Friday, May 2nd at 6:30 PM
Please join us on June 2nd for an evening with Mark Paul, author of The Ends of Freedom: Reclaiming America's Lost Promise of Economic Rights. He will be joined by Nikil Saval, a leader in the PA Senate and a writer for N+1, the NYT and the New Yorker.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Since the Founding, Americans have debated the true meaning of freedom. For some, freedom meant the provision of life’s necessities, those basic conditions for the “pursuit of happiness.” For others, freedom meant the civil and political rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights and unfettered access to the marketplace—nothing more. As Mark Paul explains, the latter interpretation—thanks in large part to a particularly influential cadre of economists—has all but won out among policymakers, with dire repercussions for American society: rampant inequality, endemic poverty, and an economy built to benefit the few at the expense of the many.
In this book, Paul shows how economic rights—rights to necessities like housing, employment, and health care—have been a part of the American conversation since the Revolutionary War and were a cornerstone of both the New Deal and the Civil Rights Movement. Their recuperation, he argues, would at long last make good on the promise of America’s founding documents. By drawing on FDR’s proposed Economic Bill of Rights, Paul outlines a comprehensive policy program to achieve a more capacious and enduring version of American freedom. Among the rights he enumerates are the right to a good job, the right to an education, the right to banking and financial services, and the right to a healthy environment.
Replete with discussions of some of today’s most influential policy ideas—from Medicare for All to a federal job guarantee to the Green New Deal—The Ends of Freedom is a timely and urgent call to reclaim the idea of freedom from its captors on the political right—to ground America’s next era in the country’s progressive history and carve a path toward a more economically dynamic and equitable nation.
"Without a new foundation of economic rights for all, grounded in ecological safety and racial justice, democracy will not survive. Paul is one of the economists reimagining his field to meet this moment of compounding crises, and his new book brilliantly traces the history and irresistible logic behind the demand for an economic bill of rights. It’s a gift to the social movements who are fighting to put those rights back on the political agenda, and to anyone contemplating the deeper meaning of freedom."
— Naomi Klein
"Amidst the wreckage of the failed neoliberal project to shrink the idea of freedom down to limited government, Paul advances an expanded notion of 'freedom to' rather than just 'freedom from.' His program of economic rights may just be the best hope for securing a society built on positive freedoms in a sustainable democratic order."
— Samuel Bowles, Santa Fe Institute and author, The Moral Economy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Paul is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. he holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His research and writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Economist, Washington Post, The Financial Times, The Atlantic, Vox, The American Prospect, The Nation, The Hill, CNN, MIT Technology Review, Washington Monthly, Forbes, Jacobin, and Dissent, among other publications.
In Conversation with Nikil Saval
Nikil Saval is a father, writer and community organizer, who was the first Asian American to be elected Democratic ward leader in Philadelphia. He’s proud to be raising his son, Ishaan, in South Philly with his wife, Shannon. In 2009, he organized boycotts with UNITE HERE against luxury hotel developers to fight for the rights of housekeepers. In 2013, he won back jobs for 1,000 cafeteria workers and noontime aides who had been laid off because of Corbett’s budget cuts to the Philadelphia School District. In 2016 he was a leader in the Bernie Sanders campaign and he co-founded Reclaim Philadelphia. In 2018, he organized campaigns to fight for change in the Democratic Party and became elected as ward leader of the Second Ward. Nikil is committed to justice for working people, whether white, black or brown. He will fight for a Philadelphia and Pennsylvania that works for the many and not the few.