The Current Reality
While many residents and working families continue to face economic hardships, from struggling to pay rent and groceries with minimum wages that haven’t kept up with inflation and productivity in decades, to small businesses in communities of color disproportionately receiving less PPP loans than in white-majority areas, we’re also currently undergoing a tumultuous time of corporate price-gouging and massive technological transformation.
Since the 1980s, the government has prioritized corporate and special interests and the short-term maximization of profits, in the hope that doing so would create a “trickle down economy” where workers benefit at the bottom. But this trickle down economy has never worked; instead, corporations use massive profits to re-elect career politicians who then give kickbacks, subsidies, and tax breaks to those corporations. Moreover, corporations have lost any sense of duty of loyalty to their employees and the communities they’re in, as their main motive is maximizing profit for their shareholders in everything they do, even at the expense of their workers. We must understand that the American economy is built and sustained by individual workers, not by monolithic corporations and CEOs.
For instance, large corporations like Amazon are using union-busting tactics to break up unions; automation is threatening jobs that count on physical labor, which is happening in areas like the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach; surveillance capitalism is stealing our data with no in-kind payment; employers are using technology to surveil their employees; abuse of contractor status is robbing would-be employees of their legal rights to healthcare and other benefits. With the current dystopian economic landscape that values the stock market and GDP over people, we need to ensure that our economy is one that prioritizes human life and social responsibility. We must start NOW on the path of creating an economy that works for all and not lose our future before it begins.
Our Goals and How We Plan to Do It
- Center our economy around human and social well being.
- Redefine corporate social responsibility.
- Promote and incentivize growth in the small business sector.
- Strengthen labor protections and promote the right to unionize for all workers.
- Properly value “social laborers” like parents, caretakers, health workers and teachers.
- End widespread data mining and curb surveillance capitalism.
Promote a Wellbeing Focused Economy
- Create stronger financial backstops for socially responsible yet underpaid roles, like parents, caretakers, health workers and teachers, via our platform.
- Support the nomination and retention of Federal Reserve Board governors who will pursue full employment and wage growth.
- Implement public banking with bills such as Rep. Tlaib’s Public Banking Act to secure investments in our communities and not in large corporations.
- Enforce trade laws that help American workers and encourage trade with socially responsible, humane foreign partners, because our focus on building a human-centered economy should not stop at our borders.
- Look beyond GDP through legislation such as Rep. Omar’s GPI Act to focus our government’s attention on metrics such as childhood success rates, median income, standard of living, the happiness index, health-adjusted life expectancy, and absence of substance abuse.
Redefine Socially Responsible Corporations
- Enact campaign finance reforms to stop big corporate money from influencing politics to gain large subsidies and tax breaks, while leaving little for workers and families.
- Implement a well-designed financial transactions tax on stocks, bonds, and other investments to support community needs like education, public housing, and more for families and communities.
- Raise top marginal income tax rates for billionaires and highest earners to provide much-needed financial support for our social safety net programs and community needs.
- Explore legislation that changes current quarterly reporting practices to help stop short-term thinking in companies which are harming workers.
- Empower the Federal Trade Commission to protect people nationwide from pandemic profiteering.
- Re-evaluate the meaning of corporate fiduciary duty to apply it towards workers and the communities they’re in, as well as shareholders.
- Pass laws holding the private sector from using taxpayer money for personal gains.
- Support actions that require large US corporations to publicly and completely disclose their greenhouse gas emissions to hold them accountable and help prevent greenwashing.
- Draft federal legislation or a Constitutional amendment making clear that corporations are not people and are not entitled to all of the constitutional rights guaranteed to individuals.
- Support legislation that promotes protection and workers’ rights for gig workers like in Seattle, Philadelphia, and New York.
- Raise the federal minimum wage to a living wage based on cost-of-living in each geographic region.
- Strengthen OSHA laws and worker protection(s) health and safety measures to ensure undocumented/documented workers receive the proper safety training(s) and equipment to save lives and reduce long term health issues.
- Close gender pay gap and promote work-related protections for immigrants, women, and LGBTQIA+ communities.
- Implement national paid leaves — including vacation, family, and medical leaves to promote productivity and work-life balance.
Strengthen Labor Unions
- Co-govern with local workers’ unions in different industries to co-create legislation that puts them first.
- Expand formation and growth of unions through bills such as the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act and Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights to strengthen collective-bargaining and improve working conditions for all workers.
- Promote education of labor unions in schools.
- Provide a financial and healthcare backstop for all workers and those unable to work, via our Floor to Stand On platform.
- Update federal law to invalidate forced arbitration and make it easier for individuals’ ability to file class action lawsuits in federal court.
Small Business Growth
- Implement suggested policy proposals under our campaign’s page for Small Businesses.
- Forgive student loans debt for aspiring small business owners to invest resources in their local communities instead of student loans.
- Extend protections and benefits to small businesses that hire full-time employees.
- Provide tech training such as free coding and finance bootcamps that allow small businesses to keep up with corporate competitors.
- Create a National Business Interruption Risk Insurance program to put in place a long-term structure to guarantee stability in future crises.
- Increase federal funding for SBA grants to community organizations.
Fight for Responsible Data Use
- Draft an Algorithmic Bill of Rights, similar to laws enacted in other parts of the world.
- Propose an “Algorithmic opt-out” bill that would force companies to let their users remove themselves from algorithmic targeting and feedback loops.
- Ensure that AI research and development accounts for diversity and does not carry implicit, problematic biases.
- Push for data protection and sanctuaries for those seeking gender-affirming health care in different states.
- End the use of public dollars currently used to automate the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
- Push for research into establishing two-way linking and micropayments for personal data, which was a concept explored during the early days of the internet.
- Create restrictions on the lengthy Terms of Service agreements that allow Big Tech to wield their influence to claim our data.
What This Will Do For Us
By implementing bold actions that put our communities first instead of large corporations, stock markets, GDP, and automation, we can truly make our economy work for us. We can ensure that all workers – regardless of their titles and backgrounds – have living wages and robust social safety nets to take control of their lives and not live in fear of an unstable financial floor. As someone who worked multiple jobs to stay afloat, I want to make sure no one has to fear that one emergency can shatter their entire world. By reshaping our economy to align with our humanity, we can focus our talents and passions to pursue goals that matter to us whether it is changing careers or starting a family without financial worries. It’s time we make that happen.