There is no reason that we, as a nation, should not be able to guarantee a basic level of economic dignity for everyone. “Economic Dignity points us beyond our fixation on GDP to the ends economic policy should serve—promoting the dignity of work and the well-being of families and communities. Yet in isolation, they do not come close to creating a complete definition of what it would mean for a person to experience economic dignity—and for a nation to create a set of policies that would guarantee a basic level of economic dignity for all its people. Economist Gene Sperling recently released a book called "Economic Dignity." Or there's a large proposal out by people as diverse as Congresswoman [Pramila Jayapal] to Bernie Sanders to [Sen. Mark Warner] that says if a company will take a worker they would have otherwise laid off and paid them their full salary and keep them on health care, we’ll help foot that bill. Yet such an approach would have fit neither my experience nor my motivation. Farmers, delivery drivers, grocery store workers and home health care workers “are now people literally saving our lives,” he says. It is precisely at moments when we want to make giant strides that we should make sure we have clarity on our ultimate destination. Reprinted by arrangement with Penguin Press, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. The protection and promotion of dignity in our economic lives is a powerful explainer of many moments in our history when the need for collective action through government policy triumphed over the call for rugged individualism and idealized free markets. And look, I've been in two White Houses. Whether I got it exactly right then or whether I get it exactly right now in this book, I could feel in every audience the hunger for an economics defined by our most basic human values: one rooted in the clear understanding that there can be no end goal for economic policy other than what aims to lift up our happiness, fulfillment, and inner sense of dignity. A Top Obama-Biden Aide Slams Trump for Missing the Moment for “Economic Dignity” With a new book, Gene Sperling promotes a big idea for the current crisis. Among the names: Cecilia Rouse is nominated as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers. I have come to the firm view that a complete and enduring definition of economic dignity must rest on three integral and irreplaceable pillars. Barr Says No Election Fraud Has Been Found By Federal Authorities. It is no exaggeration to say that true economic dignity has, through law and discrimination, been denied to a majority of our population for a majority of our history through systemic discrimination, violence against Native Americans, and the shame of slavery—the most extreme antithesis imaginable of respect for human dignity. Economic Dignity. I aim for this book to be thought-provoking for those who live and breathe economic policy—but I have written with a much broader audience in mind that does not require an economics background. He says we ought to focus on what he calls economic dignity, which is also the title of his new book. I mean, it's just saying that while we're going through this difficult time, you know, I believe you could tack it on. That is the purpose of this book. Gene Sperling reconnects economics to moral and civic purpose and offers a framework for a much-needed debate about how to help those left behind by the winner-take-all economy of recent times. He is author of Pro-Growth Progressive: An Economic Strategy for Shared Prosperity (2005) and numerous publications including most recently, “Economic Dignity” in Democracy Journal (2019). Listen to Biden Debuts His Economic Team and fourteen more episodes by Stories From NPR : NPR, free! Calling for economic dignity to be our ultimate end goal for economic policy carries with it the obligation to give a more complete and enduring definition of dignity than is currently used in our economic and political dialogue. I considered a more academic approach, aware of the deep philosophical literature on dignity and the field of welfare economics that seeks to delve into how to measure well-being. I have chosen in this book to neither ignore our shameful history on racism and sexism nor dismiss the degree to which values of economic dignity informed our nation’s highest—though unrealized—economic ideals. Economic dignity, defined by these three pillars, represents a more full, complete, and stable definition that can stand strong no matter what variation or circumstance is considered. Dignity is the right of a person to be valued and respected for their own sake, and to be treated ethically. His argument combines moral and intellectual seriousness with actual high-level policy experience. Public radio from Delmarva. Economic Dignity is Sperling’s effort to do just that - to frame our thinking about the way forward in a time of wrenching economic change. DIGNITY has consultative status under the UN Economic and Social Council, ECOSOC, and is a member of the WHO Alliance for the Prevention of Violence (VPA). This page is aimed at changing international conversation by introducing the economic dignity as a concept to be aimed for, instead of economic freedom. The 33 million unemployment claims paint a picture of a U.S. economy devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. So mortgage forbearance is almost the easiest thing that you can do. Can it create paths out of poverty and reverse accelerating economic inequality, repair the hollowing out of the middle class, and cope with dramatic technological change? I know more than anybody that you are constrained by political reality and divided government. And starts a national conversation about women in economics. When Gene Sperling was in charge of coordinating the shaping and execution of the U.S. government’s economic policy in the Obama White House, he found This is NPR’s resource for journalists who believe in the value of diversity and share in … Economic dignity, defined by these three pillars, represents a more full, complete, and stable definition that can stand strong no matter what variation or circumstance is considered. The best of Morning Edition, All Things Considered and other award-winning NPR programs. Sperling says the coronavirus pandemic has shown just how important certain jobs are—jobs that once were considered entry-level or basic. A young economist holds a mirror up to her field. It connects to four different ways that the term dignity is commonly used—as intrinsic to people, as a marker of status, as linked to serving a purpose in the community, and as a reflection of person’s manner or His argument combines moral and intellectual seriousness with actual high-level policy experience. Second, being able to pursue purpose and potential—to have true first and second chances in your economic life to contribute and find meaning and to never feel given up on. Each of these usages is compelling. As I continued to explore the question of what our ultimate end goal for economic policy should be, I became more convinced that ensuring a universal level of economic dignity was more than a core value: it should be the central, organizing goal of economic policy. Stocks soared to record highs after drugmaker Pfizer announced its experimental coronavirus vaccine was more than 90% effective, providing a major dose of hope for the global economy. In it, he argues people should feel dignified in their jobs, whether they work as a physician or in sanitation. As Pauli Murray, the remarkable civil rights pioneer who refused to give up her seat on a public bus in Petersburg, Virginia, fifteen years prior to Rosa Parks,1 wrote in 1945: “As an American I inherit the magnificent tradition of an endless march toward freedom and toward the dignity of all mankind.”. Business & Economy: news, interviews and reviews from NPR Books Economic dignity protections for those fearing loss of health-care coverage due to pre-existing conditions and measures that address crushing student loan debt will both encourage more, not less, risk-taking and entrepreneurship. This is not a quest for an unreachable utopian ideal. Rich Miller. Commentary on economic trends. Economic dignity, Sperling maintains, can be seen as resting on three pillars. Copyright © Gene Sperling, 2020. Those are the big proposals because they solve several problems at once. Gene Sperling reconnects economics to moral and civic purpose and offers a framework for a much-needed debate about how to help those left behind by the winner-take-all economy of recent times.