Michael Moores latest movie Capitalism, A Love Story includes film from President Franklin Roosevelts 1944 State of the Union address. As part of his address, FDR stated, It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our peoplewhether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenthis ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure. He continued, We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. Necessitous men are not free men. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
President Roosevelt proposed what he called a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for allregardless of station, race, or creed. This 2nd Bill of Rights included: 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.
Roosevelt concluded that Americas own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens. Unfortunately, FDR did not live long enough to see his 2nd Bill of Rights enacted. The question now becomes, will we?