The new Biden administration has been releasing proposals to bring relief to the millions who are suffering in so many ways today. It remains to be seen how much of this is actually approved by Congress. These proposals would be welcome and would provide some short term relief.
But a growing number of us are speaking out, calling attention to the fundamental problems of capitalism. The following statement by Scot Miller concisely explains why we must work to replace the capitalist system. This is a matter of white privilege and institutional racism, and a moral obligation.
“Quakers will only be truly prophetic when they risk a great deal of their accumulated privilege and access to wealth. Prophets cannot have a stake in maintaining the status quo. Any attempt to change a system while benefiting and protecting the benefits received from the system reinforces the system. Quakers as much as anyone not only refuse to reject their white privilege, they fail to reject the benefits they receive from institutionalized racism, trying to make an unjust economy and institutionalized racism and patriarch more fair and equitable in its ability to exploit. One can not simultaneously attack racist and patriarchal institutions and benefit from them at the same time without becoming more reliant upon the benefits and further entrenching the system. Liberalism at its laziest.”Scot Miller on why Quakerism is not prophetic. Friendly Fire Collective, June 5, 2018
I’ve been blessed to be learning about Mutual Aid as an alternative to capitalism. (I’m going to participate in the Des Moines food giveaway this morning.)
“mutual aid” | Search Results | Quakers, social justice and revolution (jeffkisling.com)
The First 100 Days: FCNL’s Recommendations to the Biden Administration. Executive Action to Advance Peace and Justice
Alleviate hardship for millions of struggling families:
- Rescind the public charge rules and replace them with them with Interim Final Rules based on the 1999 field guidance that had been in place for 20 years. The public charge rules deny Green Cards to immigrants who access public benefits they’re legally entitled to.
- Roll back rules making it harder for people to access food assistance, including limitations on categorical eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), modifications to the standard utility allowance for calculating SNAP benefits, and harsher SNAP time limits for adults struggling to find work.
- Cancel proposed housing rules that undermined fair housing protections. Undo recent regulatory changes to Disparate Impact Rule, Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH), and Equal Access Rule.
- Additionally, enact an executive order to raise the wage of government contract workers to $15 an hour to match rising inflation and cost of living and setsetting an example for states and private business.
The First 100 Days: FCNL’s Recommendations to the Biden Administration
Executive Action to Advance Peace and Justice, Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), January 13, 2021
Biden Relief Proposal Seeks to Address Health and Economic Crisis
President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris have introduced their American Rescue Plan in response. The proposal outlines strong relief to give the country the tools it needs to address the health and economic crises.
The American Rescue Plan would extend enhanced food, unemployment, housing, and child care assistance, and raise the minimum wage. It would provide aid to state and local governments, and robust funding for vaccine production and distribution. It includes another round of stimulus checks and much more.
Yet, the package goes even further, including one of FCNL’s top priorities, a policy that would dramatically reduce poverty, particularly child poverty. The plan expands the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.
Together, the EITC and Child Tax Credit are the largest anti-poverty programs in the U.S., aside from Social Security. Administered through the tax code, these refundable tax credits provide millions of low-income families a check that can cover basic living and emergency expenses, or help build wealth essential to weathering crises. However, these two programs exclude millions of people in their current form. For example, workers under age 25 cannot claim the EITC, and adults not raising children can claim only a minimal EITC benefit. The American Rescue Plan would expand the EITC for adults not raising children from $530 to close to $1,500, and makes the credit available to younger and older workers.
Biden Relief Proposal Seeks to Address Health and Economic Crisis by Amelia Kegan, Friends Committee on National Legislation, January 15, 2021
RELIGIOUS SOCIALISM ACTIVIST COLLEEN SHADDOX PUBLISHES NEW BOOK ON POVERTY IN THE U.S.
“Poverty is simply not having enough money to meet your needs,” Goldblum says. “There is nothing more complicated about it than that. And we live in the richest nation in the world, where there is plenty of money. So if we have the political will, we could end poverty.
“There are lots of different ways to do it. A living wage is necessary, and a universal basic income can help. We talk in the book about universal health care, housing supports, about making water and electricity and heat a public good. Other countries do all this, and there is no reason we could not do so as well. If we just tax people appropriately, we can have the money to do all this.”