February 04, 2019

KENNEDY: GOVERNMENT MUST BE AN ECONOMIC ACTIVIST & REBUILD WORKER CLOUT

Outlines platform to ‘build a moral capitalism’

Newton, MA – Citing pervasive and systemic economic inequities, Congressman Joe Kennedy III today called on the federal government to take an aggressive, activist approach to rebuilding American capitalism. In remarks delivered at Harvard Law School’s John T. Dunlop Memorial Forum, Kennedy outlined policies to address economic abuse, expand economic protections, ensure equitable access to public goods and mobilize the economy around shared national interest.

Kennedy’s speech followed remarks he made earlier this winter to the New England Council, where he called for “a moral capitalism, judged not just by how much it produces but how broadly it shares.”

He said today: “Today the United States government is called to be an economic activist; to remedy the injustice it has let fester on its watch; to jump off the sidelines of an economy with the highest disparities of almost any advanced nation on Earth and demand, with the full force of its mighty laws, that we do better.”

“Here, our medical innovations subsidize global health, but our citizens die rationing insulin they can’t afford. Here, we dehumanize immigrants with one hand while exploiting their cheap labor with the other. Here, we let redlines course through housing markets and neighborhoods, segregating schools fifty years after Jim Crow. We subject the poor to endless tests of character for our taxes to cover their next hot meal. But the rich face no such scrutiny when our taxes float their stock prices. We let the wealthy divert and dilute resources from public schools, public transit and public housing meant to level the inevitable tip of capitalist scales and then criminalize the marginalized when they can’t hang on. This is the story of our modern economy and of a government that aided, abetted and encouraged its rise. It is the challenge of our time.”

“Three years ago, a man named Donald Trump usurped America’s economic story. He offered a simple explanation for the hurt so many carry: It’s the other guy’s fault. The brown guy. The immigrant. The gay one, the woman, that one over there, who looks different and sounds funny. He – like many an aristocrat and supremacist before him – deftly turned us on each other, defusing the force that abusers of privilege fear most: solidarity among the people they oppress. So Americans today fight each other over the scraps of our system, instead of uniting to fight a system that finds them worthy of only scraps to begin with.”

To read Congressman Kennedy’s full remarks, please click here

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For Immediate Release:
February 4, 2019 

Contact:
Dan Black (202) 225-5931