To get middle-class consumption going again in the 1930s, Roosevelt championed the “Big Four” social policies:
• a minimum wage to lift purchasing power at the bottom;
• a law strengthening workers’ rights to unionize, laying the basis for the emergence of America’s middle class through manufacturing unions;
• unemployment insurance, which enabled jobless workers to feed their families; and
• Social Security, which enabled the elderly poor to avoid destitution and increase their consumption.
So far, what is Washington offering as the Great Recession’s Big Four? The Big Zero. continue reading

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