How Democrats Should Talk About Economic Issues

Party of FDR and Andrew Jackson must position itself as the advocate of the self-employed entrepreneur.

A trader watches a television screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday morning May 9, 2007, as the Fed interest rate is announced. The Federal Reserve left a key interest rate unchanged at 5.25 percent as the economy signaled that it was on track for a soft landing in which growth slows enough to restrain inflation.

A trader watches a television screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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This would be a fitting 21st century role for the party of Andrew Jackson and Franklin Roosevelt. Just as those two presidents sought to enhance the station of the average American at times of great social and economic change, today's Democrats can choose this moment to offer a new economic covenant framed in the classic national values of personal autonomy, optimism, and equal opportunity.

Mark Ribbing is the director of policy development at the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington. This article is adapted from "The Kitchen-Table Covenant," a policy report recently published by PPI.