlistments to provide help to victims hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and other natural disasters in the United States and possibly abroad.  Sign up any discharged veteran or anybody else who can’t find work elsewhere.

A Better Deal than Monopoly Power

  • Enforce the anti-trust laws.  Break up monopolies and semi-monopolies or make them into regulated utilities.  Preserve and expand local ownership of newspapers and television stations.
  • Prosecute financial and accounting fraud.  Imprison and fine individual criminals.  Don’t let them shift responsibility onto corporate structures.  Prosecute bribery.
  • Restore and modernize the financial regulations that were repealed in the 1990s and after.
  • Restore net neutrality.
  • Create a postal banking system to provide payday loans and other services as reasonable rates.
  • Create a single-payer medical insurance system, aka Medicare for all.
  • Defend and preserve Social Security.

What reforms do you think are needed?  What have I got wrong or left out?

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One Response to “What’s missing from Draut’s Better Deal?”

  1. silverapplequeen Says:

    Reblogged this on aunt polly's rants and commented:
    Some REAL GOOD ideas here.


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