Regarding the importance of economic justice, years ago economist Ray Marshall, President Jimmy Carter's Secretary of Labor, told me that
"The basic evolution is that...
- ...first you have political institutions that are controlled by the people and not special interest groups - that's political democracy.
- After workers get the right to vote then you have industrial democracy, which means worker participation in the work place. That's collective bargaining. Most countries have taken that further than us.
- Then there's social democracy where you have safety nets - a minimum level of welfare services. Every industrial country in the world is more developed in social democracy than us in, for example, health care and education.
- Finally, there's economic democracy where individuals and not special interests control their economic institutions. Economic democracy strengthens all other forms of democracy. If you have economic democracy then people can't intimidate you when you vote."