A 21st Century Bill of Rights

The old rights (Roosevelt’s 1944 and 1945 annual messages to Congress) are in black. Additions are in red. FDR had stipulated that economic rights were to be assured “regardless of station, race or creed.” To these we would add: gender, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity and national origin. The additional rights for which we offer a rationale are: security in childhood, collective bargaining, and a sustainable environment, the source of the resources on which economic activity depends.

“In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed”; gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, and national origin.

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

The right to security in childhood.

The right to collective bargaining.

The right to a sustainable environment.