A plan drawn up by a George Soros-funded professor seeking to “rewrite” the rules of the U.S. economy forms the foundation of a new progressive agenda being touted as the liberal “Contract with America.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is leading the charge, unveiling a national plan at a Capitol Hill event Tuesday titled “The Progressive Agenda to Combat Income Inequality.”
The aim is for the “Progressive Agenda” to become the basis for the Democratic Party’s main economic policies, including those of its 2016 presidential candidate.
De Blasio has compared his plan to the “Contract with America,” a document released by the Republican Party during the 1994 congressional election and drawn up by future House Speaker Newt Gingrich to serve as the GOP policy agenda.
De Blasio’s “Progressive Agenda” was informed by a 112-page policy report at the liberal Roosevelt Institute titled “Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy,” reported MSNBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald.
That 112-page plan was crafted by Nobel prize-winning Columbia University economist Joseph Stiglitz, who previously conducted teach-ins at Occupy Wall Street.
Indeed, prior to Tuesday’s launch of the “Progressive Agenda,” De Blasio attended an economic forum at the Roosevelt Institute co-hosted by Stiglitz, where he heaped praised on the economist’s “Rewriting” plan.
Besides accepting funding from Soros, Stiglitz has engaged in numerous projects with the controversial billionaire and sits on the boards of Soros’ organizations, including one openly seeking to remake the world’s economy.
Stiglitz is a leading proponent of more government regulation of the economy.
He previously chaired the Commission on Global Financial Issues of Socialists International, the world’s largest socialist organization.
He gave a lecture titled “A New Economic World Order” in which his presentation called for the world to be “no longer dominated by one ‘superpower.'”
The expanding plan currently lists 13 bullet points, including:
- Raise the federal minimum wage, so that it reaches $15 an hour, while indexing it to inflation;
- Reform the National Labor Relations Act, to enhance workers’ right to organize and rebuild the middle class;
- Pass comprehensive immigration reform to grow the economy and protect against exploitation of low-wage workers;
- Pass national paid sick leave;
- Pass national paid family leave;
- Implement the “Buffett Rule” so millionaires pay their fair share;
- Close the CEO tax loophole that allows corporations to take advantage of “performance pay” write-offs.
MSNBC quoted Stiglitz explaining his plan is necessary under the current Obama administration, which, he complained, has allowed the top economic percentile to accumulate too much wealth.
‘Beginning of revolution’
De Blasio criticized Obama as “too conservative” to assert a progressive economic vision and “too afraid to take the bold kind of action that President Roosevelt took” during the Great Depression, reported the liberal news network.
Speaking at his launch event outside the Capitol building Tuesday, De Blasio said “something is changing in America.”
“It’s time to take that energy and crystallize it into an agenda that will make a difference,” he said.
“We’ll be calling on leaders and candidates to address these issues, to stiffen their backbones, to be clear and to champion these progressive policies,” he said.
The Hill quoted Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., saying De Blasio’s plan “could be the beginning of a revolution.”
Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., commented the mayor’s plan represents “the meat on the bones of a progressive agenda.”
Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., said, “The cavalry has arrived.”
The Hill reported that at the event, some Democrats pushed back against rumors De Blasio was attempting to use the plan to nudge presidential candidate Hillary Clinton further to the left.
“There’s gossip in Washington that this is about trying to move a certain candidate in a certain direction,” said former Democratic Vermont Gov. Howard Dean. “If you look at that candidate’s record, you’ll find that she’s embraced a lot of this already.”
Tuesday’s De Blasio event was reportedly attended not only by politicians but also by union leaders and MSNBC host Al Sharpton.
The Atlantic reported the coalition supporting De Blasio’s plan includes Dan Cantor, executive director of the Working Families Party. Cantor also was a founder of the socialist-oriented New Party.
De Blasio once served as executive director of the New York branch of the New Party.
WND previously exposed that President Obama himself was listed in New Party literature as a member.
Soros publicly endorsed De Blasio during his run for mayor.
As WND reported, in 2011, using his position of public advocate, De Blasio launched a nonprofit called the Coalition for Accountability in Political Spending, or CAPS. The group received its primary launch donation of $400,000 from Soros’ Open Society Institute.
De Blasio used his group and his public office, WND documented, to organize with other Soros-funded groups.
Soros economist and government intervention
Stiglitz, the brains behind De Blasio’s new plan, has been an economic adviser to Obama, but he also criticized the president’s bank-rescue plan. Stiglitz said whoever designed that plan is “either in the pocket of the banks or they’re incompetent.”
