Strengthening Public Goods

We must advance universal public systems that are equitably resourced and fulfill economic and social rights, including housing, health care, education and social protection.

The United States is experiencing the most severe economic human rights crisis since the Great Depression, with income and wealth inequality at extremes not seen since 1928. An austerity agenda of cutting and selling off public services and programs to private companies only deepens poverty and inequality. We need a human rights economy that puts people’s human rights and fundamental needs before private profits. This can be achieved by creating and strengthening universal public goods, by raising taxes in an equitable way and addressing the power relations that lead to extreme concentration of resources, exploitation of workers and impoverished communities. We have more than enough resources to meet everyone’s fundamental needs and achieve these goals, yet this abundance is obscured by their unjust distribution. All communities must be able to participate in how resources are raised, managed and spent. And rather than cutting back on spending for essential needs because of misguided tax policies, we can raise the money that would ensure economic justice and the human rights of all people. 

NESRI envisions:

  • Human rights based budgeting and taxation that begins with assessing community needs and then raising revenue through progressive taxation to meet all fundamental needs and ensure human rights.
  • Public financing for universal health care delivered as a public good.
  • Preservation and protection of public housing and support for community land trust and other non-speculative community controlled housing.
  • Universal basic income for all.
  • Public financing for universal childcare delivered as a public good.
  • Equitable financing for public schools and a dismantling of the property tax formula to fund schools.


For more information on Public Goods, please contact our ESR Committee.

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