One Candidate’s Progressive Economic Plan

In response to economic pain in the heartland, which candidate proposed:

…support for a federal job training program, safeguards for collective bargaining, a higher minimum wage, and better protection for people who lost their jobs or could not afford adequate medical care.**

Which candidate’s record included:

EDUCATION…established a new university, 14 junior colleges, 15 trade schools and raised teachers’ salaries.

INDUSTRY…100,000 new jobs. Highest total employment and lowest unemployment in state’s history…

ROADBUILDING…invested over $549 million in the greatest 4 year roadbuilding performance in [state] history –

without any hint of graft corruption or swindles.

WELFARE…record high help to the aged, the handicapped, mentally and physically ill…
AGRICULTURE…greatly increased agricultural research, land fertilization, crop yield, and farm income.

LABOR Issued executive order incorporating minimum union wage rates in all state contracts. Increased Workmen’s and Unemployment Compensation benefits 37%. Promoted and passed legislation that reduced firemen’s work week… and substantially increased retirement pensions.

We could use a dose of such economic populism today … minus George Wallace’s racism and one or two other things.

**James T Patterson, Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974. p. 698-699.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-Based Community]

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Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is the Helen Ross Professor at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.