Stiglitz won his Nobel for research on what became the theory of information asymmetry, which argues for more government intervention in failing economies than the traditional “market failure” school had previously advocated.
He has stated that “the real debate today is about finding the right balance between the market and government.”
“Both are needed. They can each complement each other. This balance will differ from time to time and place to place,” he has said.
Gavin Wright, chairman of Stanford’s economics department, summarized Stiglitz’s work.
“Broadly speaking, Joe’s theoretical work has had to do with the shortcomings and imperfections of market economy, not from the standpoint of a thorough-going rejection of the market economy but from the perspective that holds out hope for improvement through government regulation or use of the tax system,” Wright said.
Government, business as ‘partners’
Stiglitz was a member of President Bill Clinton’s administration, serving both in Clinton’s cabinet and as chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
Stiglitz’s most important contribution during his time in the Clinton administration was helping to define a new economic philosophy called a “third way,” which called for business and government to join hands as “partners,” while recognizing government intervention could not always correct the limitations of markets.
“Third Way” is an ideology first promoted as an alternative to free markets by Mikhail Gorbachev after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The “Third Way” of governing would be neither capitalist nor communist but something in between.
In his 1998 State of the Union Address, President Clinton outlined the “Third Way”: “We have moved past the sterile debate between those who say government is the enemy and those who say government is the answer. My fellow Americans, we have found a Third Way.”
The “Third Way” calls for business and government to join hands as “partners.”
Discover the Networks criticized the theory: “In short, Big Business would own the economy (as under capitalism), while Big Government would run it (as under socialism). Corporations would be persuaded to comply with government directives through subsidies, tax breaks, customized legislation, and other special privileges.”
Soros himself has been a vocal proponent of the “Third Way” economic policy.
Stiglitz, meanwhile, also became involved in “global warming” issues, including serving on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, helping to draft a new law for toxic wastes and serving on the boards of numerous environmental groups, such as the Alliance for Climate Protection.
‘No longer one superpower’
Stiglitz is a prolific speaker. On Sept. 17, 2010, he gave a speech to the Swiss and Global Asset Management group in which his Power Point presentation, available online, stated the U.S. is mired in Japanese-style malaise because of “greater inequality” and “weaker social protection.”
Stiglitz said the U.S. was failing to come to “terms with its standing in the New Global Order.”
His presentation called for a “New Global Economic Order” in which the world is “no longer dominated by one ‘superpower,'” although he predicted China’s income per capita will remain much below that of the U.S.
Soros’ economic partner, Bretton Woods
Stiglitz is deeply tied to Soros. Stiglitz serves on the international advisory board of Soros’ Open Society Foundation.
The economist is the co-founder and president of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, a globalist group which is funded by Soros’ Open Society Institute.
Along with numerous other Open Society Institute leaders, Stiglitz is a member of the Collegium International, a globalist group that proclaims in its official declaration “the Earth, home of humanity, constitutes a whole denoted by interdependence.”
Perhaps most significantly, Stignitz sits on the board of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, or INET, an organization literally seeking to reorganize the entire global economic system.
George Soros is INET’s founding sponsor, with the billionaire having provided a reported $25 million over five years to support INET activities.
In April 2011, Stiglitz spoke at INET’s annual meeting, which took place in the mountains of Bretton Woods, New Hampshire.
The gathering was held at Mount Washington Hotel, famous for hosting the original Bretton Woods economic agreements drafted in 1944. The initial conference’s goal was to rebuild a post-World War II international monetary system. The April gathering had a similar stated goal – a global economic restructuring.
A Business Insider report on the event related, “George Soros has brought together a crack team of the world’s top economists and financial thinkers.”
“Its aim,” continued the business newspaper, “is to remake the world’s economy as they see fit.”
More than two-thirds of the speakers at the 2011 conference had direct ties to Soros.
The keynote speaker at the Bretton Woods conference was Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs, a board member of INET who is tied to both Soros and Stiglitz.
Sachs is engineer of a “shock treatment” economic doctrine that he has applied to other countries, most notably Bolivia and Poland. In both countries, critics charge, Sach’s doctrine led to economic failure.
In 2009, Sachs narrated an audio book titled “George Soros and Joseph Stiglitz – America: How They See Us.”
Stiglitz, meanwhile, has other ties to Soros. When he chaired the U.N.’s Commission of Experts on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System, the commission included Soros-tied economists, such as Robert Johnson, former chief economist of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee who previously was the managing director at Soros Fund Management. Johnson also is on the board of the Soros-funded Economic Policy Institute and the Institute for America’s Future.
With research by Brenda J. Elliott.