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The Economic Bill of Rights

posted 12 Jan 2011, 00:14 by Jess Maher

You're looking at a woman who resembles your mother. She moves and talks like your mother, and she's even dressed the same as your mother. In fact, she is your mother. Butyou're absolutely certain that she's an imposter.

This is the experience of someone suffering from a Capgras delusion, a rare medical disorder in which a person becomes convinced that a loved one has been replaced by someone pretending to be that loved one. The unsettling condition is the topic of this week's episode of Radiolab, entitled "Do I Know You?", and the producers invited Dr. Carol Berman and Dr. V.S. Ramachandran on the program to talk about it.

The Economic Bill of Rights

January 11, 1944

Excerpted from Franklin Delano Roosevelt's message to Congress on the State of the Union. This was proposed not to amend the Constitution, but rather as a political challenge, encouraging Congress to draft legislation to achieve these aspirations. It is sometimes referred to as the "Second Bill of Rights."

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.

Among these are:

  • 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.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.