A Freedom Budget for All Americans

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In the fall of 1965 A. Philip Randolph, prominent economists, allies from the labor movement and others who had participated in the 1963 March on Washington, began working on what they called "A Freedom Budget For All Americans".[1] Writing 50 years later in The Nation, John Nichols listed as its goals "the abolition of poverty, guaranteed full employment, fair prices for farmers, fair wages for workers, housing and healthcare for all, the establishment of progressive tax, and fiscal policies that respected the needs of working families."[2]

Randolph worked with Bayard Rustin and Martin Luther King Jr. on the Freedom Budget document, which was advanced in 1966, determined to win the "full and final triumph of the civil rights movement, to be achieved by going beyond civil rights, linking the goal of racial justice with the goal of economic justice for all people in the United States" and doing so "by rallying massive segments of the 99% of the American people in a powerfully democratic and moral crusade."[3] The proposals of Freedom Budget included a job guarantee for everyone ready and willing to work, a guaranteed income for those unable to work or those who should not be working, and a living wage to lift the working poor out of poverty; such policies provided the cornerstones for King's Poor People's Campaign.[4]


  1. ^ Freedom Budget for All pdf
  2. ^ Nichols, John A. Philip Randolph Was Right: 'We Will Need To Continue Demonstrations' Why we still need a "Freedom Budget for All Americans." The Nation. April 15, 2014
  3. ^ Le Blanc, Paul, Freedom Budget, the Promise of the Civil Rights Movement, Working USA, the Journal of Labor and Society, Volume 17, Issue 1, March 2013, pp 43-58.
  4. ^ The Freedom Budget at 45: Functional Finance and Full Employment. researchgate.net Retrieved on 29 April 2016