Dan Kervick: Three Pillars of Democratic Empowerment:
In amending DeLong’s list of cardinal virtues, let me put forth these Three Pillars of Democratic Empowerment: I. We need more democracy. And that doesn’t just mean we need more elections and more access to voting. We need more real, honest to goodness, full-participation, deliberative, hands-on democracy. We need more active citizen engagement in all aspects of the processes that determine our future….
II. We need to advocate for a restructuring of work and life in the United States…. It is impossible to predict how the nature of work will evolve over time. But however that evolution of work goes, we know there will be a great deal of work to be done. The burdens of that work must be divided and shouldered fairly; and the fruits of that work must be shared equally as well….
III. We need to restore the bargaining power of labor and restore work and the people who do it to a place of privilege over capital and the people who own it. We must commit to a system of 100% full employment, with the public sector permanently mobilized and standing ready to provide work and income-earning opportunities to everyone who is willing and able to work, but for whom the private sector has been unsuccessful…. This is the only way to end the permanent buyers’ market in labor that is responsible for decades of rising inequality and insecurity. Right now, both of our major parties are failing to grasp this imperative, as is seen in the recent debate over the House of Representatives vote to cut the SNAP program.