Economics and Martin Luther King Due to timing and chance,
the Harrisonburg street renaming debate has been even more revealing
than most. In this materially rich sovereign country with its own
currency, we have a system and resources that give us the ability to
let all people within our borders live in dignity and security. Yet we
cling to an austerity ideology and make the political choice to run
our system in a way that guarantees a pool of losers and insecurity
and anxiety from the bottom to the top of our society. Why? The street
naming brought forward the rhetoric of these political choices and
revealed the feelings at its root: pure antipathy toward our fellow human
beings, at the bottom maybe fueled by a personal hurt from being
forced to compete within, and having failed (or being guilty of having
succeeded) within, an inhuman system of hierarchy and domination.
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was able to paint a picture of
a viable alternative. By employment, we mean a place in society that
a person can occupy to live in dignity and security. Unemployment and
labor under adverse conditions entail violence, even terrorism, and
the destruction of human life at all levels. Following are some
economic ideas that the messages of Dr. King seem to affirm.
Networks of full employment
An African American Economist from the Cantrell street opening time-period and
from near this
region on full employment: Sadie T. M. Alexander.
Media coverage of a full employment
program put forward by Sandy Darity.
Academic paper by
same, with UMKC sources.
How can full employment be possible? And isn't the economy
A non-academic outline by Warren Mosler:
But the papers say the US is about to run out of money in October 2013?
The US economy is not out of the woods, but rather going through a
fundamental transformation : 97 % of new jobs created are part time.
What is the alternative to full employment?
* Why pay attention to white men? They are an indicator of a breakdown
in the logic of their lives, a validation of the reach of Dr. King's vision
that made him such a threat to systems of hierarchy and
domination. White men committing suicide are realizing something that
is a daily reality for their black brothers. A leader like Dr. King
had the potential to touch conscience which had the potential to
establish solidarity across the color line (as well as gender and
other lines of demarcating (social) 'place' and 'other') for a system based on
peace, freedom, and justice rather than artificial hierarchies of supremacy.
Jim Peach and William M. Dugger: An Intellectual History of Abundance
An American world view connected to King and Dubois, likely founded on a Chinese world view:
An African world
view: Hunger for