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FDR’s Second Bill of Rights

By Jim Carey

Occupy SMA will begin a discussion about which candidate for the presidency of the US, if any, best represents what we have stood for over the past 4 1⁄2 years. We have a video of FDR’s dream for the United States after WWII. His dream is ours. During Roosevelt’s January 11, 1944, message to the Congress of the United States on the State of the Union, he expressed that dream in his Second Bill of Rights.

Film and discussion
Presented by Occupy SMA
FDR’s Second Bill of Rights
Mon, May 9, 1pm
Quinta Loreto Hotel
Loreto 15
No charge

“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 people—whether it be one third or one fifth or one tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure … .

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. In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted … 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.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

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 asked that newsreel cameras film the last portion of that address. The footage was lost until it was uncovered in 2008 in South Carolina by Michael Moore for his film Capitalism: A Love Story. We will show the last 5 minutes of his film which includes FDR’s Second Bill of Rights. Join our discussion. Our events are free.


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