The Social Rights of the Working Class
Every man, woman and child is entitled to live and enjoy his or her life and develop his or her potential to the maximum, without the curse of poverty and material want. The Socialist Equality Party insists that there exist social rights that are essential to life in a complex modern society and, therefore, “inalienable.” Working people must resolve to secure these rights through the mobilization of their strength as a class, independent of and in opposition to the corporate-controlled political parties and the institutions of the capitalist state.
These rights include:
- The right to a job: The right to employment is the most basic of all. Without a steady, good-paying job, it is impossible to satisfy all other needs.
- The right to a livable income: Wages are under relentless attack, and the current federal minimum wage condemns millions to poverty. It must be replaced by a guaranteed annual income that covers all needs.
- The right to leisure: To improve conditions of life and provide jobs for the unemployed, the workweek must be shortened. Workers should earn a full-time income based on a 30-hour workweek.
- The right to decent and affordable housing: The SEP demands an immediate halt to all foreclosures and evictions. All mortgages should be restructured to affordable levels, indexed to income and employment status.
- The right to utilities and transportation: There must be an immediate end to all utilities shutoffs, which affect hundreds of thousands of American families every year, and access to affordable quality transportation must be guaranteed to all.
- The right to high quality health care: The solution to the health care crisis lies in putting an end to the privately owned health care corporations and removing profit from the health care system.
- The right to a secure retirement: All workers must be guaranteed pensions that allow for a secure retirement, with an income that covers all necessities of life.
- The right to an education: With the growing complexity of society and work comes the need for all workers to have a quality education. Yet the state of education is abysmal and getting worse.
- The right to a healthy and safe environment: Addressing environmental degradation is impossible in a society in which every decision is dictated by the pursuit of profit.
- The right to culture: Access to art and culture is a basic component of a healthy society. Yet, like everything else, it is under relentless attack.