Calling it a departure from the “usual political subterfuge” offered by the Democrats and the Republicans, Green Party Congressional Candidate Joseph Diaferia has announced what he terms “a direct and aggressive economic program that shifts all of our national priorities to the working class”. Diaferia, a 51 year old college professor seeking public office for the second time, made his
enacted, would markedly increase worker control over business and commerce.
Diaferia’s economic plan has many components. However, its most ambitious provisions are a proposal for a New Deal-style federal jobs program, and a call for the nationalization of all industries and services essential to human life. Regarding the latter proposal, Diaferia named hospitals, health care, health care products, pharmaceuticals, energy, utilities, water, and air transportation among the services that would be nationalized under his proposal.
Regarding his proposal for a federal jobs program, Diaferia commented, “The purpose of my candidacy is to give voice to the millions of Americans who have grown tired of the political mainstream’s sophistry that job growth can only be achieved by relieving the wealthy of their tax obligations.
What we need, simply, is a national public works program similar to
those provided FDR’s Works Project Administration (WPA)”.
Asked how such a program would be funded, Diaferia replied, “As I have stated on other occasions: that should not be the question. The question we should be asking is why no such program already exists when literally trillions of dollars are
spent waging war in Iraq and Afghanistan. A federal jobs program can and must
be implemented. We cannot rely on the private sector to address the needs of
working people because they very simply have no interest in doing so. It is
time for the working class to let the business class know who is in charge; and
a federal jobs program will be one giant step toward creating a society in
which working class interests are deemed superior to those of the exploiters
Asked in general terms of the radical or even socialistic attributes of his platform
Diaferia responded, “It has been said that ‘radical’ and ‘socialist’ are mere
labels; however, I’ll be candid. I am doing my part to help create a democratic
and economically just society, so if calling for democratic and redistributive
policies makes me a radical or a socialist, then why should I shrink from such
appellations. Diaferia continued, “No one in the Green Party wants to erect a
Stalinist bureaucracy; that is not what we’re about. The Democrats and the
Republicans—or should I say both Republican parties under their respective
names?—have always had the corporations’ backs. We are the voice of the working class, and we are simply seeking a transfer of political power to those whose hard work created the business class in the first place.”
Diaferia explained that his proposed direct employment program would include jobs in such areas as highway and infrastructure repair, the creation of ecologically sound industries, housing construction, prison dismantlement, among other things.
Responding to concerns that such a national program might extinguish business people’s entrepreneurial passions, Diaferia replied, “This is not my concern. As CongressmanI will not devote myself to nurturing the predatory designs of those who seek wealth generated by the labor of others. However, I believe our society will flourish when individual creativity and talent are enabled, and this can only
happen when workers can emerge from the poverty and wage slavery under which they are currently laboring.”
The following is a list of some of the additional economic proposals Diaferia has
1.) Immediate abrogation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), and opposition to the creation of andbroader agreements such as the now stalled Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).
2.) Worker ownership and control of corporations within the framework of a decentralized and democratically determined economic plan.
3.) A raise in the minimum wage to $17 per hour.
4.) An actual full employment policy (as opposed to unenforced laws).
5.) The provision of a livable guaranteed annual income.
6.) Social ownership and operation of all financial and insurance institutions by a
democratically-controlled national banking authority.
7.) Compensation to communities-- and compensation, re-training, and other support service for workers-- affected by the exodus of industry.
8.) Dissolution of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization.
9.) Cancelation of Third World debt.
10.) The creation of a National Pension Authority to
hold the assets of private pension funds, and a levy against corporate assets
for any pension fund deficits.
11.) Increased and expanded welfare assistance and increased and expanded unemployment compensation at 100% of a worker's previous income or the minimum wage, whichever is higher, for the full period of unemployment or re-training, whichever is longer..
12.)Opposition to the court-created precedent of “corporate personhood” that illegitimately gives corporations rights that were intended for human beings.
Diaferia acknowledge that as a member of the House of Representatives his voice (andvote) would be one among 434 others, and that he alone would not be able to realize such Herculean proposals. However, since there is apparently a large
constituency advocating for social and economic change, Diaferia is confident
that his economic plan will serve as an inspiration and a model.