John Edwards on the 'Working Society'
From a speech given at the Center for American Progress:
"There is a powerful hunger for a sense of community in this country again, a sense of national community, a sense that we are all in this together, that there is a higher purpose for our national community. People understand. They get it. They understand that they’re supposed to work hard and be responsible for themselves and for their families, but they know there’s more to America than them taking care of themselves. This administration may think that every single American is an island, but Americans know that Katrina’s victims shouldn’t have been out there on their own, and that no American should be out there on their own...[snip]
To be true to our values, what our country needs to build is a working society; an America where everyone who works hard finally has the rewards to show for it. In this working society, nobody who works full-time should have to raise their children in poverty or in fear that one more healthcare emergency or one more layoff is going to put them right in the ditch. In the working society, everyone who works full-time will at least [have] something to show for it: a home of their own, an account where their savings and paychecks can grow. In the working society, everyone willing to work will actually have a chance to get ahead. Anybody who wants to go to college and is willing to work for it will be able to go. In the working society, people who work have the right to live in communities where the streets are safe, the schools are good, and jobs can be reached. In the working society, everyone will also be asked to hold up their end of the bargain, to work, to hold off having kids until they’re ready, and to do their part for their kids when the time comes.
[snip]... At a time when millions of people have been displaced, many already poor before this storm ever hit, when the only shot many people have is a job rebuilding New Orleans, this president intervened to suspend Davis-Bacon so that people who are working there could at least earn a decent wage – the prevailing wage in the area for a hard day’s work. You know, I might have missed something, but I don’t think the president ever talked about putting a cap on the salaries of the CEOs of Halliburton and the other companies who are bidding on these contracts. No, this president, who never met an earmark he wouldn’t approve or a millionaire tax cut he wouldn’t promote, decided to the slash wages for the least of us, for the most vulnerable."