The continuing economic crisis in American life threatens the quality of life of all Americans and imposes a disproportionate burden of social injustice on the elderly, the young, and members of minority groups.
High rates of unemployment, lack of decent housing, medical care, the cost of higher education priced beyond the reach of the middle class, and a growing inability to afford the most basic necessities of life are causing acute suffering among millions of Americans, thus increasing the danger of social instability, civil unrest, alienation, and an accelerating crime rate.
We have a responsibility to reaffirm our deep Jewish commitment to the achievement of a just society in which all people can live in dignity and respect. Toward this end, we urge:
- Support of legislation to make full employment a genuine national objective and not merely a pious hope;
- A national energy policy to reduce America's dependence on imported oil through such measures as the establishment of a fair and equitable system of allocation and the development of alternative sources of energy eliminate oil profiteering, thus reducing American vulnerability to Arab blackmail and oil embargoes;
- Adequate appropriations for needed social and economic programs, which are as important to our national security as an adequate military defense posture. We need a reordering of national priorities in support of life-sustaining programs;
- Implementation by Congress of a comprehensive tax reform that would distribute the tax burden equitably in accordance with ability to pay and provide a just and fair method of producing the revenues necessary for the well-being of our country; and
- Continuing and energetic efforts by our congregations and congregants toward the task of achieving social and economic justice in a renewed and compassionate America. Only such a reconstruction is worthy of an America now celebrating its bicentennial.
Recognizing the similarity of problems in Canada, we furthermore call for implementation of the above recommendations where they are applicable in that country.