INCREASING PUBLIC POWER TO INCREASE COMPETITION: A FOUNDATION FOR AN INCLUSIVE ECONOMY
ISSUE BRIEF BY WILLIAM DARITY JR., DARRICK HAMILTON, AND RAKEEN MABUD
The United States needs an economy grounded in justice and morality, where everyone, free of undue resource constraints, can prosper. To achieve this, citizens ought to have universal access to undeniable economic rights, such as the right to employment, medical and health care, high quality education, sound banking and financial services, or a meaningful endowment at birth (Paul, Darity, Hamilton 2018). Currently, our system provides these rights primarily through the “free market” by private providers, but these private companies often fail to meet the following criteria:
• Quantity: Are goods adequately supplied?
• Quality: Are the goods high quality?
• Access: Do people have adequate access to these goods?
Because of the failure of America’s markets-first approach to policy, the federal government should intervene by introducing public options that provide these essential goods and services in direct competition with private firms. Doing so will set “floors” on wages and quality and “ceilings” on price for private actors who are intent on providing important economic rights at a cost. In employment, this might mean providing a federal jobs guarantee (FJG); in financial services, this could mean access to bank accounts and safe, nonpredatory loans. Throughout this issue brief, we explore what public options might look like in employment, health, housing, education, and financial services. We argue that in these sectors, public options are necessary to combat high-cost, low-quality provision by private actors and ensure universal and better quality access to all Americans.
Full Report here. https://rooseveltinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/RI_Increasing-Public-Power-to-Increase-Competition-brief-201905.pdf
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The report features the work of OUR COMMON GROUND Voices, Drs. William “Sandy” Darity and Darrick Hamilton