Professor Darrick Hamilton, Associate Professor of Economics and Urban Policy at The New School, joined us on March 6, 2017 for a moderated discussion: “A New Social Contract: Guaranteeing Dignity in a Precarious Economy. He shared a 10-point agenda that he believed could form the basis this new social contract. Because we have received several requests for those 10 points we list them below.
(1) Reparations for slavery, Jim Crow and exclusion from New Deal and post WWII policies, all which decimated wealth in Black communities;
(2) Baby Bonds – This program is analogous to a social security program for young adults. By giving every child a bond at birth, it would provide capital finance to begin a lifetime of building assets and economic security independent of the financial positioning and decision-making of the families in which they are born;
(3) Federal Job Guarantee — By creating enough jobs for all, this program offers the economic security of a living wage to all, investment in public physical and human infrastructure, as well as provides implicit floor on wages and other worker amenities, jobs for socially stigmatized workers, and increases bargaining power for all workers by removing the threat of unemployment;
(4) Federalize Credit Scores – A metric so determinant of individual life chances should not be left to the for-profit private sector. Government should be responsible and accountable to how these scores are decided through a transparent and understandable process;
(5) Postal Banking to provide banking services and short and long-term loans particularly for unprivileged individuals who financially have to rely on predatory check cashing institutions and payday lenders, and basically put a floor on financial product availability;
(6) EEOC should conduct employment audits to detect racial discrimination and prosecute discriminating firms;
(7) Federal subsidy to HBCUs to the tune of the present value of support reached for other colleges and universities from post WW II G.I. Bill (which was on the scale of the financing of the Marshall Plan). It is evident that Black students still need safe environments that mitigate hostility and provide curriculum more relevant to their experiences;
(8) Eliminate tracking in grade school and offer universal talented and gifted educational programs to all;
(9) Single payer health insurance — Medicare for all would contribute significantly to economic justice by spreading risk equitably across society for the cost of illness and injury;
(10) Stop mass incarceration of non-violent offenders, hold police criminally and civilly responsible for abusive police practice, and legalize marijuana to end the practice of imprisoning people for non-violent low-level infractions.