Lessons From MLK for a Better Post-Coronavirus Economy
The civil rights icon fiercely advocated for redistributive wealth and social democracy.
Fifty-two years after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down in Memphis, April 4, 1968, his radical economic agenda reverberates through a pandemic-ridden nation at a prophetic tilt.
“If the society changes its concepts by placing the responsibility on its system, not on the individual, and guarantees secure employment or a minimum income, dignity will come within reach of all,” King wrote in his book Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community.
As the economy grinds to a halt to flatten the COVID-19 curve, the triage of policies designed to fill the yawning holes in the nation’s social safety net looks a lot like what Dr. King ordered. The $2 trillion congressional emergency relief bill, CARES Act, evokes King’s call for guaranteed income, health care access and a living wage, according to experts watching the crisis response unfold.