An Open Letter to Donald Trump — 9/10/2020
- Phoenix Congress 2020 represents members of the American Union, who are willing to vote for both Republicans and Democrats in the 471 federal races who will meet our terms, including Donald Trump.
- This is the tenth in a series of open letters, explaining our demands.
September 10th, 2020
Dear President Trump,
Service workers have been undervalued and undercompensated for a long time now. The service industry is the backbone of the American economy–from banks and trades to restaurants and tourism, but was also one of the most affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has forced millions of Americans in service industries into unemployment and financially unstable situations. Where is the relief?
For years now, politicians have been talking about the service industry, but not acting on their behalf. The polarizing visions for America the two major parties have produced have been building up to a moment of reckoning when America will decide which path forward it will take. The Coronavirus pandemic has laid bare the fact that many Americans across the country–especially in the service industry–have been underrepresented by both parties.
In 2020 the Phoenix Congress wants to change that by unionizing the electorate behind a better path; universal basic income. We believe that now is the moment to build a better America for ourselves and future generations by outlining a new social contract–one that properly values our most essential workers, and provides basic economic security to the citizens that make the country run.
What makes us so sure now is the time? America has a history of reinventing itself every 80 years–we call it the Phoenix Cycle. Think about it; in the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Democrats worked to pass the New Deal which strengthened protections for workers and addressed the wealth disparities that became so evident during the Great Depression. 80 years earlier, the Republican party was organized around the abolition of slavery in America, which would take place under President Abraham Lincoln. 80 years before that, America announced its independence and threw off monarchy, establishing George Washington and Thomas Jefferson as founding fathers.
The Phoenix Cycle predicts the emergence of a new social contract; Mr. President, your name could go down in history as one of these great leaders, if you can muster the political will to address what Martin Luther King Jr. called the triple evils of society — poverty, racism, and militarism. We offer you a legislative package that can accomplish that — the Blueprint for a Better America. Will you build our Blueprint?
Included in this legislation is the establishment of a universal basic income of $300/week for all Americans through an “American Union Job.” An American Union Job is one that acts on the five duties the Constitution outlines for all Americans: establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity. For those already employed, our jobs contribute to the general welfare of America. Therefore, the $300 per week would essentially be a $7.50/hour raise.
Let’s take one more look at the 1930s, and the New Deal. We shifted from a 72-hour work week to a 40-hour one; the productivity gains brought on by industrialization combined with the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 made this happen. In 2020, we can harness the productivity gains of automation to fund universal basic income. For many service workers, this would allow a 3 or 4 day work week.
All of America will benefit, Mr. President, if you sign the Blueprint for a Better America. Tens of millions of Americans will be lifted up out of poverty, and the American Union would reelect you. Will you meet our terms?
(You can read the next open letter here.)
Other articles on Medium:
A call to action around Martin Luther King, Jr.’s triple evils: The Marginalized Must Unionize in 2020
A look at our duties as Americans and the legislation they inspire: The Blueprint for a Better America