Telling Our Story: An Economy that Works for All of Us Prepared for the Progressive Economic Narrative Group by USAction Education FundNarrative Focus on Good Jobs and Workers’ Rights
What is narrative? People can only marshal anger and action about the crisis if they feel that at some basic level they understand it. Before we have a politics, or a broad call for reform, we must have some broadly shared understanding of what went wrong and who’s responsible.(New Pecora Commission, Christopher Hayes, New Deal 2.0)
What is narrative? The narrative determines our attitudes toward the actors and events of the crisis. It also identifies the structural problems thought suitable for legislative and regulatory remedy. (Vincent Reinhart, American Enterprise Institute)
Five Pillars of our Narrative The Economic Problem What a Successful Economy Looks Like The Role of Our Government The Political Problem The Call to Action
Our StoryConnect with our Economic Problem Working and middle class families are struggling, while the richest get richer at the expense of the rest of us. American families are working harder and getting paid less, falling behind our parents generation. Big corporations shipped jobs overseas and Wall Street speculators took more and more of America’s wealth, getting rich quickly at the expense of American workers, and families.
Our Story: Good Jobs Working and middle class families are struggling, while the richest get richer at the expense of the rest of us. Too many Americans can’t find good jobs and too many jobs don’t pay enough to support a family. Millions of American workers are denied basic benefits like sick days, are paid less than minimum wage or are not paid for overtime. Employers want to call all the shots, even denying their employees the freedom join together in a union and ask for decent wages and benefits and better working conditions.
Our StoryWhat a Successful Economy Looks Like The middle class is the engine of the economy. The true measure of economic success is the well-being of American families, and the productivity of our nation, not just the stock market and corporate profits. We all do better when we all do better. America is only as strong as its middle class. Our economic success is driven by innovating and investing in the future so that every American has a good job, can educate their kids, support their families and retire with security.
Our Story: Good Jobs Working families and the middle class are the engines of the economy. Workers who earn good pay and have decent benefits, who can shop at local businesses and support and care for their families, keep the economy moving forward.
Our StoryThe Role of Our Government in the Economy The middle class does not prosper by accident. We build the middle class by decisions we make together, as a society. Decisions to invest in our people, expand opportunity and provide security. Decisions that will pave the way for businesses to innovate and meet the future. Writing rules that boost businesses that do the right thing.
Our Story: Good Jobs The middle class does not prosper by accident. We build the middle class by decisions we make together, as a society. Decisions by our government to write rules so that businesses will invest in the middle class by: creating good jobs here in America; providing decent wages and benefits; arranging work so that workers can do their jobs and care for their families; protecting the freedom of workers to organize together and form unions.
Our Story: Good Jobs The middle class does not prosper by accident. We build the middle class by decisions we make together, as a society. Decisions by businesses to boost economic prosperity by: Providing decent wages and benefits, so that workers have the purchasing power to drive the economy. Creating good jobs here in America and invest in our local communities. Arranging work so that employees can get the job done and care for their families. Respecting the right for workers to join together in a union to stand for their common concerns.
Our StoryOur Political Problem – To build a strong middle class, we need our elected representatives to work for all of us . The issue is not the size of our government, its who it works for – the richest few or all of us? Today, CEO campaign contributors and Wall Street speculators bribe our leaders to rewrite the rules just for them and to look the other way when they break the law. Our democracy will only work again when we all have an equal voice in making the rules we all live by. We have to take our democracy back to ensure that our economy works for all of us, not just the richest few.
Our StoryThe Call to Action – We are fighting together for an America that works for all of us. It’s up to us to fight together for the American Dream: opportunity for good jobs, strong communities, shared prosperity. We are going to hold our elected representatives responsible for protecting and expanding the middle class. Americans have done this before. This is who we are. This is what America is all about.
Our Story: Good Jobs We are fighting together for an America that works for all of us. Around the country, people are standing up to fight for the freedom to stick together at work, to be treated with dignity, to have our hard work rewarded with good pay and benefits to support and care for our families.
www.progressivenarrative.org The website has lots of materials including: Full version of PEN on Good Jobs and Workers’ Rights (at the issues tab). This training PowerPoint (at the training tab) PEN overall – including long and shorter versions. PEN training materials. PEN on other issues. We are the 99% version of PEN.
More materials to come By end of December we will have: A wall poster with key messages for PEN for Good Jobs and Workers’ Rights. A pocket version of PEN for Good Jobs and Workers’ Rights. A training workbook for PEN for Good Jobs and Workers’ Rights. You will be able to order quantities of these and also download the workbook.
Your homework Pick an issue. Use the 5 PEN narrative pillars we just went over to talk about the issue. Use each pillar. You can change the order, if that works for you (sometimes people switch 1 and 2), but use all 5. Use your own words and a mix of words from the PEN. Send to me for feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org