Dr. Martin Luther King's Economics: Through Jobs, Freedom
By Mark Engler
King argued in one of his last sermons, "If a man doesn't have a job or an income, he has neither life nor liberty nor the possibility for the pursuit of happiness. He merely exists."
The solution, he believed, was to "confront the power structure massively."
Four decades later, as our country struggles with disappearing jobs and growing desperation, much of the critique of the U.S. economy offered in the Poor People's Campaign is newly resonant. As the country celebrates Dr. King's life and legacy, it is an opportune time to ask: How did the reverend approach issues like poverty, unemployment, and economic hardship? And--given that he offered his criticisms amid one of the greatest periods of economic expansion in our country's history--how might he respond to today's crises of foreclosure and recession?
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