The way the media, corporations and the 1% talk about the economy is not only inaccurate, it is a means to maintain power for the wealthiest among us and keep working families powerless, delegates to the AFL-CIO convention in Los Angeles declared today. The latest resolution passed at the convention describes the scope of the problem and announces a concrete plan to change the conversation.
Despite the way the 1% and their allies describe the economy, it isn’t something that just happens. It is something that is created by the sweat, skill and talent of the country’s workers and is something that is controlled by the wealthiest members of our society, often at the expense of the very workers who create the wealth that those power brokers are taking to the bank. They tell us that the economy is fundamentally unfair by its nature and that to do anything to make it more fair would harm the economy, and the corporate media helps them tell this story. But this narrative is not backed up by the realities that the rest of us deal with, and day after day and year after year, for all of America’s working families, not just the few.
That’s the nature of how the conversation needs to change, but it’s not enough to just recognize it, so the AFL-CIO is going to take concrete steps to change the conversation. The federation is developing a comprehensive economics education program called Common Sense Economics that will provide the tools that working families need to educate themselves, each other, the media and politicians. The goal is to create a curriculum that can be taught by workers, both online and in person. It will use the latest economic analysis, narrative teaching tools and participatory exercises and will focus not just on where we are and how we got there, but will also draw upon Yale University professor Jacob Hacker’s work on prosperity economics to discuss how to build an economy based on full employment, economic security and democracy.
Read the full text of the resolution.
Kenneth Quinnell is a writer for the AFL-CIO Now blog, where this post first appeared.