Analysis

Socialism: Addressing the needs of poor and working people

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Workers at the Venezuelan Corporation of Guayana, a socialist enterprise created as part of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution, hold a mass assembly to discuss a new production plan. Photo: Venezuelanalysis.com

Originally published in Liberation Newspaper, April 2015

The following is an excerpt from “Socialism and Liberation in the United States”—the Program of the Party for Socialism and Liberation—that lays out our vision for a new type of society and what a new government of poor and working people could immediately carry out. The full version is available at www.pslweb.org/party/program.

The new government shall be directed to address the interests of working and poor people. This means that no laws, regulations or measures shall negatively impact the rights of working and poor people in society. The following issues will be addressed by the new government.

•    The exploitation of labor for private profit shall be prohibited.

•    It shall be a right of every person in the United States to have a job with guaranteed union representation and full social benefits provided by the new government, including a pension, health care, workers’ compensation, paid parental and family leave for up to one year, a minimum of one month’s paid vacation, and at least 12 paid holidays and sick days.

•    Poverty shall be eradicated by providing a guaranteed living income for any worker who is not able to find or hold a job. Priority in addressing the legacy of capitalism shall be granted to communities that have suffered disproportionately in the past.

•    Citizenship rights shall be granted to every person living in the United States. No person shall be discriminated against in any way due to past citizenship status.

•    Working conditions shall aim to enhance the humanity and dignity of all workers. The working week shall be 30 hours. Child care for workers shall be provided by the new government at no cost to the parents. There shall be cultural and athletic opportunities for all workers during working hours.

•    The new government shall provide free, high-quality health care to every person living in the United States, regardless of citizenship. For-profit health care and private insurance companies shall be outlawed.

•    The new government shall provide decent housing for every person in the United States. No person shall pay more than 10 percent of their income on housing costs. It shall be illegal to generate private profit by renting or selling land. No person may suffer foreclosure or eviction.

•    The new government shall provide free, high-quality education to every person in the United States from pre-school through college, as well as post-college educational opportunities for life-long learning to advance the technical and cultural level of society, as well as the promotion of working-class unity and international solidarity. The historic disparities in educational quality and opportunities in Black, Latino, Asian and Native communities, and other working-class communities, shall be addressed as a first order of business. The intellectual products of colleges and universities shall be the property of society, with no patents, trademarks, copyrights or private profit from social knowledge and materials.

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