Thirty Years from Today: A Vision of Economic Justice

By Howard Zinn

Activist and historian Howard Zinn died on January 27. Zinn was a long-time friend and contributor to numerous progressive projects, including Dollars & Sense. Here is his contribution to a roundtable, Visions of Economic Justice, that appeared in our 30th anniversity issue in 2004.

This article is from the November/December 2004 issue of Dollars and Sense: The Magazine of Economic Justice available at

issue 256 cover

This article is from the November/December 2004 issue of Dollars & Sense magazine.

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Where the United States has declared an end to military intervention, has eliminated its intelligence agencies, has dismantled its overseas military bases, has reduced its armed forces to a small peace-keeping contingent ready to heed the call of the U.N. General Assembly for emergencies, and where the resultant saving of half a trillion dollars is then added to another half trillion dollars that comes from a wealth tax and a truly progressive income tax, the trillion dollars then to be used in the following ways:

  • To establish a program of Health Security, with free medical care and prescription drugs for every person, citizen or not, with the government footing the bill.

  • To guarantee public employment (on environmental projects, arts projects, etc.) to people unable to get work in the private sector at a fair wage.

  • To guarantee free education up through the university level.

  • To guarantee decent housing—through rent subsidies or low-interest home loans—for any family not able to afford market prices for good housing.

How to achieve this? Organize a new national movement around this agenda, which will then engage in a variety of nonviolent tactics: strikes, boycotts, demonstrations, marches, occupations, to insist that this program be enacted.

Howard Zinn was an activist, historian, and author of many books, including A People’s History of the United States. He died on January 27, 2010 at 87.

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