This is the fourth in a series of 6 posts, building up to the launch of my book Defund Fear. Each post draws out, from the book and from the wider community, the specific steps the new administration must take in order to prioritize the safety and security of people in America.
To achieve true safety, especially for the most vulnerable, the Biden Administration must shift from systemic deprivation to investing resources in communities.
The third shift means the government directly ensures universal access to the goods and services that are essential for human dignity, including housing, healthcare, higher education, childcare, eldercare and pensions. As it stands now, poverty, lack of housing, lack of education and health care, unemployment, toxic and polluted natural resources, and other manifestations of economic deprivation serve to create a class of people for whom safety is never, ever guaranteed.
Funding can come from a tax on wealth (as opposed to income)—for example, 2 percent for net worth above $50 million, and 3 percent for those with more than $1 billion, would generate $2.75 trillion in revenue over a decade.
#3 Defund Deprivation; Fund Resources
- Guarantee One Fair Wage which eliminates the subminimum wage for tipped workers, incarcerated workers, youth, people with disabilities
- Increase the minimum wage immediately to $15/hour beginning with federal employees
- Guarantee the right to form and join unions to all workers
- Guarantee quality healthcare to all, expanding Medicaid in every state, securing Medicare, working towards enacting a public universal health care option and building up our public health infrastructure
- Make housing a universal right. Expand public and affordable housing and rental assistance. Stop all foreclosures and evictions immediately; enact a rent freeze
- Expand Community Land Trusts—taking housing off the market and turning it back to community ownership—and make them eligible for funding and incentives offered for affordable housing
- Commit to the Green New Deal and No New Fossil Fuels
- Establish a Universal Child Benefit that provides a monthly $400 for children ages 6 to 18 or $500 for children under 6
- Cancel student debt
- Expand access to reproductive justice by incorporating the Each Woman Act (H.R. 1692) and thereby repealing the Hyde Amendment which blocks federal Medicaid funding for abortions
- Create a care infrastructure: guarantee universal access to childcare, home supports for elders and people with disabilities, and dignity for care workers: living wages, portable benefits, and the right to collective action.
- Make immigrants eligible for all public welfare and social programs.
- Fund community-based organizations providing non-punitive, non-carceral programming related to: restorative justice, transformative justice, healing trauma, crisis intervention, robust first responders.