On Labor Day, Our Money held a march for Full Employment and Economic Justice in Washington DC. Our Money Founder, Rev. Dr. Delman Coates, led approximately 1,000 marchers from the Martin Luther King Memorial to the headquarters of the Federal Reserve. The two locations were chosen, respectively, to be symbolic of the Civil Rights Movement, and the inadequacy of our current full employment policy, which is administered by the Federal Reserve. Coates used the opportunity to draw the connection between the Civil Rights Movement legacy of advocacy for Full Employment and Economic Justice and the importance of understanding our public power of money creation.
Coates reminded the audience that in the late 70s Coretta Scott King led 1.2 million people across the country to march for a Federal Job Guarantee, and that her efforts culminated in the passage of the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act, a landmark achievement which, nonetheless, fell short of Scott King’s stated goal — a Federal Job Guarantee. Opponents of the Job Guarantee argued that the priority of full employment had to be balanced against the need to fight inflation. The premise that there was a trade-off between the two priorities persisted in the conventional wisdom until recently.
Coates pointed out that the models which predicted accelerating inflation, if unemployment went “too low,” have been discredited by recent history and demanded that Congress pass the only definitive solution to unemployment — a Federal Job Guarantee. Said Coates, “today we say to Congress: no more excuses! The federal government, with its power of money creation has the power to create all the money we need to attend to our deepest issues.” See our extended highlight video of the march below:
Our Money holds that a Federal Job Guarantee, in addition to abolishing involuntary unemployment, would bring many less obvious benefits including: Reducing income inequality by putting a floor under wages. Dismantling our system of mass incarceration by ensuring dignified, living wage employment to all who want it. Ensuring fossil fuel workers are not left behind by the transition to clean energy. Bringing funding for public works projects to local governments. Easing bigotry and racial tensions that stem from economic insecurity. Strengthening the economy’s robustness to financial crisis and recession.
Several allies spoke at the march including:
- Rev. Willie Francois, Senior Pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church
- Stanley Mitchell, Youth Mentor and Criminal Justice Radio Commentator
- Tamika Benbow, public speaker and author of the Memoir “Hide Me from Me”
- Dr. LE Gomez, ER Physician and Associate Professor at Howard University College of Medicine
- Rev. Dr. Lisa Weah, Senior Pastor of the New Bethlehem Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland
- Rev. Anthony Moore, Senior Pastor of the Carolina Missionary Baptist Church in Fort Washington, Maryland
- Charlie Cooper, President of Get Money Out, MD
- Raúl Carrillo, Board Chair & Vice President of the Modern Money Network, and Director of the National Jobs for All Network.
- Andres Bernal, Lecturer of Urban Studies at CUNY Queens College and Doctoral student at The New School
- Hal Ginsberg, State Organizer, Our Revolution Maryland
We’d like to thank our guest speakers and everyone who attended the march. This is only the beginning!