The Story Behind Obama’s Call For ‘Economic Fairness’
In his third State of the Union address last week, President Obama channeled the mantra of U.S. progressive groups by repeatedly calling for so-called economic fairness in America.
Some progressives point to revolutionary socialist Karl Marx as divining economic theory that stresses “economic fairness.” Also, the late Harvard professor John Rawls, one of the most important philosophers of liberalism in the twentieth century, named his own theory “justice as fairness.” Some have previously pointed to Rawls’ possible influence over Obama. Rawls calls for ensuring distributive justice of resources.
Lester C. Thurow, a founder of the progressive Economic Policy Institute, explained in his 2003 book, Fortune Favors the Bold: What We Must Do to Build a New and Lasting Global Prosperity, that Marx related the ideals of economic fairness while explaining how capitalism must end.
Wrote Thurow: “In addition to outlining the process whereby the system of capitalism would end, Marx went on to recommend a new system, communism, which would, he believed, eliminate the evils of capitalism…In his vision of communism (outlined in an article entitled ‘Utopia’) it would create a new society where economic fairness and personal freedom reigned.”
Thurow’s Economic Policy Institute, or EPI, which is funded by billionaire George Soros, has reportedly been influential in helping to craft White House policy.
Like scores of other major progressive groups, the phrase “economic fairness” permeates EPI’s literature and policy papers. In fact, EPI describes itself as a “nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, research to achieve a prosperous and fair economy.”
EPI, together with other progressive groups, including ACORN, pushed for a loosely described Economics Fairness project. One of its partners in that project, United for a Fair Economy, says it seeks to raise awareness “that concentrated wealth and power undermine the economy, corrupt democracy, deepen the racial divide, and tear communities apart.”
The group’s official vision seeks a “global society where prosperity is better shared, where there is genuine equality of opportunity, where the power of concentrated money and corporations neither dominates the economy nor dictates the content of mass culture.”
Another group pushing the “economic fairness” theme is the Center for American Progress. The Center is led by John Podesta, who was co-chairman of the Obama-Biden White House Transition Team.
A Times magazine article profiles the influence of Podesta’s Center for American Progress in the formation of the Obama administration, stating that “not since the Heritage Foundation helped guide Ronald Reagan’s transition in 1981 has a single outside group held so much sway.”
The economic fairness phrase so thoroughly permeates the Center’s literature that a search for the phrase on the group’s website brings up hundreds of items, including major policy papers.
The phrase also appears prominently in literature from the Marxist-oriented Institute for Policy Studies. That group, too, describes itself as “working for economic fairness.”
In attempting to divine Obama’s economic policies, some have pointed to Rawls, who died in 2002. Lawrence Tribe, a constitutional scholar at Harvard, taught Obama and has been described as an early mentor to the future president. Tribe was Rawls’ Harvard colleague and wrote about Rawls’ theories.
Prominent among those theories was Rawls’ “A Theory of Justice,” which he later redefined as Justice as Fairness. In that theory, Rawls called for first establishing equal basic liberties for all citizens and then ensuring distributive justice of resources.
Radical Plan Protests At Democratic National Convention
A coalition of U.S. radical groups, including the Occupy Movement, are preparing protests to target the Democratic National Convention in September in Charlotte, N.C.
The Occupy movement is likely to escalate months before the Sept. 3-6 event. A slew of extremist organizations, some tied to President Obama, are preparing protests to coincide with major NATO and G-8 summits slated for Chicago in May.
Foreshadowing possible violent confrontations, some of the same radical trainers behind the infamous 1999 Seattle riots against the World Trade Organization have been mobilizing new protest efforts geared toward world summits.
The plans for the Democratic convention are posted on a central website, ProtestDNC.org. More than three dozen organizations, including labor, anti-war and so-called civil rights and immigrants rights groups are joining together to initiate a coalition.
Along with Occupy, other groups endorsing the scheduled DNC protests include the Revolutionary Students Union, the Students for a Democratic Society and Workers World Party.
One endorsing group, which calls itself the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, is also a main organizer of the protests being scheduled for Chicago’s NATO and G-8 summits in May.
The anti-FBI Committee is led by Tom Burke. It has been seeking to lead activism against the FBI’s reported ongoing terror probes of Chicago and Minnesota anti-war groups.
Burke, a former school custodian-turned-stay-at-home-father, belongs to the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, a group mentioned in subpoenas and search warrants issued in the same FBI terror probe.