I Dare To Dream
The march of economic inequality, from which springs the source of poverty, crime, violence, and lack of access to healthcare and higher education, has become the new civil rights issue of the 21st century. King’s dream of unconditional equality throughout the country can finish becoming a reality when the economic barriers that we all face on a daily basis finally come down for good, like an economic Berlin Wall. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke to the masses during the 1963 civil rights march on Washington and said, “I have a dream…”. By writing and publishing these words it is my intent to take up where King’s Dream left off, and to finish the job that he started, and so instead of writing, “I have a dream”, let me slightly change that to, “I dare to dream”.
I dare to dream of a world in which the gap between rich and poor is gone forever. We all deserve to live in a world where wealth has been redistributed in a peaceful and orderly manner and not by the barrel of a gun. I dare to dream of a country where wealth has been redistributed in 4 ways. First, every worker earns a living wage so poverty can be eliminated. Second, free higher education and vocational retraining is available to every worker for life, with free daycare available to all. Third, I envision a world where quality health care is available to every worker at nominal cost for life. Fourth, I see a country where home ownership isn’t part of an exclusive club, it is a basic human right.
I dare to dream of a new America with a fourteen dollar per hour minimum wage. I dare to dream of a new America where education will be subsidized from the cradle to the grave so that the US develops the most formidable work force the world has ever seen. I dare to dream of an America where all workers have the right to organize, to a flexible work week and to paid family or maternity leave.
I dare to dream of an America where affordable housing is the law of the land, where home ownership becomes a right and not a privilege so we can wipe out homelessness, and where the price of a house is limited to the sum total of seven years income of the individual or household purchaser.
I dare to dream of a country with new public works programs that put an end to unemployment forever so the USA can have full employment all the time.
I dare to dream of an America where there will be no such thing as someone without health insurance, where every citizen will have lifetime healthcare and prescription drug coverage without qualification, and where there will be the fewest sick days for American workers and their children of any country in the developed world.
I dare to dream of a new America with an all-new public school system that has an Internet-based curriculum that can be centrally updated, and that is second to none in the developed world, with a new more intensive school year and viable replacements for standardized testing, and where class size is limited by law.
I dare to dream of a new nation where unconditional equality is the law of the land for every citizen without exception, and this will include economic equality. I dare to dream of a new America where there is no income tax, and no more withholding of federal income tax from our paychecks, no capital gains tax and no self-employment tax, and where businesses operate tax free. In its place will be a national sales tax called a Consumption Tax where everyone pays proportionately the same tax rate on only what they use, plus an “excess wealth tax” for persons with income exceeding $30 million, and on businesses with incomes exceeding $300 million.
I dare to dream of a better USA where personal privacy is the law of the land, where identity theft is a thing of the past, and where it will be illegal for employers to obtain the credit files or credit scores of any job applicant.
I dare to dream of a more compassionate America where children have the right to a challenging and progressive learning environment, and where kids will be legally guaranteed freedom from hunger, sickness and violence, and where all God’s children will have the right to safe adoption, foster care and day care.
I dare to dream of an all-new voting system, including the abolition of the Electoral College, that is Internet-based, paperless, and that can be accessed from any location using any wireless device, instead of wasting our time and fuel and losing work time going to polling stations, and instead of using unreliable and unsecured voting machines.
Finally, I dare to dream of a world in which all this is easily financially achievable because all the money that is being wasted currently on the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and to a lesser extent in Pakistan, Libya and elsewhere will be redirected towards all these dreams that I have just mentioned. The money is already there, its just being budgeted in all the wrong places. Let me tell you why.
If the US military took all the money it spends in Iraq and Afghanistan in just one day and put it into an interest-bearing account in a bank or credit union, there would be enough money available to send every American school kid from the first grade up to senior year in high school through 4 years of college fully paid for including tuition, dorms, books, food, and access to the Internet and to public transportation. Here’s another example: If the US government took all that money set aside from one days worth of military expenditures, there would be enough money to build a 2,500 square feet house, fully furnished and stocked with groceries, with all the utilities already turned on, for every homeless person in the US including all the homeless kids. That’s how easily we can end homelessness in the richest country in the world.
Just as surely as there was an Arab Spring beginning at about this time last year, that uprising of the people throughout North Africa and the Middle East that toppled one dictator after another, so I am telling you that there will be an American Spring in 2012. Beginning last fall with the start-up of the Occupy and 99% Movements, of which I am proud to be a part, this uprising of the American people against the top 1% will explode like a hydrogen mushroom cloud over the American political and economic elite, obliterating them all without anyone having fired a single shot so that the remaining 99% of us can peacefully take back what has been stolen from us over the last 100 years. We can only accomplish this by uniting together as one and acting as one body to break free from the shackles of oppression that have us all enslaved.
You have just read the end of chapter 9 of my book, “The Middle and Working Class Manifesto” (Salt and Light Ministries, 472 pages, $14.95). To order your copy, go to www.2ndar.org/book_sales_and_speeches. Thanks so much.