Tag Archives: Economic Bill of Rights

FDR’s Bill of Economic Rights

  • The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation
           Comment: Notice the specific types of employment that FDR had in mind when he mentioned an economic right to a job. It was not just any job. And it wasn’t necessarily a job you (necessarily) wanted.[1] Rather, it was limited to “industries[,] shops[,] farms[,] [and] mines.” These jobs, when we reflect on them, are typically: manual-labor intensive (depending on the industry/shop but typically across the board for farms and mines), involve long hours (beyond the standard 8-hour workday that is commonplace today), offer little pay (in comparison to, say, jobs in the technology industry), etc. Suffice it to say that part of the problem with this first economic right, as it is initially proposed by FDR, is that it is no longer in-tune with the contemporary economic landscape. That is to say, we have fewer farms, mines, and even shops than we used to (all things considered). Instead, we have increasingly flexible and immaterial economic structures in place (e.g. the ‘gig’ economy). This right needs to drop the second half of the clause and redefine what it means by ‘useful and remunerative.’

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