Populism 2015 Platform: Building A Movement for People and the Planet

Rebuild America for the 21st Century and Create Jobs for All.
America’s public infrastructure – from roads to rail to water and energy systems – is increasingly dangerous to our health and a drag on our economy. National investment in rebuilding America will create millions of high-quality jobs, bid wages up, help close the racial jobs gap, and make America a better place to live and work.
Raise Wages, Empower Workers and Reverse Inequality.
Inequality has reached new extremes, as more and more jobs become contingent and part-time, with low pay and few benefits. We should lift the floor under every worker by guaranteeing a living wage, paid sick and vacation days, and affordable health care. We should empower workers to form unions and bargain collectively. We must curb perverse CEO compensation policies that give executives personal incentives to plunder their own companies.
Invest in a Green Economy.
Catastrophic climate change is a clear and present danger. The United States should lead the global green revolution that builds strong and resilient communities. Public investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency can create jobs and opportunity, particularly in communities of color that have borne the worst consequences of toxic corporate practices.
Eliminate Institutionalized Racism to Open Opportunity to All.
In a society of increasing diversity, ending systemic racial disparities is vital to building economic prosperity. This begins with comprehensive immigration reform, expanded voting rights and an end to mass incarceration and the systematic criminalization of people of color.
Guarantee Women’s Economic Equality.
We will ensure that women are guaranteed the same pay, protections and opportunities as men in the workplace and in society. Families must have access to high-quality child care and paid leave from the workplace for childbirth, illness and vacation. Women must also be guaranteed affordable health care and a secure retirement – with Social Security credit for work in the household.
Provide a High-Quality Education to Every Child
Every child must have the right to high-quality, free public education from preschool to college. This requires providing the basics – preschool, smaller classes, summer and after-school programs, and skilled teachers. Free four-year, post-high school education should be available for all who seek it. We must also provide relief to the generation now burdened with a student debt that they may never pay off.
Expand Shared Security for the 21st Century.
No child should go hungry in America. Health care should be a right, not a privilege. Every worker deserves a secure retirement. A job should be available to everyone willing and able to work. We will strengthen and expand America’s shared security programs – Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment, food support and housing assistance. Greater shared security makes the economy more robust by enabling entrepreneurs and workers to take risks, knowing that they can survive failure.
Enforce Fair Taxes on Corporations and the Wealthy.
Our tax code rigs the rules to favor the few. Multinationals pay lower tax rates than small domestic businesses. Billionaire investors pay lower rates than their secretaries. Top income tax rates have been lowered even as working people face ever-higher sales taxes and fees. It is time for the rich and corporations to pay their fair share of taxes so that we can invest in an economy that will work for all.
Forge a Global Strategy that Works for Working People.
Our global trade and tax policies are rigged by multinational companies to drive down pay and worker protections while harming the environment. We need more but balanced trade, global standards that protect the rights of workers, consumers and the environment. That requires a crackdown on tax havens, currency manipulation, and deals that allow corporation to trample basic labor rights here and abroad.
Make Wall Street Serve the Real Economy.
Financial deregulation has devastated our economy and protected banks that are too big to fail, too big to manage and too big to jail. The financial casino fosters ever more dangerous speculation, while investment in the real economy lags. The resulting booms and busts devastate families and small businesses. We need to break up the big banks, levy a speculation tax, and provide low-income families with safe and affordable banking services. We should crack down on payday lenders and other schemes that exploit vulnerable working families.
Change Priorities to Address Real Security Needs.
Our current national security policies commit us to policing the world. The result costs lives and drains public resources. We need a real security policy that makes military intervention a last resort, and focuses on global threats like climate change, poverty and inequality. We should reduce military budgets and properly support humanitarian programs.
Fight for Democracy and Curb the Power of Big Money.
From big-money politics to the assault on the right to vote and a corrupted lobby culture in Washington, our democracy is under assault. It is no accident that the assault has escalated as a new majority of people of color, young people and working women has begun to emerge. We need to close the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington, and expose the entrenched interests that buy our legislators. We need public financing of elections that bans corporate and big money. We must guarantee the right to vote, with easy access to registration and the polls.