I want to say first that I think Michael Moore is a genius. I don’t always agree with his views entirely, but I love how he at least gets me thinking about government policy and society.

I recently finished watching “Capitalism: A Love Story“, and one particular moment caught my attention. It was a clip of former U.S. president Roosevelt in his State Of The Union address of 1944, regarding the need for a second Bill or Rights.

You can read a summary of what it was about on WikiPedia:

In it, Roosevelt declared an “economic bill of rights” which would guarantee:

  • Employment, with a living wage
  • Freedom from unfair competition and monopolies
  • Housing
  • Medical care
  • Education
  • Social security

I was floored. This was amazing to me. I’ve never known of any leader of the U.S. in the 20th century to be so… socialist? From my perspective, Canada has had these programs to some capacity for a while, but we have been witnessing the erosion of these programs over many years.

The clip got me thinking about how operating these programs as a state level, guaranteed to all, would work as a design problem. How do you make certain of these “economic guarantees” for all people, while maintaining free market conditions?