“Necessitous men are not free men.”

“Necessitous men are not free men. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.”

That quote is from a January 1944 State of the Union speech –

FDR went on to outline what was then, and is still, a set of rights for peace, prosperity, and security for our country. He described to congress a “second bill of rights”.

“In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
The right of every family to a decent home;
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
The right to a good education.”

He finishes the statement with –

“America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for all our citizens. For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.”

FDR Jan1944 SOTU address
FDR Jan1944 SOTU address click to play

By today’s standard FDR Was a left wing progressive radical. His policies worked for bringing back prosperity, and got us through the Great Depression.

Big business did not, and does not, like how it was done. Big business has, through the Republican agenda, dismantled as much of the New Deal as possible reversing the progress made to realize FDR’s goals. Big Business continues to erode these rights, and in the process they erode the very fabric of the governance which make these rights and successful businesses possible.

These are simple human rights, and provide simple human dignity.

Livable wages
Fair trade
decent housing
health care
a good education

All are necessary for “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”

Support FDR’s “second bill of rights”. Raise the standard of living for all of America in the 21st century. Stand up for personal dignity, and the dignity of our fellows.

Fight for what is right, and do what we are able to do to make it happen!

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