The Higher Ground Moral Declaration
ON Poverty and Economic Justice
Moral and Constitutional Foundation
Isaiah 10:1-2 Doom to you who legislate evil, who make laws that make victims—laws that make misery for the poor, that rob my destitute people of dignity, exploiting defenseless widows, taking advantage of homeless children.
Micah 2:1-3 Doom to those who plot evil, who go to bed dreaming up crimes! As soon as it’s morning, they’re off, full of energy, doing what they’ve planned. They covet fields and grab them, find homes and take them. They bully the neighbor and his family, see people only for what they can get out of them.
God has had enough.
Declaration of Independence. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Preamble of the Constitution of the United States. We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Questions for Candidates
Insuring economic democracy requires a comprehensive public policy approach. This includes fighting for employment, living wages, the alleviation of disparate unemployment, a green economy, labor rights, affordable housing, targeted empowerment zones, direct cash transfers and other support for all families struggling to get by, fair policies for immigrants, critiquing war policies that further disable our ability to have a real war on poverty, infrastructure development and fair tax reform. Do you support a comprehensive approach to economic democracy?
Nearly 1 in 3 Native Americans (29.2%), over 1 in 4 African Americans (27.2%), 1 in 4 Hispanic/Latinos (23.5%), 1 in 10 Asians (10.5%) and 1 in 10 non-Hispanic whites (9.6%) live below the federal poverty line. More than 1 in 5 children in America (21.8%) are living under the official poverty line. Half of all children will be on food stamps before they turn 20, including 9 out of 10 African American children. More than half of all children below the poverty line live in families headed by women. Do you believe that poverty and racial and gender inequality must be ended?
Unemployment and underemployment are very real issues in the United States, especially with the technological advances that allow for automation across every sector of the economy, from industry and manufacturing to services and even creative sectors. Do you support a guaranteed annual income for those who are not working or underemployed?
The infrastructure of the country—roads, bridges, sanitation systems, public libraries, etc.—is crumbling and dangerously close to literal collapse. Decaying water and sewer systems such as in Flint, Michigan, and communities that never had sanitation services established such as Lowndes County, Alabama, imperil our children and poor communities. Do you believe in a robust public investment program that will create jobs, and that will address these critical infrastructure needs?
There is a housing crisis still going on in the United States with homelessness spreading like an epidemic. Do you oppose the criminalization of poverty and homelessness and attacks to demolish homeless encampments? Do you support programs that provide affordable housing to anyone who needs it?
We believe poverty is a moral issue. Do you? If not, please explain why.